Tag: Krakow

Tag: Krakow

Wieliczka Salt Mine

Wieliczka Salt Mine in Poland: A Unique World Heritage Site

Located in the town of Wieliczka, just outside of Krakow, the Wieliczka Salt Mine is a fascinating underground labyrinth that has been in continuous operation since the 13th century. This remarkable site has been recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, and it is easy to see why. With its intricate network of tunnels, underground lakes, and chambers, the Wieliczka Salt Mine offers visitors a unique and unforgettable experience.

Wieliczka Salt Mine

If you are travelling to Krakow for dental treatment and have some time for tourism, then a visit to Wieliczka Salt Mine is highly recommended. It is one of Poland’s most popular underground attractions.

The History of the Wieliczka Salt Mine

The Wieliczka Salt Mine has a long and storied history, stretching back over 700 years. In the Middle Ages, salt was an incredibly valuable commodity, and the Wieliczka mine was one of the most important sources of this vital mineral in Europe. Over the centuries, the mine has been expanded and modernized, and it continued to produce salt until as recently as 2007.

Today, the Wieliczka Salt Mine is no longer a working mine, but it is open to the public as a tourist attraction. Visitors can take a guided tour through the mine’s various levels, learning about the history of salt mining in the region and seeing some of the remarkable sights that lie beneath the earth’s surface.

What to Expect on a Visit to the Wieliczka Salt Mine

A visit to the Wieliczka Salt Mine is a unique and unforgettable experience. The tour takes visitors on a journey through the mine’s labyrinthine tunnels, which stretch for over 300 kilometres. Along the way, visitors will see a wide range of remarkable sights, including underground lakes, chapels, and even a ballroom.

One of the highlights of the tour is the Chapel of St. Kinga, an underground chamber that has been carved entirely out of salt. This breath-taking space is adorned with intricate carvings and sculptures, and it is a testament to the skill and craftsmanship of the miners who worked in the mine over the centuries.

Another must-see sight in the Wieliczka Salt Mine is the Salt Lake, a vast underground lake that is surrounded by walls of salt. Visitors can take a boat ride on the lake, which is a truly unique and unforgettable experience.

In addition to these remarkable sights, visitors to the Wieliczka Salt Mine can also learn about the history of salt mining in the region and see a wide range of artifacts and exhibits that tell the story of this fascinating industry.

Wieliczka Salt Mine

Wieliczka Salt Mine Sculptures

The oldest sculptures were carved out of rock salt by miners; more recent figures have been fashioned by contemporary artists. Even the crystals of the chandeliers are made from rock salt that has been dissolved and reconstituted to achieve a clear, glass-like appearance. The rock salt is naturally grey in various shades, so that the carvings resemble unpolished granite rather than the white or crystalline look that many visitors expect. The carvings may appear white in the photos, but the actual carved figures are not white.

At the end of the tour, there is a large cathedral and reception room that can be reserved for private functions such as weddings or private parties. Also featured is a large chamber with walls carved to resemble wooden chapels built by miners in earlier centuries; an underground lake; and exhibits on the history of salt mining. The Wieliczka mine is often referred to as “the Underground Salt Cathedral of Poland.” It also houses a private rehabilitation and wellness complex.

To get down to the 64-metre level of the mine, visitors must descend a wooden stairway of 378 steps. After the 3km tour of the mine’s corridors, chapels, statues and lake, 135 metres underground, visitors take an elevator back up to the surface. The elevator holds 36 persons (nine per car) and takes some 30 seconds to reach the surface.

The temperature inside the mine is a constant 14°C and the humidity is around 75%, making it a perfect environment to preserve the salt. It has a number of different salt deposits, including grey, white, and red. The majority of the salt is mined from the grey deposits, which are mainly found on the lower levels.

A visit to the Wieliczka Salt Mine is a truly magical experience. As you explore its underground chambers, you will be surrounded by its history and beauty, and you will be inspired by the amazing craftsmanship and engineering that went into its construction. If you ever find yourself in Poland, the Wieliczka Salt Mine should certainly be at the top of your list.

