How To Make Money In Poland – Are you planning a trip to Krakow? That’s great, but I think using the unique Polish currency might be a little scary for you.
You don’t have to worry! Throw away all the boring practical guides and information brochures about Poland. Now let me turn you into a Polish money specialist. You will become one just by reading this post! 🙂
How To Make Money In Poland
Here’s a comprehensive guide to Polish zlotys – related things that will make your trip or stay much easier (especially if you already have a Krakow Card)!
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To be completely honest with you, it just doesn’t make that much economic sense for us. Launching a new currency is quite expensive and the markets are usually not ready for it.
Our current minimum wage is ~1600 zł, which means approximately €400, which cannot be accepted as a wage. So all the owners would need to raise their salaries, which they are not ready for.
This could cause an overall increase in wages, etc., but it would also slow down the market for years.
To help the blind and visually impaired, Polish banknotes have a special marking. The distinctive relief shape is used to identify the value of the banknote in the following way:
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Good tip: Make sure you always have some coins and small bills in your wallet. Various newsagents, vendors or even small shops may not have enough cash to give you change if you are paying in a larger denomination. Asking people on the street to exchange banknotes will not be easy even for a foreigner.
Is the Polish zloty starting to sound familiar to you? Now you will find out where and how to get it!
Good tip: services like the XE Currency Converter site will always show you daily, weekly, monthly and yearly breakdowns of exchange rates.
As you can see, the exchange rate is quite favorable to the Euro, so if you are from a country where you receive your salary in Euros, you might like to convert to PLN and really enjoy shopping!
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In fact, things changed after Brexit was announced. In previous years, 1 GBP to PLN was worth almost 6 zł! Anyway, it’s still really cheap for Brits to travel to Poland and have a meal in a really good restaurant for £10 (see the best restaurants list). The exchange rate between the pound and the zloty is not so stable right now, so we will try to update you as often as possible.
Poland has been part of the European Union since 2004, so it may come as a surprise that the euro is not the national currency.
The terms of the accession treaty to the European Union state that all new member states will participate in the economic and monetary union as a member state with an exception from the date of accession.
It means that Poland is obliged to replace the zloty with the euro in the future, but there is currently no real target date for the adoption of the Polish euro.
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Some say Poland won’t join the Eurozone until 2020, so if you’re planning to travel to Poland soon, don’t expect your euros to do the trick.
According to the latest opinion polls, the general opinion is against participation in the eurozone. They show that even more than 70% of polled Poles believe that adopting the euro would be bad for the Polish economy.
I like to use złoty. I am afraid that the introduction of the euro will not be a good change for Poles. – Kasia
Unfortunately, in most places it is not possible to pay in euros or US dollars. Only some hotels and shopping centers can accept such currencies. Therefore, finding the right place to exchange money should be at the top of your to-do list.
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If you come with a wallet full of euros or dollars, you don’t have to worry. The zloty is fully convertible and its exchange rate depends on the current state of the foreign exchange market.
The best option is to exchange money on arrival, but until you get your hands on Polish zlotys, you can simply pay with a debit or credit card.
Banks are the easiest places to get money from Poland. You can exchange practically any world currency there.
Since the money market is free, individual banks, forex firms, exchange offices and hotel receptions can also buy and sell zlotys at whatever price they wish. Naturally, competition drives the rate down, but it’s still a good idea to shop around before you settle.
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It is common knowledge in Poland that the banks will not give you as good rates as you will get in the smaller exchange offices called “kantor”. Where can you find cantors? They are usually located in downtown offices, larger hotels, train stations, and shopping malls.
These exchange offices usually only accept major currencies such as the US dollar, British pound, Euro, Canadian and Australian dollars. However, there is a good chance that you will also find the Swiss franc and other currencies of some European countries, such as the Hungarian forint or the Czech crown.
If you decide to exchange money at one of the exchange offices, you should know that they generally buy more expensively and sell cheaper than banks.
Some exchange offices may be trying to capitalize on tourists’ ignorance and offer much higher rates. Remember that completed transactions cannot be reversed there.
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When you arrive, be sure to avoid the cantors located near the main square, as they are often dodgy. Some reliable currency exchange offices in Krakow are located on Slawkowska Street (for example Grosz at Slawkowska 4) and Kantor Karmelicka at Karmelicka 22.
And to be honest, don’t panic if you find these places hard to find at first. Some nice locals will show you the way – just ask!
Exchanging money in Poland only makes sense if you plan to pay in cash. The question is, will you have to pay in cash, and if so, how often and where?
BUT if you want to buy from a newsstand or a small neighborhood grocery store – you’d better have cash ready!
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You can be sure that wherever there is a payment terminal, your debit or credit card will be accepted. This type of payment is considered a standard payment method in Poland. Retail stores, most stores and virtually all restaurants accept major card companies.
You should know that electronic cards such as Electron or Maestro can only be used at ATMs and points of sale equipped with electronic card readers. These restrictions do not apply to embossed cards such as Eurocard/Mastercard or VISA.
It may surprise you, but the number of places where you can pay with bitcoins is constantly growing in Poland. More and more new places are joining the trend and allowing visitors to use this type of digital currency.
You can use an ATM to get Polish money. ATMs are called “bankomat” and you can find them everywhere – there are over 22,000 ATMs in Poland!
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I was really surprised how many ATMs there are in Poland. You can easily find it on almost every street and get Polish money really fast! – Caroline
Krakow is a big city, so you will have easy access to ATMs. Most ATMs operate 24 hours a day, so they offer much easier access to your money than banks.
Polish ATMs are generally connected to international networks, but be sure to check with your bank or card issuer about the fees and charges you incur if you use your card abroad.
There are usually no ATM fees in Poland. Local ATMs usually do not charge a fee for foreign cards.
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If you are withdrawing cash from an ATM in a busy location, beware of bank card skimmers. It’s smart enough to block your view of your fingers when dialing your PIN to protect your card code from a spy camera.
Good tip: Choose an ATM located in a bank or a busy shopping center. These are considered the safest ATMs.
Some travelers like to use traveler’s checks for security. The advantage of traveler’s checks is that they do not lose money if they are stolen or lost. Checks can be “reissued” at very short notice.
The good news is that you can cash traveler’s checks. But you can do it only in two Polish banks (PKO BP and Pekao SA). Otherwise, you’ll find that these traveler’s checks are of little use here, as almost no one will accept them as payment, except for some big hotels…
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Paying by credit card seems like a smart move. It is a very convenient payment method for foreign visitors, as you will not have to exchange money and waste time looking for attractive exchange rates before arriving in Poland.
Despite the fact that Poland is not part of the Eurozone, the abundance of options to get cash and exchange money for zlotys makes our country very visitor-friendly.
Do you have any questions about paying in Krakow? Leave a comment below and share your experience with the unique Polish zloty!
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