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“Very interesting piece of history, a must see!”

Panstwowe Muzeum Auschwitz-Birkenau
Ranked #1 of 16 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.
Reviewed July 23, 2013

This place is a must see in Poland as it is pure history. Unfortunately there are thousands of people going there on a daily basis, what makes it lose a bit of its value, as it may seem like Disneyland.

4  Thank rneia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"guided tour"
in 668 reviews
"the bus"
in 480 reviews
"auschwitz birkenau"
in 662 reviews
"gas chamber"
in 309 reviews
"own pace"
in 210 reviews
"human hair"
in 208 reviews
"concentration camp"
in 184 reviews
"humbling experience"
in 128 reviews
"visit this place"
in 174 reviews
"visiting krakow"
in 116 reviews
"salt mines"
in 78 reviews
"i'm glad"
in 91 reviews
"eye opening"
in 86 reviews
"guide book"
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"first hand"
in 81 reviews
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6,269 - 6,273 of 12,821 reviews

Reviewed July 22, 2013

I did not really want to go and was relieved I did. There is something about the reality of these individual deaths that needs to be honoured by our visits. This is also the place where a peaceful solution to conflict is clearly advocated

Thank Jann255069
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 21, 2013

This was fascinating. There are several parts to the visit, with a museum, exhibits of hair, shoes, clothes, suitcases, etc. Then there is the part where you go through the buildings where the prisoners stayed, and where they were shot. Then you go on a bus to the area where the concentration camps and the gassing went on. It is beautiful and horribly ugly at the same time.

Thank JoanMarietta_GA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 21, 2013

We were there on a Saturday afternoon, taking a bus from Krakow. The mini-bus was crowded, and it took about an hour and 20 minutes to get there.

There are two camps to explore. Auschwitz-I and Auschwitch-II (Birkenau). If you come between 10-3, you must join a tour, which is good and bad. We were there at around 3, so my wife joined the tour, while I walked around alone.

You start out in Auschwitz-I, and there is a bus that shuttle between the two compounds. Be aware that Auschwitz-Birkenau is very big, and devoid of trees/shades. On a hot sunny day, you can either duck into buildings continuously, or be exposed to the hot sun for a long time.

The bus can also be quite crowded. We were completely jammed in the return bus.

We left the place at around 6pm. The very last bus back to Krakow was at 6:20pm. We waited at bus stop, only to see the bus not stop as it passed by our stop. It's a long walk to town. So we paid the outrageous price of 20 zl to take a taxi back to town. Last train to Krakow is at 7:30pm, but it's a slow local train that takes over 2 hours. Not much choice there though.

If you go, just be sure you know when the last bus/train is, so you don't get stranded there.

1  Thank palladia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 21, 2013

We were in Poland to work at a Christian camp and only had one day where we could visit Auschwitz. It was on a Saturday and we knew we would have go get with an English tour guide. There were more people in line here than you would imagine. But they did get us through the line fairly quickly and put us with an English speaking tour guide. NOTE: There are some months during the late fall and winter where you can go in without a guide..and you can go in early in the day and late in the day without a guide. But we were there during the times a guide is needed. You wear headphones to hear the guide. We had seventy in our group...and we were seeing everything right before and after other huge groups. So we did not get time to really look at the exhibits, read then, etc. Wish we could have been there at a time when we could go through at our own pace. Our guide apologized, but said there were 1.5 million a year wanting to see Auschwitz and they were doing the best they could. She was very good....and very caring. You could see in her face and hear in her voice the passion she has for the victims. She kept saying...REMEMBER...and also to imagine how many were killed when we were just seeing a tiny fraction of the shoes, suitcases...etc..that were left behind by victims. The part of the tour for Auschwitz I was probably almost two hours...and then we immediately went by very crowded bus (we had to stand packed in with lots of people) to Auschwitz II...Birkenau. That is where you see the camp most people think of when talking about Auschwitz. Many of our group did not come to this part..so we had a smaller group and our guide spoke to us without the need of headphones. I think everyone should see this place...and to remember the victims. What happened here was the most horrific thing I know of in history. We also saw the Jewish ghettos and Schindler's factory in Krakow. WE must never forget. The only reason I did not give this a perfect score is because of the crowds and being rushed through each building...not getting to really read each sign...etc. SO...come at a time when you can go at your own pace...or early in the morning or later in the day to avoid the huge crowds. And yes....you have to pay to use the toilets. They had some at the main museum and also at Birkenau. IT was pouring down rain the day we were there..and we were walking in mud, etc......so prepare for that if the weather is bad. Wear comfortable shoes....and know ahead of time that is is a long, long tour with lots of walking. But I will never forget seeing this place...and I am very glad we did this.

Thank IndianaKris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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