Wieliczka Salt Mine

The Wieliczka Salt Mine lies within the Cracow metropolitan area (about half an hour drive from the centre). It is often referred to as "the Underground Salt Cathedral of Poland", being one of the most outstanding attractions in the southern Poland.

"The historic Salt Mine in Wieliczka is the only mining site in the world functioning continuously since the Middle Ages. Its original excavations (longitudinals, traverses, chambers, lakes, as well as minor and major shafts) are located on nine levels and extend for the total of about 300 kilometres: reaching the depth of 327 metres they illustrate all the stages of mining technology development over time." The quotation comes from the justification for entering the Wieliczka Salt Mine on UNESCO  List of Cultural and Natural Heritage in 1978.

The Wieliczka salt mine features a 3.5-km touring route for visitors (less than 1% of the length of the mine's passages) that includes dozens of statues and an entire chapel that has been carved out of the rock salt by the miners. Even the crystals of the chandeliers are made from rock salt that has been dissolved and reconstituted to achieve a clear, glass-like appearance.

At the end of the tour, there is a large 'cathedral' and reception room that can be reserved for private functions such as weddings or private parties. Also featured is a large chamber with walls carved to resemble wooden chapels built by miners in earlier centuries and an underground lake.

To get down to the 64-metre level of the mine, visitors must descend a wooden stairway of 378 steps. After the three-kilometer tour of the mine's corridors, chapels, statues and lake, 135 metres underground, visitors take an elevator back up to the surface.

About 1.2 million people visit the Wieliczka Salt Mine annually. Over the centuries, visitors to this site have included Nicolaus Copernicus, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Alexander von Humboldt, Dmitri Mendeleyev, Bolesław Prus, Ignacy Paderewski, Robert Baden-Powell, Jacob Bronowski (who filmed segments of The Ascent of Man in the mine), Karol Wojtyła (the later Pope John Paul II), former U.S. President Bill Clinton, and many others.

Cracow - 13 km

Duration: ca. 4 hours

Individual travellers
Nr of pax12345677
Price per person* EUR7954444037363533
USD10471595249474644
PLN320220180160150145140135

*The price includes: guided tour, entry tickets and transfer by chauffeured car.

Groups (more than 8 pax)
Price per person* EUR32
USD 42
PLN 130

*The price includes: guided tour, entry tickets and transfer by mini-bus or coach.

 

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