The Wieliczka Salt Mines promises to be one of those visits that will blow the minds of the little ones at home but, like all family visits, there is a trick to it.
To make sure everything runs smoothly, don't miss these 8 tips to help you plan your trip to this spectacular Polish tourist attraction. Take note!
1. An organised excursion, more convenient for family trips
Although you can visit the Wieliczka Salt Mines on your own, when travelling with your family it is a good idea to have everything well organised and not to improvise. Especially when sightseeing with small children.
In this sense, taking an organised excursion to the Wieliczka Salt Mines from Krakow always makes things much easier and simpler.
You won't have to spend time searching for transport or figuring out the quickest route so the kids don't get exhausted. In fact, most of these organised tours pick you up and take you to your hotel, which is very convenient for everyone. Plus, you won't have to deal with a foreign language to get tickets at the ticket office and make the kids wait in line unnecessarily. This is a very popular attraction in the country and depending on the day the queues can be long.
Opting for an organised excursion to the Wieliczka Salt Mines from Krakow makes everything easier and everything is designed so that you don't have to worry about any of these things - just have fun and let yourself go!
If the idea of taking an organised excursion to this beautiful monument appeals to you, I advise you to take a look at the post Excursions to the Salt Mines from Krakow where you will find more information on this topic and some interesting proposals.
2. Always book your tickets in advance
If I had to give you one piece of advice when visiting the Wieliczka Salt Mines as a family, it would be "don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today", especially when it comes to buying tickets.
As I said, this is a very famous monument in Krakow and every year almost 2 million people visit it. That's why it's vital to book your tickets as soon as possible if you don't want to be left without them after having travelled there (imagine the kids' disappointment!).
Nor do you have to queue endlessly at the ticket offices to get a place on the tours in Polish or English where, unless you understand the language, you'll miss the guide's explanations and the tour is no fun at all.
In this sense, my advice is to buy your tickets online to the Wieliczka Salt Mines, as you can compare schedules, availability, prices and types of routes (depending on the age of the kids there are some tours that combine the visit to the mines with Auschwithz, with a Christmas market or with Oskar Schindler's factory). In Hellotickets you will have many options to choose from and you will have the peace of mind of taking the tickets with you from home!
For more information you can read the post Tickets for the Salt Mines: prices and how to buy them.
3. Take advantage of reduced ticket prices for children
When we travel as a family, the price of the excursion is a fundamental factor in calculating the budget we will spend on an activity during a trip.
In the case of the Wieliczka Salt Mines, children up to the age of 4 are free, while for all other children aged 4 to 12 there are very reduced rates that compensate for this.
For example, in Hellotickets when you go to book your tickets you will have the option to select the age of the children, so that the reduced price you will have to pay for each one will be calculated automatically. It's practical, isn't it?
4. Protect them from the cold in the mines, even in summer!
Whether you visit the Wieliczka Salt Mines on your own or on an organised tour, the sightseeing tour through the depths takes about 2 hours.
As you can see, the tour is long and inside the mines it is quite cool even in summer because of the humidity. Temperatures range between 17ºC and 18ºC, so it is important to keep the children warm so that they do not get cold during the tour, regardless of the temperature outside.
Also, remember to wear comfortable shoes so that their feet don't hurt when walking and that the soles should be non-slip to avoid falls in areas where there is less light or where the ground is a little more slippery.
5. Go to the toilet before the tour starts
Before starting the Wieliczka Salt Mine Tour, it is essential to take the children to the toilets, as they are often surprised by the call of nature at the most unexpected moment.
You will find the toilets at the entrance to the Daniłowicza Well, but during the tour (40 and 90 minutes into the tour) there will also be a short break to go to other underground toilets so that you don't have to rush along the way.
6. Pack snacks in your backpack
Children are unpredictable. We don't know when they will want to take a break or get hungry. That's why it's always a good idea to pack some snacks and water in your backpack in case they get the munchies during your hike.
At the Drozdowice Chamber you will have a short break for a drink and you can also buy food and drink there, which will help you to keep them with enough energy to finish the tour.
7. Put them in context so they understand what they'll see
The inside of a mine may seem an atypical place to go on a family holiday but the truth is that it is a different and very original activity where children can let their imagination run wild and feel like a little explorer for a day. It will be something they will remember for the rest of their lives!
During the itinerary through the Wieliczka Salt Mines they will see incredible sites: beautiful salt lakes, curious rock formations and lots of underground chambers and galleries, each one more impressive than the last. The guide will also tell you many legends and curiosities that will leave you speechless - you will love it!
However, before arriving at the monument, you can give them a little preview of what they will see so that they have a better context and understand the visit better. In the post What to see in the Wieliczka Salt Mines you will find a summary that will help you.
8. Be careful with prams
If you are going to visit the Wieliczka Salt Mines with a baby, instead of opting for a pram I recommend taking a baby carrier as once the tour starts there is nowhere to leave the pram and you will encounter many steps along the way.