Don't assume that your Krakow Hotel will take cards, though things are steadily improving in this area. Cash is still king in Poland, so make sure you have discussed payment with your hosts before you dash for the plane. Most shops and upmarket restaurants are switching to plastic - look out for Visa/Mastercard stickers (or lack thereof) on restaurant doors.
It can be confusing for visitors to a new country, and unfortunately, there are a few who are all too keen to take advantage of this. Here are some suggestions to help you avoid the common pitfalls.
Cash Machines / ATMS
Probably the best option available, most of them offer services in English. Rates are generally fair, though your home bank will probably charge you a commission for each transaction. As in any major city, use the normal precautions when taking out money in a public place.
You might as well leave your chequebook at home - Poland is not a fan of this form of payment.
Bureaux de Change (Kantor)
Bureaux de change in the city centre, particularly on Florianska Street and in the Market Square, are notorious for giving hopeless rates. The age old trick is to insert an extra zero on their list of rates. A rate of 5.0889, is easily read as 5.889. Visitors fall for this time and again. Once you are wise to this, have fun spotting all the scammers! In general, rates improve the further away from the centre you go. If there is sufficient demand for it, Cracow Life will introduce a daily list of the best rates around. Just contact us and let us know!
Mag from Australia Reply
Stay away from Kantor on 32Szpitalna St. They have the worst rates around the city. They are misleading with displaying their exchange rates and extremely rude when asked about it. Never use it - bad experience guaranteed!
Dima from Poland Reply
Hi! I live in Kraków for around 3 years. Believe me, I know something about Kantors in krk. The best kantors are on SLAWKOWSKA str. It is parallel to Florianska and leads to Rynek as well. There are around 5 kantors located in 10m one from another. They have, as you might guess, unbelievable competition.... what is a winning point for tourists. The best rates are there, one has higher rates for USD, another for EUR and the third for HRK for example. You just need to compare rates for the currency you want to exchange. Kantor in Galeria Krakowska 3rd floor might be accepted as well. Cheers!
tom from Poland Reply
My good advice is: First , take a 1 photo of Exchange ( Kantor ) with rates board ( usualy you can find it on the wall next to the entrance to the " KANTOR:. Second: Always take a recipt from exchange " KANTOR" . On recipt you can compare actual rate with information board on the wall. Than compere it.
Mrsmilano from United Kingdom Reply
Why are the Kantors on Rynek Glowny /Main Square allowed to get away with their criminal activity? I won't return to this corrupt city because if it. Rather spend my hard earned cash in a city that looks after tourists instead of fleecing them. Can't wait to go home now, it's left me with a very bad taste in my mouth. Never to return
Guest from Canada Reply
Hi Where is the best place in Krakow to exchange cdn dollars Tks
Yasmin Somerville from United Kingdom Reply
Am looking for best place to change money in Kracow centre. Or en route from airport. Thank you
Eric from United Kingdom Reply
In Krakow I have found that most change or kantors try to rip you off by confusing the two rates. They quote "we buy at 5.88" for £1 but then quote "we sell at 5.0895" or something similar. At first glance you think it's practically the same but if you use them you'll lose around £13 changing £100. Quite a loss. You need the two rates to be close, like 5.8 followed by 5.7. There are honest ones who do it this way but as I said, most will try to confuse the two rates. If this sounds obvious, wait until you use them!
Yvette from United Kingdom Reply
Poland is beautiful and the people are friendly. But do watch the scammers at some of the kantors (money exchange) on the first day I changed £100 for what was advertised as a good rate. When I checked my money, I realised it less than it should be. I went back and the woman behind the desk pointed to a sign behind her saying I had walked away so she wouldn't do anything. I called the police who said no law had been broken I should have been more careful. I lost £25 that transaction and I used the banks after that.
Ann Stuart from United Kingdom Reply
I am going to Krakow for a few days and I have about 180 euros in my purse should I change this to slotys before I travel
Mary from United Kingdom
Hello, I'm going to Krakow in a few weeks and intend to get my cash exchanged at my own bank. Don't understand why everyone is exchanging in Krakow - is there a reason for this. Have a safe enjoyable trip
Anton from United Kingdom Reply
I am travelling to Krakow on Monday 6th April. Will the Kantors be open on Easter Monday? And would you please be able to tell me prices from GBP (Sterling) to Zloty?
shaun from United Kingdom Reply
I found the exchange rates around the main square to be better than the uk by .1 and .2 some days! So i guess it's just common sense. Change some at home like we did and take English cash just in case.
jane from Malta Reply
I will be in Poland for Christmas. what and where is the best way for exchanging money. euros to zloty. here under is a mixture of opinions. got confused.
Brian from Australia Reply
We exchange Australian Dollars at a Kantor(money exchange) at 32 Szpitalna St just around the corner from the Florian Gate,he quoted us the sell rate as the low rate as he had only one rate on display.When we saw what he was doing we demanded our money back when still at the counter,but he refused,when we refused to leave untill he returned our money he produced a gun and told us to leave his shop,we refused to leave and called the police,The police came and did nothing because he did not actually point the gun at us.We took this story to the newspaper(Gazeta.pl krakow) who did a full story on the incident, Turns out this mongrel has pulled this stunt on many occasions before. Even though he is breaking the law, and the guide lines set down by the authorities who regulate money exchange and issue licences nothing has been done. This Kantor is only opened Fridays and weekend to catch the tourists coming from the bus and train stations. We found the kantor ar 25 Slavkowska St to give excellent service and a good rate that can be negotiated if you exchange exchange a reasonable amount. My wife is Polish From Krakow and this is our 5th trip to this beautiful city and have only had this one bad experience,we let our guard down and got caught Could happen anywhere,we will be coming back.
