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

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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 – 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

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

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

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

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.

Memorial and Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau: Our 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 to 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
  • What is the price?
    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 tips
    Not recommended for children under 14.

What People Are Saying about Memorial and Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau

The driver and Paulina were awesome . The tour guide was robotic

The driver and Paulina were awesome . The tour guide was robotic He was speaking very silently and used to walk very fast and start before everyone gathered Everything rushed, and too many people for one guide Go by yourself (its cheaper and a buy a book, definitely more information then the tour guy)

Salt mines tour was too crowded. 40ppl with only 1 guide. :(

Over all I'm very satisfied with the service. Michael (our driver and excellent tour guide during the ride) was great and very informative. He's very friendly and gave us many relevant info along the way. While jn Auschwitz we had another tour guide. He was excellent as well. Know the history and place very well and know also how to pass on yhe message. Which is the most crucial part of being a tour guide. We could hear him very clearly with receivers and headphones given. On the other hand, the salt mines tour guide was not that great. Her voice makes you sleep and message was not delivered as good as Auschwitz tour guide. Reason being could have been due to the fact that we were over 40 people during salt mines tour. So not her fault. Over all I'm very satisfied on the outcome of the whole day. Both places were very interesting and tour guides were very informative. Would definitely recommend this tour.

it was what bis was.A visit to na concentration camp

trip to and from venue was very comfortable and driver,Jacob was most pleasant.Guide at the venue was extremely articulate and knew her stuff.

Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum & Memorial Guided Tour by Minivan Reviewed by a GetYourGuide Customer, 02/07/2018

Great tour from very respectful guide Anya

The booking was easy to complete and the bus was waiting for us when we got to the bus stop. The tour guide Anya was fantastic and she really gave a personal guide to the day to day life of the concentration camp as well as knowing all the facts. She was happy to answer questions and despite the museum being busy and other groups right behind us was happy to wait so we all could get the feeling of each area. There is not much left at Birkenau but she really made the place come alive with the stories of particular inmates. A few things to note: there’s no eating inside the camps or on the coach and the break is only 10 minutes. There’s a shop but it will take you 10 minutes to get served. We saw a few small children on the tours and it really wasn’t practical or suitable for them. There were a couple of Japanese tourists taking selfies and posing, using the flash/photographing where prohibited which we found very distasteful but they were told repeatedly to stop.

Auschwitz-Birkenau Full-Day Guided Tour from Krakow Reviewed by Rachael, 02/07/2018

A very well explained and moving experience.

The entire trip was very well done and both the tour guide Rychart and Micheal were outstanding. Every step of the tour was well explained and detailed description of Auschwitz-Birkenau was given. We will definitely use this company again.

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