Excavated in the 13th century, the 800-year-old Wieliczka Salt Mine is one of the oldest operating mines in the world. Commercial salt mining stopped in 1996 but the caverns left from the excavation have changed over the years and developed into a tourist attraction that you should visit on your trip to Krakow.
The complex maze of passages, an underground lake, chapels, halls comprising salt chandeliers, statues, and sculptures are a few highlights of the Wieliczka Salt Mine, which is now a Polish Historic Monument and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
One of the best ways to explore an attraction like this one is to go on a guided tour. Here’s a comprehensive travel guide on the Wieliczka Krakow Salt Mine tours!
Wieliczka Salt Mine is one of the oldest and most popular tourist attractions in Krakow. Here are a few reasons why you should take a Wieliczka Krakow Salt Mine tour.
The chapel is dedicated to Saint Kinga, the patron saint of salt miners, and consists of tiered chandeliers made of salt, a carved floor, a three-piece halite crystal altar, and reliefs depicting events described in the Scripture. Breathtaking murals of The Last Supper, Christ Falling Under the Cross, and Doubting Thomas adorn the walls of the chapel. All these works of art are made entirely of rock salt.
Founded in 1951, the Krakow Saltworks Museum is located at a depth of 135 metres on the third level of the salt mine. It is the largest underground museum in Europe that houses several fascinating artifacts, old mining equipment, a geological exhibit, and historic and scientific information about the Wieliczka Salt Mine. Check out the Renaissance Horn of the Diggers’ Brotherhood, the most valuable and precious artifact in the museum dating back to 1534.
Located at a height of 36 metres, the Stanislaw Staszic Chamber is the tallest structure in the Wieliczka Salt Mine. It houses several drink machines, gift shops, and a museum. Due to its height, the chamber played host to an underground hot-air balloon flight as well as an underground bungee jump. The event even made it to the Guinness Book of World Records! Balloonist Krzysztof Rekas managed to float 410 metre underground seven feet off the cavern floor.
The salt mine is home to several chapels since Polish miners were quite devoted and, therefore, created several places of worship to pray at during the day. The three chapels of St. Anthony, Janowice, and Holy Cross boast several beautiful altars and salt sculptures depicting historical, religious, and mythological figures. St. Anthony Chapel was built in Baroque style while the chapel of Janowice is filled with legends and stories about the discovery of Princess Kinga’s engagement ring.
The Wieliczka Salt Mine is home to several underground saltwater lakes. The Weimar Chamber is the most popular of them all, especially among lovers. It is also the saltiest water body in the world with a teal hue due to the presence of huge amounts of sodium chloride.
The chamber has witnessed several romantic proposals with people asking their beloved partners to marry them in the backdrop of this beautiful lake. You will also find a sculpture dedicated to the writer Goethe.
A. Yes. Wieliczka Krakow Salt Mine tours are available for booking.
A. You can book a Wieliczka Salt Mine tour online.
A. Wieliczka Salt Mine tours start from €28.25.
A. There are eight types of Wieliczka Salt Mine tours to choose from – Admission Tickets to Wieliczka Salt Mine with Expert Guide, Skip the Line Guided Tour of Wieliczka Salt Mine, Wieliczka Salt Mine: Guided Tour from Krakow, From Krakow: Wieliczka Guided Tour with Hotel Transfers, Guided Tour of Wieliczka Salt Mine with Round-Trip Transfers and Lunch, Super Save Tour – Auschwitz-Birkenau and Wieliczka Salt Mine From Krakow, Auschwitz-Birkenau and Wieliczka Salt Mine Full-Day Tour With Transfers and Lunch, and Combo (Save 7%): Wieliczka Salt Mine + Oskar Schindler’s Factory Guided tour.
A. The Wieliczka Krakow Salt Mine tours include access to all sections that are open to the public like the chapel of St. Kinga, underground salt lakes, Krakow Saltworks Museum, Stanislaw Staszic Chamber, and more.
A. The Wieliczka Salt Mine guided tours are available in seven languages – English, French, Italian, German, Polish, Russian, and Spanish.
A. The Wieliczka Salt Mine tour covers all the major points of interest inside the Wieliczka Salt Mine including the chapel of St. Kinga, underground salt lakes, Krakow Saltworks Museum, Stanislaw Staszic Chamber, and more.
A. It depends on the type of Wieliczka Salt Mine tour you book. The small group guided tour will have no more than 10 people while the other guided tours have a maximum capacity of 25 guests.
A. Yes. The Wieliczka Salt Mine tour is worth it because it’s the best way to explore this iconic and complex heritage site and learn all about its history.
A. Yes. The Wieliczka Salt Mine guided tours include skip the line access.
A. Yes. It depends on the type of Wieliczka Salt Mine tour you book. Please check the cancellation policy before booking your tickets.
A. The Wieliczka Salt Mine guided tours can be anywhere between 3 hours to 11 hours long, depending on the tour you choose.
A. Yes. Children and students enjoy reduced ticket rates on some of the Wieliczka Salt Mine tours.