Visiting Auschwitz

Auschwitz Overview

Auschwitz is a former Nazi concentration camp located in Oswiecim, Poland. It was the largest and deadliest of all the concentration and extermination camps established by the Third Reich during World War II. Today, the site has been preserved as a memorial and museum and serves as a powerful reminder of the atrocities committed by the Nazis. Visiting Auschwitz can be a deeply moving and educational experience, but it is important to approach the site with sensitivity and respect. Visitors are encouraged to take a guided tour, which can provide context and historical information about the camp and its victims.

During a visit to Auschwitz, visitors will have the opportunity to see the remains of the camp's barracks, Auschwitz gas chambers, and crematoria, as well as thousands of personal belongings and artifacts left behind by the Auschwitz prisoners. The museum also includes exhibits on the history of the Holocaust, the Nazi occupation of Poland, and the liberation of the camp by Allied forces. Visitors should be prepared for an emotional experience and are encouraged to take time for reflection and remembrance. The site is open year-round, but advance reservations are strongly recommended due to high demand.

Auschwitz - Operational Hours

  • Memorial is open to visitors seven days a week, all year round, with the exception of a few holidays. However, the opening hours vary depending on the season.
  • From April 1st to October 31st, the Auschwitz opening times is8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The last entry for individual visitors without a guide is at 4:00 p.m.
  • From November 2nd to March 31st, the site is open from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The last entry for individual visitors without a guide is at 1:00 p.m.
  • On January 27th, the anniversary of the Auschwitz liberation of camp, the site is open until 5:00 p.m.
  • The site is closed on January 1st, Easter Sunday, November 1st, and December 25th.
  • Note that these hours may be subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances or special events, so it is always best to check the Auschwitz website or contact the museum before plan your visit.
  • Visitors should also be aware that during peak season (June to August), the site can be extremely crowded and it is recommended to book the tours well in advance.

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Best Time To Visit Auschwitz-Birkenau

Weekday vs Weekend

Deciding on the best time to visit Auschwitz-Birkenau can be a matter of personal preference, but generally, visiting during the weekday can be a better option than the weekend. Weekends tend to be busier with larger crowds, which can lead to longer wait times and a less reflective experience. Additionally, there may be fewer available slots for guided tours or individual visits on weekends. On the other hand, visiting during the weekday can offer a quieter and more contemplative experience, with fewer visitors around. It can also be easier to book a guided tour or an individual visit during the weekday. However, it is essential to note that the museum is closed on some weekdays, so visitors should check the official website or contact the museum to confirm the opening hours.

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Peak Season vs Off-Peak Season

The best time to visit Auschwitz-Birkenau is during the low season, which runs from November to March, except for the holiday season. During this time, there are fewer visitors, which means shorter wait times, less crowded exhibits, and a more peaceful atmosphere. The low season is also an excellent time to visit for those who are looking to reflect and contemplate the Auschwitz atrocities committed at the site. On the other hand, peak season, which runs from June to August, can be extremely busy, with long wait times for tickets and crowded exhibits. Visitors may find it challenging to book guided tours or to secure individual visits during the peak season, and it is strongly recommended to book tours well in advance.

How To Reach Auschwitz?

By Train

The nearest train station to Auschwitz is Oswiecim. Visitors coming from Krakow to Auschwitz can take direct trains from the Main Railway Station to Oswiecim's central station, which is located about 2 km away from the Auschwitz Museum. The journey takes approximately 1.5 to 2.5 hours, and there are multiple train services available throughout the day. Meanwhile, visitors coming from Warsaw can take a super-fast train that will get them to Krakow in 2.5 hours, and then transfer to a direct train to Oswiecim. Alternatively, they can take a train from Warszawa Centralna that arrives at Oswiecim via Katowice, although this option takes around 4 hours and 42 minutes. It is important for visitors to plan their journey ahead of time, check the train schedules, and purchase tickets in advance.

