The Wieliczka salt mines are a popular attraction for visitors to Kraków, Poland. Visiting the Wieliczka Salt Mines with a baby or toddler can be done, but parents should be well prepared.
Visiting the Wieliczka Salt Mines
History of the Wieliczka Salt Mines
Touring the Wieliczka Salt Mines with a baby or toddler
While it had its challenges, we still took our chances and booked the visit.
The only way to visit the Wieliczka salt mines is on a guided tour. We typically avoid guided tours like the plague right now because toddlers are unpredictable and often (always) unruly. But we made an exception to visit this popular and historical attraction made entirely of salt.
What you need to know if visiting the Wieliczka salt mines with a baby or toddler
The mines are not stroller friendly. There are lots and lots of stairs. Don’t worry, you only have to walk down them. You’ll take an elevator out at the end. But with that said, a stroller won’t work. Even though our toddler was old enough to walk at the time, my husband wore her in a child carrier. It made the tour much easier, kept her contained, and luckily loves being in the “pack”, as we affectionately call it. There is a lot of walking, so be prepared to wear or carry your child for at least part of the way.
Touring the Wieliczka salt mines takes approximately three hours. And once you start the guided tour, you’re committed. There is no place to bail out early if your child gets fussy. So plan accordingly. We brought snacks, an iPhone loaded with cartoons and a stuffed animal. Still, our daughter got a little fussy during the tour. We hung back and stayed toward the back of the tour. Although the guide is with you the entire time, you listen to him speak on a headset, so luckily our fussy toddler was my causing too much of a disruption… except for us.
Kids will get bored
You may find the mines fascinating and remarkably beautiful, but your kids won’t appreciate the age-old carvings and lessons in Polish history. They will probably like the tour for a little while because it’s something new and unique, but toddlers especially will get bored. So be prepared and find creative ways to make the tour fun for them, as well.
Other things to know about a salt mines tour
There are stands outside the mines that sell food and drinks, as well as a snack bar and gift shop half way through the tour, and a restaurant and another gift shop at the end of the tour. There are also bathrooms at the halfway point.
Photography is also an issue. You have to pay extra to bring a camera inside, and the lighting is dim in most places and you’re constantly moving, which made it difficult to truly capture quality photos.