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.
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