Wieliczka Salt Mine

Getting there

Getting to the Wieliczka Salt Mines from Krakow shouldn’t prove too difficult or expensive. Regular buses run from the top of Starowislna Street opposite the Main Post Office, taking around forty minutes to get there. Be warned that buses are a little cramped and we advise you check departure details at one of Krakow’s tourist information offices as these routes chop and change quite a bit. You’re best asking a friendly Pole where to get off too, as this is a public bus not a tourist service.

Dental tourism in Krakow

Krakow is the most popular tourist destination in Poland, and this supports a lot of the local economy. Kraków Airport (also known as John Paul II International Airport) is the main airport, located in Balice, about 12 km to the west of the centre. It is the second biggest airport in Poland. Krakow has many excellent dental clinics and dentists and is a very popular dental tourism destination – more information


The Wieliczka Salt Mine is a unique and unforgettable destination that offers visitors a chance to explore the remarkable underground world of salt mining. With its intricate network of tunnels, underground lakes, and chapels, the Wieliczka Salt Mine is a testament to the ingenuity and skill of the miners who worked there over the centuries. Whether you are interested in history, architecture, or just want to experience something truly unforgettable, a visit to the Wieliczka Salt Mine is an absolute must.

For detailed tourist information about Poland, visit our travel partner, the Poland Travel Agency.

Tours of Wieliczka Salt Mine


Polish culture

Polish culture – Rich, diverse & steeped in history

Polish culture is rich, diverse and steeped in history. It is a fusion of various traditions, customs, and religions, with influences from neighbouring countries, including Germany, Russia, Ukraine, and the Czech Republic. Poland is located in Central Europe and is the sixth most populous member of the European Union.

Polish culture is closely connected with its intricate 1000-year history & Kraków is considered by many to be the cultural capital of Poland. On this page, we provide a very brief introduction to Polish culture so that you can better understand the locals.

Language and Literature

The official language of Poland is Polish, which is a West Slavic language. The Polish language has a rich literary tradition, and Polish literature has produced many world-renowned writers such as Wisława Szymborska, Henryk Sienkiewicz, Czesław Miłosz, and Adam Mickiewicz. Poetry, in particular, is an essential part of the Polish literary tradition. The works of Mickiewicz and Krzysztof Kamil Baczyński have inspired generations of poets, and their legacy continues to influence contemporary poets. Kraków has some of the best museums in the country and several famous theatres. It became the residence of two Polish Nobel laureates in literature: Wisława Szymborska and Czesław Miłosz, while a third Nobel laureate, the Yugoslav writer Ivo Andric also lived and studied there. It is also a home to one of the world’s oldest universities, the Jagiellonian University of Kraków.

Polish culture

Music and Dance

Poland has a rich musical heritage, and traditional music is an integral part of Polish culture. Folk music is diverse and includes a wide range of instruments, such as the accordion, fiddle, and dulcimer. Polish folk dance is also an important aspect of Polish culture, with the most popular being the polonaise, mazurka, and krakowiak. These dances are often performed in colourful regional costumes and are an important part of traditional festivals and celebrations.

The music of Poland has a long history and is inextricably linked with Polish culture. Fryderyk Chopin, inspired by Polish tradition and folklore, conveys the quintessence of Romanticism. Since 1927, the International Frederick Chopin Piano Competition has been held every five years in Warsaw.

Polish classical music is also represented by composers like Karol Szymanowski, Mieczyslaw Karlowicz, Witold Lutoslawski, Wojciech Kilar, Henryk Mikolaj Gorecki, and Krzysztof Penderecki – all of whom rank among the world’s most celebrated composers.

Contemporary Polish jazz with its special national flavour has fans and followers in many countries.

Artists from Poland, including famous composers like Chopin or Penderecki and traditional, regionalised folk musicians, create a lively and diverse music scene, which even recognises its own music genres, such as poezja śpiewana (sung poetry) and disco polo.

Poland is one of the few countries in Europe where rock and hip hop dominate over pop music, while all kinds of alternative music genres are encouraged.

Poland has always been a very open country to new music genres and even before the fall of communism, music styles like rock, metal, jazz, electronic, and New Wave were well-known. Since 1989, the Polish scene has exploded with new talents and a more diverse style.

