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How to Go from Krakow to Salt Mines: A Practical Guide

    The Krakow Salt Mines stand as an unmissable and captivating attraction during a trip to Krakow, and embarking on a day trip from Krakow to the Salt Mines is a must for any visitor. This extraordinary masterpiece of ingenuity and craftsmanship has been meticulously carved by generations of skilled miners over the centuries. From its awe-inspiring underground cathedrals to the intricate salt formations, the Krakow Salt Mines are a testament to human dedication and creativity.

    Once inside the mines, you’ll be awe-struck by the stunning salt formations, underground chapels, and even an otherworldly lake, all testaments to the incredible artistry and perseverance of the miners who toiled to create this underground marvel. Going from Krakow to the Salt Mine, especially the most famous one, namely the Wieliczka Salt Mine, is pretty easy!

    There are numerous convenient options available to suit every preference. If you desire a seamless experience, guided tours offer convenient round-trip transportation from Krakow, ensuring guaranteed entry and tickets, with no queuing or any hassles. Additionally, you’ll benefit from a wealth of insights and expert commentary throughout the tour. Alternatively, you could opt to go on your own, either by car or public transport, and then purchase a ticket for one of the available tours on the spot (keep in mind that these tours have fixed times and limited availability).

    Whichever option you choose, rest assured that this guide on how to visit the Salt Mines from Krakow will provide a handy and easy overview of all the best choices!

    What you will find in this guide on how to get from Krakow to the Salt Mines:

    Krakow Salt Mines: Things to Know Before You Go

    The Krakow Salt Mines are a must-visit attraction in Poland, drawing millions of visitors each year. The most famous among them are the Wieliczka Salt Mines, situated just a few kilometers from Krakow. However, there is another gem to explore, the Bochnia Salt Mine, which is equally stunning and holds the distinction of being the oldest salt mine in Poland, dating back to the 12th century. Both the Wieliczka and Bochnia Salt Mines hold the prestigious title of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, boasting unrivaled beauty in the world. Their grandeur and magnificence are truly unparalleled.

    The most famous and visited of the Krakow Salt Mines is undoubtedly the Wieliczka Salt Mine, renowned for its underground salt cathedral, incredibly richly inlaid rooms, and vastness of salt and underground chambers that visitors can explore, making it one of the most beautiful mines in the world. Conveniently located just a few kilometers outside Krakow, the Wieliczka Salt Mine is easily accessible for tourists.

    On the other hand, the Bochnia Salt Mine is farther away and requires arranging transportation in advance to reach it, or visitors can opt for a guided day trip from Krakow. Here too you can take part in an interesting 2-hour guided tour taking you more than 200 meters underground. During the tour, you’ll have the opportunity to experience a thrilling ride on the miners’ train and even take a short boat trip on the underground lake located in the depths of the mine. For those who have already visited the popular yet crowded Wieliczka Salt Mines, Bochnia can be a delightful and worthwhile alternative.

    Since the Krakow Salt Mines are vast underground labyrinths with dimly lit tunnels, guided tours are the only way to explore them. The knowledgeable guides play a crucial role in making the visit enjoyable and safe. Surprisingly, the tunnels are quite spacious, and usually the experience doesn’t trigger claustrophobia even for those who may be sensitive to enclosed spaces. The mines are equipped with various amenities, including stairs, elevators, restrooms, and even restaurants and bars deep within the earth. This makes the visit suitable for visitors of all ages, ensuring a comfortable and pleasant experience.

    If you opt to venture on your own, it’s advisable to secure a skip-the-line ticket or arrive well in advance of the guided tour’s start time to avoid the typically long ticket queues.

    How far is the Wieliczka Salt Mine from Krakow?

    The Wieliczka Salt Mines are located about 16 km southeast of the Krakow city center.

    This means that it is quite easy to get from Krakow to the Salt Mines and has probably contributed greatly to making Wieliczka one of the most famous things to see in Poland.

    The ancient splendor and wealth of the medieval city of Krakow was mainly due to its proximity to the Wieliczka and Bochnia Salt Mines. The precious salt that was mined there was traded with merchants from afar in the Main Market Square in Krakow.

    Bus from Krakow to the Wieliczka Salt Mine

    An easy way to get from Krakow to the Wieliczka Salt Mines is by public bus.

    You can take bus no. 304 at the Dworzec Główny Zachód stop, located near the Galeria Krakowska, near the Central Railway Station.

    You can easily find the stop by walking along Pawia street, on the left side of Galeria Krakowska when coming from Krakow’s Old Town.

    Bus line 304 takes you to the city center of Wieliczka, but you have to get off at the Wieliczka Kopalnia Soli stop, from which you can reach the Daniłowicz Shaft with a few minutes’ walk, where the tours of the Tourist Route start.

    It is usually quite easy to realize that you have arrived at your destination, because most of the people on the bus get off at that stop.

    If, on the other hand, you have to go to the Regis Shaft (where the experiences of the Mining Route start) then you have to get off shortly after, at the Wieliczka Rynek stop.

    The bus ticket can be bought at the bus stop (there are automatic ticket machines). You must buy a ticket valid for Zones I + II (Strefa I + II). The journey from Krakow to the Salt Mines takes approximately 35 minutes, so choose a 50-minute ticket (single trip). The ticket price is 4.60 zł.

    Bus 304 leaves Krakow to the Salt Mines every 10 minutes on weekdays and every 20 minutes on Saturdays and Sundays. You can check the bus timetable here.

