Travelling in Poland 🇵🇱

(Liam) #1

The following is based on my own experience plus any feedback by other users. It’s purely anecdotal and using the information you find in this guide is at your own risk. Your own milage may vary!

The basics

  • Currency: Złoty (the ł is pronounced as ‘w’ in English, therefore you say Zwoty)
  • ISO 4217 Currency Code: PLN
  • Symbol: You’ll see prices maked with either or PLN.

Card usage

Card acceptance is high in Poland with most stores, even those in fairly rural locations accepting payment by chip and pin or contactless.

Contactless payments have taken off in a big way in Poland with acceptance on a similar level to the UK or maybe more. Expect to find contactless readers strapped to vending machines, ticket machines and even the odd gate at train station conveniences.

ATMs

Regardless of which ATM you go for, rejecting dynamic currency conversion is likely to save you money, especially if you’re using fintech cards that do not attract a markup on currency conversion.

Free ATMs
Bank Polska Kasa Opieki (August 2018)
Bank BGZ (August 2018)

Chargeable ATMs
Poland is infested with Euronet ATMs, even outside of the major tourist centres. These are fine for locals, but Euronet’s business model does appear to prey upon unsuspecting tourists.

Merchants

McDonalds The American burger pedlars and diabetes specialists are happy to accept Android/Apple Pay. Their self-service terminals are exactly the same as the UK ones, if you are not feeling linguisticly adventurous.
Grosek is a chain of convenience stores. Chip and pin and contactless/mobile is fine here.
Intermarcher is a local supermarket. Contactless/mobile works here too.

Misc

Updated: 18/11/2018

(Liam) #3

Got to say that I was impressed by the ticket machines on the Małapolska trains yesterday. Contactless transaction with instant notification while the train was moving at 100 km/h.

To boot it cost me less than 4 quid to travel about 70km.

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(Liam) #5

The thing that annoys me the most as a bit of a geeky-type is just how much access to fibre there is here compared to home.

Over the last year, I’ve seen Poles rolling out a truly impressive network of FTTP using the utility poles that criss-cross everywhere. We are not just talking about the cities or larger towns here - I am pretty sure I could build a shed at the bottom of a remote field and get a better quality internet connection than I can at home - in a town of 25,000.

As for contactless, it’s been my default way to pay for things for the last couple of times I have been here and not had one single problem with it. I’ve only used cash once this trip.

Not so far. I’m in a rural location between Brzesko and Nowy Sacz. I’ve missed the snow, it had all cleared up before I got here!

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#6

I should move to Poland before the transition period lmao

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(Liam) #8

I decided to have a card-only trip this time - and that was mostly because they only had Euronet ATMs at Krakow airport (unlike Katowice where there’s some proper bank-branded ones).

I got really annoyed by Euronet DCC pushiness, followed up by outright fee gouging when you spurn their kind offer to screw you. They are dead to me.

Turned out to be a good move.

Was only there for five days, but I used cash only once. All of the trains, shops and restaurants I used accepted contactless. The single cash transaction was for the emergency McDonalds run we sent my OH’s sister-in-law for when we were feeling a little delicate.

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