Poland has a very active underground extreme metal music scene. Some of the bands that have heralded and helped the cause are Behemoth, Vader, Yattering, Decapitated, Indukti, Hate, and Lux Occulta. This has paved ground for a large underground movement.

Art and Architecture

Polish art and architecture are known for their rich history and distinct style. Poland has many beautiful cities, and the architecture is a mix of Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, and Art Nouveau styles. The city of Krakow is home to many well-preserved examples of Gothic architecture, including the famous Wawel Castle. Warsaw, the capital city, was almost entirely destroyed during World War II but has been rebuilt with much care and attention, including the reconstruction of the Old Town. Polish art is also highly regarded, with famous artists such as Stanisław Wyspiański and Józef Chełmoński contributing to the country’s artistic legacy.


Polish cuisine is hearty, flavorful, and often includes meat and potatoes. Traditional dishes include pierogi, which are dumplings filled with cheese, potatoes, or meat, and bigos, a stew made with sauerkraut, meat, and spices. Poland is also known for its bread, with many varieties available, including the traditional obwarzanek and the sweet brioche-like babka. In recent years, Polish cuisine has gained more international recognition, and restaurants serving modern takes on traditional dishes can be found in major cities around the world.

Religion and Festivals

Poland is predominantly Catholic, and the Catholic Church has played a significant role in shaping the country’s history and culture. The most important religious holiday is Easter, with many traditions and customs associated with the holiday, including the blessing of Easter baskets and the making of Easter eggs. Other important festivals include All Saints’ Day, which is a day of remembrance for the dead, and St. John’s Eve, which celebrates the summer solstice with bonfires and traditional rituals.

Older Polish people are strongly religious while younger thirty-somethings tend to be medium religious (attending church on major catholic holidays) or not at all religious. The so-called ‘Generation JP2’ (JP2 is short for John Paul II), people between the age of 16 and roughly 25, tend to establish a neo-conservative look on religion in Poland, just like Americans did in the ’80.

The vast majority of youngsters remain officially catholic and occasionally go to church, but in fact do not give much attention to religion. During Easter, the churches have a lot of ceremonies and are very well visited by the locals. Saturday evening is for candlelight ceremonies outside the churches.

The Black Madonna of Częstochowa is a holy icon of the Virgin Mary, that is both Poland’s holiest relic and one of the country’s national symbols.

Because of the Black Madonna, Częstochowa is regarded as the most popular shrine in Poland, with many Polish Catholics making a pilgrimage there every year. Often, people will line up on the side of the road to hand provisions to the pilgrims as those who walk the distance to Częstochowa walk the entire day and have little means to get things for themselves.

Regular stores are closed during main religious holidays (25th & 26th of December, Easter Sunday, and Monday), other holidays may mean shorter working hours.


Some men, particularly older men, may kiss a woman’s hand when greeting or saying goodbye. Kissing a woman’s hand is considered to be chivalrous, but you will not go wrong shaking hands. For a more heartfelt greeting or goodbye, close friends of either sex will kiss three times, alternating cheeks.

A fairly common practice is for people to greet each other with a dzień dobry (good day) when entering elevators, or at the very least, saying do widzenia (goodbye) when exiting the elevator. It is usual to bring a gift when invited to someone’s home. Flowers are always a good choice. Florists’ kiosks are ubiquitous; be sure to get an odd number of flowers, as an even number is associated with funerals.

It is customary to hold doors and chairs for women. Poles are generally old-fashioned about gender etiquette. Men should not wear hats indoors, in particular when entering a church. Most restaurants, museums, and other public buildings have a cloakroom, and people are expected to leave bags and outerwear there.

It is advisable to refer to Poland (as well as to some other countries like Czech Republic, Slovakia, or Hungary) as Central Europe, and not Eastern Europe. Although not very offensive, if used, it may reflect foreigners’ ignorance and certain disrespect on the history and clearly Latin cultural heritage of the countries from the region. Poles themselves refer to the “old” EU west of its borders as “Zachód” (West) and to the states created after the break-up of the USSR as “Wschód” (East). Geographically this is borne out by drawing a line from the tip of Norway to Greece and from the Urals to the coast of Portugal. For better or worse, Poland remains at the cross-roads of Europe, right in the continent’s center.

