Wieliczka Salt Mine, Krakow

4.5 out of 5 stars 69 Reviews

Been here? Rate It!

hide
  • Wieliczka Salt Mine
    by albert34
  • Wieliczka Salt Mine
    by albert34
  • Wieliczka Salt Mine
    by albert34
  • Tom_Fields's Profile Photo

    Wieliczka Salt Mine

    by Tom_Fields Written Apr 17, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Since about 3,500 BC, people have extracted salt from the brine that bubbled up here. As the centuries went by, they developed more sophisticated methods, drilling deeper underground. Gradually, they built this mine. The oldest known shaft dates from the 14th century.

    Tourists descend into the mine via the Danilowicz Shaft, that was dug in 1638. The mine is decorated with salt sculptures, and even has underground chapels. There is a small lake, and a cafe. It's a whole world down there. This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of Krakow's most unusual attractions.

    The entrance to the Danilowicz Shaft Winch used to haul salt up from the depths The Chamber of the Dwarves The Sielec Longitudinal Gallery The Chapel of the Blessed Kinga
    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • alectrevor's Profile Photo

    Historic Salt Mine Wieliczka Poland.

    by alectrevor Updated Sep 10, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I took a mini bus from Pawia street [ near rail station,150m.] fare 3 zolty. The driver set me of at the salt mine, just before the mini bus entered the town. There is an ordinary bus number 304. A train also travels from Krakow main station, a fellow vistor told me this was crowded and slow, and was glad to travel back by mini bus. Entrance fee for Mine is 64 zolty. An inclusive tourist bus from Krakow is 100 zolty. I am 70 year old and fit, i say this because there is a lot of walking through tunnels, and firstly down a flight of stairs of over 300 steps, but it is well worth the effort for what you see. You leave the bottom of the mine by miners lift, to the surface. There are 9 levels in the mine but tourist visit only 3 levels, the tour with english speaking guide took about 2 and half hours. The mine gets very busy, if you are travelling alone or family group my advice is arrive early say 9 am.

    Mini bus in Pawia st Krakow Wieliczka salt mine The Last Supper in salt. Depth of mine for tourists. Statue of Pope John Paul II in salt.

    Was this review helpful?

  • dhina's Profile Photo

    The huge salt mine

    by dhina Written Jul 27, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The salt mine guided tour indeed was a great experience, the two-hour walking trip to underground tunnel actually only shows us a small portion of the actual size of the salt mine..it's unbelievable that people put a lot of effort to dig that huge tunnels only to get salt...

    The Chapel of the Blessed Kinga is the highlight of the tour ... a huge room (after walking through the tunnels) with ornaments.. and leave you wondering how they built it.

    Was this review helpful?

  • Salt Mines

    by Riaiff Written May 17, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Mine gott, why did they not tell me about the 380 stairs that I needed to climb in order to get to the bottom and then some more. Plus walking for 3km thru the mines in order to see and experience everzthing. I was told by a friend of mine back home that it was not worth the visit, but I must disagree with her. I really enjoyed the mines even though my legs were killing me the following day.

    Was this review helpful?

  • boltonian's Profile Photo

    Salt!!!!

    by boltonian Written Feb 22, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Had only heard great things about this place but was left very let down.

    After a 90 min wait, and paying around £10, you descent the stairs to the mine.

    You see a carving made from salt, then a long corridor, then a salt carving, then a corridor, then a....... you get the picture.

    2 hours of 'scooby doo' background wasn't fun, even if the main chapel was impressive.

    Oh and do not pay the extra 10 ZL for the photo permit, you simply don't need it.

    Salt Man

    Was this review helpful?

  • tim07's Profile Photo

    Unique experience

    by tim07 Updated Oct 26, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    It's an amazing experience to venture many metres down into a mine & then come across scenes of such beauty. As you descend you see chapels & rooms carved into the salt, amazing underground lakes too. On one level a chamber full of gnomes carved out of salt.

    The highlight though is Blessed Kinga's Chapel. It is on the bottom level 135m down & was created in the 19th century. Everything here is carved from salt, stairs, bannisters, an altar & chandeliers.

    After sightseeing you can rest in the chamber complex, 125m underground. There is a restaurant & a post office here.

    Blessed Kinga's Chapel Blessed Kinga's Chapel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Openseas's Profile Photo

    The Salt Mines.

    by Openseas Updated Sep 25, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Salt Mines are about half hour drive from Krakow, in a little village called Wieiczka. The mines date back to the 13th century and it truly is an amazing experience. I had to walk down thousands of steps to underground corridors and different terraces. Along the way there are fascinating sculptures made out of salt.

