This week I’m “liveblogging” my trip to Ukraine. Unlike traditional reports, these posts will be shorter and more frequent.
Ultimately, I took Uber from Warsaw Airport into the city even though it cost me 10X as much as the train. Why? Foolishly or not, by principle, I was unwilling to go along with currency exchange rates at the airport.
Currency Exchange At Warsaw Airport – Avoid!
After the Warsaw Metro ticket machine declined all my credit cards, I sought out a currency exchange office. Back in the terminal, I found one.
But then I looked at the rates.
This place would buy your dollar (USD) for 3.51 Polish Zloty (PLN).
The spot exchange rate for USD to PLN was 4.48.
So by my math, that was a 29% mark-up.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t like losing 29 cents on the dollar.
I understand airport real estate costs money – but by principle, I just could not agree to that exchange rate.
Thus, I took Uber and instead of paying 4.40zł, I paid 44zł…a 10x premium for a private car versus bus or train.
You might ask what about a bank card. Good question. I forgot it.
With credit card acceptance increasingly ubiquitous, I rarely use cash anymore. This is one reason why. Losing over 1/4 of every dollar on the exchange itself may be part of travel in some contexts, but I just could not stomach it here.
If you’re traveling to Warsaw, do yourself a favor and bring your ATM card or exchange money in the city rather than at Chopin Airport. There, the rates are rather abysmal.