Memorial and Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau
Enter your dates to find available activities
Top pick

Memorial and Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau: Tours & Tickets

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

Top sights in Krakow

See all 417 tickets & tours

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

Absolutely amazing from start to finish!

First rate trip Peter was so helpful as were our guides, we will definitely recommend you to our friends. Thank you all so much

Incredibly well organised from start to finish

The minibus arrived at our hotel on time was clean and well maintained. Both tour guides Chris and Anna were extremely professional and knowledgeable, Anna spoke for around 2 hours on the tour around Auschwitz and another 1 hour at Birkenau and explained everything clearly, in detail and confidently answered all the questions that were presented to her. I would recommend taking a snack or sandwich + drink as there are limited facilities with long queues. Well worth the money and I would definitely recommend.

Humberling informative experience, professional tour guides

Although entrance is free, pleased we used this service. Pick-up at hotel (very prompt) an extremely knowledgeable guide, clean, comfortable transport, informative video enroute to camp. Depending on time of year for your visit be prepared for warm clothing and especially waterproof footwear (at birkenau site) This certainly opens your eyes to the history of the atrocities so many people were forced to endure and under such cold cruel circumstances. Only bags smaller than 30x20x30cm allowed. No personal food allowed into premises. There are toilets (cost 2pln), restaurant and guide books etc available. We took our own snacks so can’t comment on costs. We used a camera but certain areas on both sites is understandably forbidden. Would we use this company again. Absolutely!!

Very powerful tour. Our guide was very knowledgeable and excellent

A must see destination. Very powerful, very disturbing but has to be taken in. Guide is knowledgeable and respectful, they speak into a mic which you hear through headphone of a personcl obe way radio....means you hear everything she says and there are noraised voices. Superbly run highly recommend

The best option for those who intend to do these visits the same day.

Excellent organization. Very friendly driver. Great guides. On the trip was shown a film about Auschwitz. The lunch pack very good. I recommend.

Auschwitz-Birkenau & Wieliczka Salt Mine: Full-Day Tour Reviewed by a GetYourGuide customer, 02/12/2019

Things to do near Memorial and Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau