Poland Currency Exchange Guide

Poland is a beautiful place to visit, with its medieval architecture and ancient castles dotting the countryside. Visitors can enjoy unique cuisine, world-renowned art galleries and bustling nightlife in historic old squares, all within easy reach. With Poland’s extensive rail network, travelling between cities is a breeze. So whether you prefer adventure or relaxation, exploring Poland promises an unforgettable experience.

General Polish Currency Information

What is the currency of Poland?

The official currency of Poland is the Polish zloty (PLN).

What do Poland notes & coins look like?

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Current zloty banknotes come in several denominations and feature prominent figures from their country’s history. Most of the bills feature a Polish white eagle with additional images related to their historical figure. For example, the obverse side of a 10 zloty note features Prince Mieszko I with a Denarius coin, while the reverse side shows Romanesque columns. The 20 zloty bears King Boleslaw I Chrobry on the obverse, along with another Denarius coin and a fragment from the Gniezno Doors on the reverse, surrounded by the Rotunda of Saint Nicolas. Other notes include King Kazimierz III Wielki on a 50 zloty note; Wladyslaw II Jagiello on 100 zloty; King Zygmunt I on 200 zloty; and King John III Sobieski with Wilanów Palace on 500 zloty. Every banknote carries deep historic significance within its depiction of past leaders in Polish money.

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As for the current Polish zloty coins, they offer a unique look in terms of their design, with the obverse displaying the State title and the eagle of the coat of arms. The reverse side is where you’ll find some interesting differences based on denomination. For example, on the 1 grosz coin, there’s a value alongside one leaf, whilst for both the 2 grosze and 5 groszy coins, there are two or five leaves, respectively. On the 10 groszy coin, however, you can expect to find ten encircling leaves. Even larger denominations like 20 groszy feature twenty square-shaped leaves, whilst 50 groszy come with a semicircular line of fifty leaves. Finally, higher denominations such as 1 zloty have a full circle of one hundred leaves within the ring portion, with 2 zloty featuring just two leaves and 5 zloty coming with five.

Economy

The Polish economy has undergone a considerable transformation since transitioning to a market-based system in 1988, enabling it to achieve the status of a high-income economy. In terms of GDP, Poland is now ranked 6th in Europe and 23rd worldwide in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP). Its advanced public welfare system provides citizens with universal access to health care and education, along with generous childcare provisions. Thanks to its growth-oriented policies, Poland has become one of the most successful post-Communist countries in Europe and is seen as an attractive destination for international investment.

Brief currency history

In the Middle Ages, gold coins, especially those of German and Ruthenian duchies, were used as currency in Poland, known as zloty. In 1496, a national currency equivalent to 30 groschens from Prague was established, with the name Polski Złoty (which means Golden Polish).

Under the reign of Stanisław August Poniatowski in the second half of the eighteenth century, this currency was adopted as the official one. During 1850-1917 it was replaced by the Russian rouble and from 1917 to 1924 by the Polish mark. After experiencing hyperinflation and monetary chaos happened following the first World War in the early twentieth century, zloty was reintroduced in 1924 and has been actively used ever since.

In 1945, the National Bank of Poland was established together with a new printing facility in Łódź. The series II and III banknotes were designed by Wacław Borowski and Ryszard Kleczewski. Two years later, legislation was signed introducing a new złoty with a revised coinage system, with all notes issued up to 1948 becoming obsolete and being replaced at the rate of 100 to 1.

In 1989, after the fall of communism, Poland was forced to reevaluate their currency as it was greatly affected by hyperinflation. The National Bank of Poland (NBP) developed a project in 1994 to successfully redenominate the złoty and make it the new stable standard on the 1st of January 1995. The new zloty coins and banknotes with revised designs were printed by two well-known printing companies, PWPW located in Warsaw and De La Rue in London. These notes featured Polish monarchs, a move that highlighted national recognition.

In 2013 and 2014, the polski złoty was updated with additional security features, such as a white-coloured field with a watermark on the obverse and randomly arranged dotting that form part of the EURion constellation. Furthermore, in 2017, a 500zł banknote featuring John III Sobieski was brought into circulation. Further developments are due to take place this year when the National Bank of Poland is set to introduce a 1000zł note. The currency’s design is not greatly dissimilar from the original series, but the updated features make each banknote significantly more secure.

Taking Travel Money to Poland

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What currency should I take to Poland?

If you’re travelling to Poland, you’ll need to exchange your Australian dollars (AUD) for Polish zlotys (PLN). Convert AUD to PLN here.

Is it better to convert currency in Australia or Poland?

When travelling from Australia to Poland, it is much more practical and efficient to convert Australian dollars to Polish zlote in Australia before departure. This way, you’ll know exactly how much travel money you have and will be able to access those funds right away. It provides security and assurance that there is a certain amount of money in your wallet during the entire journey.

How much money can I take to Poland?

Cash amounts of up to 10,000 euros do not need to be reported upon entering the country. Nevertheless, if you anticipate carrying a sum larger than this, the declaration must be made in the Customs Office at the point of entry.

Where to convert currency?

Crown Currency Exchange is Australia’s premier exchange provider for foreign currencies, offering a competitive foreign currency exchange rate and accessible service. With almost 20 years in the business, our experienced and friendly professionals provide superior customer service with no hidden fees or commissions. With a network of 50 stores across the country, we make it easier than ever to convert currency in Australia.

Is tipping customary in Poland? How much is expected?

Whether it’s your first time or you are a regular visitor, here are some helpful tips on how to show appreciation for good service.

