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 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
Com base em 28.694 avaliações

Sobering, sad, angry, disbelief & grateful to learn and pay respects

We couldn’t visit Krakow and not pay our respects to those who suffered in the most appalling ways imaginable. The tour with Get Your Guide was very well organised and very simple to book . We were texted the day before to confirm our booking and time of pick up and we were picked up on time from our hotel and returned on time as promised. We had a superb tour guide called Gregory (please ensure he is duly thanked) who kept us very well informed and while the tour was sobering and upsetting at times Gregory kept the tone just right .He took us around both Auschwitz and Birkenau camps. I would recommend you book in advance of your trip before you travel and you may also be lucky to get Gregory as we did . A truly memorable trip in more ways than one .

Unforgettable tour. Lifelong memory for a dark period of human history

First I want to thank our guide who accompany us on the bus and made everything in her power to get the tickets and so helping us not to wait in the long line. Also she provided us with a guidebooks and explain us on the card included in the guide what to visit. Also I bought this tour because there was no more guided tours available. I tought that this is not a good way to visit such a place without a guide who will give an expalnations but that's not true. When you're without a guide you can truly feel the feelings and thoughts that comes to your mind walking around the camp. There is no need for a guide to walk and talk to really feel the atmosphere of the camp. For the experiance also helped the weather - really cold and windy (and we were with summer jackets) with a little rain and this way we manage to felt at least the cold that the prisoners were feeling.

We really enjoyed the bus ride to our destination!

Our tour guide was truly wonderful. So much heartfelt information. Highest rating! Thank you

Auschwitz-Birkenau Full-Day Guided Tour from Krakow Reviewed by

Good tour guide, plenty of time for questions

The tour group was just the right size and being in a guided tour was better than going alone as can skip any queues. Tour guide was knowledgable and interesting and there was plenty of time to ask questions and take in all of the information around you. Only slight downside was that the coach transfer from krakow was a bit cramped, so don't take too many big bags (you aren't allowed them in the museum anyway).

Everyone should visit once in their life!

A truly sobering account of man’s inhumanity to man. This is the epitome of terror and evil abounds. It is difficult to reconcile that these acts were committed by fellow human beings - and we still don’t learn from our past mistakes!

From Krakow: Auschwitz-Birkenau Group Tour by Minibus Reviewed by

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