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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
4.5 / 5
based on 37,760 reviews

Takes the Hassle out of Visiting Auschwitz

You may be able to visit Auschwitz cheaper, as entrance to both sites is actually free. Auschwitz ii, you just walk through the entrance, no ticket required. A ticket is required for Auschwitz i, you can get them from the official Auschwitz website for free, but you can only enter at certain times of the day. Using this tour took out all the hassle of sorting tickets and travel to and from Auschwitz. We watched an informative video on the bus, and got free 25pln (£5.50 ish) guide book included within the cost. We didn't mind not having a tour guide as the booklet you receive has more than enough information in it. Also, the guy on the bus sorts everything out for you, tells you best bits to visit on each site and tells you where to be and where to go for tickets. Highly recommend if you want a stress free day visiting Auschwitz.

Auschwitz-Birkenau Admission Ticket and Transportation Reviewed by

Absolutely Amazing and thought provoking!

Wow! What a day! Punctual pick up by Michael our driver, very comfortable bus journey throughout. Auschwitz-Birkenau tour extremely insightful and harrowing. The tour guide was exceptional and very respectful. Everything explained perfectly and his knowledge was second to none. Lunch was perfect! Lots of bottled water available to combat extensive heat. Salt mines exceptional and light relief after the camps. Amazing that there are nine levels and we got down to three, which incorporated the must exquisite salt formations. I never knew salt was so versatile, especially the church, which actually holds regular Sunday services and even Weddings! A must see! Overall an exceptional, well organised day and would totally recommend! Julia - England

The place is incredible. The guided tour too rushed

The 4 stars are for the guided tour, not the camp. The camps are very well maintained, just excellent. What a place, wow. The tour however is too rushed, it’s like the guides are in a rush to finish, running around and no time for visitors to take their time to appreciate the moment. I was feeling emotional in several of the exhibits and I felt tears coming in, but then I realised the guide is already moving on to the next exhibit so it completely ruined my moment being emotional. It’s a shame really. The breaks are too short, 10 minutes to go to the toilet, have a snack, visit the shops... obviously no time at all. Also we didn’t enter the museum.

From Krakow: Auschwitz-Birkenau Full-Day Guided Tour Reviewed by

Good way to spend a day in the Krakow region

Our guide Filip was very passionate about Auschwitz and really set the mood for our visit to Auschwitz. He spoke with a lot of emotion and it left everyone on the tour feeling a great sense of sorrow for the people who had been sent there many years ago. We also visited the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam and having visited Auschwitz gave us a better appreciation for what Anne Frank had gone through. The salt mine was a good experience. I would recommend this tour

Exceptional informative unbelievable emotional first class service

This is a must see trip, our driver & guide were first class,very informative ,helpful,professional,I’m so glad we booked through this company,they were prompt,at all times they looked after us,explained everything,introduced themselves,made sure we knew & felt everything that this trip deserved,mind blowing,very emotional,will remember Gabriellas(our guide) words forever

Auschwitz and Birkenau Tour with Licensed Guide Reviewed by

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