Katowice Internationals Foundation

CURRENCY EXCHANGE

Places to change money

Every time we go to a foreign country, one of the most important things we need to consider is the local currency. In the European Union, many countries share the Euro as the common currency, but this is not the case in Poland since,  the local currency is zloty. Here one euro, for example, equals approximately to 4.57(30th April 2021) zlotys. However, we cannot trust that this is always the case. Many people make the mistake of carrying euros with them and try, in a second time, to change them at the airport from some agencies without knowing where to do it properly. At the airport for example, the rates are very high, so you must pay a lot of attention and be careful while doing these operations. Normally, you must pay a fee to some of these agencies to change some currencies. Other companies just simply distort the exchange rate on their own benefits making scams. If you have no experience, it could have happened to you.

Here you can find some advice, from the best options to the worst ones, to avoid losing money unnecessarily:

1) Change some money in your bank.
Yes, exactly. In your bank, you can order some currency to have in cash. Banks respect the current exchange rate. You will only have to pay a small fee and it is safer.
2) Transfer money from your bank in your home country to your account in Poland. 
If you want to transfer large amounts of money, it is advisable to follow this operation. The bank will respect the current exchange rate and you will only have to pay a fee.

Be careful where you exchange the money

3) Change your money at Kantor the city you are visiting. 
These agencies provide you immediate currency when you go to them. If you are in a hurry, these are the best options to get some cash. You only need to be aware of the exchange rate at which they change the currency, since normally, it is a bit altered in their own benefit. For small amounts it is not a big deal, but for large amounts, you can lose a lot of money. 
For example, one of the best know agencies in Poland is Kantor. If you check their website, you can know the exchange rate at which they are changing the currency in that moment and they usually stick to the market value. That means, that the operation is not risky.
4) What to avoid: Changing currency at the airport. 
Try to avoid at all costs changing currency at the airport. Normally, it is the easiest place where you can get the local coin. However, these offices usually distort the exchange rate at their own benefit. For example, it is possible that if the exchange rate is 1 euro equals to 4,2 zloty in town, at the airport can be that 1 euro equals to 3,8 zloty. As people usually do not know how exchange rates works, these offices make great business by changing currency at the airport. 
Remember to exchange money at the airport ONLY when you are in an emergency.
5) Other options
Poland is a great place where you purchase goods and services since you can pay in many places with credit or debit card. Paying with credit or debit card allows you to “buy” zloty at the current exchange rate, so the risk to waste your money will be reduced.