In conclusion, Polish culture is a rich tapestry of traditions, customs, and influences from neighboring countries. From literature to music, art, and cuisine, Poland has much to offer, and its cultural heritage is celebrated and cherished by people all around the world.


Poland tourist information

Welcome to Poland

Welcome to the Poland tourist information webpage! Poland is a beautiful country located in central Europe with a rich history and culture. From medieval towns and castles to modern cities and stunning natural landscapes, Poland has something for everyone. Whether you’re interested in exploring the bustling cities, enjoying the countryside, or discovering the country’s history, Poland offers a wide range of attractions and experiences.

In this webpage, you’ll find all the information you need to plan your trip to Poland, including top destinations, cultural events, practical travel information, and more. So, get ready to explore Poland and discover all the wonders this country has to offer!

Poland tourist information

Poland Travel Agency

Welcome to the Poland Travel Agency. Whether you’re planning a romantic getaway, a family vacation, or a business trip, we’ve got you covered with a wide range of tour options, affordable flights, comfortable hotels, and insider tips to help you make the most of your visit.

Discover the rich culture, history, and natural beauty of Poland with our personalized tour packages, explore the vibrant cities, and indulge in the delicious local cuisine. With our help, you’ll be able to create a truly memorable experience in one of Europe’s most fascinating countries. Browse our website to start planning your next adventure today!

Discover the beauty of the Old Town of Krakow, the historic Wieliczka Salt Mine, and the charming architecture of Gdansk. Explore the culture, try traditional Polish dishes such as pierogi and bigos, and learn about the country’s fascinating history. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveller, this website will provide you with all the information you need to plan your trip to Poland.

Explore Poland with us and discover why it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe.

Poland tourist information

Discover Poland

Our mission at the Poland Travel Agency is to help you to discover Poland – the cities, the towns, the countryside, the culture, the people, and much more. There are many reasons why Poland is a good vacation destination. Here are a few:

1. Cultural attractions: Poland has a rich and varied cultural heritage, with many historic landmarks, museumstraditions, and cultural events to explore.

2. Natural beauty: Poland is home to a range of natural landscapes, from the beautiful Tatra Mountains in the south to the sandy beaches of the Baltic Sea in the north.

3. Affordable prices: Poland is generally an affordable country to visit, with a range of accommodation options to suit different budgets.

4. Good food: Polish cuisine is hearty and delicious, and the country is known for its traditional dishes such as pierogi (dumplings) and kielbasa (sausage).

5. Friendly people: Poland is known for its friendly and welcoming people, who are happy to help visitors explore their country and learn about its culture.

Overall, Poland is a great destination for anyone looking to experience a unique and fascinating culture, while enjoying beautiful natural surroundings and affordable prices.

Tours & Experiences


Things to do in Krakow

What to do, what to see?

Anyone who has spent even a few days in Krakow, Poland knows how much the city has to offer. Many tourists leave the city with the majority of her treasures left undiscovered. There simply isn’t enough time to cover them all. If you are in Krakow for a limited time, then below you will find our recommendations for things to do in Krakow and places that you should visit.


  • Walk the entire Royal Way, from St. Florian’s Gate, down Florianska, across the Rynek Glowny, down Grodzka to the Wawel castle.
  • Listen to the Hejnal Mariacki (Trumpet Signal) while sipping a coffee in the Rynek Glowny. The signal is played live every full hour and is cut suddenly in memory of a trumpeter shot and killed by a Tatar arrow in 1241.
  • Walk around the Planty, a large park that surrounds the entire Old Town.
  • At Wawel Castle, lounge and take in the sun on the banks of the Vistula River or take a cruise down the river. See the Dragon’s Lair and see the dragon breathe fire.
  • Early on Sunday, go shopping at the open-air flea markets at Plac Nowy and Hala Targowa.
  • See a bit of UNESCO World Heritage and do Auschwitz and Salt mine tours.