Anna from United Kingdom Reply
I will be using a mastercard to withdraw cash in Krakow. Anyone know of ATMs around the city centre that won't charge me an ATM fee? Thanks
Pete from United Kingdom Reply
I agree. Take cash and find a good kantor (exchange place). You get a worse exchange rate using an ATM. Also, do NOT change your cash at the airport - complete ripoff rate.
Jamie from France Reply
Hey, I just came back form Cracow. The best and the cheapest way is to take cash in your pocket and exchange it into Polish currency at exchange office.
from United States Reply
I have never been scammed exchanging money in krakow. And i exchange one thousand at a time. This 5.88 or 5.088 is easy to recognise. The only time i had problems when i tried to exchange scottish money as it is worthless. £1=3zlotys. As opposed to English money. Maybe 1 pound/5 zlotys. The cash machine i use in krakow i think is on SLAWKOWSKA street. It is one of the streets off the main square. I think it is that one. It is across from "grandama's" 24 cafe. And the kantor i use which i think is the best one about for all rates is also a street off the main square/rynek glowny but i cant remember the street name. But all you have to do is go to the square and spend an hour going up and down the streets. It shouldnt take you more that an hour.
Maggie from Switzerland Reply
First, I could not belive all that stories about money exchange and about cheating and wrong exchange rate. Now I have the prove on paper. I went to Kantor Wymiany Walut Anna Frey, Rynek Glowny Krakau. The exchange Rate for Swiss Franc was 3,0490. I exchange 100 CHF. Then late I went to the exchange office at the Galeria Krakowska and look the rate was 3,47. Please never exchange all your money at only one office. I recommend the exchange office at the Galeria Krakowska. Thank you
Charles ALexander from United Kingdom Reply
When we first went to Poland thre were hardly any ATMs but now they are everywhere. We always use them with a UK debit card as it seems that the rate is the best one going.
Nick from Italy Reply
Does anyone know what ATM has the best rates? I'll be staying here for a while so I have to rely on them...
liz from Ireland Reply
where is the best kantor to exchange sterling in krakow
mow from Ireland Reply
Hi, I received some money-cheque from bank of Ireland and Id like to put the money into my new account in Poland (Bank PKO). What would be the best way to transfer? Because I know that rate isnt the best at the bank compare to the Kantor. Do they take international cheques at the Kantor?
Niamh in Ireland from Ireland Reply
Hi we will be in the city in mid July. Can you tell me how much a 3 course meal in say a chinese costs or a bottle of beer in a pub just so I can get some kind of idea.
brien from Poland Reply
william: Zloty (polish money) ... change your euros when you get here, best to change in town but maybe change a bit at the airport if you want to pay for a taxi ... watch out for places with unusually low rates as they often charge a fee and it can then be more than the others ... check out 3-4 to figure the average then pick a place you like ... normally no big deal
William from United Kingdom Reply
i am going to poland do i need euros or polish money?? thanks for the help
Maldini Francesco from United Kingdom Reply
Hy , i wanna go in krakow and i don`t know if i can withdraw money from my card (is ca cash card without chip) . i should be worried ? cause i have heard from some americans who had some problems in europe with their cards (also without chip) .. thank you !
benny from Netherlands Reply
It is best to bring Euros from home, rather than cash withdraw here (costs me 4 euros each time). I found out that the ING-bank in the 'Galeria' (mall) has a more expensive exch. rate than some of the small 'kantors' in the city. best indeed to change when you need, and in this way find out the cheapest places.
charlotte from United Kingdom Reply
going for mid-week break 26 October & trying to workout cost for eating out? Can anyone let me Know?
Greg from Australia Reply
@valeriegreig A taxi from where? Don't take a taxi from the airport, you can catch a fast train for US$2.5. This takes you to the railway station, which is 10 min walk from the main square of the City. Otherwise taxis going from the city to inner suburbs were about 15 - 20PLN (US$10 max). to get to the outer suburbs, double that. Mind you, public transport is second to none, so you can get around easy!
valeriegreig from United Kingdom Reply
Hi Visiting Cracow in next week Oct 19th how much is a taxi to the city any idea? thanks looking forward to my visit.
Lisa W from United Kingdom Reply
We're coming for a visit to Krakow in December. Your pages are very helpful!
Graham from United Kingdom Reply
Going to visit Krakow next month for a weekend so don't need a lot of currency. Is it still better to buy this in the city, do the Kantons apply transaction charges?
John from Ireland Reply
Can you buy starka vodka at duty free i heard it is good
peggy from United States Reply
the only rip off in currency is to buy it in the UK. our hotel did us 4.91 - £1 I saw some places doing 4.95 - £1 and only 1/2 doing 5 - £1 even Krakow airport did 4.8 the post office here in UK did us 4.6 - what a rip off! shop around, compare 2-3 kantors, job done.
Aaron from United States Reply
Just steer clear of the very central hotels and b de change.
Shalin from Singapore Reply
This has proven very useful website. We are coming to Krakow for a conference. We have obtained Euros (we are in Singapore where Zloty is hard to find). Which is the best place to exchange Euros while in Krakow? We are going to stay at student hostel PIAST.
michael from United Kingdom Reply
great site let you know all about Krakow things you need to know and things to look out for we had a great time and thank you too all the people in Krakow
Mario from Croatia Reply
Thank you for this valuable informations,I'm coming in Krakow for new year with my friends and we will be there for 5 days...i can't wait!!!
ALAN KIRK from United Kingdom Reply
Congratulations on a brilliant website I shall be visiting Kracow in january and your site has everything the traveller needs.