Państwowe Muzeum Auschwitz-Birkenau

Państwowe Muzeum Auschwitz-Birkenau

Państwowe Muzeum Auschwitz-Birkenau
4.5
7:30 AM - 7:00 PM
Monday
7:30 AM - 7:00 PM
Tuesday
7:30 AM - 7:00 PM
Wednesday
7:30 AM - 7:00 PM
Thursday
7:30 AM - 7:00 PM
Friday
7:30 AM - 7:00 PM
Saturday
7:30 AM - 7:00 PM
Sunday
7:30 AM - 7:00 PM
About
Established by the Nazis in 1940, Auschwitz-Birkenau has become a symbol of terror, genocide and the Holocaust. Although the exact number of victims is unknown, many Jews, Poles and gypsies died here. The museum consists of two parts: Auschwitz I, the first and oldest camp (the number of prisoners fluctuated around 15,000, sometimes rising above 20,000) and Auschwitz II, Birkenau (which held more than 90,000 prisoners in 1944). The greater part of the apparatus of mass extermination was built in Birkenau and the majority of the victims were murdered there.
Duration: More than 3 hours
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  • Adam A
    Stockholm, Sweden7 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The experience left a lasting impact
    The visit was excellent. We arrived late for our guided tour and ended up missing our designated time, but the staff kindly rescheduled us without any extra charge. The guide was knowledgeable and pleasant. I highly recommend visiting Auschwitz-Birkenau as it is a must-see. While there is room for improvement, I have no complaints about the current state of the place. The significance and historical importance of Auschwitz-Birkenau overshadow any minor issues
    Visited July 2023
    Written July 10, 2023
  • iamuzelac
    Zagreb, Croatia120 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Must see
    This visit is something that I will remember for whole my life. First of all guided tour is a must since it takes you around in the best possible way while giving you all must hear stories facts and info. There are 2 parts of the tour 1st it starts in the original camp an it takes you around 2 hours to walk around it. After that there is a bus service that takes you to camp 2 (newer one) where you have 1-1,5h tour. It does not make sense to describe it in details since you really must go there to get the whole picture about this horrible place.
    Visited April 2023
    Written July 12, 2023
  • Rebecca S
    29 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A must see ...if only once
    I agree it is slightly messy trying to get through security etc and knowing where you should go. It was busy. However, it is definitely a must see place to go even once. The history is dreadful but we must all know not to let this happen again. Both sites were full of historical moments, however very sad and thought provoking. There are machines for drinks and snacks and if hot take some water and head protection as there is very little
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written July 22, 2023
  • ilona t
    Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom4 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    No cafe or restaurant, only vending machines.
    We booked a ticket with GetYourGuide. It was £17 for an adult and we got a return coach from outside GalleriaKrakowska to Auschwitz and a guide book. A guide showed us where to go on arrival which was really helpful. The £17 is really only to cover the transport and guidebook. We arrived at 2.30pm and were told we had to get the free shuttle to Birkenau and look around in our own time until around 4.15. We then had to get the shuttle back to Auschwitz for 4.30pm entrance. We didn’t pay for the guided tour and I’m so glad we didn’t as the groups were herded around at such a pace and there was no time for reflection. We followed the route in the guidebook and were provided with ample reading material. We had lots of time for reflection. We were asked to be back at the coach at 6.50pm for the return journey. I don’t really want to comment on the harrowing nature of the place - it is distressing and sad but worth it. What really let’s the place down are the lack of food options. We left home at 11.30am and got back at 9pm. All that was available at Auschwitz were a couple of vending machines (the hot drinks one was out of order) and a small shop inside the building (only accessible once you’ve started your main tour at 4.30pm) that sold machine hot drinks and packaged snacks. I think they are constructing a restaurant as the signage suggested that. Take a packed lunch and snacks and drinks as it’s a long day. You are not allowed to eat whilst walking around the two camps as it’s disrespectful but you can eat before you enter each camp. It’s a long, tiring day so be prepared!
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written August 5, 2023
  • Matt N
    Hunstanton, United Kingdom34 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Like nothing else
    Overall an amazing experience of which I imagine nothing else can come close to in making you feel certain emotions. I thought my main feeling would be one of sadness, but I spent most of the visit astounded and confused at how these things could have happened. I have learnt from a Polish friend that all polish school children visit here as part of their curriculum, perhaps it should be the same for British teenagers as well to help ensure that nothing like this ever happens again. In short, I think everyone should take time to visit at least once in their lifetime.
    Visited April 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written August 7, 2023
  • carolyn w
    Sydney, Australia46 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Must visit
    This is a place we all know about, have learned in history, read books and seen movies. To be inside, the sadness and horror is palpable. It has a very well organised group tour schedule, and even though it is very busy the groups moved through each section well. There are aspects that are a bit overwhelming and confronting and almost hard to actually believe what you are seeing. The two camps are very different. Wear comfortable walking shoes, take water and a hat. There is little shade at Birkenau. I hope these poor souls are resting in peace.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written August 10, 2023
