Traveling to Prague & Krakow soon. ATM's located at treansportation hubs usually give large denominations, making it difficult to get change. What is the best option to get smaller denominations and coins?
I don't think I've ever seen anything but 20 euro bills come out of an ATM in Europe. If you get something larger take it into a bank and ask for smaller denominations and coins.
Thanks, Banks are not an option if not heading into town., thought maybe someone has experience with change making kiosk's. Also,Prague and Krakow are not giving Euros, yet.
I think the same thing would apply to Prague and Krakow in terms of the size of bills coming out of an ATM. I've never seen or heard of a coin ATM but a currency exchange kiosk would certainly be able to make change for you, although they might charge you a fee.
European ATM's often give smaller denominations than we get in the US. The trick is to remember asking for an off amount that rounds to 5 or 10 and not 20. Then buy something with the smaller bill. If you're at an airport or train station, then you'll need to buy tickets into town anyway so use the manned ticket booth and get your change there.
When you arrive in Prague, request an amount like 3800 or 3900 koruna (or do it twice using 1800 or 1900). At 20 koruna/dollar, a 500 koruna note is still the equivalent of the $20 bill dispensed in a US ATM. In Krakow, try 370 zloty (that's about $120), the 50 zl note is more a less a $20 bill
These should get you at least a few smaller bills to work with for transportation until you can make change easily.
I've often gotten 50 euro bills from machines, so I do understand the problem of wanting at least one smaller bill right away. I use Larry's method. Before going, I figure out how much I will usually want to withdraw (say it's 450 euros). Then, I round down to an amount that will force the machine to give me a smaller denomination bill (430 euros, which means at least 1 20 euro and 1 10 euro bill). Once you start spending, you will very quickly amass an assortment of bills and coins. I do try to make sure to use a big note when possible. For example, if a restaurant bill is 38 euros, I'll pay with a 50 rather than 2 20's. Of course, my examples above were all in euros, but the concepts easily translate to other currencies (I was only in Prague in 2007 and have never been to Poland, so I don't "think" in those currencies now). I use http://www.xe.com/ or http://www.oanda.com/currency/converter/to find exchange rates. If you scroll down on that OandA page, you'll see a "traveler's cheatsheet" you can print out and put in your wallet.
Thank you all for the responses, they are greatly appreciated.