advertisement

Frommer's lists exact prices in the local currency. However, rates fluctuate, so before departing consult a currency exchange website such as www.oanda.com/convert/classic to check up-to-the-minute rates.

The main unit of currency is the zoty (z), which is divided (in theory) into 100 groszy (gr). Bills come in denominations of 10 z, 20 z, 50 z, 100 z, and 200 z. The most useful coins are the 5 z, 2 z, and 1 z. You'll also see less-useful coins of 50 gr, 10 gr, 2 gr, and rarely, 1 gr. At press time, $1 equaled about 3.20 z.

Though Poland is a member of the European Union, the euro does not circulate in Poland and cannot be used for making purchases. The government recently committed itself to adopting the euro at some point in the future, but that date is still considered to be fairly far off. For convenience's sake, some hotels will quote their rates in euros and accept euros as payment, but in general, it's best to carry local currency.

Poland is not as cheap a destination as it was a few years ago, but it remains generally less expensive than Western Europe. Prices for everyday travel expenses, such as food and drink, hotels, and museum admissions, are substantially less than they would be in Paris or London. The exceptions are rental cars, five-star hotels, and imported clothing and other imported luxury goods, for which prices are as high here as anywhere else.

You can change money at nearly any bank or exchange office, identified in Polish as a kantor. You'll see these privately run exchanges everywhere, but be sure to shop around for the best rates and fees, since these differ from office to office.

You'll get a decent, no-hassle exchange rate simply by using your credit or debit card at a bank ATM. In large cities and towns, you'll see an ATM on nearly every block. Before you leave home, be sure to alert your bank or credit card company that you will be traveling abroad. The bank or card company could block your card if security personnel see unusual charges coming through (such as purchases coming from Poland if you don't usually travel here). Also, make sure your card has a four-digit PIN code, since some Polish ATMs cannot take longer codes.

Credit cards are gaining in popularity and are now almost universally accepted at hotels and expensive restaurants. The most popular cards are American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard, and Visa. Travelers' checks can still be cashed at large banks but are almost more of a hassle than they are worth since they aren't usually accepted at shops, hotels, or restaurants.

What Things Cost (in Poland z)

Taxi from the airport 60

Double room, moderate 250

Double room, inexpensive 180

3-course dinner without wine 45

Bottle of decent beer 7

Bottle of Coca-Cola 7

Good cup of coffee 8

Tram or bus ticket 2.50

Gallon (4L) of gasoline 18

Admission to a museum (adult) 7

Admission to national park 5

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.