  • Will
    27 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Everyone should visit at some point
    Somewhere i’ve always wanted to visit, very emotional and thought-provoking. Tour guides are well-informed and there is a free hopper bus from Auschwitz I to Auschwitz II and back. Worth going with a tour guide for the added knowledge
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written August 11, 2023
  • Chris S
    Market Harborough, United Kingdom193 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Auschwiz/Birkenau - a place everyone should visit
    very moving experience even though its my 4th visit here. Auschwitz 1, the death block (no.11), wall of death, rudolf Hoess house. Birkenau the ramp, gates of hell, dr Mengele's workplace. Very good guide did not feel rushed. After the tour you are free to walk around. Only down point is the 'idiots' (judging by the language many Italian) who choose to write Graffiti in one of the prison blocks. If staying in Krakow its easy to get a train - dont go for for one of the overpriced tour organisers.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written September 17, 2023
  • Dorsetbean
    Bournemouth, United Kingdom58 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Time to absorb and contemplate
    I preferred to spend some extra time here rather than be "rushed through" on a day tour from Krakow. It was worth it to allow oneself to absorb and contemplate what happened here and to try and fathom out why. Visiting in the later afternoon when all the crowds had disappeared really made a difference. On the second day I went round with a Guide on an extended "Study tour" which takes you further around Birkenhau. Because of the vastness of the two sites also bearing in mind the distance travelling between the two camps on the shuttle bus I made the right decision. One can arrange their own transport from Krakow for just under £10 return but do note that you can only enter the Museum during peak times with a Guide.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written September 27, 2023
  • Rachael H
    10 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Eye Opener of a visit.
    Absolutely amazing although saddened at what we saw. The guide was so knowledgeable with different information. Only downside was in some parts felt a bit rushed and couldn't spend a few quiet minutes to digest everything. Overall a must visit if in Poland.
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written October 14, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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sweetestgem
Epsom, UK43 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019 • Couples
We managed to get free tickets in advance online about 2 months before we were due to visit. Our time slot was 9.20am, we arrived at 8.45 and finally got in at 10am. The line to enter is RIDICULOUS. So many people, tours get prioritised over everyone else, people jump the line or have someone in their group wait then the rest join them, making the wait even longer. There are toilets available, but have 2zlt coins available to be able to use them.
The tours ruined this for us. There are sooo many different tours happening; groups of 20+ people all barging and trying to get in first. A lot of the exhibitions are in the small barracks buildings, and the sheer amount of people pushing and shoving their way through made it almost impossible to stop and read plaques and absorb what you were seeing.
The exhibitions, however, are done really well. It is such a shame that not everyone shows it the respect it deserves. Lots of people taking photos of the piles of hair, shoes, glasses etc, posing in front of the furnaces in the crematorium, and ignoring the signs asking to be silent and respectful in areas where thousands of people were killed. The worst was the people posing on the railway tracks at Birkenau with no thought about what happened there or what purpose those rail tracks served during the Holocaust.
If you can get tickets online to do the tour yourself, I would absolutely recommend that over the walking tours. Those people were rushed around without a second to think about what they seeing.
It is a sickening and heart wrenching place, but I truly believe the memory of what happened there should be remembered. Just be prepared for A LOT of disrespectful tourists to annoy the hell out of you...
Written January 2, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Simon D
13 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Couples
Like most people who go to Auschwitz, we paid to go on a tour and went by coach. While I cannot fault the service, there is a big problem which people need to be aware of. You go around in large numbers with lots of queueing and no time to properly read exhibits because you have to stay with the tour. The tour mentality also diminishes the emotional impact. The Polish guide largely appeared to repeat what was on the printed signs as you went round. Be aware that you can go round on your own if you book in advance with the museum and you can organise your own transport (there is no charge to enter the museum and public transport is very cheap). We wish we had booked in advance and done our own thing very early in the morning -rather than go on a group tour with literally hundreds of people milling about for which we paid £30 each.
Written February 13, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Rob
Dublin, Ireland2,929 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2019
1 of the most haunting place you could ever visit. Everyone will visit both Auschwitz and Birkenau. While Birkenau is much bigger you will likely spend much more time in Auschwitz as almost every building has displays and information. I spent nearly 4 hours in Auschwitz and about 60-90 minutes in Birkenau.

