You can go to the salt mine in Wieliczka (next to Krakow) even if you’re disabled, on a wheelchair, have trouble hiking or are after a surgery.
You have to keep a few things in mind, though, like reserving a spot and joining the proper group.
There are 2 tourist routes: the main one and a new & more extreme miner’s route. People with disabilities can go only on the first one.
The information in this article was given to me directly from the Salt Mine call center on 20 Jan 2018.
Wieliczka’s Main Tourist Route for disabled people
The main Tourist Route is available for people with disabilities, but you have to sign up & reserve a spot beforehand to join a disabled group. This route goes from the “Danilowicza” Shaft.
If you have any (even foreign) documents acknowledging that you indeed are disabled, you can buy a cheaper ticket for yourself (and your caretaker, if you have one) for 69 zł (PLN). If you don’t have a document, you will be charged the full price of 89 zł (PLN).
The tourist route for disabled is a bit shorter – it lasts 90 minutes and has no staircases to go through. You take elevators to go up and down. If you went with the standard tour, you’d start with a 400 stairs descent and go through another 400 stairs on the route itself, underground. So, if you have problems with your knees etc., just sign up for the easier tour.
You still get to see the main attractions of the salt mine, including the famous St. Kinga’s Chapel & an underground lake.
Disabled groups run 3 times a day at: 9:00, 12:45 & 17:00. The tour guides speak Polish or English, so be sure to sign up to an English-speaking group.
Can a disabled person go on the Miner’s Route?
The more extreme Miner’s Route (which starts at the “Regis” Shaft) is completely unavailable for people with disabilities, as this route requires dressing in miner’s clothes, taking some miner’s gear and walking in darkness on slippery terrain.
Wheelchairs in the Wieliczka Salt Mine
You can go to the salt mine on your own wheelchair, as long, as it’s not wider than 59 cm – that’s how large the entrance to the elevator is. If your wheelchair is wider, the salt mine has a few for you to use. Be sure to inform the salt mine that you want to rent their wheelchairs when reserving your spot – this quantity limitation is another reason why earlier booking is required for the disabled groups.
More information: Krakow Travel Guide for Disabled People
I’m writing a Krakow Travel Guide for Disabled People with handy tips, whether you’re using a wheelchair or just having problems with walking.
If you want to know more, you can call the salt mine directly at (+48) 12 278 73 02 or ask in the comments section below and I’ll do my best to help out!