During my travels in Poland, what was undoubtedly the standout highlight of the trip was visiting the Wieliczka Salt Mine. Its 3 kilometres of winding corridors take you 135 meters down below ground level. There are 20 chambers to explore, the most notable of which houses an incredible underground chapel, carved into the salt rock.
We took the ‘Tourist Route’ tour of the Wieliczka Salt Mine. It took about 3 hours in total and was guided by an expert who had plenty of fascinating facts about the history of the mine to impart.
The true highlight of the tour was the expansive and intricately decorated Chapel of St. King, which is up there as one of the most incredible things that I’ve seen on my travels to date. It’s so hard to believe that such grandeur exists so far below the ground. Everywhere you look, there are incredible details that have been painstakingly hand-carved into the rock salt.
Other parts of the mine are just as fascinating – there are many chambers to explore, not to mention an underground salt lake. History-lovers in particular should check out the Krakow Saltworks Museum to discover the Wieliczka Salt Mine’s history in greater depth. There’s also a lovely cafe all the way down at the bottom of the mineshaft, so you can grab something to eat and drink if you walk up an appetite.
There are lots of gift shops, so you will have plenty of opportunities to bring back something for your loved ones. I picked myself up a pink natural salt lamp which produces warm and soothing light, and is now kept next to my bed.
Thankfully, once it is time to head back up to ground level, there’s a lift that can take you back up, to save having to walk all the way.
If you visit Krakow, I can’t urge you enough to check out the Wieliczka Salt Mine. Over 40 million people have visited it so far and it’s not hard to see why. If you do visit, don’t forget to wrap up warm as it can get quite cold down in the mine shaft, and wear sensible footwear too, as you will be walking a lot!
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