Practical information



 zloty (zł, PLN) 1 zł = 100 groszy (gr)

  • coin: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 gr – 1, 2, 5 zł
  • banknote:  10, 20, 50, 100, 200 zł


Currency Exchange:

  •  banks
  •  exchange offices –  are called “kantor” or “Exchange” and are usually located in city centers, at the railway stations, airports, and in some hotels, they offer better exchange rates in comparison with banks

 The current exchange rate according to NBP (National Bank of Poland)



They are popular and generally available except very small towns and villages, usually opened 24 hours a day.

Bank cards

They are popular means of payment and accepted are both types:  embossed card (Visa, Mastercard) and electronic (Visa Electron, Maestro). You can use them in supermarkets, petrol stations (all), restaurants, hotels and many stores, in large cities also taxis. But it is not yet the rule and you should always be prepared to use cash for payments.



 In every big city there are stores and supermarkets of the well known international chains, like Tesco, Auchan, Carrefour, Lidl, E.Leclerc, Intermarché, Kaufland. There are also many nice, well arranged shopping centers. Since 2019, trade on Sundays is allowed only on the last Sunday of the month – commercial Sunday graphics.

Silesia City Center, Katowice (a former coal mine site)

Shoppping is also possible in smaller stores and shops (normally opened to 17.00 or 18.00), but with no guarantee of payment by credit card, what’s more – prices may be higher. For less wealthy people popular shopping places are bazaars (called “targ”, “targowisko”).  Some look there for freshier fruits and vegetables.  Late evening or at night shopping can be done at gas stations, which are opened 365 days a year, 24 hours a day.


 Prohibitions:  Shops do not sell alcohol and cigarettes to persons less than 18 years old.


 Language abilities: weak. Generations 40 + rarely speak foreign languages (mostly English, in Upper Silesia area – also German). Younger people, students, should know other languages, because foreign language education began in 1990 in schools from primary level, but the practice is sometimes not satysfaying. It concerns unfortunately customer service points (transport, offices). In big cities and tourist centers foreign languages are used by waiters.



 Emergency calls (fixed line):

  • 112: emergency
  • 999: emergency medical rescue
  • 998: fire department
  • 997: police
  • 981: roadside assistance
  • 986: municipal police


Emergency phone numbers (mobile phones): area code + the emergency phone; example for Warsaw: (22) 999

The list of area codes

 Useful links:



foto: Vikimedia Commons, Renata Głuszek, ander

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