Auschwitz Visit: All You Need to Know
The majority of people who visit Auschwitz just book a tour package from one of the many companies that operate in Krakow. The package includes transport and ticket for 3,5h guides in the Auschwitz museum and Birkenau camp. Let's see all the options someone has.
Once in a Lifetime Experience. Let's make it Right!
For most of the people, a visit to the Auschwitz ex-Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camps is just another routine visit to another worth to see in the world.
Different companies are trying to sell as many tours to Auschwitz they can and the try to make the most money out of this. This is what good companies should do, anyway.
Few people want the best out of their Auschwitz visit, feeling and respect the place, while they are even people who are not going even to buy a ticket, and they visit the camps totally for FREE.
Knowledge is the most important, and I believe if you know all the options for an Auschwitz visit, then you can book what's best for you. This is what I am going to try to cover here!
Most important is to know that it is more likely to be able to have a guide in your language, you can visit Auschwitz for FREE, you can go by bus, and you can also have a private VIP tour in better prices.
Move To A Point Of Interest
Own Car / Private -- VIP Tour -- Cheaper Options -- POI
Prisoners in Auschwitz II Working
Decision - Rent a Car?
Due to the coronavirus spread and the risk when being in a close car/bus with other people, this might be the ideal option.
Renting a car in Poland is recommended, but in case you only need the car to visit Auschwitz, then might not worth it so much.
In order to find out, just verify the price of renting a car, against the cost of having a private transport to Auschwitz.
Just to make it easier for you, the cost for private transport from Krakow to Auschwitz I - Birkenau - Krakow is around €100 per group up to 5 people.
Of course, you are going to rent the car from the airport, so note that an airport transfer is around €30.
It is important to calculate: gas consumption (around €50) and parking fees at your hotel (ask hotel) and in Auschwitz (around €10) when trying to find them cheaper.
We offer private transports to Auschwitz for small groups and bigger groups even up to 32 people from your hotel in Krakow at the best prices.
Private Transport: Krakow - Auschwitz I - Birkenau - Krakow
From €100 per group. Book Now.
Tickets to Visit Auschwitz
Now that you have decided if to rent a car or just order a private transport, you need to arrange your tickets to Auschwitz.
In case you book private transport, you can ask for your tickets and you can prepay them and we book them for you.
There are 2 options here to consider:
- Book individual tickets to Auschwitz in your language (75 PLN p.p. - Languages: English, Czech, French, Spanish, German, Russian, Slovak, Italian. Polish are 65 PLN p.p.).
- Private Group in your language. You need to be registered. More languages available. Ability to choose 2,5 h or 3,5 h visit to Auschwitz. The groups could be up to 30 people but now due to coronavirus are reduced to 15 people per group.
- Free Tickets to Auschwitz. Here, you visit Auschwitz for Free, but you still need to have a ticket with your name. Previously you could enter before 10:00 and after 16:00 during the summer, but for this summer is only after 16:00. Times and Availability are subject to change.
Prisoner Working under the supervision of SS
Note that booking Free Tickets or Guided Tickets process is the same. Read any important information that may appear on the main page.
- Visit: auschwitz.org
- Select the Type of Visit (Visit for Individuals) and Click Next.
- Select your day on the calendar. In case there are no tickets, try another date available. If there are no Tickets for none of your dates and you have no private transport, then this might be a problem. You will need to go on-site and ask for the first available group. If you are a group of more than 5 people, ask me or try to book for you a private group.
- Solve the Captcha and Click Send.
- Choose the Language and Time of Preference. Free Tickets are noted as (Tour for individuals without an educator) and they have "-" in Language.
- Select the correct type of ticket and add how many. Note that you can book only 6 tickets at a time from one email. Solve Captcha and Click Next.
- At this point the tickets will be blocked for 1 hour until you pay for them, otherwise, they are going to be released.
- Specify your Country and all the Visitors Names and Surnames, accept the Terms and Solve the Captcha + Click Order.
