Are you going to visit Wieliczka? Certainly, you are also going to see the famous Salt Mine. It is no secret that touring the Mine is a great adventure, but – like any adventure – you need to be well-prepared for it. Here are some hints for you - we will help you pack your backpack, tell you what you need to take with you, how to dress, and how long it takes to complete the tour of the most popular Tourist Route.
The “Wieliczka” Salt Mine – how long is the tour and how to prepare for it?
Before you go to the “Wieliczka” Mine, it is worth reading some practical information. First of all, no prior reservation is necessary for individual tourists, and the underground salt kingdom can be visited by anyone – there are no age limits in place. What is more, children under 4 years of age are admitted free of charge.
However, along the entire length of the Tourist Route (which is the most popular among the visitors) you will have to climb nearly 800 stairs, so we advise against taking strollers and prams with you – you can leave them in the luggage storage.
Due to the number of stairs, we recommend wearing comfortable and flat shoes. You should also keep in mind that the temperature below ground in the “Wieliczka” Salt Mine is constant (it varies between 17 and 18°C). So, what should you wear before descending underground? Warmer clothes are the way to go. Even if you visit the mine in the summer, you should bring a sweatshirt or sweater with you.
How long is the tour? This question is often asked by tourists, especially that only a part of the underground excavations is available to visitors. If you decide to visit the Tourist Route, your tour will encompass more than 20 chambers connected by a network of almost 2 kilometres of galleries, spanning at least two hours.
Remember that animals may not be brought underground, and that smoking is prohibited in the entire area of the “Wieliczka” Salt Mine.
What is the tour of the Mine like?
Tourists, who descend to the depths of the Earth do not have to fear the darkness – all chambers and galleries of the Tourist Route are well lit. For this reason, there is no need for anybody to take additional lamps or torches.
Of course, a tour of the “Wieliczka” Salt Mine includes a number of breaks. The first one takes place after about an hour, in the area of Drozdowice and Weimar chambers, where you can use the toilet and visit a stand with snacks. The second break takes place after another hour of the tour, near the Wisła-Warszawa-Budryk chambers. There, you will also find commercial stands and the Karczma Górnicza restaurant, where you can have a taste of exquisite Polish cuisine.
Keep in mind that the air deep underground in the “Wieliczka” Salt Mine is also something special. A tour of the underground can help you with upper respiratory tract diseases, asthma and allergies, all thanks to the high bacteriological purity of the air and the high content of sodium chloride, magnesium and calcium ions.
Opening hours of the “Wieliczka” Salt Mine
After going back to the surface, tourists can go to cafés or restaurants located in the Grand Sal Hotel (open until 10:00 p.m.) or take advantage of the Graduation Tower located next to the Daniłowicz Shaft (admission is paid extra, but you can get your ticket together with a tour pass). It is worth noting that the opening hours of the “Wieliczka” Salt Mine are different from the above-mentioned facilities, so you can organise your tour to spend the whole day in Wieliczka.