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Current banknotes

The design of our banknotes is a symbolic representation of European integration. The windows, gateways and bridges symbolise openness and cooperation between the people of Europe.

Christine Lagarde, President of the ECB

First series

The first series of euro banknotes was originally issued in 2002 when the euro was introduced. It comprises seven different denominations: €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200 and €500. These banknotes are gradually being replaced by the second series, also known as the Europa series, which explains why you may not see them around so often these days. Banknotes from the first series are legal tender and will always retain their value. They will continue to circulate alongside the Europa series until the remaining stocks have been used up.

Europa series

The second series, also known as the Europa series, was developed to make euro banknotes more secure against counterfeiting and more durable. This means that the banknotes will need to be replaced less often, so as to minimise their impact on the environment and keep costs to a minimum.

It is called the Europa series because two of the security features contain a portrait of Princess Europa. This figure from Greek mythology provides a visible link to the continent of Europe and also adds a human touch to the banknotes. Introduced gradually over several years, the Europa series consists of six denominations: €5, €10, €20, €50, €100 and €200. The first banknotes started circulating in 2013, and the series was completed in May 2019 when the €100 and €200 banknotes were issued.

The €500 banknote was not included in the Europa series and has not been issued since 27 April 2019. Like all denominations of euro banknotes, the €500 note will always retain its value and can be exchanged at any national central bank in the euro area at any time.

Watch the video: The new face of the euro – Europa

Our banknote designs and features


Explore euro banknotes like never before with our 3D view, and discover the different design elements and security features that make our banknotes unique.

Explore all the banknotes in 3D

Design elements

Both series of euro banknotes represent the theme “Ages and styles of Europe”. But did you know that none of them show any actual monuments or bridges? Learn more about the different design elements and find out where your banknotes were printed.

Learn about the design of current euro banknotes

Security features

Euro banknotes have several security features which make them easy to authenticate without the need for special equipment. Take a closer look at your banknotes and learn how to check whether they are genuine or not – with the “feel, look and tilt” method.

Learn how to check your banknotes

Your opinion counts

Tell us what you think

Your feedback helps us to maintain the high quality of our banknotes. Please complete this short online survey and tell us what you think about the banknotes that you use every day.


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