Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum Tickets

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Opening hours

January 7:30 am - 3:00 pm

February 7:30 am - 4:00 pm

March 7:30 am - 5:00 pm

April 7:30 am - 6:00 pm

May 7:30 am - 6:00 pm

June 7:30 am - 7:00 pm

July 7:30 am - 7:00 pm

August 7:30 am - 7:00 pm

September 7:30 am - 6:00 pm

October 7:30 am - 5:00 pm

November 7:30 am - 3:00 pm

December 7:30 am - 2:00 pm

For a guided tour, arrive between 10 am - 3 pm and you will pay around 50 Złotys (£10). Visit before or after if you don’t want a tour and entrance is free. The site is closed on 1st January, Easter Sunday and Christmas Day

How to get there

Concentration camp in Oświęcim, Poland

You will almost certainly travel from Kraków. Many choose to travel by coach, departing from Kraków Central Bus Station. Routes vary depending on the provider but the journey takes around 90 minutes to 2 hours each way. It’s about the same by train, travelling from Central Station to Oświęcim. From there, take a bus or walk to in about 30 minutes. With a car, you can drive to Auschwitz by taking the A4 motorway.


What was Auschwitz?
Auschwitz is actually a collection of several sites, a mixture of concentration and death camps. Concentration camps were used for imprisonment, forced labour and execution of groups of people deemed racially or otherwise inferior by Nazi Germany. Death camps were specifically for the extermination of such people. The largest group of victims were Jews, although Slavs, Romani, disabled people, homosexuals and others were also taken here. Of the Jewish population, an estimated five to six million were killed in the Holocaust.
What were the experiences in the camps?
For those deemed unfit for forced labour, including the youngest children, the elderly and the disabled, execution was immediate. Placing large numbers of people in gas chambers was one way victims were executed. Those that initially survived were forced to undertake extremely strenuous labour in terrible conditions, with very little food, rest, or sanitation and healthcare. Of the 1.3 million people sent to Auschwitz, only around 200,000 survived.
Can I bring my children to Auschwitz?
Official recommendations state that taking children under 14 to Auschwitz is not recommended. This is due to the graphic nature of the descriptions and images that you will see when touring the camps. However, there are no mandatory restrictions on age and so you should use your own discretion. Touring Auschwitz is a particularly solemn experience but also an illuminating first-hand look at history.
Are there any special restrictions?
General common sense and respect are expected of visitors to Auschwitz. There aren’t any specific rules or restrictions beyond this. You can take photographs in some outdoor spaces but should do so respectfully and without flash. You can use your phone except in certain exhibition areas, which are clearly marked. There aren’t any special dress restrictions apart from anything that would obviously be considered offensive. It makes sense to bring good walking shoes.


The different sites
There are actually two different areas that comprise Auschwitz: Auschwitz I and II. The museum is located at the first site and this is where you can see the exhibition spaces. You can also look inside the SS administration buildings and see where inmates slept and were forced to work, as well as the areas where victims were executed. The second site has more memorials and exhibitions and there is a free shuttle bus to take you between them.
Choosing between a guided tour and a self-tour
There are advantages and disadvantages to each approach when visiting Auschwitz. A guided tour will help you better understand the history of the place and learn about the victims’ experiences. The exhibitions are very good but a guided tour goes further. On the other hand, visiting independently means you can take your own time contemplating the significance of this location.
Organising your trip
Whether or not you want to take a tour, book your place to avoid disappointment as the site is extremely popular. You can reserve your free place without a tour and be guaranteed entry for your visit. More than a million people have visited every year since 2007. Summer is the most popular time to visit and getting your place guaranteed a few weeks in advance is a good idea

Places nearby

Oskar Schindler’s Enamel Factory
Back in Kraków, see the location the man whose story inspired the film Schindler’s List operated from during World War II. It is now the setting of two very distinct museums, the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Historical Museum of the City of Kraków. The first is a fantastic art gallery, while the second will deepen your understanding of this great city through time.
Oskar Schindler’s Enamel Factory

Oskar Schindler’s Enamel Factory. Jaroslav Moravcik /

National Museum, Kraków
A world-class collection of museums that will give you a more general idea of Poland’s story through time. Sites include the Europeum, devoted to European art, and the main building. The latter houses a number of fascinating galleries, including one about arms and uniforms in Poland.
National Museum, Kraków

National Museum, Kraków. Agnes Kantaruk /

Kraków’s Old Town
Take a walk through a part of town that is a definite must for history lovers. This is where you will find Wawel Castle, one of the city’s most recognisable monuments. It was built in the 13th and 14th centuries for King Casimir III. Kasimierz is a sub-district within the Old Town that is Kraków’s historic Jewish quarter. See the market square where you can visit the Ethnographic Museum.
Kraków’s Old Town

Kraków’s Old Town. Seqoya /

Also close to Auschwitz is Katowice. The city has a huge array of historical sites which include the Silesian Museum, all about the region, and the Wilson Shaft Gallery, named after American President Woodrow Wilson. The Jewish Cemetery here will also be of interest to those visiting for a specifically historical perspective.