- At this point, the tickets are booked, but you need to pay for them in order to have them. You should be able to pay with your card.
In case you want to book a private group, you need to create an account and choose to Visit for groups instead.
If you can't find any tickets and you need tickets in English, it might worth checking this: Ticket Only / Guided Tour in English.
Important to Know
- Individual Tickets can not be refunded upon travelers' requests.
- You have to be there around 30 minutes before your tour start.
- Bugs bigger than 30x20x10 cannot be carried in the Auschwitz Museum. You can leave them in your car or transport.
- There is a small luggage storage extra paid next to the bookstore outside of the museum.
- Krakow - Auschwitz with a car may take from 1 hour and 15 minutes, up to 2 hours depending on the time and traffic.
- Check Auschwitz's working hours and closed days before you plan your visit.
Roll Call for New Woman Arrivals - Summer 1944
Not everyone may afford those services but in order to make it affordable for more people/groups, I will provide different options for a VIP visit to Auschwitz.
Starting from the cheapest option to the most expensive. Contact for more info.
Private Transport / Group Tour for 3,5h
The tour is available only in: English, Czech, French, Spanish, German, Russian, Slovak, and Italian.
Can be easily combined with a Wieliczka Salt Mine Tour on the same day. In case you need to combine, please ask for availability and final price.
As mentioned earlier, the price of private transport starts at €100 per group. At this price, you need to add €25 for each person attending the tour.
So, the total price for 1 person will be €125, for 2 people €150 and so on.
In this tour, you are going to see only Auschwitz I (museum) and Auschwitz II Birkenau with a professional licensed guide for a total of 3,5 hours.
The total length of the tour will be around 7 hours in total. It starts and ends at your hotel.
Auschwitz I Collective Gallows in Front of Camp Kitchen
- A guide in the language specified based on availability (group tour)
- Private transport from your Hotel or Apartment in Krakow. Only for you or your group.
- Face Masks are going to be provided to the travelers.
- Round-trip door-to-door transfers to Auschwitz-Birkenau are provided.
- Admission Tickets are included.
- Headphones are provided.
There is the ability to replace the guided tour with a self-guided book or brochure in your language.
Available from Warsaw as well. Arrive in Krakow Główny with a fast train from Warsaw. You can find tickets from only €15 per person.
Check for trains here: «https://www.intercity.pl/en/»
Private Transport / Private Tour for 3,5h
Available to more languages including Greek. For smaller groups in Greek, see more options in Greek-speaking guide to Auschwitz.
Currently is the best and safest option to visit Auschwitz and it is only available for groups of up to 15 people only.
Either you are just 1 person or a group of 15 people, you are going to be alone with a professional driver and then with a professional licensed guide for a 3,5 hours tour.
Our driver will pick you from your hotel or apartment in Krakow and take you to Auschwitz I where you are going to start your private tour with a professional Auschwitz Museum Guide.
Then continue to Auschwitz II and finally, you are going to return back to Krakow at the desired place.
Picture from the liberation of Auschwitz I - 1945
- On-Site professional guide in the language specified
- Private 3,5 hours Tour only for you / your group
- Private transport from your Hotel or Apartment in Krakow. Only for you / your group.
- Face Masks are going to be provided to the travelers.
- Round-trip door-to-door transfers to Auschwitz-Birkenau are provided.
- Admission Tickets are included.
- Headphones are provided.
|Group: 1-8 p.||Group: 9-15 p.|
- Stop for lunch in Oswiecim city center for 1 hour: €50 / group (The food + drinks are paid by the travelers).
- Visit Judenrampe or Oswiecim for a half-hour: €30 / group.
- Guide / Leader Escort and Guiding all the way from Krakow and until you get back to Krakow: + €120 / Group (subject to availability).
- Anything else can be quoted on demand.
Cheapest Transport to Auschwitz
Even cheaper than a car rental transportation to the Auschwitz I (museum) camp is the Bus.
There a few pluses and a few minor to consider for using the bus to Auschwitz. You can find many other bus options, but I mention only the best one.
