Chapels carved entirely from salt, an underground lake and a museum make up this internationally protected World Heritage listed salt mine.
Visit Wieliczka Salt Mine and stand beneath the glittering chandeliers in the Chapel of St. Kinga. You might imagine you are in one of Europe’s great cathedrals. The fact that you are underground and almost all the reliefs, statues and chandeliers are made from salt makes the spectacle even more impressive. Explore the saline labyrinth further to discover an underground lake, numerous carvings and a museum tracking the 700-year history of the mine.
Wieliczka Salt Mine was created in the 13th century and was once one of the world’s major producers of table salt. It is one of the oldest mines in the world. With 178 miles (287 kilometers) of passageways, it is also one of the largest.
Visit the mine by guided tour only. Descend underground via the 378 steps of a wooden staircase. You’ll arrive at the first level, 209 feet (64 meters) underground. The tour covers a 2-mile (3-kilometer) walk. This will take you to a final depth of 443 feet (135 meters) underground.
Take your time to admire the reliefs and statues that line the sides of the tunnels. See religious iconography, such as scenes from the Last Supper, alongside lighthearted figures such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. There are three chapels carved from salt, including the magnificent Chapel of St. Kinga. Trace the 700-year evolution of the mining equipment used by salt miners in the museum at the end of the tour. Try a meal at the underground restaurant; it will be seasoned with salt from the mine.
The Wieliczka Salt Mine is open daily year-round, with the exception of some public holidays. It is located 6 miles (10 kilometers) southeast of Krakow. Come by rental car, commuter train or minibus. There is a charge for entry and tours. Book tours in advance online or from the entrance on the day of your visit.