Town Hall Tower

Town Hall Tower is one of the main focal points of the Main Market Square in the Old Town district of Krakow. The Tower is the only remaining part of the old Town Hall demolished in 1820 as part of the city plan to open up the Main Square. Its cellars once housed a city prison with a Medieval torture chamber. Built of stone and brick at the end of the 13th century, the massive Gothic tower of the early Town Hall stands 70 meters tall and leans just 55 cm, the result of a windstorm in 1703. The top floor of the tower with an observation deck is open to visitors.

Churches of Krakow

The metropolitan city of Krakow, former capital of Poland, is known as the city of churches. The abundance of landmark, historic Roman Catholic churches along with the plenitude of monasteries and convents earned the city a countrywide reputation as the “Northern Rome” in the past. The churches of Krakow comprise over 120 Roman Catholic places of worship, of which over 60 were built in the 20th century. They remain the centres of religious life for the local population and are attended regularly.

Krakow Barbican

The Krakow Barbican is a fortified outpost and gateway leading into Krakow’s Old Town. It is one of the few remaining relics of the complex network of fortifications and defensive barriers that once encircled the city. It currently serves as a tourist attraction and venue for many multidisciplinary exhibitions. Based on Arabic rather than European defensive architecture, this masterpiece of medieval military engineering, with its circular fortress, was added to the city’s fortifications along the coronation route in the late 15th century.

Church of St. Casimir the Prince

The Church of St. Casimir the Prince with the adjacent Franciscan monastery and the catacombs is located at ul. Reformacka 4 in the Old Town district (Stare Miasto). Members of the Catholic Order of Franciscans known as “Little Brothers” arrived in Krakow in 1622 and settled at the outskirts of the town in Garbary (1625). Their church was completed in 1640 thanks to a donation from Zuzanna Amendówna, bequeathed around 1644 along with the miracle painting of Madonna displayed today at the side altar of the new church.

Krakow Old Town

Krakow Old Town is the central, historic district of Krakow, Poland. It is the most prominent example of an Old Town in the country, because for many centuries, Krakow was the royal capital of Poland, until Sigismund III Vasa relocated the court to Warsaw in 1596. Krakow’s historic centre was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1978. Medieval Krakow was surrounded by a 1.9 mile (3 km) defensive wall complete with 46 towers and seven main entrances leading through them. The fortifications around the Old Town were erected over the course of two centuries. Today the Old Town attracts visitors from all over the World and should definitely be on your things to do in Krakow list.


The Renaissance Sukiennice (Cloth Hall, Drapers’ Hall) in Krakow is one of the city’s most recognisable icons. It was once a major centre of international trade. Traveling merchants met there to discuss business and to barter. During its golden age in the 15th century, Sukiennice was the source of a variety of exotic imports from the East – spices, silk, leather and wax – while Krakow itself exported textiles, lead, and salt from the Wieliczka Salt Mine. The Hall has hosted countless distinguished guests over the centuries and is still used to entertain monarchs and dignitaries.

Main Market Square

The Main Market Square in Krakow is the main square of the Old Town and a principal urban space located at the centre of the city. It dates back to the 13th century and at roughly 40,000sq m (430,000sq ft) it is the largest medieval town square in Europe. The centre of the square is dominated by the cloth hall Sukiennice, rebuilt in 1555 in the Renaissance style, topped by a beautiful attic or Polish parapet decorated with carved masks.

Things to do Krakow

Royal Road

The Royal Road or Royal Route in Krakow begins at the northern end of the medieval Old Town and continues south through the centre of town towards the Wawel Hill, where the old kings’ residence, the Wawel Castle is located. The Royal Road passes some of the most prominent historic landmarks of Poland’s royal capital, providing suitable background to coronation processions and parades, the kings’ and princes’ receptions, foreign envoys and guests of distinction traveling from a far country to their destination at Wawel. The Royal Road starts outside the northern flank of the old city walls in the medieval suburb of Kleparz, now a central district of Krakow.

For further information about the city of Kraków, please visit our travel partner, Poland Travel Agency.

See the top 10 things to do in Kraków.

Tours & Experiences

Editor’s pick