I did this solo without doing any tours and I want to give info on how to do this as there really isn't that much out there. Firstly Auschwitz is free, so all you need to pay for is transport, 30 zloty return by bus, if you are paying it's for a tour and/or guide. I visited in August 2019 so the height of summer. If you are going at less busy time check the hours but should be bit easier as lot less people.
There are pros and cons to doing a guided tour versus going solo. The biggest reason to go solo for me is gives you all the time you need. Most of the tours take about 90 minutes in Auschwitz. I took nearly 4 hours! There is a lot to read and see and I really feel the tours rush through it. They also don't go in to a lot of the different buildings.

There are 3 ways to visit here - 1) Organise a tour from Krakow 2)Get your own transport but book a tour through Auschwitz website or at the site or 3) Go solo. I feel like the official website could be clearer about this as it gives impression you have to book a tour on the website and not on the day but that's not the case as there were a ton of tours available at the site, every 15 minutes. As for going solo I'd recommend getting the first bus of the day from Krakow at 6:20am. You can book it online or turn up and buy a ticket on the day. It's Lajkonik bus and it costs 15 zloty. In July & August if you want to go in solo it must be before 8:30 am or late in the afternoon. When you get off the bus head for the white van straight ahead on the right hand side and queue up. Just say you want to go in without doing a tour and you are good.

Final thing to note is that the bag allowance is tiny. I'm not really sure why but you will not be able to bring in a normal sized daypack, only a handbag or plastic bag will be allowed in. if your bag is too big you will have to pay to store it in the locker.
To get to Birkenau there are free buses every 10 minutes to and from the bus stop. They can be busy but it's 3 km so short enough journey. It's walk-able if you really feel like stretching your legs or possibly processing what you have just seen.

Whatever way you want to do this do come here if you visit Poland. To see it yourself up close leaves an impact that no book, documentary or film can really match.
Written January 26, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Nicole D
Los Angeles, CA322 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021
Days leading up to our visit to Auschwitz, my husband and I debated whether to book a ticket for the guided tour or the independent tour (which only gives out tickets after 4pm in the summer). Ultimately, we decided to go with the independent tour (without a guide) and felt at least for us, it was the best option. We arrived about a half hour early for our 5:30pm time slot, and were allowed in with no problems and zero line. We quickly went through security and began touring Auschwitz I. There a ton of signage throughout the camp, so even without a guide, we were still able to get and learn so much information about the horrors the occurred at this camp. The museum overall, was very well done, it went through the history, the different countries involvement, and what life was like at the camp. The one thing that did rub me a little bit the wrong way was, on their website the museum recommends visitors be over 14 years old. When we got there, we were surprised to see dozens and dozens of children EVERYWHERE. Parents were letting their children run around playing on the grounds, laughing, screaming, even next to a gas chamber. It took us somewhat out of the experience. It just felt somewhat disrespectful considering what occurred at the camps and all the lives lost.