    For centuries, salt was picked by hand and carried up to the surface.On the bottom level is a chapel all made from salt. Just awesome, sculptures of Christ and the Apostles and even the tiled mosaic floors all made centuries ago. The galleries in the mine are 150k long and reach the depth of 300m.It used to be one of the world's biggest and most profitable industrial establishments when common salt was commercially a medieval equivalent of today's oil.

    The mine is reached by bus from Kraków which depart regularly from RDA the bus station and also stop opposite Poczta G³owny. The bus stops at the Salt Mines and also picks up for your return journey home. A single ticket is 2.5 z³

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • sunchasers's Profile Photo

    Tip for the Salt Mine

    by sunchasers Written Aug 19, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Buy your tickets in Krakow to avoid the VERY long line that is waiting to buy tickets once you get to Wieliczka. Going there is sort of an experience in organised chaos. Once you have the ticket, you still have to wait a bit so you can be sectioned into a group based on the language you speak. You wait for your group's turn and then head down the mine with your guide. The tour is interesting but it seems to drag on...lasting upwards of 2+ hours. You cannot deviate from your group and see anything on your own (though it is quite easy to end up in another group as there are so many people down in the mine at any given time....we started in the English group and toward the end upon trying to get out quicker, we ended up in a Russian group).

    Purchase Points: Tourist Information Offices, at the branch offices of the Jordan Travel Agency as well as from the mini-bus drivers (from Grodzka St.).

    Price: Individual ticket (though you will be in a group) was about 60-63 zloty. I think extra cost to take photos was 20 zloty (no one checked to see whether you had actually purchased this ticket though).

    Transport: The Information Centers in Krakow will guide you to the Contrabus/Contralbus (can't quite remember the name of it, but it's something to that effect). It's a little mini public bus that departs from Starowislna Street, just a few minutes from Market Square. This is fine and I think it cost 2.50 zloty, but they really load people on this bus so be prepared to get to know your neighbour.

    There is also a special minibus for the Salt Mines that leaves from the Royal Hotel in Grodzka Street. I believe it's the same price, but they also sell combined minibus/mine tickets.

    Alternatively, you can walk further to the train station and take a train to Krakow Glowny (15-20 minutes).

    Was this review helpful?

  • monkeytrousers's Profile Photo

    Wieliczka Salt Mine

    by monkeytrousers Written Jul 6, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This mine consists of a serious of tunnels, chapels and churches all carved into or made out of salt. All the sculptures you see are made of salt as is the floor and chandeliers. The most impressive part was the great church which had lots of religious scenes carved into the wall, including the last supper, sculptures and was beautifully lit. The splender of the room was so great that everyone in the group I was in gasped in astonishment.

    It was quite expensive to get in but well worth the money. You need to take a tram and/or a bus to get there.

    Was this review helpful?

  • Wieliczka Salt Mine

    by TangieSharp Updated Jun 13, 2007

    OK, it's crazy to think of visiting a salt mine, but it was great. We had an awesome tour guide who looked and sounded like he belonged in The Munsters. It's amazing what art they can create from salt. They had statues of Pope John Paul II, then President Clinton, among others. The underground Cathedral was amazing. It's just a surprising awesome place. Plus it's a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    Related to:
    • Singles
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • smirnofforiginal's Profile Photo

    Salt mines

    by smirnofforiginal Written May 21, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Wieliczka Salt Mine is a subterranean labyrinth, recognised for it's unique character and beauty by UNESCO in 1978 and by Poland as a Polish historica monument in 1994.. This is a must go see... you will not be disappointed!

    Nature created Wieliczka about 20million years ago. In the 7 centuries of mining, 7.5 million cubic metres of salt have been extracted!

    The miners work was very dangerous, with 10% of the work force falling victim to accidents. As a result the miners were deeply religious and soon crosses were erected where fellow miners perished and chapels were constructed underground with complete services held. Then in 1697 there was a fire & a royal commission forbade them to furnish chapels with inflammable pictures & statues etc... And this is how and why the amazing salt sculpting was started.

    The sculptures were all self taught and the work they produced is just astonishing. The greatest piece is the Chapel of St. Kinga. It is carved 101m underground, with sweeping staircases, grand alter, and religious reliefs...
    There are underground lakes and cystalssalt stalactites and stalagmites - the natural beauty together with the works of art produced by the sculptures make this a simply incredible and amazing place.

    The guide we had was very informative and friendly and had a great sense of humour... it was one of the best tours I have had.

