Using your credit card can get way expensive. There are so many exchange fees that one trip cost us close to 90.00 in fees because we used our credit card so much. After that I do the following.
First, I exchange a decent amount of money so I have some cash when I land. You buy currency online through Triple AAA or your can use EZForex to buy euros. 500 - 1,000 is a good amount to purchase. The currency is sent to you in the mail and it is insured. I have never had a problem and always get cash.
Second, we use the atm. Most US banks have affliate banks in europe that allow you to use their atms. I believe though you still get hit with the exchange fee. That being said we limit the number of atm trips we take.Don't worry about using the atms. Just like here they offer a language menu that allows you to select English. Very straight forward and easy to use. We have used ATMs in Ireland, Paris, Greece and had no problems at all.
Hope that helps.