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Tips to Visit Wieliczka Salt Mines

A visit to Wieliczka Salt Mine is a must on a trip to Krakow. These tips will help you have a fantastic experience - note them down!

Isabel Catalán

Isabel Catalán

6 min read

Tips to Visit Wieliczka Salt Mines

Wooden mine buttresses | ©Alexander Johmann

The Wieliczka Salt Mine is one of the most popular tourist attractions around Krakow and one of the oldest in the world. They are surprising not only for their longevity but also for their size and artistic dimension. So much so that UNESCO chose this monument as one of the first to be declared a World Heritage Site in 1978.

During the touristic route through the depths of the mine, you will see amazing things. From the machinery used by the miners to extract the salt to subway galleries that house curious rock formations, beautiful lakes, and even religious chapels.

To get the most out of your trip to the Wieliczka Salt Mines I recommend you take note of these tips and I assure you that the visit will go smoothly.

1. An organized tour is always better than a visit on your own

Organized tour | ©Andrew Milligan sumo
Organized tour | ©Andrew Milligan sumo

Although you can go to the Wieliczka Salt Mines on your own, if you are one of those people who when you go on a trip prefer not to have to deal with foreign languages and simplify things when it comes to finding transportation and routes to the monument, the services of a guide or tickets, my advice is to opt for an organized tour to the Wieliczka Salt Mines from Krakow where you will not have to worry about any of these issues as everything is designed for you to let yourself go and enjoy the experience to the fullest.

To make an organized excursion to the Wieliczka Salt Mine from Krakow there are several options but usually most usually include round trip transportation in a private vehicle in comfort, tickets to the attraction, and the guide.

If the idea of taking an organized excursion to this magnificent monument appeals to you, I recommend you take a look at the post Day Trips to the Salt Mines from Krakow where you will find more detailed information about it.

Book a trip to the Salt Mines

2. Book your tickets or tour in advance

Decoration of St. Kinga's Chapel | ©puffin11k
Decoration of St. Kinga's Chapel | ©puffin11k

The Wieliczka Salt Mines are one of the most popular tourist attractions in Krakow, in fact, it is the second most visited in Poland.

Whichever way you decide to visit this monument book your tickets as soon as possible. Almost 2 million people visit it every year, so if you don't want to run out of tickets after having traveled there and don't want to queue endlessly at the ticket office to get a place on the tours in Polish or English, my advice is to buy your tickets online.

For more information, you can read the post Tickets to the Salt Mines: prices and how to buy them.

Booking online your tickets to the Wieliczka Salt Mines will allow you to compare schedules, availability, rates, and types of routes (some tours combine the visit to the mines with Auschwitz, with a Christmas market, or with Oskar Schindler's factory). At Hellotickets you will have many options to choose from!

However, as I mentioned earlier, an organized tour that includes the round trip will simplify the logistics much more and help you enjoy the experience much more by not having to worry about anything.

Book a Salt Mine Tour

3. Comfortable shoes and warm clothes, a must on this excursion

Dress for the tour | ©NH53
Dress for the tour | ©NH53

Whether you visit the Wieliczka Salt Mines on your own or an organized tour, the sightseeing walk through the depths takes about 2 hours and can be extended to 3 hours if you add a visit to the subway exhibition at the Krakow Salt Mine Museum.

As you can see, the tour is long and in some sections, you have to go down some steep wooden stairs with many steps so I advise you to wear comfortable shoes whose soles are not slippery to avoid falls.

On the other hand, do not forget to bring some warm clothes to wear during the tour regardless of the outside temperature. Due to the humidity inside the mines, it is quite cool even in summer and temperatures range between 62ºF and 64ºF.

Book an excursion to the Salt Mines

4. Go to the restroom before starting the excursion

Daniłowicza Well | ©Aleksandr Zykov
Daniłowicza Well | ©Aleksandr Zykov

Although during the touristic route through the Wieliczka Salt Mines there will be a short 5-minute break to go to the toilets (at 40 and 90 minutes after starting the tour), in order not to spend a rush on the way, I recommend you to go before starting the tour either at the hotel or at the toilets which are located next to the Daniłowicza Well. Especially if you visit the mines with children, who are often surprised by the call of nature at the most unexpected instant.

Book an excursion to the Salt Mines

5. The tour inside the mines, is it difficult?

Stairs down into the mine | ©Aleksandr Zykov
Stairs down into the mine | ©Aleksandr Zykov

The tourist route to the Wieliczka Salt Mines starts at the Danilowicza Pit where you will have to go down a bunch of seemingly endless stairs to reach the starting point in the subway galleries.

The route runs through 2 miles of labyrinthine galleries, shafts and chambers with mostly flat ground so that it is not too complicated for a person in normal physical condition. Even children can participate in the tour!

The good thing is that at the end of the route you will not have to walk back up the 800 steps to get out, but you will ride an elevator like the one used by the miners that will take you to the surface.

However, the big doubt that many people have when visiting the Wieliczka Salt Mines is whether they feel a great sense of claustrophobia during the tour and I have to say that although some sections may seem a little more closed, the truth is that there is enough space to move quietly and without problems.

In addition, throughout the tour, you will always be accompanied by a professional guide of the monument itself that knows first aid and safety, so if at any time you feel claustrophobic and you get nervous, do not worry because the guides have a protocol to accompany you and help you. Everything will be fine and it will be an unforgettable experience!

Book an excursion to the Salt Mines

6. Get the most out of your visit to the mines if you go with children

Children visiting the mines | ©Lars Plougmann
Children visiting the mines | ©Lars Plougmann

Although the inside of a mine may seem like an atypical place to visit as a family on vacation, it is a very original excursion where children can let their imagination run wild - it will be something they will always remember!

The Wieliczka Salt Mine Tour is open to children of any age (admission is free for children up to 4 years old), but as with any outing with children, this one also has its tricks.

Wear comfortable shoes because they will be walking a lot and keep them warm because it is a bit chilly inside the mines. Also, don't forget to bring some snacks and water in your backpack in case they get the bug during the excursion. In the Drozdowice Chamber, you will have a short break for a drink and you can also buy food and drinks there.

These are some tips to see this monument as a family, but in the post Visit the Salt Mines with children you have more information.

Book an excursion to the Salt Mines

7. Is it possible to take pictures?

Enjoy taking pictures | ©Andriyko Podilnyk
Enjoy taking pictures | ©Andriyko Podilnyk

That's right but you should know that to take pictures inside the Wieliczka Salt Mines you will have to pay a small supplement at the entrance of about 3 dollars or else you might get caught during the itinerary.

That said, the Wieliczka Salt Mines tourist route is well lit so visitors walk comfortably and don't trip. However, in certain places, the light conditions are not optimal for taking pictures so it may be the case that when you try, the images you get have little definition.

In the post The best photos you can take of the Wieliczka salt mines from Krakow you will find some tips to get some nice pictures and some places you can't leave without taking several photos of them.

Book an excursion to the Salt Mines