Trips to Auschwitz from Kraków
Visiting Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp gives the chance to alter the way to perceive the World War II. Traveling to southern Poland is the best way to reach this goal. The most comfortable option is to manage the trip to Auschwitz from Kraków – placed 65 km far away from Auschwitz, second biggest city in Poland.
Where is Auschwitz?
For the Nazi Germans Auschwitz had a perfect location. The place lies in Poland, at the center crossroads of many polish cities, but far away enough from people’s eyes and it was incorporated into the Third Reich. Localization was also chosen because it was possible to use prisoners for work. The sizes of the area are enormous. The concentration camp at Auschwitz had a total area of 40 square kilometers with about five kilometers for isolation. To create so much space the Nazi forced families living there to move. All the families had just few hours to pack everything they had and to move. They left basicly all of their wealth. For the next years, Germans used the houses as their owns. All the rest of 40 square kilometers area step by step was completed with buildings, gas chambers, crematoriums and work fields.
For those who want to see this specific place, keep reading to know how to travel to Auschwitz concentration camp.
How to visit Auschwitz?
As you already know, the best option to visit Auschwitz is a trip from Kraków. Plenty of traveling options give you a chance to plan your tour and to fit it to your needs. But how to get there by the best way? One of the most popular options is to buy an Auschwitz tour in one of the local offices. In this case your only problem is to find a good office with city tours and to move to the bus point before the trip. Another option is city comunication like train or bus. If you are interested about being independent – this option is for you. Unfortunately it’s not really easy, because the stations are far away from Auschwitz entrance. The most comfortable is to rent a private car with a driver. This option is also highly popular and recommended by many tourists. But before you will go there, read what else you should know to feel more comfortable and secure. The most important thing for you is to realize that visiting Auschwitz is strongly emotional and moving. You should prepare yourself for what you will see. We recommend you to watch few movies about Holocaust ( for example “Schindler’s List” from 1993 or “The boy in the striped pyjamas” from 2008) or read 2-3 books written by Auschwitz survivors (check “A Scrap of Time and Other Stories” by Ida Fink and “Boy 30529” by Felix Weinberg or “Rena’s Promise: A Story of Sisters in Auschwitz” by Rena Kornreich Gelissen). It can help you a lot to understand the place and to better control your emotions. Another important thing is to sleep well before the trip. Remember that it takes about 1:15 – 1:30 hours each way to and from Auschwitz, so you should get up early and eat a big breakfast in the morning. Don’t forget to choose comfortable clothes and shoes for the trip. Also remember that traveling to Auschwitz from Krakow is a full day affair. Expect to spend a total of between 6 and 8 hours for the visit. the route takes about 1:30 hours each way to and from the camp, and then expect to spend at least 4 hours visiting the camps. It is an exhausting day both mentally and physically, so plan accordingly. One important rule inside Auschwitz is bags sizes. Man should check their backpacks and woman should control their handbags, because it can not exceed dimensions: 30x20x10 cm. On the territory of Auschwitz camp it’s strictly prohibited to consume food or alcohol as well as to smoke and use e-cigarettes. Taking pictures on the grounds of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp for own purposes, without use of a flash and stands, is allowed for exceptions of Block nr 4 and the basements of Block 11. Remember, your material may be used only in undertakings and projects that do not impugn or violate the good name of the Victims of Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. Due to an overwhelming interest in visiting the Auschwitz Memorial we suggest you to use online booking system (for example visit.auschwitz.org) as it’s the only guarantee of entering the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp on the date and time of your choice. We would like to inform you that it is not recommended that children under 14 visit the camp, although it is not prohibited. While on the grounds of the Museum it is required to observe the appropriate solemnity and respect, dress in a manner befitting a place of this nature and follow instructions of the educators.
Auschwitz tours from Kraków
Day trips from Kraków to Auschwitz are very popular. A former Nazi camp is one of the most important reason to visit Kraków. It’s natural that the tourists have plenty of possibilities to go there. If you decided to take an organized tour then you have not too much to be stressed about. Usually all the trips looks similar. Before or during the road you watch one hour movie about your destination place so you learn a little bit about the camp and the history of World War II. Then, after you reach Auschwitz the sightseeing starts. The first part is Auschwitz I and it takes around 2 hours to see this place. Here you will see 22 prewar brick barracks buildings. In which you can find e.G. the history of Polish-German relations (block 15) or the interior of the ‘Death Block’ (block 11). You could also be witness of the crime inside those barracks. You could feel and see world just like seen it ealier prisoners. Inside barracks you will find not only information material, boards, photos, but also many personal things to illustrate cruel of this camp. Than your bus takes you to placed 3 km away Auschwitz II – known also as Birkenau. Here you will see the old railway station with ramp, barracks, ruins of the five gas chambers and ponds, where the ashes of thousands of people were dumped without ceremony. This part of camp is huge and (like all camp) depressing. After another 2 hours of sightseeing you feel extremely tired both mentally and physically, so it’s a high time to go back to the hotel in Kraków. After reaching the city the bus driver will drop you in the bus station if you chose a city tour or in front of your hotel if you chose a private car. Now it’s time to rest to get calm.
Auschwitz tours from Kraków can also look a little bit different. Mostly all of the tour operators offer you also a tour called Auschwitz-Birkenau and Wieliczka Salt Mine in one day. It’s dedicated for those who like intense sightseeing. Auschwitz-Birkenau and Wieliczka Salt Mine tour in one day is addressed to all the people who come to Kraków for a short break or just for a weekend and do not have much time for sightseeing Kraków. Connecting two trips to one day trip save time and money.
Trips to Auschwitz from Kraków are easy to organize. Plenty of possibilities give a maximum flexibility for travel amenities. It’s worth to make an effort and see Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, because inside the fence the history is still alive.