In a crowded field of stunning things to see in Kraków, Wieliczka Saltmines is one of the most unusual. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is formed of an incredible 3km of tunnels, roughly 15km outside the city itself. Here are full details on how to reach the Wieliczka Saltmines from the centre of the city.
Kinga – image © Ayesha Cantrell
The mining of salt played a large part in Kraków’s early history as a wealthy city. Dating back to the 13th century, these incredible mines were in active use until fairly recently. The maze of tunnels includes grand chapels, sculptures carved in salt, and an underground lake. See our comprehensive walkthrough for an idea of what the experience is like. Wieliczka itself is roughly 15km from the centre of Kraków and below you will find directions for how to reach it via all the main forms of transport, as well as details of costs and timings.
General Information For Entry To the Wieliczka Saltmines
Entry times are as follows:
- Jan-Mar: 8am-5pm
- Apr-Oct: 7.30am-7.30pm
- Nov-Dec: 8am-5pm
Wieliczka Saltmines are closed on January 1, and Easter Sunday, and December 24 / 25.
Opening hours are subject to change, especially on public holidays, so check for the latest details. You can only visit the mines with a guide. Guided tours take two hours, start on the hour, usually every hour, and are available in a number of languages.
Please Note: Access to the mine involves 800 stairs and walking up to 3km, so may not be appropriate for everybody. Wheelchair access is temporarily unavailable. Check for the latest details. Wrap up as the the temperature in the mine is very chilly.
The entry fee for Wieliczka Saltmines will depend on the type of tour and ticket you choose and the time of year. A family ticket, for example, is cheaper per person than a standard ticket, and the Miners’ Route is more expensive than the Tourist Route. You can find full details on the official Wieliczka Saltmines website.
How to Get From Kraków To Wieliczka Saltmines As Part Of A Tour
You cannot enter the saltmines without a guide, so pre-booking an organised tour is hands down the most straightforward way to organise the whole excursion. Every aspect will be managed for you, including a hotel pickup, if your specific tour includes the option. And, once you arrive, a guide will give expert knowledge of the mines.
Get Your Guide offer a comprehensive range of different tours, costing anywhere from 160zł (35€ / £30 / $35) for a half-day excursion. Tours can include free cancellation, hotel pickup and return via coach, skip-the-line ticket, and full access to Wieliczka Saltmines with an authorized guide (and a range of languages available). However, many variations exist to match exactly what you’re looking for, including combined tours, private transfer without the guided tour, or a convenient way to book just the tour itself.
- Directions: Pickup will depend which tour you book but all will drop you off directly outside Wieliczka Saltmines, where you will be met by your tour guide.
- Times: Pickup times also depend on the tour, approximately 30-minute journey each way, main tour lasts two hours.
- Prices: Prices depend on which tour you book.
How to Get From Kraków To Wieliczka Saltmines By Train
If you want to make your own way to the saltmines via public transport, the train and bus are both reasonably straightforward. You can book a tour in advance via the official Wieliczka Saltmines website.
Starting from Kraków’s main train station, located next to the Galeria Krakowska shopping mall in the heart of town, the train journey to Wieliczka is straightforward and takes about 25 minutes each way.
You can plan the route with the search box at the top of train planner page. Use Kraków Główny as the starting point and Wieliczka-Rynek-Kopalnia as the destination. The results will give you a list of departures, with times and prices.
- Directions: Trains depart from the main Kraków Glówny train station, which you can access through the Galeria Krakowska shopping mall, just north of the Old Town. Trains and platforms are clearly marked on electronic timetables around the station. Get off at the stop marked Wieliczka-Rynek-Kopalnia. There’s a 4-7 minute walk to the mines once you leave the station. Head in a straight line and keep your eyes out for the street signs pointing the way.
- Times: Trains depart every 10-20 minutes The journey takes 24 minutes each way. The main tour lasts two hours.
- Prices: Expect to pay 5.5zł each way. Tour prices depend on which tour you book.
How to Get From Kraków To Wieliczka Saltmines By Bus
There’s no real advantage of getting the bus instead of the train but, starting from the Galeria Krakowska shopping mall, the journey is very simple and takes less than an hour door to door.
You can plan the route using the Jakdojade bus planner. Use Galeria Krakowska as the starting point and Wieliczka Kopalnia Soli as the destination. The results will give you a map of the route and a choice of departures. You can follow along with the stops as you ride, so you know when to get off.
- Directions: Catch the 304 bus from the Dworzec Główny Zachód stop in the Ogrodowa side street, off the main Pawia road, opposite the main entrance to the Galeria Krakowska shopping mall. The saltmines are 30m away from the bus stop, a walk of roughly a minute.
- Times: Buses depart every 10-20 minutes The journey takes 40 minutes each way. The main tour lasts two hours.
- Prices: Expect to pay 6zł each way. Tour prices depend on which tour you book.
How to Get From Kraków To Wieliczka Saltmines By Car
If you have a car while in Kraków, driving to the saltmines is an attractive option. The route is just under 15km from the centre of the city, and should take about 45 minutes.
- Directions: The route roughly involves joining the II Obwodnica just to the east of the main railway station, following it south then south west to the Podgórze district, and then travelling south east on the main Wielicka / Krakowska / Edwarda Dembowskiego road. Use your vehicle’s navigation system for the most current information.
- Times: The route above takes 40-45 minutes from Kraków Old Town to Wieliczka Saltmines.
- Prices: There are a few parking scams in the area. The carpark directly outside the mine entrance is both the closest and the cheapest, despite what signs on the way falsely advertise. The largest carpark is next to the Graduation Tower at ul. Dembowskiego 22. Expect to pay about 25zł (6€ / £5 / $6).
How to Get From Kraków To Wieliczka Saltmines By Taxi
If public transport doesn’t work with your timetable and you don’t have your own vehicle, consider getting a taxi from Kraków to Wieliczka Saltmines. It will cost a lot more but you may find it more convenient than making your own way there. Uber is available but there are plenty of local firms that are very reliable. Ask your hotel for help in booking and see if you can agree a cheaper price for the return journey.
- Directions: You can organise your cab to pick you up and take you door to door. If you need a taxi back to Kraków, you can pick one up from Taxi 5 Vany on Daniłowicza, close to the mines. The number is +48 883 919 919, though this will probably cost more than booking in advance.
- Times: The fastest route takes 45 minutes from Kraków Old Town to Wieliczka Saltmines.
- Prices: Expect to pay 55zł (12€) each way, though prices are higher before 6am.