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“Allow lots of time”

Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum
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Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum and Memorial Guided Tour from Krakow
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Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum Half-Day Trip from Krakow
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Auschwitz-Birkenau Small-Group Tour from Krakow
Ranked #1 of 25 things to do in Oswiecim
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Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: 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.
Reviewed December 22, 2012

Everyone knows what happened here but nothing can prepare you for what you'll see and feel here. Whether to go or not is a very personal decision, I am very glad I went and on a selfish level it really helped me put the trivial problems in my life into perspective.

Practicalities: If you're staying in Krakow I would strongly recommend NOT taking an organised tour from there, all the ones I looked at only gave you 3-4 hours or so and most didn't include a guided tour of the Auschwitz I camp. It's not a place to rush so would suggest you leave your options open in case you want to spend more time there than an organised tour would allow. There are regular official guided tours in English (and other languages) for 40PLN which you can buy once there, which include both sites plus transport to and from Birkenau with the guide. The guide was excellent and spoke excellent English, it took about 4 hours total but does not cover all the exhibitions in the Auschwitz I camp, there wouldn't be enough time, but you are free to go back in after the return trip from Birkenau to see these. I spent another 2 hours seeing these.

Travelling from Krakow is easy, just look for buses to Osweicim Museum from the main bus station, takes about 90 mins. There are regular buses back to Krakow into the evening, and there are a couple of restaurants/snack bars across the road if you're up to eating before going back.

3  Thank Andy4224
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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5,586 - 5,590 of 10,827 reviews

Reviewed December 21, 2012

This should be made compulsory to everyone in their teens to visit. Take plenty of handkerchiefs as you won't have any tears left by the end of this tour. It's so sad to realise how cruel and sadistic people can be and the craziest thing is....they couldn't see it!
A great experience but extremely sad...try it..please.

Thank Jerry671
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 21, 2012

i dont think any thing can prepare you for the real impact of this experience,to see and feel and hear and read what those people suffered.we did the trip ourselves 26 sloty return on the bus from krakow,but go early as it is nearly 2 hours travelling each way and you need at least 3 hours to get round.we just did not have time to visit the other camp,if you are unsure wether to visit or not i would definately say yes.as i feel the people who perished and survived in that place deserve others to remember what went on and was suffered by so many in that shocking camp.you can buy a guide book for a £1 and the arrows clearly show you the route around the camp.a lot to see and little time to do it in,i am so glad we went.as we were there in december it was really cold and full of snow so gave it the real feel of what winter there was really like

2  Thank aud2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 17, 2012

I think it's inappropriate to comment on the nature of the site so I'll focus on the organisation.

The guide (English speaking) was very informative, helpful and approachable. It felt a little rushed at times but perhaps this was due to the weather/ potential of a late finish.

The museum section was very well laid out and thought through.

Everyone should go there, remember what happened, and pledge that it shall never happen again.

1  Thank Hanif87
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 14, 2012

In the days before our trip to Poland, my husband and I discussed whether or not we should make the trip to Auschwitz. I felt that I had to go, but my husband was less than enthusiastic. However, after we arrived in Krakow, the pressure to visit this truly awful place intensified, both by the bombardment of tourism and also our conscience. We eventually agreed to a private taxi, which as it turned out was the right decision, as it allowed us to make only a short trip to Birkenau, which after Auschwitz itself was more than enough. To rate this museum as excellent is perhaps the wrong description. I suppose if you have to tell the world about what happened here, then the way it is handled is both sensitive and thought provoking I believe that everyone should visit here if only to remind the world how easily this was allowed to happen and ensure that it can never happen again.

3  Thank christine n
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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