If You are planning to Kraków in the near future we have some useful tips for You!
First of all, about the the money. Poland is part of the EU but We are not part of the monetary union. Our currency is the Polish Złoty. The exchange rate as of beginning of March, year 2014 is: 1 euro = 4,18 zł, 1 dolar = 3,05zł, 1GPB = 5,08zł. A 330ml can of coke costs 2zł and a meal in McDonald menu around 18zł, 1l of water(good one) is about 2zł. So in our country You have to pay in złotys. You can get them in exchange offices and banks. If You would like to exchange money the rates are much more not in Your favor on airports and along streets visited by tourists. When exchanging money it is good to make sure that there is no commision added even if there is a sign saying “No commission”. When You look closely it has an asterisk at the end of the sentence. Most of the offices have their own websites so You can check their rates in advance.
You can use Your credit/debit cards in probably all shops and restaurants. Also those with PayPass feature. You have to keep in mind that every bank has their own rates of exchange and procedures for paying abroad. It is good to know how dose it look like for Your card.
Standard opening hours for grocery shops are from 6-8 AM to 8-10 PM, some of them are open at night too. Other shops usually are open from 9-10 AM to 6-7 PM.There are a lot of shops open 24/7 but they mostly sell alcohol and sweets.
We have national holidays when everything is closed except hospitals,gas stations and few given shops. This year (2014) they are 1,6 of January. 20,21 of April, 1,3 of May, 8,19 of June, 15 of August, 1,11 of November, 25,26 of December. You will be able to find some shops and restaurants open during those days but please don’t be surprised if that restaurant You’ve read about online is closed or a museum is closed on Christmas. Of course Kraków having many visitors from abroad is more adapted to their needs but it is good to check and prepare in advance. You can always ask the staff of KrakowShuttle for advice when in our city.
If by any chance You would need to visit a doctor most of the hospitals have 24/7 emergency. There are pharmacies open at night:
„Apteka pod Opatrznością”, ul. Karmelicka 23 tel. (12) 631-19-80;
Apteka Prywatna, ul. Galla 26, tel. (12) 636-73-65;
Apteka CEFARM, ul. Kalwaryjska 94 – Mateczny, tel. (12) 656-18-50;
Public transport around town is payable. When on busses or trams You have to valid a ticket that You can buy in tickets machines around the busiest tram and bus stops as well as inside of selected busses and trams, and in most kiosks/newsstands. All the tickets that You can buy are time tickets, that means that for a given period of time You can use all the public transportation vehicles (not trains). The night fare is the same as day fare, You don’t need different tickets. You can find more informations with the time tables and communication maps: http://www.mpk.krakow.pl/en/.
Employees of KrakowShuttle will be happy to assist You, while on Your stay in Kraków.