"Wieliczka" Salt Mine#6 in Best Things To Do in Krakow
The "Wieliczka" Salt Mine, a UNESCO World Heritage site, stopped churning out salt in 2007 after centuries of production, but it continues to be a major draw for visitors due to its collection of meticulously carved statues.
The mine's unquestioned highlight is St. Kinga's Chapel, a full-scale underground temple made out of salt. But be prepared for a walk. During a standard tour of the property, you'll traverse 800 steps, 350 of which are part of your initial descent. Travelers also caution that upon completing your tour, you'll face an additional trek to reach the elevator to the exit.
"Wieliczka" Salt Mine is located in Wieliczka, about 9 miles from the center of Kraków. It can be reached by driving, hailing a taxi, taking the train to Wieliczka Rynek Kopalnia station or riding the No. 304 bus to Wieliczka Kopalnia Soli. You can also join an organized tour offered by companies like Visit-Cracow.com and Escape2Poland; prices start at about $35 per person and include admissions. Fees apply for parking in one of the on-site garages; other available facilities include restrooms, cafes and gift shops.
Standard tickets cost 84 Polish zloty ($23) per person, though fees are raised to 89 Polish zloty ($24) between April 29 and May 3 and from July through August. A family pass – which covers two adults and two children – is also available for 232 or 247 Polish zloty ($63 or $67). Reduced rates are offered for disabled visitors and children ages 4 to 16; additional charges apply for taking photos or touring two routes in one day. All basic tickets include a guided tour of the Tourist Route. English tours are provided every half-hour from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily; additional tour times are occasionally offered. Find out more by visiting the property's website.
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#1 Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum
A 42-mile trip west of Kraków, the brutal, crushing concentration and extermination camps of Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II-Birkenau are located in the city of Oswiecim. More than 1.1 million people died in these camps' barracks, hospitals, gas chambers and labor fields.
Travelers say the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum is one of Europe's best preserved concentration camps. These camps, many add, are an important piece of history, although you'll feel emotional during your tour. As such, this locale is not ideal for younger children. Plan on bringing water and wearing comfortable walking shoes since you'll cover a lot of ground here. Also, reserve your timed entry passes and guided tours on the property's booking page well in advance.
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