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Buying Zlotys in Poland (4-week holiday - Lublin/Zamosc)


tatieash1407 1 | 10
8 Jul 2015 #1
My wife and I will be going on a four week holiday to Poland early next year. I was going to buy Zlotys in the UK before we went until I read that it is much better to exchange Pounds Sterling (cash) for Zlotys in a Kantor in Poland. Is this true? And do you have to take Pounds a Sterling cash as opposed to buying Zlotys with a UK debit card? If anyone could offer some advice we'd be ever so grateful. Thanks.
jon357 63 | 15,045
8 Jul 2015 #2
Is this true?

Yes. Always. A noticeably better rate.

And do you have to take Pounds a Sterling cash as opposed to buying Zlotys with a UK debit card?

Kantors change cash. Maybe a few accept cards, however I've never anyone using one in a Kantor.

Also, the bank machines in Poland accept UK debit and cards (Visa and MasterCard) and give a reasonable rate. MasterCard better than visa. They do usually (unless it's a Halifax credit card and a couple of others) charge a £2.50 transaction fee, so best to just use once and take plenty out. Still much better than changing anywhere in the UK. Some machines offer you the

Also (and this is the same the world around) don't change at the airport. If you need some for a taxi, just change a bit or use the cash machine in Arrivals. Some machines offer you the choice of accepting a guaranteed fixed rate - never, ever choose that option unless you expect the pound to collapse overnight! The normal rate is better. It is a scam run by the banks and there is plenty money saving expert for example) on the internet about this.

If you want to change at a Kantor, have a look at several (in the city centres they are close) and choose the best rate for GBP - kupmeans buy (i.e. how many zlotych you'll get, sprzedaz means sell, i.e. how many zlotych a pound will cost you.
Olkinha
8 Jul 2015 #3
Hi, we have same "problem " and as I've checked several websites looking for best rate I found out that unless you're going to exchange great amount there's no big difference between UK's and Poland's rate. Best is Halifax credit card ( exchange rate 6.00) and in Poland its around 5.87
vjmehra 16 | 80
8 Jul 2015 #4
Given the inter-bank rate isn't 6 it would be very unlikely anyone would offer you a rate of 6 to change GBP into PLN, are you sure it's not the reverse (i.e. a bad rate)?

In my experience the Kantor's offer amazing value, super tight spreads (around 3bps in some cases which rivals the wholesale markets for GBPPLN), alhough not sure if they take cards.

That said different Kantor's charge different amounts, presumably depending on whether they need GBP or PLN more, so it's always worth walking round a few!
jon357 63 | 15,045
8 Jul 2015 #5
as I've checked several websites looking for best rate I found out that unless you're going to exchange great amount there's no big difference between UK's and Poland's rate

You'll find that it's generally better in Poland - trust me on that one.

Best is Halifax credit card

Yes, but remember it's the Halifax credit card that's good value not the Halifax debit - that one is particularly bad value.
OP tatieash1407 1 | 10
10 Jul 2015 #6
Thank you jon357, for what appears to be excellent advice. I will certainly trust you on that. Our first stop in Poland is Poznan and I will select a Kantor on the outskirts to change UKSterling cash into Zlotys. I will think of you when I change mt Pounds to Zlotys at a much better rate than in the UK. Thanks again.
jon357 63 | 15,045
10 Jul 2015 #7
In Poznan, most of the cantors except the airport and railway station should be fine. Generally the ones in shopping centres and major touristy bits also don't give the best rate - a typical good cantor is a small shop on a shopping street or in a residential bit. Good luck.
delphiandomine 85 | 18,254
10 Jul 2015 #8
Our first stop in Poland is Poznan and I will select a Kantor on the outskirts to change UKSterling cash into Zlotys.

I'd recommend - kantorcorner.pl in Poznań. You won't get much better than them.

However, are you driving? If so, I can recommend a far better place :)
OP tatieash1407 1 | 10
10 Jul 2015 #9
Hi delphiandomine, yes, driving from Rotterdam via Germany to eastern Poland (Ukraine & Belarus borders) and into Mazuria!
Long stops in Warsaw, Lublin and Torun. First stop Poznan, hence the enquiry about Kantors there. Any advice you can give about Kantors would be most welcome. Thank you, too, jon357, I really appreciate your advice. Thanks, gentlemen.
jon357 63 | 15,045
11 Jul 2015 #10
to eastern Poland (Ukraine & Belarus borders)

Zamość is a must see!

Really, you shouldn't worry about changing money - in Poland it is easy.
delphiandomine 85 | 18,254
11 Jul 2015 #11
Hi delphiandomine, yes, driving from Rotterdam via Germany to eastern Poland (Ukraine & Belarus borders) and into Mazuria!

Oh, this is easy!

You can stop just after the border crossing - there are two potential places to exchange money. First place is exactly on the border - after you cross the bridge from Germany, you'll notice some big building on the left side along with what looks like some old passport control offices. There are some kantors there, and the rate is excellent. But it might be a tricky place to access - you have to turn off from the left lane, and the entrance is very short.

