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Memorial and Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau
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Memorial and Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau: Tours & Tickets

See all tours & things to do in Memorial and Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau

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5 historical facts about Auschwitz-Birkenau

With the world distracted by war, the Nazis brutally reshaped the demographics of Europe in the south of Poland. The harrowing truth wasn't revealed until far too late, but here are a few of the many things you'll learn on your tour of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Auschwitz-Birkenau is just one camp in a complex

Auschwitz-Birkenau is just one camp in a complex

Auschwitz-Birkenau – or Auschwitz II – was used as a death camp from 1942, primarily for Jews. Auschwitz I had already been holding Polish political prisoners for two years.

It wasn't all run by the state

It wasn't all run by the state

There was a third camp too. Monowitz – or Auschwitz III – was set up to provide slave labor for IG Farben. The Allies dissolved the chemical company the war.

1.1 million were killed

1.1 million were killed

90% were Jews, but thousands of Poles, Romani, Soviets, Jehovah's Witnesses, and homosexuals also died at Auschwitz. As did prisoners from other nationalities.

The world had no idea

The world had no idea

Not even most Germans knew what was happening at the camps. Arrivals were met with the slogan "Work sets you free." In hindsight it's hard to say how convincing that actually was.

The camp commander went into hiding

The camp commander went into hiding

Disguised as a farmer in Gottrupel, Rudolf Höss evaded capture for a year after the war. In spite of his expressed remorsed, he was hung outside the camp's crematorium in 1947.

Our insider tips

What are the opening times?

The Auschwitz-Birkenau museum is open daily from 8am except for January 1st, December 25th, and Easter Sunday. It closes at 3pm from December to February, 4pm in March and November, 5pm in April and October, 6pm in May and September, and 7pm from June to August. The site can be accessed for free but it is advisable to take a tour. If you decide to do so, book your tickets in advance. The best ones fill up very quickly!

How to get there from Krakow?

The easiest way is simply to book an all-in-one tour that leaves from the city. Alternatively, inexpensive buses frequently leave from the basement floor of Krakow's main bus station. You can also take a train to the nearby town of Oświęcim.

When to visit?

Krakow is a wonderful city with a great deal of attraction to please tourists. Though Auschwitz may be an essential part of your trip, it can be emotionally overwhelming. We recommend that you leave it till last.

Good to know

  • When should I visit?
    8:00 AM - 3:00 PM December through February
    8:00 AM - 4:00 PM March, November
    8:00 AM - 5:00 PM April, October
    8:00 AM - 6:00 PM May, September
    8:00 AM - 7:00 PM June, July, August
  • Is it expensive?
    Basic entrance is free, but it is highly recommended take a tour which will have a cost depending on which one you choose.
  • Will I need a guide?
    It's not required but highly recommended. Best to book in advance online!
  • How to get there
    There are direct buses from Krakow. Alternatively, take the train to Oświęcim and then hop on local bus to the site.
  • Additional information
    Not recommended for children under 14.

What people are saying about Memorial and Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau

Overall rating
4.6 / 5
based on 35,134 reviews

Intriguing place, really felt bad for the tour guide!

It feels strange to leave a review for such a place. The tour started by going to the pick up location, this got a bit cramped as there are multiple tours departing at the same location at the same time, however the guide was great at guiding everyone to the right bus. Issues began when arriving at Auschwitz, the queue was horrendous due to an event taking place that morning, we ended up waiting over 2 hours in line before entering. This was absolutely no fault of the guide as they were not aware of the delays and tried to do everything they could to make the time pass. I was really disappointed inside the camp by the behaviour of other tourists, people taking selfies in prohibited areas and generally acting with a lack of respect. Please if you are thinking of visiting Auschwitz, remember to act appropriately! Sadly we only had 1.5 hours in the camp due to the wait, but the guide still got us to Birkenau even though we were behind on time! Thank you to the guide and the driver

Everything from start to finish was so well organised.

Our experience was very positive, every part of the tour was well organised and our guide Konrad was so passionate about every detail he spoke about. He was a fantastic guide and very happy we booked this tour. The coach was clean and comfortable, instructions were clear and precise. A very difficult tour emotionally but one everyone must do. I would recommend this tour as it was so informative but never without feeling from our guide he gave 100%. I will never forget this visit and it will stay with me and remind me how lucky I am. Thank you

The best choice for visiting Auschwitz-Birkenau

It was the best choice to book this tour. When we arrived at the museum there was a line of 500 meters or more with people waiting to buy a ticket. We skipped the line and the tour started immediately with an amazing guide. Also, they were on time picking us from the meeting point, a driver and a very gentle girl speaking amazing English. Furthermore, the group didn’t consist of many people and that was convenient! We are very pleased and we totally suggest it.

Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum Tour from Krakow Reviewed by

Excellent tour with a very knowledgeable and sensitive guide

Konrad was a superb guide . He Informed us of the detail of the day and was very well organised . His guided visit was fantastic and he dealt with the subject in a very sensitive way full of respect. He struck a balance between describing the horrors of the camps and talking about the hope for the future ! An excellent day .

Excellent experience; super knowledgable guide; very helpful staff

This was an extremely meaningful experience with a very efficient guide service and knowledgeable guide. We were profoundly moved by the museum's excellent preservation and rememberance of this historic time. Customer service efficiently resolved a change we had in transport.

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