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“Tour recommended” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum

Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum
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Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum Trip from Krakow Old Town
Ranked #1 of 20 things to do in Oswiecim
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
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.
Level Contributor
21 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Tour recommended”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 15, 2013 via mobile

I visited here in June 2013 and went on a guided tour. The tour leader was very knowledgable and although there were some signs up with information of them the tour guide was able to give further extensive information. After 10am a tour is required for Auchwitz but a tour guide is not required in Birkenau. As part of the tour the guide takes you over to Birkenau too. Unlike in Auchwitz, the Birkenau tour is not done with headphones so it can be harder to hear the guide. However I felt having a guide really added to Birkenau as the guide was able to explain the significance of information I may have missed on my own.

It was very busy when I went in June but this did not detract from the sombreness or seriousness of Auchwitz and I would recommend visiting here.

Visited June 2013
Thank Incognito4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Level Contributor
102 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“Eye opening”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 15, 2013

Most people of my age had been taught about Auschwitz in school, we felt it was important to visit this Museum whilst in Krackow.

I would recommend this tour to anyone to gain a far greater perspective of what happened than any book can offer. The shear size of Birkenau is mind boggling and the way in which these poor people (a commodity rather than Human beings) were treated is truly appalling.

It is baffling trying to understand the mindset and sadistic nature of the Nazis.

On a practical note we didn't have any issues with queues and the tour was well organised. My advice would be to wear sensible walking shoes as you cover a lot of ground which is mostly uneven. Birkenau is in an exposed position so try to choose a dry day. Don't be tempted to book another tour either before or after this as it is exhausting both mentally & physically. This trip has no facilities for the disabled.

Ironically when we were there a large Jewish group were undertaking the tour and appeared in high spirits, but most people had a solemn demeanour. Well worth the visit

Visited June 2013
Thank AlanAnnie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perpignan, France
Level Contributor
31 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Birkenhau - a sobering experience”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 13, 2013

When we arrived at Auschwitz (by train from Kracow) it was after 10am which meant that we would have been obliged to join a compulsory 3 hour guided tour. This tour would have included a 20 minute video which we did not want to see and it was only possible to leave the tour at designated points with no opportunity to see anything without a guide.

We decided to take the shuttle bus the 2km to Birkenhau (or Auschwitz 2) and definitely made the right decision. We were able to wander at our own pace around the deserted and enormous site and chose where we lingered and spent time with what we felt was important to us.

We took a bus back to Kracow which went through many villages and gave us a chance to see more of this small part of Poland.

Visited June 2013
Thank penelopep268
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Crawley, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
42 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“What more can you say”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 12, 2013

Like many others have said this is a place you simply must see, it's hardly fathomable what took place and even being there it is difficult to comprehend just exactly how these things were able to happen. The museum itself is very interesting, Auschwitz 1 is very well preserved as it mainly consists of brick blocks being a former army camp, there is less preserved of Birkenhau but again what is left really gives you something to think about, seeing the railway tracks and the ruins of the old gas chambers hits home the point of what took place on these sites

We went with Escape 2 Poland, i did not catch the name of our guide at the site but she was fantastic

It's not one for the faint of heart but is simply a must do, as the saying goes "he who does not remember history is bound to live through it again"

Visited June 2013
Thank thecrimson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Louisville, Kentucky
Level Contributor
53 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Avoid the crowds”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 12, 2013

I went on a Saturday and had to join a tour, required in June between 10:30 - 3. The guide was fine but added little to all the information on the signs. Headphones are with the tour so you can easily hear the guide without being next to them. There were no questions asked or asked for, so pretty standard delivery

You really want to go at your own pace in a place like this and that's the biggest reason to go alone. The site isn't commercialized but with all the people it doesn't seem quite right. It's a place to be alone in your thoughts

Everyone should go and try to comprehend how this can happen. One very disturbing aspect is how normall all the pictures are, the people - Nazis and victims could be anywhere except for the individual prisoner pictures

It's only a 15 minute walk from the train and we took the bus back to Krakow 14zl and the train to Warsaw

It's a 5 because of it's significance but the ratings don't really apply

Visited June 2013
Thank LS_52_H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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