Failing that, I always use the kantors in the old Customs terminal. Here's a map
google.pl/maps/dir/52.3163827,14.5864801/52.3084311,14.6430332/@52.3141528,14.5959215,14z/data=!4m2!4m1!3e0?hl=en
- there are several kantors there, but the rate offered is usually fantastic and you don't even need to negotiate the price (although you always should ask for a better price).

On the road, just follow the signs for "Urzad Celny / Zoll" - it's very easy to find. I'd recommend using these two locations rather than trying to park and find a kantor in Poznań. :)
OP tatieash1407 1 | 10
11 Jul 2015 #12
Wow. I cannot believe the level of detail in the advice I am getting! Astounding. I am so pleased I found this forum and you gentlemen. Firstly, delphiandomine, you certainly seem to know your stuff and thank you for the advice. You speak about Kantors on the German/Polish border. I plan to cross into Poland at Frankfurt an der Oder. Is that the border crossing you mean, or Cottbus? I am certainly going to follow your advice as it makes much better sense than Poznan.

Secondly, jon357, thank you also. I have looked up Zamosc (how did you get the accents over the s and c?) and it sounds a wonderful place to visit, just south east of Lublin. I am now adding another night at Lublin to make sure we have time to do Zamosc justice. I also want to see the Bug river as I understand it forms the border in that region.

Thank you again, gentlemen, you are adding such a lot to our tour of Poland.

Hi delphiandomine, please ignore my last message. I have located the three Kantors just over the bridge in Slubice (Jednosci Robotniczej). They are fairly close together. I have managed to get the Latitude/Longitude of the street so if I go wrong I will blame the SatNav!

Thanks again for your invaluable help.
Harry
12 Jul 2015 #13
I am now adding another night at Lublin to make sure we have time to do Zamosc justice.

Don't do an extra night in Lublin, do a night in Zamosc! It's a wonderful little town.
I can recommend the Kantor in the small shopping mall near M&S, much better rates than the ones in the utterly delightful old town.
delphiandomine 85 | 18,254
12 Jul 2015 #14
I have managed to get the Latitude/Longitude of the street

If you give me a day or so, I'll provide you with some maps as to some alternatives in and around Slubice. The problem with the ones on Jednosci Robotniczej is that parking is difficult there - although Slubice is quite charming :)
OP tatieash1407 1 | 10
13 Jul 2015 #15
I would be stupid to ignore the excellent advice now coming from three different sources! jon357 and Harry, you have opened my eyes to Zamosc. The pictures of the Stare Miasto are truly stunning. How could I have missed such a gem before. I am so impressed that I have cancelled the booking in the Lublin hotel and instead have booked the full stay in Zamosc. My wife is going to be blown away at such a beautiful place. Thank you, jon357 and Harry. You have made my day!

delphiandomine, your knowledge of Poland seems endless. A one man Wikipedia! Believe me, I am happy to wait as long as it takes for details of Kantors in and around Slubice. You are so kind, thank you.
Harry
13 Jul 2015 #16
Am happy to help. Can I ask where you have booked? There is one hotel which is almost guaranteed to put a severe downer on any trip to Zamosc (that's the Renesans, a horrible place, but does have one of the better kantors in the Old Town).

Personally I always stay in the Mercure Zamość Stare Miasto and take one of the apartments with a view of the main market square. It's about £50 a night with breakfast (less if you book during one of Accor Group's frequent sales), but is by far the best hotel in Zamosc. Also, at the time of year you are going there, you will want to be right in the centre of town.

One word of caution about the Mercure Zamość Stare Miasto: the kantor there offers the worst exchange rates for 100km in any direction!
OP tatieash1407 1 | 10
14 Jul 2015 #17
Thanks Harry.
I have just booked our stay at the Mercure Zamosc Stare Miasto with a request for a room overlooking the main market square/piazza!! It all sounds delightful. The Bug river is not too far to the east so I might even get to see that!

Many thanks for your advice.
Harry
14 Jul 2015 #18
I have just booked our stay at the Mercure Zamosc Stare Miasto with a request for a room overlooking the main market square/piazza!!

One thing to note, the only rooms they have which overlook the market square are the four apartments. Those are an extra £20 a night but well worth the extra cash.

The Bug river is not too far to the east so I might even get to see that!

If you really want to see the Bug, I'd suggest going up to Wlodawa (about an hour and a half north of Zamosc), there you can see where Poland, Belarus and Ukraine all meet. The town itself is quite small but nice enough, has a good museum and is a handy stopping point for a visit to Sobibor. The Czar Polesia Hotel is seriously cheap (£20 a night) but perfectly acceptable.

The best kantor in town is apparently the one in the north side of the building in the market square.
OP tatieash1407 1 | 10
14 Jul 2015 #19
Harry, I'm determined to get one of those apartments! And yes, you're right on the button, Sobibor is where I'm headed with Wlodowa and the Bug the cherry on the top, thanks to your help. After that we head back to Warsaw for a while before heading northeast to Malkinia Junction and Treblinka, followed by Mazuria and The Wolf's Lair. You'll have gathered that I'm a WW2 nutcase! Thank you so much for the superb information.


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