We ended up staying about 2 hours in Auschwitz I, skipping a few of the exhibits because the crowds were big, usually with large tour groups. We hopped on the mostly empty bus to Birkenau as the sun was beginning to set. When we got there, it was only about an hour left till closing, and we were probably two of only thirty people there. The complex is MASSIVE, so much larger than I ever imagined. There isn't as much signage at this camp, but there is a map at the entrance that describes the layout and labels what each building is. We took a picture of the map on our phones, and used that as a guide while we were walking around. After an hour we only saw a small fraction of the camp, before the sun set and we had to leave.

Ultimately, we felt we missed out on some of Birkenau, so we decided to come back the next day. Since it wasn't technically the museum part (Auschwitz I) we were able to walk in with no ticket the next day and began touring on our own. We walked the full permitter of the camp, seeing all of the gas chambers, the barracks, and the sauna. We saw only a handful of people over the course of two hours. Then we realized why... if you are on a guided tour, they only take you to certain areas in Birkenau -- to the memorial, some of the barracks, and two of the gas chambers. We were surprised, because there is so much more of the camp that the tours miss out on. Overall, we spent three hours at Birkenau, before leaving for the day.

In the end, it’s completely up to you whether to do the guided tour or not. But we would say, if you want to have some time to reflect, not feel rushed, and avoid the crowds, we would recommend going the independent route.
Written August 26, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

George G
Heywood, UK55 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
There is very little that needs to be said about this famous, haunting and unbelievably tragic memorial.

I have still chosen to give a 5 star review because of what this site is and what it remembers, even though there are some points I think visitors need to be aware of.

We booked a guided tour, but without transport to site - we made our own way there. The museum website doesn't do a very good job of explaining exactly what it is you've booked and the itinerary. On arrival the organisation is quite poor and it's not obvious where you need to wait and exactly how the tour is structured (ie. when the breaks are and where). The tour itself is very good and informative.

Be cautious visiting around time major memorials or events. We visited a few days before the 75th memorial and car parks had been closed off and the main gate at Birkenau was covered by a marquee.
Written January 27, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Yves R
2 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
This memorial is immeasurably important for many reasons, yet it is very badly run;

1.) The memorial is massively overcrowded with huge amounts of visitors amongst which lots of groups that look (or worse, behave) like they were on pubcrawls in Krakow the night before. A lot of the expositions, mainly in the Auschwitz camp, can therefore only be seen whilst moving along rather quickly in a cue of people. It detracts very much from the material of the expositions (e.g. heaps of childrens shoes or cannisters of Zyklon B) which surely deserve some time for reflection in peace.

2.) The logistics of the memorial are terrible, getting in and around is confusing and not well thought out, and there is often very little in terms of signpostings, guidance etc. In Auschwitz, it is not even clear that some of the buildings contain exhibitions. There are plans of the memorial available, but they can only be bought at some hidden away book-stores.

3.) There is very little background information offered at the various locations, there are some panels here and there, but in comparison to the amount of information that is available in e.g. books/internet, a lot more could have been done to explain what various sites looked like and how the functioned when the camp was operational.

4.) There are no places to rest and reflect in peace. Surely a site that witnessed one of the largest mass murders in history deserves some space for reflection.
5.) The memorial is falling apart and not well maintained. This is probably also due to the massive amount of visitors which are not well managed.

All in all, this is a memorial that merits the very best in organization, maintenance, logistics, crowd-control, visitor care, funding etc. It is is an absolute disgrace that such a tremendously important site gets only a fraction of what it deserves. Money should not be in issue for this site, Germany should be obliged to pay as much as is necessary for this memorial in perpetuity.

