Is it an underground space station? The set of a science science fiction movie? What comes to your mind when you see this scene?
Well…it’s nothing like that. On this photo you see a part of the Turda Salt Mine: just an underground theme park located in a 300 year old salt mine 😉
We read about the Turda Salt Mine on the blog of our friends of Biz Evde Yokuz. A couple from Istanbul that we met on the Transfagarasan Road and with whom we kept in touch ever since. They traveled all across Romania in an astonishing speed, and when we met they were just on their way to the airport to fly back home. Good for us slow travelers, that we could use their blog to find more places in Romania to visit. The Turda Salt Mine was one of those places we found on their blog.
Turda Salt Mine – What is it exactly?
Basically the Turda Salt Mina is a huge salt mine from the 17th century. It has been in use to gain table salt until the 1930’s. Since the nineties of the 20th century Salina Turda serves as a tourist destination. In 2008 it underwent a redesign and now it hosts a complete mining museum and entertainment centre. In the different rooms of the mine you can find an underground lake with rowing boats, a ferris wheel, bowling ranks, table tennis, a theatre and more.
Turda Salt Mine: Beauty Within
As the case usually is with mines, Salina Turda looks not so special on the outside. A huge parking lot, vendors selling touristy things and a ticket booth. After buying our tickets and while descending the stairs deep into the mine, we realized that this was something special. All the walls were made of salt, with a beautiful marble like pattern in it. Of course I could not resist taking a little lick to check if it’s really salty….. It was…
We kept meandering through a set of carved out hallways, climbed and descended steep stairs, observed old mining tools and were amazed by the amounts of salt sticking to every item in the mine. We arrived to a huge balcony. It was very deep….right under us was the first hall in the mine. The Rudolf Mine: 112 meters deep and hundreds of years old.
Descending all 13 floors was a great exercise. I tried not to think about the way back up yet. (Yes, there is an elevator but I was too proud to take it)
Next to the Rudolf Mine is the (according to myself) most impressive part of the Salt Mines. The Terezia Mine is a (again) huge cone shaped hall with an underground lake. This is the part where it seems like you landed on a science fiction film set. It’s full of interesting wooden structures, neon lights in different shapes and little boats floating on pitch black water.
Tips and facts for visiting Turda Salt Mine
- The opening hours of Turda Salt mine are every day from 9:00 to 17:00. (You can get in at 16:00 the latest)
- Our personal tip: Try to visit on a weekday. We first arrived on Sunday and encountered a packed parking lot and long lines by the door. We decided to come back the next day. On Monday morning we almost had the mines to ourselves. A much better experience!
- Bring something to drink and eat, because you can wander around for hours, but there is no food and rinks for sale inside the salt mine.
- By the entrance is a small cafe with some snacks and WiFi. A good place if you have some work to do.