Everything you need to know about visiting Auschwitz

It’s often quite daunting to be in a new country where the English language is not abundant, and you’re having to figure out how to do the activities that you’ve planned. We’ve taken away the stress of having to figure this out by creating a list of FAQ’s relating to Auschwitz-Birkenau tours from Krakow with helpful links directing you to the best booking sites. 


How far is Auschwitz from Krakow? 

Auschwitz is located about 66km west of Krakow close to a town called Oświęcim (Osh-vien-tsim). It’s usually about 90min max drive  in a car from Krakow – Auschwitz.

How much does it cost to go to Auschwitz?

An individual ticket for a foreign language guided tour of both camps, plus the film, costs 55-60zł. If you are doing the tour yourself with no private transport/all-inclusive package etc. arranged, then you are able to purchase tickets online before you visit, which helps you avoid standing in queues or possibly not getting in at all. 

If you don’t want to buy any tickets, Birkenau is FREE to walk around all year. However, there is not much information signposted, so you might need to have google handy. Admission without a guide to Auschwitz/Birkenau (when possible) is possible when the camps are not busy, but if you would like to watch their informative film, the cost will be 3-6zł.


 How do I get to Auschwitz?

The Museum is located on the outskirts of the city of Oświęcim on national road 933, which is just over an hour away from Krakow centre by car. The Museum is about 2 km from the nearest train station (Oświęcim REG) and can be reached by a local bus transfer. There are also PKS and minibus stops next to the Museum, with regular services to Krakow and Katowice. Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II-Birkenau are situated 3,5 km from each other. Every hour the museum bus shuttles from one concentration camp to another. Departures from the former Auschwitz concentration camp: between April – October every 10 minutes, between November – March every 30 minutes. No bus fare is required.


Bus to Auschwitz

Taking a bus is a good option to get to Auschwitz, and the bus stop is only a 10min walk from the museum. The bus connections to Auschwitz/Oswiecim have their bus depots at Dworzec MDA (MDA Station), which is situated in Bosacka street, which is located just behind the Main Railway Station & Shopping Galeria in Krakow. 

Book Here: 10-12zl each way 

Travel Time: 1.5-2hrs

Distance to Museum after stop: 10-15min walk


Train to Auschwitz 

From Krakow, you need to head to the Main Railway Station (Krakow Glowny) at Galeria Krakowska for the train to Oswiecim station. The trains usually leave Krakow every hour, with a standard journey lasting 90min. 

Book Here: 15,60 PLN for adult one way ticket

Travel time: 1.5-2hrs

Distance to Museum after stop: 20-30min walk, 5-10min by bus transfer


Tour company to Auschwitz 

The best way to get to Auschwitz and be sure to enter is to book an organized tour. These guys will take care of everything for you from hotel pick-up/drop-off to pre-purchasing tickets and organising of a tour guide. This is usually a little more expensive, but worth it to have everything taken care of. Private tours usually cost between 150-250zl. Anything more and you’re being ripped off, unless it includes a tour of the Wieliczka salt mines too. 

Book Here: 150-250zl

Travel Time: 1.5-2hrs

Distance to Museum after stop: n/a


How long do you need to visit Auschwitz?


You’ll need a full day for Auschwitz. 

  • 1.5 hours travel from Krakow to Auschwitz
  • 4 hours for observing the Auschwitz I and Birkenau (Auschwitz II) camps
  • 1.5 hours travel back to Krakow

Disclaimer: After seeing and hearing everything during your day at Auschwitz, you’ll probably need a drink or two in Krakow, because it’ll be quite an intense day for you. Try the pub crawl or vodka tasting


 Is Auschwitz open all year round?


Auschwitz is open all year except January 1, December 25 and Easter.

Normal opening times are as follows:

8:00 AM – 2:00 PM December

8:00 AM – 3:00 PM January, November

8:00 AM – 4:00 PM February

8:00 AM – 5:00 PM March, October

8:00 AM – 6:00 PM April, May, September

8:00 AM – 7:00 PM June, July, August

Is there food available to buy at Auschwitz?

There’s not much food available there, and it’s pretty disgusting to be honest. Water, juices and cool drinks are readily available, but are quite expensive. The selection of food consists of very poor quality over-priced sandwiches, bags of crisps, chocolate bars, and slices of what they seem to call “pizza”. Do yourself a favour and bring a packed lunch/snack and a bottle or two of water.

Can I take photos at Auschwitz?

Photography is allowed in most areas of Auschwitz, but please be tactful. You may not take photos inside the gas chambers, as this is a particularly emotionally heavy environment, and deserves to be respected. There are also certain places within Auschwitz I where you’re not permitted to take photos. These are the exhibitions that show the scale of how many people died and the rooms where those people died. Again, remember to be respectful of the environment in which you find yourself.

Is anything not permitted in Auschwitz?

 It’s highly recommended that children under the age of 14 are not brought to visit Auschwitz, as it’s quite a traumatic experience. Bags are also not permitted, aside from handbags and purses. Storage facilities are provided for a fee of about 8-10zl.