is in a salt mine? You might ask. It
is probably because you have not seen Krakow
Salt Mines – or the Wieliczka
Salt Mine, to be exact. For many, this salt mine is the most glorious
attraction in Krakow. That is quite an honour because Krakow has a number
historic sites and architectural splendours. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site
What Is it Actually
It was an actual salt mine once.
The place is full of sodium deposits. The Wieliczka Salt Mine was established
in the 13th century. Yes. The 13th century. Salt mining continued unabated till
1996. Then it was discontinued, mainly because of dwindling profits and rising
By that time, the digging had
reached a depth of 327 meters spread over about 300 kilometres. Once the mining
stopped, the authorities decided to convert it into a museum of sorts. It would
display the history of salt-mining techniques, statues made of the salt stone
and other possible art forms. People would walk through a specially carved
pathway and enjoy the salt-mine history and the sculptures.
The idea in itself was fantastic.
But what turned out from that idea is mind-bogglingly magnificent. There
is an artificial lake; exact replicas of famous painting and sculptures; a
labyrinth-like pathway; the windy air that is said to have medicinal
properties, especially for the benefit of the heart; and a treasure trove of
information of salt mines.
In short, it has become a
must-visit for any tourist in general, and those visiting Poland especially.
Tips to Visit Krakow Salt Mines
Travel to the Mine: The Wieliczka Salt Mine is about 15 km away from Krakow. It will
take around 20-30 minutes by bus or car. The bus fare is around 1 Euro. Train
is also available. Fare is almost the same as the bus, if not slightly lower.
Journey by train is obviously more comfortable. But the bus stop is nearer to
the Krakow Salt Mines than the railway station.
Opening Hours: The opening times varies with the season. In July and August, it
opens at 8 AM and closes at 7 PM. In April, May, June, September and October,
it starts at 8.30 AM and ends at 7 PM. In the rest of the months, the mine
remains open from 9 AM to 5 PM.
Guided Tours: Guided tour in English is available every 30 minutes. Guided
tours in French, German, Italian, Spanish and Russian are available too, but
are less frequent. Each guided tour batch can have a maximum of 40 persons. The
ticket charge for a person is 22 Euros for Polish citizens and 21 Euros for
Choice of Tours: There are four options: 1. Tourist Route, 2. Miners’ Route, 3.
Graduation Route and 4. Pilgrims’ Route. If you are visiting for the first
time, Tourist Route is the best. The most exciting route, by popular consensus,
is the Miners’ Route, but it skips some of the main attractions. Graduation
Route is for those who look health-related or medicinal benefits. Pilgrims’
Route is, as the name implies, for the religiously inclined.
As you can see, there is
something in Krakow Salt Mines for everybody. Go there. Your body and mind will
for guided tour?
places with Your City Guides. Book a guided tour on: https://yourcityguides.com/