    Remember that at the end of your visit to the Salt Mines you will exit the Regis Shaft, which is about 500 meters away from the Daniłowicz Shaft. To take the return bus from Wieliczka to Krakow you have to go back to Dembowskiego Street, where you will find the bus stop. You have to wait for the bus on the opposite side of the outward journey.

    Train from Krakow to the Wieliczka Salt Mine

    Another way to get from Krakow to the Salt Mines is to take a suburban train from the Central Railway Station (Krakow Główny).

    The suburban trains are operated by the company Koleje Malopolskie (KMŁ or KMAL), it is good to know this because each railway company requires its own specific ticket and has its own specific timetables.

    You can take the train from Krakow to the Wieliczka Salt Mines at Krakow Central Railway Station. It usually leaves every 30 minutes. In about 20 minutes you will reach the station called Wieliczka Rynek Kopalnia, where you will have to get off.

    The Wieliczka Rynek Kopalnia Railway Station is approximately 500 meters from the entrance to the Wieliczka Salt Mine, which is a 10-15 minute walk.

    The train ticket can be purchased directly at the station at the automatic ticket machines or at the ticket offices. The ticket price is 3.50 zł one way.

    Guided Tours from Krakow to the Wieliczka Salt Mine

    The best way to visit the Salt Mines from Krakow is to book a guided tour that departs daily from Krakow city center and includes round-trip transport, skip-the-line ticket and full tour with an official guide in your language of choice (there are tours in English , Spanish, Italian, German, French, Russian and Polish).

    It is a great way to visit the Salt Mines comfortably and saving time. The prices are not expensive and are worth every penny.

    If you are short on time, you may want to opt for an advantageous combo tour that allows you to visit the Krakow Salt Mines and Auschwitz on the same day. This tour is designed to save you time and money, and allows you to join a full guided tour of the Auschwitz and Birkenau Concentration Camps and a full tour with an official guide to the Wieliczka Salt Mines.


    How to get to the Wieliczka Salt Mine by Car

    A good way to explore the surroundings of Krakow is to go with your own car, or rent one in Krakow. The prices are quite affordable and the roads are in good condition.

    If you want to go to the Wieliczka Salt Mines by car you can take the Wielicka street which runs through the districts of Kazimierz and Podgorze and goes towards the intersection with the A4 motorway.

    From here continue along the DK94 road for a few kilometers, then follow the signs to the Wieliczka Salt Mines or Wieliczka Centrum.

    In the area around the Wieliczka Salt Mines there are several paid parking lots.

    How to go to the Bochnia Salt Mines from Krakow

    The Bochnia Salt Mines are located about 43 km from Krakow. They are part of the same geological formation as the Wieliczka Salt Mines, and are one of the oldest salt mines in the world, as well as being the oldest trading company in Poland.

    The Salt Mines of Bochnia are much less touristy and popular than those of Wieliczka, but no less interesting. These mines have remained active for centuries, from the early 1200s to 1990s and, similar to those of Wieliczka, some major halls have been decorated by miners and open to visitors.

    The tour of the Bochnia Salt Mines includes several underground halls, including a church and the famous Ważyn Chamber, the largest chamber, which today is a sanatorium (where you can sleep in a special microclimate, which is believed to be beneficial for breathing) with sports fields (basketball, volleyball, soccer, badminton) and even a restaurant. On special occasions it turns into a suggestive venue for events, conventions, concerts or shows.

    The unmissable attraction of the Bochnia Salt Mines is the Underground Ferry Crossing: you can sail on a small underground salt lake in the heart of the mine.

    The Bochnia Salt Mines can be visited on a guided day tour from Krakow, or you can rent a car and drive there on the A4 motorway.


    Tips and Frequently Asked Questions

    Wieliczka Salt Mine or Bochnia Salt Mine, which one is better to visit?

    If it is your first time in Krakow, I recommend you to visit the Wieliczka Salt Mine, it will be a truly unforgettable experience.

    The Bochnia Salt Mines offer a more authentic experience, they are much less crowded, but also a little less charming. They are a perfect destination for those who have already visited Wieliczka at least once.

    What is the best time to go and how to dress?

    You can go there all year round, in winter it will be pleasant because the temperature in the mine will be even milder than outside.

    In the summer, keep in mind that the temperature in the mine is stable around 14-15 °C, so bring something warm to wear.

    It is very important to wear comfortable shoes: you will walk for at least a couple of kilometers, there are over 800 steps and some parts of the path may be slippery.

    Is it better to book a guided tour from Krakow or go on your own?

    The reservation of the visit is not necessary, however the Krakow Salt Mines can only be visited with an official guide. There are tours in several languages, so you need to inquire about the expected time of your tour and go there a few hours in advance, as the queues for the ticket office are usually very long.

    Booking a guided tour from Krakow is undoubtedly the best solution if you want to visit the Krakow Salt Mines comfortably and without worrying about queuing, planning transport etc., because you have everything included: return transport from Krakow, skip-the-line ticket and full guided tour with official guide in the language of your choice.


    Useful Tips for Your Trip

    Check out our Guide to the Wieliczka Salt Mines for facts and useful information about the Salt Mines, their history and what to expect while visiting.

    Many people choose to visit the Wieliczka Salt Mines on a day trip from Krakow, so here you can find the best useful tips to better plan your trip to Krakow and the wonderful region of Southern Poland: