Auschwitz, the largest Nazi concentration and extermination camp of World War II, has become a solemn memorial to an incredibly dark chapter in history. However, it is also important to remember that this site is not just a place of tragedy, but also one of education and remembrance. Despite its haunting past, Auschwitz is a popular tourist destination today, drawing visitors from around the world who come to pay their respects and gain a deeper understanding of the events that took place there. This post will highlight some of the best attractions and things to do in Auschwitz, giving you the information you need to make the most of your visit.
1. Krakow Auschwitz Birkenau and Wieliczka Salt Mine Day Trip
Our day trip offers the chance to visit two of the most significant locations in the region, Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum and Wieliczka Salt Mine, without the added stress of purchasing tickets or finding transportation. Enjoy a guided tour of both locations, with a break in between to enjoy a lunch box included in the tour price. The Wieliczka Salt Mine is a breathtaking attraction featuring stunning underground salt tunnels, intricate handcrafted chapels, and remarkable underground lakes. Our expert guide will help you learn about the history of the mine, which is the only facility continuously in operation for over 700 years. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience you won’t want to miss.
2. From Krakow Wieliczka Salt Mine Auschwitz Guided Trip
Join a full-day guided tour to visit two of the most popular attractions near Krakow: Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum and Wieliczka Salt Mine. With hotel pickup and transport already included, you won’t have to worry about anything. The tour offers a range of group sizes, from 20 to 40 people, to suit your preference.
During the tour, you’ll meet experienced licensed guides who will share the history and facts of both sites. At Auschwitz I, you’ll start by walking through the infamous entrance gate, barracks, and the railway platform. You’ll then visit Auschwitz II, also known as Birkenau, which is one of the most notorious extermination camps during World War II.
After completing the tour of Auschwitz-Birkenau, you’ll then head to Wieliczka Salt Mine, where dozens of sculptures and bas-reliefs carved from salt rock await you. You’ll have the chance to marvel at the beautiful underground chapel, the salt lake, and other unique salt formations.
Whether you’re a history enthusiast or simply interested in the attractions surrounding Krakow, this full-day guided tour is the perfect way to explore and immerse yourself in the rich history and culture of the area.
3. Auschwitz Birkenau Museum Entrance Transport Guide
Explore the atrocities and dark history of the Holocaust during World War II with a poignant tour of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum. With a pre-booked entrance ticket and roundtrip transfer from your Krakow hotel, arrive at the Auschwitz I Museum and embark on an informative walking tour with a licensed guide. See original buildings, artifacts, remains of barracks, watchtowers, and crematoriums while listening to the guide’s commentary via the provided headset. Commemorate the camp’s victims and hear stories of survival as you learn about the ghastly Nazi crimes committed in the camps.
4. Auschwitz Birkenau Fast Track Entry Pass and Guided Tour
Funded by the Nazi party in 1940, Auschwitz-Birkenau became one of the largest concentration camps during World War II. With a professional licensed guide provided by the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum, you’ll learn about the history and witness the remains of the Holocaust. Your host will meet you at the entrance of the museum where you’ll get fast-track entrance to Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II Birkenau after passing through the security check. The visit takes approximately 1 hour 20 minutes to 1 hour 50 minutes. Between the first and second part there will be a 10-15 minute break when you can eat your lunch. After the break, you’ll board a bus for the second part, a visit of Auschwitz. See the main gate to Auschwitz, visit the original barracks, and the ruins of the gas chamber. This is an experience you won’t forget.
FAQs About Visiting Auschwitz: Everything You Need to Know
If you’re planning on visiting Auschwitz, it’s important to have as much information as possible before you go. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about visiting Auschwitz.
What Is Auschwitz?
Auschwitz was a complex of concentration and extermination camps built and operated by Nazi Germany during World War II. It is located in the Polish town of Oswiecim, about 37 miles west of Krakow.
What Is the Best Way to Get to Auschwitz?
The most convenient way to get to Auschwitz is by taking a guided tour. Most tours depart from Krakow and include transportation to and from Auschwitz. Alternatively, you can take a train or bus from Krakow to Oswiecim and then take a shuttle or taxi to the memorial site.
Can You Visit Auschwitz Without a Guide?
No, it is not possible to visit Auschwitz without a guide. The site is a memorial to the victims of the Holocaust, and guided tours help ensure that visitors act with sensitivity and respect.
How Long Should You Plan to Spend at Auschwitz?
Most guided tours of Auschwitz last between 6 and 8 hours, including round-trip transportation from Krakow. This is enough time to fully explore the memorial site and learn about its history.
What Should You Wear when Visiting Auschwitz?
Visitors should dress appropriately for the weather, as much of the tour occurs outdoors. It is also recommended to dress in a respectful manner, avoiding revealing clothing or clothing with offensive slogans.
Can You Take Photos at Auschwitz?
Yes, you can take photos at Auschwitz, but it’s important to do so respectfully. Photos are not allowed inside the buildings, and visitors are asked to refrain from taking selfies or other inappropriate photos.
Is Auschwitz Suitable for Children?
While the subject matter of Auschwitz may not be appropriate for very young children, the site can be a powerful learning experience for older children and teenagers. It’s important to talk to your children about the history of the site before visiting to help them understand its significance.
Are There Any Restrictions on What You Can Bring to Auschwitz?
Visitors are not allowed to bring large backpacks or bags into Auschwitz. It is recommended to bring only the essentials, such as a camera, water bottle, and any necessary medications.
Is Auschwitz Accessible for Individuals with Disabilities?
While Auschwitz is not fully accessible, the memorial site has made significant efforts to be more accessible in recent years. Wheelchairs and walking aids are available for free use, and there are accessible toilets and parking spaces.
What Should You Expect on a Guided Tour of Auschwitz?
Guided tours of Auschwitz typically include a visit to both Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II-Birkenau, as well as the Museum and the Memorial. Your guide will provide detailed information about the history of the site and answer any questions you may have.
How Can You Book a Guided Tour of Auschwitz?
Most guided tours of Auschwitz can be booked online through various travel agencies and websites. It’s important to book in advance, as tours often fill up quickly.
What Should You Do to Prepare for Your Visit to Auschwitz?
It’s important to educate yourself about the history of Auschwitz before your visit. This can help you understand the significance of the site and make the most of your experience. It’s also recommended to read reviews of various guided tours and choose the one that best suits your interests and needs.
How to Spend Your Time as a Tourist in Auschwitz
When visiting Auschwitz, it is important to approach the experience with an open mind and heart. This site represents one of the darkest moments in human history, and it is crucial to understand and respect its significance. With that in mind, here are some practical tips for spending your time as a tourist in Auschwitz.
1. Book Your Tickets in Advance
As one of the most popular tourist destinations in Poland, Auschwitz often has long lines and waits. There are a limited number of visitors allowed per day, so it is best to book your tickets in advance. The official website of Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum allows visitors to book up to three months in advance. It is important to note that the tickets are specific to a particular date and time, and cannot be changed.
2. Take a Guided Tour
While it is possible to visit Auschwitz on your own, taking a guided tour can greatly enhance your experience. Guides are knowledgeable about the history and significance of the site, and can provide context and insight that may not be immediately apparent. There are several tour options available, including group tours, private tours, and audio-guided tours. It is recommended to book your tour in advance alongside your tickets to ensure availability.
3. Dress Appropriately
Auschwitz is a place of solemnity and respect, and visitors are expected to dress accordingly. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes, as there is a significant amount of walking involved. It is also appropriate to wear respectful clothing – avoid anything too revealing, provocative or inappropriate for a religious site.
4. Learn About the History Beforehand
It is important to have a basic understanding of the history of Auschwitz before visiting. The site was originally constructed as a concentration camp during World War II, and later became the location of the largest mass murder in history – the Holocaust. Learning about the Nazi ideology that led to these crimes against humanity will help you better comprehend the historical significance of what you are seeing.
5. Be Respective Towards the Site
As mentioned before, Auschwitz is a site of great significance and should be approached with respect. Visitors should not bring any food, drinks, or smoking paraphernalia to the site. In addition, taking photographs or selfies in inappropriate places or poses is not allowed on account of the site’s remembrance function.
6. Take Your Time
The Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum covers a large area and contains many exhibitions and memorials. It is important to give yourself enough time to fully immerse yourself in the experience. Plan to spend at least three to four hours at the site to ensure that you don’t miss anything important.
7. Reflect and Process Afterwards
Visiting Auschwitz can be an emotionally challenging experience, so it is important to take time to reflect and process afterwards. Consider discussing the visited sites with others, writing in a journal, or taking reflection walk in the calming Birkenau forest.
Book Your Tour Now
Visiting Auschwitz is an experience like no other. It is important to approach the site with the seriousness and respect it deserves, and to take advantage of the many resources available to enhance your understanding of its significance. By following these tips and guidelines, you can make the most of your time as a tourist in Auschwitz while also honorably remember the horrific history of this symbolic site.