A few minor for using the bus is that you need to be at a specific location in the city, you are going to be with other people and there might be a queue outside the bus.
Finally, you will need to have cash. A few of the problems can be solved by booking your bus tickets in advance which is recommended.
Bus to Auschwitz will cost around €4 per person each way. The positive side is that the bus will leave you just outside the Auschwitz Museum and is the cheapest option to get to Auschwitz.
The first bus departs at 6:20 in the morning, while the last one at least during the summer at 19:05. It takes 1 hour and 30 minutes to be in Auschwitz.
Bus to Auschwitz departs from Dworce Autobusowe w Krakowie (MDA), Bosacka 18, 31-505 Kraków.
Auschwitz liberation - Section BIIe Birkenau Barrack 2
Tickets to Auschwitz
The price of the Tickets is standard or Free. Either you go for FREE (without a guide) or you buy a ticket with a guide in your language.
Polish Normal Tickets cost 65 PLN and the reduced: 55 PLN. To get a reduced ticket, you need to be a student up to 26 with a valid student card.
Tickets to any other foreign language cost: 75 PLN and the reduced: 65 PLN.
Free Tickets are for Free and they do not require any payment or credit card to get them. The museum is asking for a donation, so if you want to help, then you can.
If someone sold you a ticket to Auschwitz without a guide, then this is illegal. Anyway, the ticket should have your name on it.
It is highly recommended to have a guide in order to understand the place and know where to move and what you see.
In case you are going with free tickets and without any guide, then you can an Auschwitz Guide Book from the bookstore located outside each camp. It cost around 21 PLN.
Finally, in case you cannot find any tickets to book from the Auschwitz website, check this: Auschwitz Ticket Only, No Transport.
Private Transport: Krakow - Auschwitz I - Birkenau - Krakow: From €100 per group. Book Now.
- Auschwitz I, the main first camp, also known as the Auschwitz museum. The tours start from there.
- Auschwitz II, Birkenau. The biggest extermination camp in the history of the Nazis.
- The Little Red House. Also, known as Bunker No 1.
- The Little White House. Also, known as Bunker No 2.
- Judenrampe. The railroad tracks between Auschwitz and Birkenau.
- Auschwitz III, Monowitz. It is only a monument and a memorial park.
Auschwitz I (Main Camp: the Museum)
In 1939, as a result of Nazi Germany’s invasion and Poland’s lost defensive war, Poland’s western territories, including Oświęcim, were incorporated into the Third Reich.
The town of Oświęcim became Auschwitz and that was also the name given to the camp, which, like other Nazi concentration camps, was a state institution, run by the SS and funded by the German state budget.
With time, Auschwitz became the largest concentration camp ever founded by the Third Reich authorities.
KL Auschwitz I camp orchestra
Auschwitz I was created in June of 1940, set up in pre-war Polish Army barracks on the outskirts of the Polish town of Oświęcim.
After crossing the main gate where you are going to see the famous sign: «Arbeit Macht Frei», which literally means the «work will set you free», you enter the main camp.
Now, the main camp operates as a museum and is organized into various Numbered Blocks.
In each one of those Blocks, you can see different exhibitions related to life, the torture, and the death of the Auschwitz prisoners.
Not all the blocks are open for a visit. The most important blocks, if you are visiting alone, are the Blocks: 4, 5, 6, 11, and the crematorium building with the model of the gas chamber.
Externally, you are also going to see a lot of descriptive signs with text in English and in Polish, explaining different parts of the prisoner's life.
Another important is to know that all the guiding tours booked, start from the main camp and you need to be there at least 30 minutes in advance.
Starting from Block 4, which is about extermination, you are going to see hundreds of photos of people who died in Auschwitz.
This is also the place you are going to see documents and object proves for the Nazi crimes at Auschwitz.
Hair, Shoes, Suitcases with Names, and other valuable objects used by the prisoners are displayed in Block 5.
