Exploring the Praid Salt Mine

Exploring the Praid Salt Mine

This salt mine can be found in the small Transylvanian commune of Praid, Harghita county. Due to the large quantities of salt found in the area, it was named the Land of Salt or Ținutul Sării în Romanian. 

This place is ideally to visit especially in the hot summer season. The temperature down in the mine is around 16 degrees Celsius.

Inside the Praid salt mine, at a depth of 120 meters, you will find a speleology and air therapy center for patients with respiratory conditions.

How do you reach the Praid salt mine?

Unfortunately you cannot travel to Praid by train anymore. A couple of years ago, the private operator suspended its passenger services between Bălăușeri and Praid. So the last stop on the Blaj to Praid railway line is Bălăușeri. Hopefully one day the passenger services will be resumed on the suspended railway segment.

Even though Praid has a charming train station, the last options to reach this place are either by car or bus. Depending on where you are coming from, the most important roads are passing through Praid.

The main roads are:

  • DN 13 A Bălăușeri – Sovata – Praid – Odorheiu Secuiesc – Miercurea Ciuc
  • DN 13 B Praid – Gheorgheni

If you arrive by car, then you will have an option to park your car close to mine. The parking lot is a paid one and you will find on the opposite side of the swimming pool.

The main entrance into the salt mine

This is the main entrance into the Praid salt mine. All the buses that take the tourists inside the mine are using the entrance from the photo below. As you can see, it’s illegal for the tourists to enter the mine.

If you stay close to the mine entrance then you will feel the cold air coming out from the depths of the mine. Along with the cold air, a very strong salt smell comes out too.

The main entrance into the salt mine.
Tourists disembark from the buses near the salt mine entrance.

Inside the salt mine

The entire bus ride from the surface until the final station in the mine takes approximately 10 minutes. The tunnel is 1250 meter long.

Once the bus reaches its final stop in the mine, all the tourists have to disembark. After that you will have to walk down the stairs in the section which is reserved for the tourists. After walking down the stairs, you will enter a very large chamber from where you can go to other larger chambers.

In the mine you will find many attractions, for example there are playing grounds for children, climbing possibilities, 3D cinema and amusement places. You will even find Wi-Fi connections as well.

Inside the Praid salt mine.

In one of the salt mine’s chamber you will find a smaller museum where you can discover many interesting things about the history of the entire mine. Also there are displayed some mining tools and equipment which once were used by the miners to extract this natural resource.

For example, you will see some equipment from the 19th century like carving picks, acetylene lamp and iron wedge.

Also you will find some mining tools from the 20th century like topographical instrument and many other smaller tools.

Old mining tools which once were used by the miners.

Besides the mining tools, you can also check out some of the products which were made of the salt extracted from Praid.

Some examples of products are: refreshing bath salts, Sulphur and iodized medicinal bath-salts, salt tablets, industrial salt and many other products.

Various products made out of salt.

The Chapel

Inside the mine you will also find a smaller ecumenical chapel which was consecrated in 1993. 

The chapel inside the Praid salt mine.
Tourists in the chapel
Large wooden cross behind the altar.

The restaurant

Deep in the mine there is a restaurant as well where you can serve a tasty meal.

The restaurant

Other touristic attractions to visit in the area:

  • The closest objective would be the small narrow gauge steam train or Mocănița Sovata in Romania which runs between the city of Sovata and Câmpu Cetății. Usually this trip will last approximately 2 hours. At Câmpu Cetății, where the locomotive is detached from the front of the train and attached the the back of the train.
  • The Red Lake – this lake can be found 75 km away from Praid, in the Hășmaș Mountains.
  • The Bicaz Gorge – one of the most popular gorges in Romania. The road which goes through the Bicaz gorge is actually the passageway between the regions of Transylvania and Moldova.
  • Another attraction in the area is the Bear Lake in Sovata.