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

Wieliczka is located just outside of town, about a 20 minute drive from Old Town. For visitors to Poland, it costs roughly $21 US a person for the basic tour. Tickets can be purchased in advance or at the mines, and they do take credit cards. If you aren’t booking in advance, I would recommend planning a tour earlier in the day, as the afternoon tours book up fast. The mines open at 8am. We arrived around 9am and didn’t have to wait very long.Parenthood and Passports - Krakow Poland

History of the Wieliczka Salt Mines

Centuries ago, salt was a major trading commodity. Before the age of refrigeration, salt was the only means of food preservation. So where there were salt mines, there was also great wealth. The Wieliczka have a rich and long history, all detailed in the guided tour and illustrated throughout the mines in beautiful sculptures carved our of salt rocks.Wieliczka salt mines with a baby or toddler - Parenthood and Passports

Touring the Wieliczka Salt Mines with a baby or toddler

Touring the salt mines in Poland is a great experience, but one we considered skipping since we were traveling with a toddler.

While it had its challenges, we still took our chances and booked the visit.Wieliczka salt mines with a baby or toddler - Parenthood and Passports

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.Wieliczka salt mines with a baby or toddler - Parenthood and Passports

What you need to know if visiting the Wieliczka salt mines with a baby or toddler

It’s cold
Keep in mind, you will be visiting a mine deep under the earth’s surface. It is cold in the mines and you need to dress you and your little one accordingly. No need to bundle up in coats and hats. But dress in long sleeves and pants. I wore a fleece pullover and was comfortable.Wieliczka salt mines with a baby or toddler - Parenthood and Passports
No strollers

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.Wieliczka salt mines with a baby or toddler - Parenthood and Passports

Tour length

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. Wieliczka salt mines with a baby or toddler - Parenthood and Passports

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.

Wieliczka salt mines with a baby or toddler - Parenthood and Passports
Pretending to lick the salt walls because our daughter thought it was funny.
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.

Parenthood and Passports - Poland's Salt Mines

16 thoughts on “Wieliczka salt mines with a baby or toddler”

  1. I was absolutely gutted I didn’t get to see these when in Krakow, and after reading your post I am even more so! I was told it looked a little like Gringotts from Harry Potter and your pictures really do look like that! I’d love to visit.

    1. It really is very cool to see. It’s amazing how many rooms they carved out with different statues and artwork all made of salt. If anything it’s just unique because I don’t know of another place like it in the world.

  2. Wieliczka Salt Mines was high on my list of places to go when I visited Krakow, but lack of spare funds and running out of time meant that I had to choose between this or Auschwitz. I went for Auschwitz, but would love to go back for the salt mines one day. Like Sam said, it looks like Gringotts and HP is always a win for me! I can only imagine how hard it would be to keep a toddler entertained in a place like this for three hours. My brother’s kids are hard enough to keep entertained during a 20 minute walk to the supermarket!

    1. They were really cool. I worried originally that our daughter would be creeped out going underground, but she enjoyed the new experience and loved being in the dimly lit mines. It really is a cool experience for anyone at any age

  3. Aww, Love your family shot, you’re little one has such a cute smile. We have a baby on the way so its great seeing some of the stuff you guys are doing with yours 🙂

  4. Your pics are still great inspite of the low lighting. I wouldnt ever tell if you hadnt mentioned that the lighting was low. Glad to see people travelling with kids.

  5. These are great tips. I wouldn’t think caves/mines would be stroller friendly as it is hard to change something that is naturally full of steps. I do agree that they would get bored as historical monuments and buildings aren’t usually interesting enough for their attention spans 🙂

  6. I never heard of the Wieliczka Salt Mines in Poland until now. You are brave to embark on the 3 hour long tour with your toddler, but it sounds like it was well worth it. Great tips. I don’t have a toddler of my own, but I can imagine snacks and some distractions would help out greatly.

  7. Its funny but I didnt know they used to mine Salt. I always thought they got it by drying off sea water. But anyway, your account is insightful and especially helpful for parents. It looks like a unique experience

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