In Block 6, you are going to see the reception of the newly arrived and the admission process to the camp.
Then, in the courtyard of Block 11 opposite the entrance, you will see the Wall of Death where executions were carried out by shooting, and also where the Punishment of the Stake was taking place.
Syringe Phenol Injections - Signed by SS Sanitarian Klehr
Currently, Block 11, which was the prison of Auschwitz is closed for visitors due to Coronavirus preventing measurements.
You are going to see the team angle in front of the kitchen and opposite the kitchen the invitation square.
Finally, when following the route, you are going to pass from the place where Rudolf Es was hanged after his trial and the crematorium and gas chamber building.
Greek Read: Auschwitz I, Museum
Auschwitz II, Birkenau
Birkenau was the largest of the more than 40 camps and sub-camps that made up the Auschwitz complex.
When construction began in October 1941, it was supposed to be a camp for 125,000 prisoners of war. It opened as a branch of Auschwitz in March 1942 and served at the same time as a center for the extermination of the Jews.
In its final phase, from 1944, it also became a place where prisoners were concentrated before being transferred to labor in the German industry in the depths of the Third Reich.
Auschwitz: Male and Female Prisoners Escavate Gravel
About 90% of the victims of Auschwitz Concentration Camp died in Birkenau, approximately a million people.
Auschwitz II Birkenau has located just 3 km from the Main Auschwitz I camp and became the largest German Nazi concentration and extermination camp of various nationalities.
CAMPAIGN OF MASS EXTRACTION OF JEWS started in the Auschwitz camp in the first half of 1942.
First, the Germans set up two temporary gas chambers in specially designed homes near the camp (See Below: Little White and Red House).
Initially, the corpses were buried in mass graves and later burned on piles of wood.
In the spring of 1943, four larger gas chambers along with locker rooms and crematoria were built in the Birkenau camp.
Two gas champers located at the end of the railway (II and III) line were underground and the other two (IV and V) were on the ground.
The surface of each chamber reached a total of 210 sq.m. The bodies of the dead were lifted to the surface using an elevator from the underground gas chambers.
The buildings were blown up by the SS in January 1945 when the Red Army for Liberation was approaching.
Between 1942 and 1945, an estimated 1,000,000 Jewish men, women, and children were killed.
Little Red House (Bunker 1)
Put into operation at the end of March 1942 as a gas chamber. It was a house whose Polish owners had been expelled and was located near the Birkenau camp, which was still under construction during that time.
It was called the «Little Red House» because of the color of its walls. Several interior partition walls were demolished during adaptation works, leaving only two rooms.
Prisoners at Work Diggin Ditches Auschwitz II
Hermetically sealed doors were installed, the windows walled up, and hatches installed through which Zyklon B could be dumped.
About 800 people could be crowded in a space a little more than 80 sq. m, according to testimony by Rudolf Höss.
At first, most of those murdered there were Jews from Sosnowiec and the nearby ghettos, as well as sick prisoners from the camp hospital; later came Jews from other parts of Poland, Slovakia, and Western Europe.
Sonderkommando prisoners used narrow‑gauge railroad push cars to carry the bodies of the murdered people to mass graves on the edge of the nearby woods; in August they began burning them in pits dug there (burning pits).
In the Little Red House, the gas champers functioned until the spring of 1943 when larger gas chambers combined with crematoria went into operation.
Finally, the building was demolished, the ground planted over, and even the bricks from the foundation removed.
Little White House (Bunker 2)
Constructed near the under-construction Birkenau camp after the so-called “Little Red House”.
As a result of the arrival of numerous transports of Jews designated by the Germans for extermination in June 1942, the decision to convert another farmhouse into a gas chamber was taken.
Because the walls were plastered, it was called the «Little White House».
Its interior was divided into four gas chambers with a total floor space of 120 sq. m. The system of interior doors and hatches for Zyklon B was the same as in the Little Red House.
