France has over 60 currencies beside the Euro

Alongside the euro, dozens of local currencies are in circulation across France. They surged in 2010 following the global financial crisis and can only be used in a limited area like a town or region. Some of them have become increasingly commonplace in French regions over the past few years, as they help boost the local economy and protect the environment.

That’s just one of some 60 currencies besides the euro that are accepted in France. It’s not a phenomenon unique to France. Around the world, there are hundreds of these complementary currencies.

Local currencies debuted in France in 2010 after the financial crisis as a way to support local economies, since local currencies can only be used in a certain town or area. (Abeilles can only be used in Villeneuve-sur-Lot, Occitans in Pézenas, Languedoc-Roussillon, etc.) Not every store in a town will accept the local currency. Only stores where using the local currency will contribute to the immediate town and surrounding area will accept the currency. So your “boulanger” will gladly take your “Occitans” because the bread was made using wheat grown in the area by local farmers.

Some currencies are printed on paper and others are paperless to cut costs. The exchange rate is always one euro to one local currency.

Map of the actual local currencies in France

To learn more about local currencies in France and the new Paris currency, “la pêche”, check out the video below.

Local currency nameLocationRegioncurrency units in circulationLaunch Date
La PêcheParisIle de France90.0002018
EskoPays BasqueNouvelle Aquitaine3 millions2013
CagnoleAuxerreBourgogne-Franche Comté42.0002018
BuzukPas de MorlaixBretagne22.0002016
AbeilleVilleneuve sur LotNouvelle Aquitaine14.0002011
La DoumePuy-de-DômeAuvergne-Rhône-Alpes170.0002015
some examples of local currencies