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Auschwitz

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Auschwitz main gate

Auschwitz

The archetype of Nazi death camps.

Auschwitz, the German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp, is situated in town of Oswiecim - 70 km west of Krakow. In World War 2 it killed about one million men, women and children, most of them Jewish. 

Travel to Auschwitz from Krakow

Public transport.

Buses and trains leave for Oswiecim from Krakow's central stations. Buses are frequent, more reliable, and they stop next to the Auschwitz site while the Oswiecim train station is three kilometers away. Travel by bus or rail takes under two hours. The fares are an equivalent of about 3 euro one way.

By car.

Most convenient for motorists driving from Krakow to Oswiecim is the paid four-lane expressway to Katowice (exit to Chrzanow after some 20 minutes). The journey lasts about an hour. 

Visiting Auschwitz

Actually it's two sites, Auschwitz and Birkenau (aka Auschwitz II), located 3 kilometers apart. It takes minimum an hour to see each. One may visit just one of them but you'd better see both. There is no entrance fee. A free bus runs between Auschwitz and Birkenau from April 15th to October 31st every 60 minutes (departures from Birkenau on the hour and from Auschwitz 30 minutes later).

Opening hours.

Auschwitz proper and the Birkenau site keep the same hours and both stay closed on January 1, December 25, and Easter Sunday.

In January open 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
In February open 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
In March open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
In April open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
In May open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
In June open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
In July open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
In August open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
In September open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
In October open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
In November open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
In December open 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Please note that April 1st through October 31st individual tourist may see the Auschwitz proper from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 3 p.m. till closing time because hours between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. are reserved for guided tours only. No such restrictions at the Birkenau site.

Individual visitors may join a four-hour guided tour of Auschwitz/Birkenau at a cost of 38 PLN (Polish zloty). English tours start at 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., half past noon, 1:30 p.m., and 2:30 p.m.
Other foreign-language tours are available - German at 10:30 p.m., noon, and 1:30 p.m., Italian at 10:30 p.m., noon, and 1:30 p.m., Spanish at noon and 2 p.m., and French at 10:30 p.m., noon, and 1:30 p.m. 

Also, one may employ one of 150-plus on-site licensed guides who provide tours in Croatian, Czech, English, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Russian, Serbian, and Spanish.

Booking office is open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays.
Phone number (+48) 338448100 or 0338448099.
Fax (+48) 338432227.
Web site www.auschwitz.org.pl 

Please note that visiting Auschwitz is traumatic and seeing the death camps isn't appropriate for kids under 14.  

Trains Krakow to Oswiecim

 

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