Krakow: Auschwitz-Birkenau & Labyrinth Exhibit Full-Day Tour
- Skip the line
- Duration: 8 hours
- Optional audio guide
With the world distracted by war, the Nazis brutally reshaped the demographics of Europe in the south of Poland. The harrowing truth wasn't revealed until far too late, but here are a few of the many things you'll learn on your tour of Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Auschwitz-Birkenau – or Auschwitz II – was used as a death camp from 1942, primarily for Jews. Auschwitz I had already been holding Polish political prisoners for two years.
There was a third camp too. Monowitz – or Auschwitz III – was set up to provide slave labor for IG Farben. The Allies dissolved the chemical company the war.
90% were Jews, but thousands of Poles, Romani, Soviets, Jehovah's Witnesses, and homosexuals also died at Auschwitz. As did prisoners from other nationalities.
Not even most Germans knew what was happening at the camps. Arrivals were met with the slogan "Work sets you free." In hindsight it's hard to say how convincing that actually was.
Disguised as a farmer in Gottrupel, Rudolf Höss evaded capture for a year after the war. In spite of his expressed remorsed, he was hung outside the camp's crematorium in 1947.
The Auschwitz-Birkenau museum is open daily from 8am except for January 1st, December 25th, and Easter Sunday. It closes at 3pm from December to February, 4pm in March and November, 5pm in April and October, 6pm in May and September, and 7pm from June to August. The site can be accessed for free but it is advisable to take a tour. If you decide to do so, book your tickets in advance. The best ones fill up very quickly!
The easiest way is simply to book an all-in-one tour that leaves from the city. Alternatively, inexpensive buses frequently leave from the basement floor of Krakow's main bus station. You can also take a train to the nearby town of Oświęcim.
Krakow is a wonderful city with a great deal of attraction to please tourists. Though Auschwitz may be an essential part of your trip, it can be emotionally overwhelming. We recommend that you leave it till last.
Want to discover all there is to do in Memorial and Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau? Click here for a full list.
Our guides were amazing, factual and respectful. If you are visiting in the winter months remember to wear warm clothes as we had to wait in the queue outside Auschwitz for about an hour. It was a long day but very worth it and the tour allowed for many refreshment breaks throughout the day. Great tour, would recommend.
This tour made our experience better with having organized transport as well as timed entrance tickets with an excellent English speaking guide! Would not hesitate to recommend this tour!
absolute must do activity if you visit Krakow, extremely good value for money such an eye opening experience. Tour guide Conrad was very informative! can't recommend enough!
Really sad experience but everyone needs to go to understand what the people went through
Very informative guide efficient travel arrived on time