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Staff stories: the ancient salt mines of Krakow

Take a peek at the UNESCO listed old town of Krakow, as well as its unique salt mine that plunges deep underground.


It's time for another Staff Stories! Our short haul product manager Dean, had the golden opportunity to join our customers on a trip to Poland's stunning second-largest city, Krakow. Take it away, Dean!

Our group had a really wonderful time on the Spirit of Krakow tour, thanks to the shining sun and of course, our tour manager Bev. The tour of the city - a combination of coach travel and walking - was certainly a highlight! This takes in the old Jewish quarter, Schindler’s factory, Wawel Castle, Cloth Hall, the central square, and of course, the Old Town.

The Old Town really is a wonderful place to take a morning stroll. Home to historically significant buildings built in a range of styles from Romanesque to Modernist, plus modern touches including bars and restaurants, the Old Town was the very first Polish site to achieve UNESCO World Heritage status.

 As for a place to lay our heads, our main accommodation, Hotel Wyspiański, was an excellent place for a city stay. It offer 24-hour room service, access for guests with a disability, and an optional buffet breakfast. It was just a quick stroll to Krakow's main square - so you could not find a more convenient base! Hotel Wyspiańskialso has a bar and restaurant, but there are plenty of options nearby.

What really stood out on the Krakow tour was the Wieliczka Salt Mine, an optional visit. Deep underground, this mine contains an incredible, mysterious labyrinth.

Wieliczka was constructed all the way back in the 13th century and was actually a working mine up until the 1990s, but was shut down due to gradual flooding that impeded the mining process. In the late 1970s, the mine achieved UNESCO World Heritage site... and it's clear to see why. This salt mine is one of Europe's oldest, and it also happens to boast an eclectic collection of tunnels, four chapels, lakes, and sculptures intricately carved by hard-working miners over the years. Just so you know, the visit involves approximately 800 steps and three miles of walking!

Another stop on the tour is Auschwitz, the largest German Nazi concentration camp. Obviously, this part of the tour can be quite an emotionally challenging experience, but it is a significant place to visit in order to understand the true atrocities of this time in history.

Plus the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum is a deeply informative and educational experience.

If you're curious to experience this wonderful, culturally rich part of Eastern Europe, our Krakow trip is for you. Find out more here.

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