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Tuesday, 11 August 2015

How To... Do Shopping In Poland - Currency

Good morning everyone!

According to the Government Statistics in Poland (stat.gov.pl - it also has an English report) , from 2014, it looks like foreign tourists arrivals have increased - to 5.5 milion, compared to 5.2 milion in 2013. The room occupancy in hotels, motels, boarding houses and other hotel establishments in 2014 amounted to 42.7%. In 2014 the largest number of tourists was recorded in Mazowieckie (3.9 milion) and Malopolskie (3.7 milion) voivodships. In case you did not know, my beloved city Kraków is in Malopolskie voivodship ;)
Currently there is no data available for 2015, even it is mid-year, but the assumption that goes around is that this year there will be more tourists even than in 2014. And rightly so, as Poland is such a lovely place! If you figured out that Poland is the next place on your list and you wish to visit it, you need to make sure you have everything covered. That means including what currency Poland is using ;) and nope... Poland does NOT use Euro! ( unlike what a cashier from Swiss may have thought...)
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The Polish official currency is the Polish Zloty ( zloty = golden - in Polish language). The zloty is divided in 100 groszy = 1 Polish Zloty. The standard abreviation that you will find both in regular and electronic shops is PLN or zl. I recommend having at least some Polish Zloty with you, when you get to Poland. Most places are equipped with card readers and some even accept American Express, but just to be on the safe side, make sure you have some with you - MasterCard and Visa are widely accepted.
In case you need to exchange money you will need to search for an exchange shop. They are called "Kantor" here in Poland and you find then in the malls and the most frequented streets. But don't stress! You will be able to make it with the card, especially if you are in a big city like Kraków ;) also, in the bigger shops (especially inside the malls), you will have the option of paying in euro. You will usually be asked in which currency you wish to pay. Poland belongs to the European Union but not in euro zone - so no euro... Check the parity with your currency and just use the card as often as you can ;) and have loads of fun!

FAIR WARNING: Shops in Poland are closed on major national holidays, namely New Year, January 6th, Easter, May 1st, May 3rd, Whit Sunday, Corpus Christi, August 15th, November 1st, November 11th, and Christmas (December 25th and December 26th). Pharmacies and gas stations stay open on those days.

P.S. If you have any questions in regards to currency and shopping options in Poland, do ask them away below in the comments area and I will be glad to help you ;)

P.S.S. This may be the start of a HOW TO... series about travelling inside Poland - would that be interesting for you?

Yours truly,
The Twisted Red LadyBug - here to help the travellers of the world :)