For seven centuries salt was extracted in these mines located 12 km 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 receive hundreds of visitors every day. Normally the visit takes place on an organized excursion 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.
In addition, you have the possibility to book an excursion that takes you to Auschwitz and the Wieliczka salt mines in one day. An ideal option if you only have two or three days to explore the city of Krakow.
2. Transfer from Krakow to Wieliczka with guided tour
Tunnels, chapels, passages, chambers carved in the rocks, salt statues... All this is what you will find in the salt mines of Wieliczka, but first you have to get there. This transfer option 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 to choose from eight possibilities.
In addition to the transfer, the price of $ 50 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. Tickets to the Wieliczka mines, however, are at your own expense and are 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 with all the information you need to enjoy your visit.
3. Tickets to Wieliczka Salt Mines with guided tour
You can also buy your tickets to the Wieliczka mines without booking transportation from Krakow (you can make the trip by rental car or public transport). Tickets to the Wieliczka mines include a guided tour available in English, German, Italian, French, Spanish or Italian and are priced at $ 50
Tickets for the Wieliczka Mines will be sent to you by email once you book online. You can choose the day and time of your visit from several options and having 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 Salt Mines sell out well in advance; it is 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 designed for a maximum of 40 travelers and the price includes: transportation, guided tour and entrance fees to the mines. The pick-up 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 to choose from, you have the possibility to take a night tour of 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, entrance fees, tour and return are included in the price.
5. All inclusive excursion 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 this option online. The price, $ 66, 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, the entrance to the mines and the 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 subway chambers and tunnels, 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.
You also have the pack that includes an excursion to Auschwitz and the salt mines of Wieliczka from Krakow. In this tour of about 11 hours with transfers included to the hotel you will see one of the most important concentration camps of the Nazi era and also know the subway complex of the salt mines, two essential places in your visit to Krakow.
6. What you will see in Wieliczka salt mines
The excursion to the salt mines of Wieliczka, 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 rooms and for the network of tunnels that spans some 300 km.
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 325 meters 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 worked in these mines for centuries.
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 to Wieliczka
The most common way to reach 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 should not 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, as throughout the day there are several tours in different languages. That is why it is strongly recommended to book tickets for the Wieliczka mines well in advance.
In addition to Polish, you can take a guided tour of the mines in English, German, French, Italian, Russian, Spanish and French. 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. Do not forget to bring some warm clothes to wear during the tour. Comfortable, non-slippery shoes are also recommended.
Is it possible to take pictures?
To take pictures of the interior of the mines, you will have to pay a supplement at the entrance of about two and a half euros. Otherwise you may be noticed during the tour.
The tourIs it hard?
The complete descent to the mines consists of about 800 steps. Most of the way up will be done in an elevator like the one used by the miners, which may not be suitable for claustrophobic people. 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 Wieliczka salt mines is one of the two most popular tours around Krakow. The other, even more popular, is of a very different nature: 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 to do some research before deciding to make the most 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 Krakow has to offer, I have also written an article on Krakow Tours so you can choose the one that best suits your trip.