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Wieliczka Salt Mines Cracow Tours

A trip to the Wieliczka Salt Mine

Unforgettable adventures in the Wieliczka Salt Mine
The salt mine in Wieliczka is placed on the UNESCO’s World Cultural and Natural Heritage List. It was placed on the list because it presents successive stages of development of mining techniques in individual ages very well. Actually, it is the only one mining complex in the world, which has been working since the Middle Ages without a break. What has this mine to offer to tourists?

The history
A diploma granted in 1105, during the reign of Bolesław Chrobry (from 995 to 1025), shows that salt mining in Wieliczka was well developed in that period. It was the place where different kinds of evaporated salt and rock salt were produced. In the Middle Ages salt served as a circulating medium, which confirms the high worth of this mineral. Salt was classified as a basic necessity, which is essential to various aims. It was used in large amounts to preserve food, such as meat, butter and fish, to tan or to produce gun powder. In the XIVth century salt was such a precious good that it had an influence on governments in Poland. The Jagiellonian University was founded by Casimir III the Great and the funds came from the salt mine. At the beginning of the XVth century a development of mines allowed the abandoning of salt mining by hand, which did the work much easier. In 1826 balneotherapy was first used as a treatment method, using for this purpose brine bath. It was believed that brine bath can cure even 36 diseases. This kind of treatment finished in 1855, after the death of doctor Boczkowski. In 1912 a mechanical saltworks was opened on the surface of the mine, which produces evaporated salt to this day.

How to get to the mine
The easiest way to get to Wieliczka is to go there from Cracow. If you go from Warsaw, you will cover 295km taking the S8 route or 360km taking the S7 route through Radom. The first route seems to be shorter but takes more time because of traffic jams. On the other hand, if you take the S7route, you will have to pay 18 PLN on the motorway from Katowice to Cracow. The alternative is to go by train, but it is necessary to change in Cracow, from the Main Railway Station in Krakow (Dworzec Główny) to the Wieliczka Rynek Kopalnia train station.

Accomodation
Planning a trip to Wieliczka, you don’t have to look for a hotel in Cracow, which is more expensive. There are many possible options of accommodation in Wieliczka. If you choose to stay in a double room in the center of the town, you will spend from 300 to 400 PLN at the weekend. On the outskirts, about 1,5km from the mine, the price for a room falls down to 200 PLN for two persons.

Routes for visitors
In the Wieliczka Mine there are many routes to choose, depending on what you need or your age. It is certainly worth to visit the beautiful St. Kinga’s Chapel, a place where you can listen to a beautiful composition by Frederic Chopin, combined with a spectacle of light. After that you can choose one of the following routes.

Tourist route
It is the most popular route. It is 3 kilometers long and it takes approximately 3 hours to complete it. The journey starts at the Danilowicz Shaft, where you meet your guide. The guide will show the tourist group around numerous, winding corridors, tell the history of this unique place and show various machines, which are used in mining.

Discover the Saltland is an excellent offer on this route, where children and adults can have many adventures. Fairy tale characters, which you will meet on the route, will provide a pleasant atmosphere and represent the unique character of this place.

Miners’ route
It’s one of the most exciting adventures in Wieliczka. You get an equipment like a real miner, to descend the Regis Shaft under the eye of the Foreman. This is the place where you will learn mining ceremonies, traditions and tasks which miners have to struggle with at work. Wieliczka Expedition and an offer with adventures for groups are additional elements on the miners’ route, especially prepared for integration trips or a gang of friends. Salt caverns and corridors hidden many meters underground add a charm to the adventure. You should remember to take warm clothes and comfortable, waterproof shoes with you. The expedition takes about 3 hours of time, spent in an active way.

The mysteries of the Wieliczka Mine
This is believed to be the most difficult route in the mine. At the beginning you get a mining equipment and then you descend to the mine’s darkest corners and corridors. It is the route where everybody will have to overcome physical and mental weakness. The expedition of several hours will lead you through the excavations of a particular historical and geological value.

Pilgrims’ route
This route was blessed by His Eminence Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz in 2010. Sacred sculptures carved out of salt, magnificent chapels or a statue of John Paul II are only a part of the route. If you want to experience unforgettable moments among the miners’ testimony of faith, you should choose this tour.

Other attractions in Wieliczka
In Wieliczka you can of course find other attractions apart from the mine. They will let you relax between successive routes in the mine or to familiarize with the town.

Graduation tower
A walk in the Graduation tower will make you feel a maritime microclimate. It has a positive influence on the respiratory tracts, cleansing them and preventing diseases. The tower is 22 meters high and it measures 7,500 square meters of surface area.

The Saltworks Castle
The castle used to be a head office of the mine’s board. Currently, “The castle without secrets” classes are organized there during the summer. In the surroundings of the castle there are also located beautiful mansions. It should be remembered that every year in June, the Salt Festival takes place in Wieliczka. Meanwhile, you can take part in many interesting events, such as salt making or papermaking.

Is the salt mine worth a visit?
The Wieliczka Salt Mine is a historical and absolutely beautiful place in Poland. It is visited by tourists from all over the world, who want to find the secrets of this place. Everybody should visit it at least once in a lifetime. You will find there interesting propositions for everybody: single tourists, families with children or school trips.



Wieliczka tour Overall rating: 5 out of 5 based on 2 reviews.

Awesome Wieliczka tour

★★★★★
5 5 1
A very interesting tour to Wieliczka. I recommend 100%

Salt mines Cracow

★★★★★
5 5 1
Salt mines Wieliczka next to Krakow is great. A beautiful place to visit.

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Adres:

Daniłowicza 10, 32-020 Wieliczka
Wieliczka Salt Mine, Polska

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