Polish Zloty (PLN): Definition, History, and Practical Tips


The Polish Zloty (PLN) is the official currency of Poland, managed by the National Bank of Poland. It’s represented by the symbol zł and divided into 100 groszy. This article provides a comprehensive overview of the Polish currency, its history, exchange rates, and more.


The Polish Zloty, denoted as PLN and symbolized by zł, is the official currency of Poland. This article will delve into the world of Polish currency, offering an in-depth understanding of its history, uses, exchange rates, and more. Whether you’re planning a trip to Poland, curious about international finance, or simply interested in expanding your financial knowledge, the Polish Zloty plays a vital role in the global economic landscape.

The Polish Zloty (PLN)

Definition and history

The Polish Zloty is the official legal tender of Poland, dating back to 1919. Its management and issuance are overseen by the National Bank of Poland (NBP). The currency underwent various iterations due to shifts in the country’s political and economic landscape.


Banknotes are issued in values of zł10, zł20, zł50, zł100, zł200, and zł500. Additionally, coins are minted in denominations of zł1, zł2, and zł5, with a single Zloty being divisible into 100 groszy, including one, two, five, 10, 20, and 50 groszy coins.

Exchange rates

The Polish Zloty is a free-floating currency, meaning it’s not pegged to any other currency, nor is any currency pegged to it. Common currency pairs involving the Zloty include the U.S. dollar (USD), euro, Swiss franc (CHF), British pound (GBP), and Australian dollar (AUD).

Since the early 2000s, the PLN exchange rate has fluctuated, typically ranging from two PLN to one U.S. dollar to over 4.5 PLN to one U.S. dollar. As of June 4, 2023, US$1 was equivalent to about zł4.19.

Special considerations

Price stability

The NBP, responsible for maintaining price stability in Poland, aims to limit inflation to a target rate of 2.5%, plus or minus 1%. In 2020, the country experienced 3.4% annual inflation, which increased to 5.1% the following year. Despite these challenges, Poland boasts a robust GDP growth rate, reaching $679.44 billion in 2021.

Euro adoption

Poland, an EU member state since 2004, was required to eventually adopt the euro, although no target date for this conversion has been set. Recent political developments suggest that this move might be delayed due to euro-skeptic parties in parliament, with the central bank Governor Adam Glapinski opposing the adoption of the euro.

History of the Polish Zloty (PLN)

The Polish Zloty’s history traces back to the Middle Ages, with the current version representing the fourth iteration of the currency. During the 14th and 15th centuries, the word “zloty” initially referred to any gold coin. In 1528, it became the official currency and remained legal tender until 1850. Subsequently, it was replaced by the Russian ruble and then the Polish marka.

The second zloty, introduced in 1924, suffered from hyperinflation, with the conversion rate reaching 1,800,000 markas. It was pegged to the U.S. dollar but faced ongoing economic crises and inflation. The third zloty period began in 1950, involving the replacement of existing zloty notes. Hard financial times continued, leading to debt lasting until 1994. In the 1990s, denominations of 500,000 and one million zloty briefly existed.

During the fourth zloty period, new banknotes were introduced, but some were susceptible to counterfeiting. In 1995, all money underwent a redenomination, rendering the old PLZ notes obsolete.

Polish currency to USD exchange rate

The Polish currency to USD exchange rate is over zł4 to $1, with the specific rate varying in the currency market.

Foreign exchange market

When discussing the Polish Zloty, it’s crucial to understand its role in the foreign exchange market. The currency is actively traded against other major world currencies, making it a part of numerous currency pairs. While the USD to PLN exchange rate is a common reference point, Zloty’s flexibility in the forex market plays a vital role in international trade and finance.


Let’s say you’re a U.S.-based investor looking to diversify your portfolio by investing in Polish stocks. To do this, you would need to exchange your U.S. dollars (USD) for Polish Zloty (PLN) to purchase these stocks on the Warsaw Stock Exchange (WSE). The exchange rate between USD and PLN will significantly impact your investment’s value, making it essential to monitor currency trends.