KL Auschwitz II Birkenau Camp latrine toilets
The gas chambers in the Little White House were taken out of operation at the turn of April/May 1943; they were again put to use when the transports from Hungary began arriving in May 1944 (Sonderaktion “Ungarn”).
Finally, the building was demolished in the late autumn when extermination operations in Birkenau were completed.
Traces of the foundations of the gas chambers are still visible today at this location.
The Judenrampe, the railroad tracks between the Auschwitz and Birkenau camps where the Germans sent countless transports full of Jews, Poles, Roma, and others who would become victims of the camp during the war.
It was opened for visitors on January 27, 2005, by the French President Jacques Chirac and the French Jewish former prisoner Simone Veil, which deported to Auschwitz as a 17-year-old girl.
The exhibition includes part of the tracks and the central part of the platform, which was associated with the unloading of the transports and with selection.
Two original cattle cars that the Nazis used to transport people to Auschwitz stand on the tracks.
Finally, you are going to see texts and photographs on four boards standing near where the trains were unloaded and Jews were selected.
There are reproductions of two sketches drawn illegally by an anonymous prisoner. Found in 1947, the sketches depict an arriving transport and German SS physicians carrying out the selection.
This is not included in the Auschwitz Tour.
Source: Judenrampe Auschwitz
Auschwitz III, Monowitz (Buna)
Monowice Camp was one of the first, and also the largest of the sub-camps of Auschwitz. Over time, it attained the status of headquarters of the «industrial» sub-camps.
In the beginning, the prisoners had to walk from the camp (6 to 7 km) to labor at the factory.
Panorama Buna Werke IG Farbenindustrie
Later at the end of July, about a thousand prisoners began taking the train to Dwory station.
Labor consisted of hard physical work: leveling the ground, digging drainage ditches, laying cables, and building roads.
After an outbreak of typhus in the main camp and Birkenau, they halted their trips to work.
Anxious over the prospect of losing the labor force, factory management decided to turn a barracks camp near Monowice, as quarters for prisoners.
Delays in the supply of barbed wire led to several postponements in the opening of the new camp. First prisoners arrived on October 26, and by early November the camp population was 2 thousand.
During the period of the camp operation, more than 10 thousand prisoners were selected.
Either killed by lethal injection of phenol to the heart or sent to Birkenau, where some were liquidated after so-called «re-selection» and murdered immediately in the gas chambers.
Also, more than 1,600 prisoners died in the hospital in Monowice, and several dozen were shot at the construction site or hanged in the camp.
It is assumed that the main reason for the high death rate among the prisoners in the Monowice camp resulted from the desire of the factory management to maintain a high work rate.
As a result, they demanded that the capos and SS-men enforce higher productivity by the prisoners, by beating them.
In fact, the prisoners worked more slowly on the average than German construction workers, despite the beatings. This was a source of irritation and dissatisfaction with factory management.
Repeated requests to the camp authorities for increased numbers of SS men to supervise the prisoners, and for the supply of more «energetic capos».
Soon, a group of specially chosen German common criminal capos was sent to Monowice, but this step failed as well.
Finally, IG Farben officials proposed the introduction of a «rudimentary piecework system» and a motivational scheme.
The system was including the right to wear watches, have longer hair, and get a payment of scrip.
Payment could be used in the camp canteen (which offered cigarettes and other low-value trifles for sale), and they could also have free visits to the camp bordello (which opened in the Monowice camp in 1943).
Aerial photo Auschwitz III Monowitz
In January 1945, the majority of the prisoners were evacuated on foot to Gliwice and then carried by train to the Buchenwald and Mauthausen camps.
Prisoners at the camp in Monowice included the Nobel Peace-Prize winner Elie Wiesel and the prominent Italian writer Primo Levi.
This is the location where the camp existed: Auschwitz III Monowitz Location.
Source: Auschwitz III, Monowtz
Thanks for Reading!
I hope you enjoy your Auschwitz Visit!
Read Also: XY Things to Do and Where to Eat in Krakow
Source of Images: Auschwitz Nazi Death Camp Book
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