Despite all this, I still recommend that people that are seriously interested visit this site. If you only want to get a selfie by the gate, please have the respect to stay away.
Written January 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

706mj44
London, UK53 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Couples
Our tour guide was fantastic and so knowledgeable. She answered all the questions the group had. There was some queuing to get into buildings but our tour guide just used this as an opportunity to explain more to us. I did not feel particularly rushed going round and had a chance to see everything. The facilities were good and I think the cost of the toilets was perfectly reasonable. The whole experience was incredibly moving and something that everyone should do at least once.
Written February 20, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

K Shannon
Queensland, Australia103 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2022 • Solo
I attended a guided group tour early this morning in Auschwitz (02/12/22), visiting both camps. I had travelled quite a distance to be confronted by the horrors of this place, and unfortunately I found the tour to be very underwhelming. It felt extremely rushed, to the point where it was impossible to actually understand and process what I was seeing and hearing. We got just mere seconds to view various artefacts in the museum before we were hurried on to the next horrific thing. It felt like I was constantly being herded through various significant sites and I struggled to grasp the gravity of the location I was in. Furthermore, the headphones you’re provided at the beginning of the tour are absolutely terrible. If you’re more than 3m away from the guide at any point, the connection instantly drops out. There is frequent, very loud interference and crackling which disrupts the information you’re being told, and it pulls you away from the experience of the location itself. This was very disappointing and something the museum should seriously consider improving.

There were significant crowds (even at 8:30am in ‘low season’) so that detracted significantly from the experience too. I would’ve preferred to pay twice as much for a ticket to have half as many people there. It was just far too crowded. Lastly, be prepared to walk a lot; I covered around 13,000 steps in the three hours I was there (as I said, it was extremely rushed).

Aside from the tour, the camps were haunting and quite well preserved. I wish I had be spent more time there, taking in the location and the various displays in the museum, in order to really appreciate the true extent of where I was.

Overall, I would recommend doing a self-guided tour and not wasting your money on the guided one. It was clumsy and rushed, and it won’t allow you to comprehend the gravity of the horror that occurred in this wretched place.
Written December 2, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Scott Marks
Auckland Central, New Zealand333 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2019
Reviewing somewhere Auschwitz-Birkenau is always going to be tough.
The first thing to recognise is that Auschwitz and Birkenau are separate camps and in different locations, though they are near to each other so it's logical and a good plan to do both.
Please do respect the sombre natures of these places and treat them as you would a cemetery, taking the time to absorb the history and reflect on the horror these places represent. Especially the racism and intolerance of minority peoples the lead to this, so examine yourself for those biases and structural & casual racism you might inadvertently participate in.
I found the self-guided tours around Auschwitz and Birkenau suited me because I already knew a lot of the history and statistical information. If you don't however, then I do recommend you attend one of the guided tours as they'll provide you with a wealth of information that will help add the context to what you're seeing.
Be prepared for an emotionally draining drain, be prepared for it to effect you.
Written May 31, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Honestandbalanced87
Sheffield, UK190 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020 • Friends
We visited on a Saturday, which proved to be a very very busy day. Our guides knowledge was excellent, but she took us around both sites at whistle stop speed, (obviously due to the vast numbers visiting) and as such we couldn’t reflect on the atrocities, which we would like to have done. The footpaths in Auschwitz camp are very uneven and as such I think people with mobility issues would have problems. We didn’t experience the catering establishment, at the visitor reception area, but did buy a snack from the inadequately staffed snack bar, one person serving large queues. If you are unlucky enough to need the toilet when a coach arrives, then allow yourself lots of time as long queues are inevitable. My advice would be take a snacks and drinks with you. Don’t be put off visiting, we should never forget what happened there.
Written March 2, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Państwowe Muzeum Auschwitz-Birkenau, Oswiecim

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