The currency of Poland is the złoty.
Try to keep some small-denomination notes for shops, cafés and restaurants – getting change for the 100zł notes that ATMs often give you can be a problem.
The majority of ATMs accept Visa, MasterCard, Cirrus and Maestro cards.
The easiest and cheapest way to carry money is in the form of a debit card, with which you can withdraw cash either over the counter in a bank or from an ATM. Charges are minimal at major Polish banks (typically from zero to about 2%) and some home banks charge nothing at all for the use of their cards overseas. Check with your bank about transaction fees and withdrawal limits.
The kantor (private currency-exchange office) is the place to exchange cash. They are either self-contained offices or just desks in travel agencies, train stations, post offices, department stores and the more upmarket hotels. Kantors are usually open between 9am and 6pm on weekdays and to around 2pm on Saturday, but some are open longer and a few stay open 24 hours.
There’s no commission on transactions – the rate you get is what is written on the board (every kantor has a board displaying its exchange rates). The whole operation takes a few seconds and there’s no paperwork involved. You don’t need to present your passport or fill out any forms. Kantors buy and sell foreign currencies, and the difference between the buying and selling rates is usually not larger than 2%. Exchange rates differ slightly from city to city and from kantor to kantor (about 1%).
To avoid hassles when exchanging currency, one important thing to remember before you set off from home is that any banknotes you take to Poland must be in good condition, without any marks or seals. Kantors can refuse to accept banknotes that have numbers written on them (a common practice of bank cashiers totalling bundles of notes) even if they are in otherwise perfect condition.
Poland is in the same time zone as the Netherlands, UTC+2 in summer.
In May, the average temperature in Warsaw is around 14 degrees Celsius.
Emergency Telephone Numbers
- 999: Ambulance
- 998: Fire Brigade
- 997: Police
When using a mobile, remember to dial the local code before the number: 22 – 997 to call the police in Warsaw, 22 – 998 to call the Fire Brigade, etc. If you do not know/cannot remember the local code, you can dial 112 to reach an operator who will direct your call.