For seven centuries salt was extracted in these mines located 7 miles from Krakow. Today you will find a gallery of subway tunnels with a therapeutic climate and an exhibition of impressive salt figures. This is one of the most popular excursions from Krakow and there are several ways to do it.
1. Types of tours to visit Wieliczka salt mines from Krakow
Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Wieliczka salt mines welcome hundreds of visitors every day. Normally the visit takes place on an organized tour from Krakow and there are several options depending on whether you are interested in transfer only, transfer and entrance fees, or a guided tour with a specialized guide.
2. Transfer from Krakow to Wieliczka with guided tour
Tunnels, chapels, passages, chambers carved into the rocks, salt statues... All this is what you'll find in the salt mines of Wieliczka, but first, you have to get there. This option of transfer from Krakow to Wieliczka with guided tour includes the transfer in a private vehicle, with WIFI, air conditioning, and bottled water, from your hotel in the center of Krakow or from a meeting point of your choice among eight possibilities.
In addition to the transfer, the price of $ 59 includes the services of a professional guide employed by the museum and headphones that you can use to listen clearly to the guide's explanations during the tour. The tickets for the Wieliczka mines, however, are at your own expense and not included in the price of this tour.
You can book this tour online knowing that, if your plans change or something unforeseen happens, you can cancel with 24 hours' notice. Once your reservation is confirmed you will receive an email that will serve as a voucher or receipt with all the information to enjoy your visit.
3. Tickets to the Wieliczka mines with a guided tour
You can also purchase your tickets to the Wieliczka Mines without booking transportation from Krakow (you can make the trip by rental car or public transportation). Tickets to the Wieliczka Mines include a guided tour available in English, German, Italian, French, German, Italian, or Spanish and are priced at $ 47.
Tickets for the Wieliczka Mines will be sent to you by mail after your online booking. You can choose the day and time of your visit from several options and have booked in advance you will not have to wait in line at the ticket office upon arrival. During the tour of the mines, you will receive headphones so that you can listen clearly to the guide's explanations.
The complete visit to the mines will last about 3 hours and it is essential to do it with a guide both for the explanations surrounding the importance of the mines and their working system and for the guide to guide the group inside the museum. Remember to wear comfortable shoes for the tour and try to be at the door about 15 minutes before the appointed time.
Ana's Traveller Tip
Tickets to the Wieliczka mines sell out well in advance; it's best to book a few days before your trip.
4. Transfer from Krakow to Wieliczka with mine tickets and guided tour
This guided tour of the Wieliczka mines from Krakow is intended for a maximum of 40 travelers and the price includes: transportation, guided tour, and mine entrances. The pick-up of the travelers will take place on the day and at the time you choose when booking online from a central meeting point in Krakow; you will be informed of the exact location via email.
Among the times available, you can make a night tour through the mines. In all cases, the transfer will take place in a comfortable air-conditioned minivan shared with other travelers. The transport to the mines takes about half an hour and once there, the tour lasts about two and a half hours; you can do it in Spanish, English, German, French or Italian.
Among all the available options, this is the one that offers the best value for money since you only have to worry about getting to the meeting point in Krakow, and once there, the transfer, tickets, tour, and return are included in the price.
5. All-inclusive tour to Wieliczka Salt Mines from Krakow
If you are looking to visit the Wieliczka mines on a private tour, you also have the opportunity to do so by booking online this option. The price, $ 141, will be higher than the group tours, but in exchange, you will enjoy a private transfer and an expert driver who will pick you up at your hotel and will be at your exclusive disposal.
The price of this tour includes the guided tour of the mines, entrance to the mines, and private transfer from Krakow. As for the schedule of the visit, you can choose the one that best suits your needs; keep in mind that the tour inside the mines takes about two and a half hours and the journey from Krakow is half an hour to go and half an hour to return.
The guided tour can be done in Spanish, English, French, Italian or German and during it, you will be shown the whole network of chambers and tunnels subway, a chapel made entirely of salt, the tools used to extract salt during the Middle Ages or the exhibition of mythical figures also carved in salt.
6. What you will see in the salt mines of Wieliczka
The excursion to the Wieliczka salt mines, located half an hour's drive from Krakow, is one of the most popular among travelers visiting the Polish city. The mines have been a World Heritage Site since the 1970s and are famous for the beauty of their salt-built halls and the network of tunnels that spans some 190 miles.
The salt working process
During this visit you will learn about the salt extraction process that has been used in the mines, now a museum, since the Middle Ages and also how the weather conditions at a depth of 1,000 feet have created a unique subway microclimate that is ideal for people suffering, for example, from asthma.
During the visit, you will descend into the mines by stairs and go up in an **elevator similar to the one used by the miners. Inside you will find an illuminated lake, chambers decorated exclusively with salt, figures of famous people made of salt, and even a chapel that will leave you speechless. Also, thanks to the explanations of the guide who will accompany you during your visit, you will discover the lifestyles and working conditions of the workers who for centuries worked in these mines.
Ana's Traveller Tip
The tour of the mines includes a total of 800 steps, so it is not recommended for visitors with mobility problems.
7. Practical tips for your visit to Wieliczka
How to get there
The most common way to get to the Wieliczka salt mines from Krakow is by private transport offered by organized tours. However, you can also get to Wieliczka on your own using either a rental car with GPS (it will take you about half an hour). You can also go by cab (you shouldn't pay more than 15 euros each way), by train from Krakow Central Station (there are at least two trains every hour to Wieliczka) or by bus 304 getting off at the Wieliczka Kosciól stop.
Opening hours may vary depending on the time of year, but normally the opening hours are from 7:30 am to 7:30 pm in summer and from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm in winter. The most important thing is to pay attention to the schedule of the guided tours in your language, since throughout the day there are several tours in different languages. This is why it is strongly recommended to book the tickets for the Wieliczka mines well in advance.
In addition to Polish, you can take the guided tour of the mines in English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, and Russian. All tours have headphones to listen to the guide and are organized in groups of about 35 people.
What to bring
Regardless of the temperature outside, it is quite cold in the mines due to the humidity. Don't forget to bring something warm to wear during the tour. We also recommend comfortable, non-slippery shoes.
Is it possible to take pictures?
To take pictures of the inside of the mines, you will have to pay a supplement to the entrance fee of about 3 dollars. If you are caught taking pictures without the permit, you may be told off by guards during the tour.
Is the tour hard?
The complete descent to the mines consists of about 800 steps. To go up the tour will mostly be done in an elevator like the one used by the miners which may not be suitable for claustrophobics. In general terms, the tour is not very difficult, but it is not recommended for people with reduced mobility.
Is it possible to eat and drink inside the mines?
Although one of the rooms in the mines can be rented for events and weddings, eating and drinking is not allowed inside the mines and there is no place to do so.
8. If you are interested in a visit to the Wieliczka salt mines, you will also be interested in...
The excursion to the salt mines of Wieliczka is one of the two most popular tours that can be made in the surroundings of Krakow. The other, even more popular, is very different: it is the tour of the Auschwitz concentration camps.
Although at first, this visit may seem morbid or unpleasant, I assure you that it is a real history lesson given with the utmost respect for the memory of the victims. You can find many different options for this tour from Krakow; I recommend you do some research before deciding to get the most out of this experience. Here is a link to my article on Auschwitz Day Trips from Krakow so you can organize your visit.
If you prefer to learn about other options that Krakow has to offer, I have also written an article about Krakow Tours so you can choose the one that best suits your trip.