Your One-Stop Guide to the Wieliczka Krakow Salt Mine Tours
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!
Why Take a Wieliczka Salt Mine Tour?
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.
All Your Wieliczka Salt Mine Tour Options
Skip the Line Combo: Wieliczka Salt Mine + Schindler's Factory
Highlights Covered on Your Wieliczka Salt Mine Tour
St. Kinga's Chapel
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.
Krakow Saltworks Museum
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.
Stanislaw Staszic Chamber
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.
St. Anthony, Janowice, and Holy Cross Chapels
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.
Underground Salt Lakes
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.
Guided Tours vs Non-Guided Tours
What to Expect on a Wieliczka Salt Mine Tour?
A visit to such a complex and iconic historical attraction can be overwhelming and a little difficult to navigate all by yourself. To help you explore the Wieliczka Salt Mine more efficiently, we recommend opting for a guided tour. Your tour guide will tell you all about the salt extraction methods, ancient mining tools, and everything else that you need to know about the site, which will enhance the experience of your visit to this beautiful site.
Once you meet your tour guide at the entrance, you will be taken straight inside the Wieliczka Salt Mine and shown all the important attractions inside it. Explore the chapel of St. Kinga as well as the St. Anthony, Janowice, and Holy Cross Chapels. Admire the artifacts at Krakow Saltworks Museum – the largest underground museum in Europe. Visit the Stanislaw Staszic Chamber and the several salt lakes underground. The Wieliczka Salt Mine is also home to the saltiest water body in the world. There is so much to see inside one of the oldest mines in the world and a Wieliczka Krakow Salt Mine tour is the best way to do so.
- Given that the Wieliczka Salt Mine is a popular attraction, we suggest booking your tickets in advance.
- Wear comfortable footwear because the tour includes 800 stairs and the passageways inside the mine are quite uneven.
- Read up about the Wieliczka Salt Mine before your visit if you’re not taking a guided tour.
- Some sections of the mine are wheelchair friendly and accessible to people with reduced mobility. We recommend contacting the visitor center for more information on the best routes available for guests with disablities.
- Those who are visually impaired can take an assistance dog or a guide with them.
- The mine has a storage facility near the Danilowicz Shaft in case you’re carrying large bags or luggage.
- Wear comfortable and warm clothes because the temperature inside the mine is around 17 to 18 degrees Celsius.
- There is a free WiFi facility available. ATMs and currency exchange centers are also located near the Danilowicz Shaft. Card payments are also accepted.
- There are toilet facilities available at three locations – one near the Danilowicz Shaft and two underground.
- Changing facilities are also available at Karczma Gornicza for those traveling with children.
- The best time to visit the mine is in the early hours when the attraction opens or late in the day before closing time.
- Buy yourself rock salt souvenirs from the store outside the attraction.
- The microclimate inside the mine is suitable for visitors suffering from asthma and other allergies.
Frequently Asked Questions About Wieliczka Salt Mine Tours
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.