A practical foreign exchange and currency guide to Poland
What's in this Poland currency guide:
The official currency of Poland is the Polish zloty, with symbol zł and currency code PLN.
Governments in Eastern Europe may need to intervene more heavily in their currencies and also raise interest rates more aggressively to tame the markets’ wild reaction due to the war in Ukraine.
In response to the invasion, Poland’s central bank intervened three times in a week in foreign exchange markets in an attempt to slow the zloty’s slide against the euro.
The Polish zloty, which is subdivided into 100 groszy, has an interesting but troubled history, beginning as early as the 14th century. It was once replaced as Poland’s currency and later reintroduced, and has also been redenominated several times. In Polish, the word “zloty” means “golden”.
The most recent redenomination of the zloty followed a period of hyperinflation in Poland in 1990, a year in which the annual inflation rate reached nearly 600% and monthly inflation exceeded 50%. After a period of price stability in the early 1990s (we use “stability” loosely as inflation was still above 30% in 1994), a redenomination took place in January 1995 and the old polish zloty (ISO: PLZ) was changed to the new zloty (ISO: PLN) at a rate of 10,000-to-1.
One of the conditions of Poland’s acceptance into the European Union in 2004 was that at some point it adopted the euro as its national currency. Since Poland has not yet joined ERM-II (a requirement for euro adoption), it is unlikely that the single currency will be used in Poland earlier than 2020. Poland’s former Deputy Prime Minister Janusz Piechociński said as much in 2014.
Since 1995, the zloty’s valuation has remained relatively stable. Against the US dollar, the currency was weakest in both May and October 2000 when USD/PLN reached 4.73. The currency was strongest in July 2008 when USD/PLN fell to just 2.01. Since the euro's introduction in 1999, EUR/PLN has traded between 3.19 and 4.94.
The Polish zloty held its own against the USD in 2021 despite the risk of higher interest rates in the US. This is even more surprising given the Polish central bank is known for a more relaxed view on inflation.
08 Feb 2022
24 Nov 2021
22 Feb 2021
23 Feb 2017
25 Feb 2012
27 Feb 2002
The below comparison table makes it easy to find the best exchange rates and lowest fees when you want to make a Transfer or Spend Polish zloty.