The official currency in Poland is still the Złoty. Although Poland is one of the EU member states there are no plans at present for the country to adopt the Euro.
It is important to emphasise there is no dual currency in Poland so the only currency you can spend in the country is the złoty.
It can sometimes be a little intimidating being in a new country and having to deal with unfamiliar currency but there’s really nothing to worry about and I hope that this guide will help to make your stay in Poland anxiety-free.
There are six types of groszy coins: 1 grosz, 2 grosze, 5 groszy, 10 groszy, 20 groszy and 50 groszy.
The groszy is the Polish equivalent of our pennies (or cents) and there are 100 groszy in one Złoty. These coins are clearly marked so there should be no confusion.
There are also three types of złoty coins: 1 złoty, 2 złoty and 5 złoty.
Polish bank notes:
There are five different types of bank notes: 10 złoty, 20 złoty, 50 złoty, 100 złoty and 200 złoty. All of the bank notes are coloured differently and clearly marked with their own unique designs so it is very easy to identify them.
Now that you are familiar with the look and different types of Polish money then the next question is how do you get your hands on them !
There are three main options.
1/ Buy Polish currency at home
In the UK there is an increasing number of places where you can buy your foreign currency including travel agents and banks. Over the last few years the Post Office offers some of the more competitive rates but it’s important to always compare rates before you buy-not forgetting any commission that may be applied.
I would strongly advise against buying your foreign currency at the airport as they typically offer some of the worst rates on the market.
2/ Take no cash and use ATM machines in Poland
Quite a risky strategy as it’s always a good idea to have some cash when you arrive in a foreign country. It is true that some ATM machines may convert your money at a more favourable rate than you can get back home but you would need to locate the correct banks that offer the best rates and do you really need this hassle when you’re supposed to be on holiday ?
3/ Buy Polish currency in Poland
In my opinion this is the best policy for getting a favourable rate and there are plenty if places in Poland where you can easily exchange your currency. Banks will be happy to exchange your foreign currency for Polish currency. There are also thousands of kiosks around the country that specialise only in buying and selling foreign currency. Known as a “kantor” they are a very common sight in Polish cities, towns and shopping malls. They usually have the rates displayed outside and it’s always good practise to make sure the rates are favourable so you do not buy blindly.
One word of advice is to avoid using a kantor in the heart of any tourist spot as the rates are likely to be hiked up whilst the ones just off the main tourist centres usually offer better rates.
There is a fourth option for those who are keen to squeeze the best value out of the exchange and that is to buy specialist credit/debit cards which offer favourable rates and no transaction fees. More details can be found on the consumer forum website moneysavingexpert.com.