The legal currency used in Krakow – as in the case of the whole of Poland – is Zloty, or the Polish Zloty (PLN). Poland has been a part of European Union since 2004. But the country has not embraced the Euro currency. There are many political, economic and practical reasons for it. It is a matter of a different story. The lack of Euro is not a bad news for travellers. Not just because some hotels, restaurants and malls do accept Euro. It is also very easy to convert any major international currency into Zloty.
Know Your Zloty
Zloty is a fairly stable currency with only mildly varying exchange rates. At present, 1 US Dollar will fetch around 3.90 Zloty and 1 Euro will fetch around 4.36 Zloty.
Zloty is dividend into smaller units called Grosz (gr): 100 Grosz make 1 Zloty. Many denominations of Zloty and Grosz are available.
Coins in Grosz are: 1 gr, 2 gr, 5 gr, 20 gr and 50 gr. Coins in Zloty are: 1 pln, 2 pln and 5 pln. Higher denominations of Zloty are available as bank notes: 10 pln, 20 pln, 50 pln, 100 pln, 200 pln and 500 pln.
If you ask what currency is used in Krakow, Zloty may not be the only answer. As mentioned earlier, Euro is used in some places. Bitcoin is also accepted, but only in very few places. So, it is always better to keep Zloty handy, even for crypto enthusiasts.
Where to Obtain Zloty
It is easy to convert any currency to the Krakow currency. Converting to US Dollar and European currencies such as Euro, Pound and Franc, is easier.
The main question is from where to convert. Banks are the obvious choices. All banks in Krakow facilitate currency exchange. However, their exchange rates could be rather conservative. You may try the exchange outlets called Kantor. You can find Kantors in many places. They offer better exchange rates.
A tip would be useful when approaching a Kantor. Always ask the rates they offer, and always check at least a couple of Kantors before you settle for a rate. Obtaining the Krakow currency from a Kantor is also part of the Krakow experience!
Credit and debit cards of major card companies are accepted in Krakow. There is no minimum amount, so you can pay with a card even for a box of matches. However, sometimes you might have problems with using Amercian Express and the older types that don’t have chips. ATM machines are also widely available in the city.
Travellers cheques will not be of much use. There are a couple of banks that provide cash for travellers cheques, but not all the banks do the same. So carrying travellers cheques to Krakow may not be a wise idea.
The same is the case with bitcoin. Some shops and hotels do accept bitcoin, but it is not common. So bitcoin, like travellers cheque, limits your options for shopping and availing services. There’s however a bitcoin cashpoint machine at the Kraków Main Railway Station.
So, what currency is used in Krakow? No need to worry about this question. Keep euros or dollars if you can – or just carry the currency you have. You can easily convert it to Zloty, the Krakow currency.
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