Excursion from Krakow to the Wieliczka Salt Mine

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Wieliczka Salt Mine: all info, bus tours, guided tours, tickets, parking and opening hours.

The Wieliczka Salt Mine is the biggest attraction in the vicinity of Krakow. More than a million visitors go to the former mine every year. There is a lot to see, a great experience.  There are tours by bus from Krakow.

wieliczka salt mine building

Entrance fees Wieliczka Salt Mine

Normal entrance on site (beware of queues, waiting times, better to book in advance on the Internet) costs 77 zlody (about 16 euros). Children and teenagers pay 59 zlody. Small children under 4 years are free.

Prices are relatively high for Poland. But there is a lot to see. A visit to the salt mine is worthwhile.

Guided tours Wieliczka Salt Mine

A guided visit to the mine is great. Most of the tours are in Polish and English. The guides are usually knowledgeable and nice. You should definitely book guided tours of the Wieliczka Salt Mine online in advance.

Tours from Krakow to Wieliczka Salt Mine

The easiest and from our point of view the best way to visit the Wieliczka Salt Mine from Krakow is with a bus tour. You don’t have to find your own way to the mine by car or train. You already have an entrance ticket and you don’t have to wait in line. It is best to book on the website Getyourguide.

Opening hours Wieliczka Mine

During our visit in October 2022, the opening hours were every day from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Since a lot of visitors come to the Wieliczka Salt Mine, one should book tickets and tours in advance. The capacities are limited, often there are queues and waiting times.

Around the salt mine

There are one million visitors coming to the Wieliczka Salt Mine every year. In summer and on weekends, this is many thousands a day. The hustle and bustle is great. Around the entrance there are dozens of restaurants, cafes and souvenir stores. Prices vary. Be sure to check prices beforehand and watch out for tourist traps. This also applies to parking. Better to eat, drink and park 100 meters from the entrance of the mine. There, the prices are often only half as high as directly next to the entrance.

Parking Wieliczka Salt Mine

There are many large parking lots around the Wieliczka Salt Mine. Be careful: the parking lots have very different prices. Some charge up to 80 zlody (about 18 euros) for the day. Not all of them also have prices per hour. Down on the main road, before the last right turn to the salt mine, is a parking lot that costs only 5 zlody (1 euro) per hour. From here it is under 200 meters to the entrance for visitors and guided tours.

wieliczka parking price sign

According to our impression, the parking lots around the Wieliczka mine are more expensive, which do not advertise the prices for parking large with billboards. Also, you should not let employees wave you into the expensive parking spaces. Better a few minutes to look for a cheap parking space. One can save in such a way over 10 euro!

From Krakow it is better to take a bus tour. It is best to book these tours on the German website Getyourguide.

How to get to the Wieliczka Salt Mine by public transport

From Krakow it is best to take the suburban train. From Krakow Central Station get off at the station “Wieliczka Rynek Kopalnia” (Wieliczka Market Mine). From here it is not far to walk to the entrance of the mine.

There are also buses from Krakow directly to the mine. Line 304 from Krakow.

Visit to the Wieliczka Mine

You go down a long wooden staircase more than 60 meters.

wieliczka stairs in the salt mine

Visitors to the Wieliczka mine see a lot. The highlight is a large underground church (or chapel). There are regular church services here. You can also get married here.

wieliczka chapel in the mine

The Wieliczka Salt Mine is known for good air. Especially people with asthma the air is said to help. In the mine is a year-round constant temperature of about 16 degrees with high humidity. There is also a lot of sodium chloride (NaCl, common salt) in the air.

The former salt mine is very large. A tour lasts well over two hours (not including the museum afterwards). In the Wieliczka mine you can see, among other things, great sculptures made of salt. These were created by former miners. In addition, there are also sculptures and the like made of stone.

sculpture in salt mine below

In many places in the salt mine you also get a good impression about the hard work of the miners in former times.

It is cool in the mine below, about 15 degrees. Even in summer you should take a sweater. Visiting the mine with the stairs etc., is no problem for normal people. However, older and disabled people should think beforehand if they can manage the stairs down and the long ways down in the Wieliczka mine.

History of Wieliczka Salt Mine

Since the 13th century, salt has been mined underground in Wieliczka (the name of the town where the mine is located). Before that for a long time above ground, from about the year 1280 underground. Over time, the mine became deeper and deeper, the deepest tunnels are more than 300 meters underground. It was not until 1993, after the end of socialism in Poland and after a major water inrush, that the mine near Krakow was shut down. The Wieliczka mine has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1976. After that, parts of the tunnels and rooms were rebuilt for visitors. There is also a hospital for people with respiratory diseases deep down in the former salt mine and the chapel already mentioned above.