Tourist tips

For travelers visiting Poland, understanding the practical aspects of using the Polish Zloty can enhance your experience. Here are some valuable tips for tourists:

1. Currency exchange

While many businesses in tourist areas accept major foreign currencies, it’s advisable to exchange your money for Zloty at official exchange offices or ATMs. These methods typically offer better rates than exchanging at hotels or shops.

2. Payment methods

Poland is a modern country with widespread acceptance of electronic payments. Credit cards and mobile payment methods are commonly used in urban areas. However, carrying some cash for small purchases in rural or less touristy regions is still a good idea.

Business and investment

The Polish Zloty plays a significant role in the country’s business and investment landscape. Here’s how it affects various aspects of the Polish economy:

1. Export and import trade

Poland is an active player in the global market, exporting a wide range of goods and services. Zloty’s exchange rate influences the cost competitiveness of these exports. A stronger Zloty can make Polish exports more expensive for foreign buyers, while a weaker Zloty can boost export sales.

2. Real estate investment

For investors eyeing Polish real estate, understanding currency dynamics is essential. Currency fluctuations can impact property values, rental income, and the overall profitability of real estate investments. It’s crucial to monitor exchange rates to make informed investment decisions.


Imagine you’re a foreign investor considering purchasing a residential property in Poland. If your primary income is in U.S. dollars, you’d want to assess the USD to PLN exchange rate. A favorable exchange rate can make your investment more attractive, potentially reducing the overall cost of acquiring and maintaining the property.

The bottom line

The Polish Zloty (PLN) is the official currency of Poland and is widely used for financial transactions across the country. Whether for small everyday purchases or more substantial investments, the Zloty remains the primary means of conducting financial transactions. While some neighboring countries use the euro, it’s important to note that the euro is not accepted in Poland, making it necessary for travelers to exchange currency for Zloty.

Frequently asked questions

Is the Polish Zloty (PLN) used in all of Poland?

Yes, the Polish Zloty (PLN) is the official currency of Poland and is used throughout the entire country. While some businesses in tourist areas may accept major foreign currencies, it’s recommended to use Zloty for most transactions.

How can I exchange my currency for Polish Zloty (PLN) when traveling to Poland?

You can exchange your currency for Polish Zloty (PLN) at banks, automated teller machines (ATMs), or dedicated currency exchange offices in Poland. It’s advisable to compare rates and fees at different exchange points to get the best value for your money.

What are some common currency pairs involving the Polish Zloty (PLN) in the foreign exchange market?

The Polish Zloty (PLN) is commonly traded against major world currencies, including the U.S. dollar (USD), euro, Swiss franc (CHF), British pound (GBP), and Australian dollar (AUD) in the foreign exchange market. These currency pairs play a crucial role in international trade and finance.

Are there any limits on currency withdrawal or exchange in Poland for tourists?

Yes, there are limits on currency withdrawal in Poland for tourists. For example, the maximum amount that can be withdrawn in cash per day is one thousand Polish Zloty (PLN), and there is also a restriction on the maximum amount that can be withdrawn in one calendar month. It’s advisable to check with your bank or the local financial regulations for the most up-to-date information on these limits.

Is it common to use electronic payments in Poland, or should I carry cash as a tourist?

Poland is a modern country with widespread acceptance of electronic payments. Credit cards and mobile payment methods are commonly used, especially in urban areas. However, it’s a good idea to carry some cash for small purchases, particularly in rural or less touristy regions where electronic payment options may be limited.

Key takeaways

  • The Polish Zloty (PLN) is the official currency of Poland, managed by the National Bank of Poland.
  • Banknotes are issued in various denominations from zł10 to zł500, and coins come in both groszy and zloty denominations.
  • The currency has a fluctuating exchange rate, commonly traded against major currencies like the U.S. dollar, euro, and more.
  • The NBP aims to maintain price stability, and Poland’s economy has shown resilience and substantial growth in recent years.
  • While some tourist areas accept euros, it’s recommended to convert euros to zloty for a favorable exchange rate.
View Article Sources
  1. The Polish Zloty, 1990-1999 – JSTOR
  2. Average of Daily Rates: National Currency: USD for Poland … – Federal Reserve Economic Data
  3. Currency | Thirteenth Assembly of The Lutheran World … – LWF Assembly