Salt mine in Wieliczka is one of 15 Polish sites being on the UNESCO World Heritage List (it was inscribed in 1978). It’s an amazingly beautiful underground maze of chambers and corridors made of salt.
Most visitors think of Wieliczka tours as a side trips from Krakow. It’s a very convenient idea, especially for those, who don’t have much time for deep exploration. The mine is located about 17 km from Krakow, the whole salt mine Krakow tour usually takes 4 hours, more or less.
Salt mine legend
Founding of the mine in Wieliczka is the subject of a legend of Saint Kinga, the historical figure from the 13th century, who later became known as the patron of salt miners. The Hungarian princess got engaged to the Polish prince Bolesław V the Chaste. Leaving her native Hungary, the princess dropped her engagement ring into the salt mine shaft. After a huge royal wedding, Kinga’s ring was found in a block of salt near Krakow. Suprisingly enough (now sticking to the facts), the mine has been systematically expanded from the 13th century and it still works perfectly without any breaks.
Salt mine Krakow tours
Wieliczka is often seen as a mandatory destination while traveling Poland. On the internet you can find numerous organized Wieliczka tours. Several tour operators run group trips to the mine. If you want to take a trip on your own, these are our transport recommendations.
Minibuses to Wieliczka depart regularly from Krakow. You can take one every 10 minutes between 6 am and 8 pm. The bus stop is located in the northern end of Starowiślana street, next to the post office. The end off the bus route stands by the road leading up to the salt mine entrance. Trains between Krakow and Wieliczka leave every 45 minutes throughout the day (the journey takes about 15 minutes). Unfortunately, the train station in Wieliczka is over a kilometer from the mine.
To avoid the enermously long queues in Wieliczka salt mine, especially during the season, you are strongly advised to buy your ticket in advance via internet.