    NB It should be noted that there is a LOT of stairs in this mine and quite a bit of walking. We had a 2 month old and a 20 month old to carry about and we shared this job between 4 adults - it was exhausting! To get back to the top, at the end, there is an old, miners lift which, due to the children, they let us use - it was VERY small and VERY claustrophobic and unpleasent and we were packed in like sardines. BUT Wieliczka was worth the hard work.

    St. King's Chapel The Casimir, The Great Chamber St. King's Chapel
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Historical Travel
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Jawnuta's Profile Photo

    Where my grandmother lives....

    by Jawnuta Updated May 19, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    All right I do not expect you to go and see my grandmother but you really should spend a day to see the WIELICZKA SALT MINES.
    The easiest way to get to Wieliczka Salt Mines is to hop on one of the "comuter mini-bus". You can catch one of them from Podgorska street. Ask people to make sure you are on the right bus and ask where to get out.
    It is hard to describe Wieliczka Salt Mine with words. It is a MUST SEE. There is no other place like that in the world.

    The Salt Mine Wieliczka is the oldest salt enterprise on Polish land dating back to the Middle Ages. For centuries it was the source of the country’s wealth and the material foundation of its culture. Today it is the most popular Polish tourist attraction.

    Several hundreds of years of rock salt exploitation have shaped the spatial arrangement of its excavated structure. Lying on nine levels, concealed under the town, the mine reaches down to the depth of 327 metres. Subterranean Wieliczka consists of nearly 300 kilometres of corridors and almost 3,000 chambers. The tourist route accessible to visitors includes a 3.5-kilometres section located from 64 to 135 metres below ground level.

    underground inside a catherdal underground....far, far underground... all carved in salt at front of Salt Mine Queen Kinga made of salt

    Was this review helpful?

  • IoannaE's Profile Photo

    What they don't tell you about the salt mine

    by IoannaE Updated May 17, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    ...is that this is no place for people who are not reasonably fit, or have even a tiny bit of claustrophobia. The first thing you do once you pay and join the group is go down endless flights of wooden steps in a deep stairwell - 380 in all! There was no advance warning of this, and when my friends asked if they could take the kids and a buggy down the mine they were told 'yes, you can, but there are a few steps" !!! Thank God they didn't come! To make matters worse, a Welsh ex-miner who was walking down those endless steps behind us said 'i can't believe how dangerous this is'. I think he must have been unnerved by the huge crowds - there must have been a thousand people in the mine that day, as it was a national holiday. Mercifully we didn't have to climb hundredes of steps back from 110 meters down to the surface; there was a fast, rattling mine-shaft elevator instead. Go see it if all of this sounds like fun - it's actually quite interesting that this has been a tourist attraction for centuries - but expect moments of feeling apprehensive....especially when the tour guide regales you with all the various ways in which people have died in the mine !

    All in all, I'm glad I did it, as Churchill might have said, so I won't have to do it again.

    The less narrow second tier
    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • al_mary's Profile Photo

    Pictures #10

    by al_mary Written Dec 24, 2006

    0 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Like they say, a picture is worth
    a thousands words, so enjoy the
    many pictures that we took deep
    inside the salt mine.

    The tourist route open to sightseers
    is only a small fraction of the entire
    mine. The mine includes 7.5 million
    square meters of post-excavation
    space on nine levels, each between
    64 and 327 meters.

    The tourist route extends to level three
    only - to the depth of 135 meters.

    During the three hours tour, visitors travel
    underground approximately 3.5 km, along
    passages totaling more then 320 km.

    During this time they will visit 30 of the more
    than 2148 chambers ....

    Was this review helpful?

  • al_mary's Profile Photo

    Pictures #11

    by al_mary Written Dec 24, 2006

    0 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Like they say, a picture is worth
    a thousands words, so enjoy the
    many pictures that we took deep
    inside the salt mine.

    The tourist route open to sightseers
    is only a small fraction of the entire
    mine. The mine includes 7.5 million
    square meters of post-excavation
    space on nine levels, each between
    64 and 327 meters.

    The tourist route extends to level three
    only - to the depth of 135 meters.

    During the three hours tour, visitors travel
    underground approximately 3.5 km, along
    passages totaling more then 320 km.

    During this time they will visit 30 of the more
    than 2148 chambers ....

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Krakow

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

42 travelers online now

Comments

Hotels Near Wieliczka Salt Mine
4.5 out of 5 stars
0.1 miles away
Show Prices
3.0 out of 5 stars
0.2 miles away
Show Prices
4.0 out of 5 stars
0.4 miles away
Show Prices

View all Krakow hotels