By Bus

The nearest bus stop to Auschwitz is Oswiecim Muzeum. Visitors coming from Krakow can board the bus at the MDA Station, and the journey will take around 1.5 to 2 hours. However, the drop-off point may vary depending on the bus company. Visitors coming from Warsaw to Auschwitz can take a 4-hour bus journey to Krakow and then transfer to a train to Oswiecim from the Dworzec Autobusowy. It is recommended to check the bus schedules and book tickets in advance, as some buses may require prior reservations. Additionally, visitors should keep in mind that buses may not run as frequently on weekends and holidays, so it is important to plan their trip accordingly. Upon arrival at the Oswiecim Muzeum bus stop, visitors can take a short walk to the Auschwitz Museum entrance.

By Car

Visitors can also reach Auschwitz by car. From Krakow, the journey takes approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes, and from Warsaw, it takes about 4 hours by road. Both Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II-Birkenau have paid car parks available for visitors, and the entrance is accessible from Stanislawa Leszczynska 16 street. It is important to note that during peak season and weekends, the parking lots may become crowded, so visitors should arrive early to secure a parking spot. Additionally, visitors should follow the museum's rules and regulations while parking their vehicles, and not leave any valuables inside. The museum also recommends visitors to use GPS or online maps to navigate their way to the parking lots, as some roads may be closed or have detours due to ongoing construction or events.

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Essential Information

Facilities & Services
Visitor's Tips
  • Visitors with larger luggage can utilize the paid luggage storage facility available on the premises.
  • The on-site cafeteria provides a selection of nourishing meals, while the nearby Hotel Olecki Oświęcim is another option for breakfast or lunch. Visitors are not permitted to eat or smoke inside Auschwitz-Birkenau.
  • A complimentary shuttle bus service is accessible for transportation between the two camps, Auschwitz I and Birkenau.
  • The International Center for Education about Auschwitz and the Holocaust, situated in Block 12, hosts lectures, workshops, and seminars that visitors can attend.
  • Wheelchairs are available at no cost at the Visitor Service Centre for differently-abled visitors to facilitate their mobility around the site.

Also Read: Things to Know Before Visiting Auschwitz

  • For a deeper understanding of the historical significance of Auschwitz, it is recommended to take a guided tour. If visiting during peak season (April to October), be sure to book your tours in advance.
  • If visiting the museum by yourself during peak season, plan to enter the camp before 10:00 AM or after 3:00 PM to avoid crowds.
  • As a place of solemn remembrance, proper decorum is expected while inside Auschwitz.
  • Photography is allowed inside the Auschwitz concentration camp, but be respectful of the space and those around you.
  • The tour of Auschwitz involves a lot of walking, so it's important to wear comfortable shoes and bring plenty of drinking water.
  • While the museum is open to visitors of all ages, it is not recommended that children under 14 years old visit due to the sensitive nature of the site.
  • Keep in mind that backpacks and handbags should not exceed dimensions of 30x20x10 cm.
  • Consider visiting the Wieliczka Salt Mine, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the oldest operating salt mines, during your trip to the area.


Where is Auschwitz?

Auschwitz is located in Oświęcim, Poland, which is approximately 66 kilometers west of Krakow.

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What are the different ways to reach Auschwitz?

You can reach Auschwitz by train, bus, or car. There are regular train and bus services from Krakow to Oświęcim. You can also hire a car or join a guided tour that includes transportation.

What is the best time to visit Auschwitz?

If you want to enjoy good weather, May to September is the best time to visit Auschwitz. However, if you want to avoid peak season rush, April to May may be a better choice. It is recommended to visit on a weekday to avoid crowds.

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Is there a dress code to be followed when visiting Auschwitz?

There is no specific dress code, but visitors are expected to dress modestly and respectfully. It is recommended to wear comfortable and weather-appropriate clothing, as there is a lot of walking involved.

How long do I need to spend at Auschwitz?

Visiting Auschwitz can take a minimum of three-and-a-half hours. It is recommended to take a guided tour to fully understand the historical significance of the place. Visitors can stay on the site 90 minutes after the last entrance hour.


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