Cafés: Tipping at cafes is not required, but not uncommon either. If you like your coffee and service, consider rounding up to the nearest PLN, typically 3-5PLN. This small gesture shows that you appreciate their work and efforts. 

Restaurants: Tipping at restaurants is a personal preference and is not expected by servers in Poland. However, if the service was particularly good or if they were very helpful during your visit, 10 to 15%of the total bill is greatly appreciated. Alternatively, saying “dziękuję” (thank you) when paying will have the server keep any change as a tip. 

Bartenders: There’s no obligation to tip bartenders at bars in Poland but saying “dziękuję” (thank you) when paying can have them keep any change as a small tip for their service.  

Tour Guides: When taking a tour, it’s customary to leave a 10-15% tip at the end of your journey as a sign of appreciation for your guide and driver. This should reflect the level of service you received during your tour; if you were particularly impressed with their efforts, feel free to increase the amount.

Taxis: A safe and speedy ride deserves an appropriate reward – 10% is usually enough to show your gratitude and encourage them to continue providing quality service. If they provided anything less than impressive service, there’s no obligation to tip at all. 

Housecleaning: To express your gratitude, consider leaving zł10 (AUD $3.36) per night after housekeeping has finished tidying up your room. This is completely optional but will certainly put a smile on their face.

Stylists: Not sure how much to tip? It’s simple – just follow your gut feeling. Consider factors such as how long it took, whether or not you liked the end result, and if you felt comfortable throughout the session when deciding how much money you want to leave behind.

Spas: If you found yourself exceptionally pleased with your spa experience, then don’t hesitate to give a generous tip (zł10 should do) before checking out. The receptionist may even provide you with an envelope if asked! 

What is ATM access like in Poland?

ATMs are widely available, with many located at airports, supermarkets, and tourist centres. Users have the convenience of using ATMs around the clock, as they are open 24 hours a day. It is recommended to check the hours of specific banks, though, as they can vary depending on location. All in all, accessing money in Poland should not be a problem.

What should you budget per day?

Budget

When travelling to Poland on a budget, you should limit yourself to zł180 (AUD $60) per day. This can cover a hostel dorm, groceries for self-prepared meals, and normal usage of public transport. To save money, take free walking tours or visit the many free museums across the country. If you plan on drinking alcohol during your trip to Poland, keep in mind that an additional 10-20 PLN should be added daily to your budget.

Moderate

For a more comfortable budget, a mid-range budget of approximately zł320-400 (AUD $107-134) per day can provide an enjoyable experience. You can cover better accommodations such as Airbnb or private hostels. Eating out at the affordable milk bars is also an option for most meals, with the possibility to have some drinks and take taxis here and there when needed. Furthermore, paid activities like visiting the Uprising Museum or taking a tour of Auschwitz are sure to enhance your stay by providing interesting cultural experiences.

Luxury

Exploring Poland on a luxury budget will surely be the trip of a lifetime! With zł750 (AUD $251) or more to spend each day, you can stay in quality hotels, eat sumptuous meals and tantalise your taste buds with delicious beverages. What’s more, you can rent a car to get around and take any guided tours or activities that are must-sees while in the country. There is no limit to how luxurious your trip can be – treat yourself and experience Poland like royalty!

Currency details

Currency:

Polish zloty

Currency code:

PLN

Currency symbol:

Central bank:

National Bank of Poland

Nickname:

None

Currency sub-unit:

Grosz = 1/100 of a Zloty

Bank notes:

10, 20, 50, 100, 200 zł

Coins:

1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 gr. 1, 2, 5 zł

Must-do's while you are in Poland

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1. Explore Krakow Old Town 

Krakow Old Town offers a unique insight into the past and present of this remarkable city. With its cobblestone streets, ancient monuments and grand castle, Krakow Old Town is a great place to explore and learn about Poland’s rich history. Make sure you don’t miss out on seeing Wawel Castle or taking a stroll through Rynek Glowny, the largest medieval market square in Europe! 

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2. Take a Hot Air Balloon Ride in Zakopane 

Zakopane is an incredible mountain town located at the foot of the Tatra Mountains, and it’s one of the most popular tourist destinations in Poland. Take a hot air balloon ride over Zakopane for breathtaking views of snow-capped mountains, lush forests, rivers and lakes – all from up high! It’s definitely an experience you won’t forget! 

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3. Taste Traditional Polish Food 

Polish cuisine has something for everyone! Whether you’re looking for hearty soups like borscht or potato soup or classic dishes such as pierogi or kielbasa, there are plenty of delicious options for your taste buds to try. Be sure to check out local restaurants that specialise in traditional Polish dishes so that you can get a real taste of what Polish food has to offer!  

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4. Walk Through the Vibrant Streets of Warsaw  

The capital city of Warsaw is full of history, culture and life. Walking through its vibrant streets will give you an opportunity to take in some spectacular sights as well as learn more about local customs and traditions. You can also spend time exploring local parks or shopping at iconic markets such as Stare Miasto (Old Town). Whatever your interests are, there are plenty of activities that will make your visit to Warsaw unforgettable! 

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5. Witness Amazing Architecture in Gdańsk Old Town 

Gdańsk Old Town is home to some awe-inspiring architecture from various eras, including Gothic churches, Renaissance buildings and Baroque mansions. This historic town also features winding cobbled lanes full of charming shops where visitors can find unique souvenirs to take home with them. Make sure not to miss out on witnessing this stunning architecture during your stay here! 

Other helpful guides & resources on travel in Poland

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