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Day trip transportation

My husband and i are going to Central Europe for the first time in Sept.
We are flying into Prague, staying one night and then trying to arrange transportation to Oswiecim (Auschwitz).

We will spend the night and then tour and spend another night.
We are then looking for transportation to Budapest.
We will stay there for 5 days then take the train to Vienna.

In Vienna for 5 days and then train back to Prague for 5 days.

The transportation I am looking for is to Osweiecim and then to Budapest.

I have looked into private drivers, but they seem expensive--
I have checked into MyDayTrip and the reviews look great, price seems reasonable--but I wanted to make sure I wasn't missing another methods.
thanks for your help.

Posted by
5314 posts

You would most likely travel to Krakow, Poland to tour Auschwitz.

Posted by
31 posts

we have a hotel in Oswiecim right across from site--so that's why I am thinking of using MyDAYTRIP to have a driver take us right there.

Posted by
4786 posts

If you're going to Oswiecim, you're very, very close to Krakow (one of Central Europe's hottest travel destinations and by all accounts, a real gem). It would be a shame to be so close and not stop there. From a practical/transportation standpoint, when departing from Oswiecim (Auschwitz), you would probably want to head to Krakow anyway - catch a train or flight from there to your next destination. Krakow has lots of transport options - you could fly to Budapest from there.

Posted by
4658 posts

Most people stay in Krakow (lovely at night but at any time) and just visit Oswiecim for the day to see the camps. Many people take a guided tour from Krakow to the camps, though it is possible to take a public bus (mini-bus) from Krakow too. It's fairly easy to get from Prague to Krakow by train - there's a direct train that takes a little over six hours. You might be able to fly, too, but it might not save you much time, the train is so easy. I sure wouldn't want to miss Krakow if visiting this area. It was mostly spared bombing during the war, so it is very authentic and well preserved - and charming.

Posted by
114 posts

Can I ask why you are looking to stay in Oswiecim, and not Krakow? I've only ever visited the camps, but my recollection is that there's not much to do in the town besides the touring the camps - which is draining. I guess I'm just trying to imagine your first few days on what sounds like an incredible trip. You'll arrive in Prague, jet-lagged, and sleep - then wake up early the next morning to catch a train or private car to take you to Oswiecim, where you'll arrive - midafternoon? I did a quick search on MyDayTrips and it looks like a 9am departure gets you into town around 1:30pm. You'll spend the afternoon and evening there, then tour Auschwitz the next morning/afternoon, and then - go back to your hotel room? Then head down to Budapest, which is at least 8h30m by train. It seems like a lot of work to get to Auschwitz, and almost a waste to be so close to Krakow and not see it. Two afternoons and evenings can be well-spent there, and especially after a day at Auschwitz, it might be good to escape back to the Rynek, people watch, and explore the Cloth Hall. Just something to consider. (Another thing to consider - flying into Krakow.)

As for your actual question - I would take the train from Prague to Oswiecim. There's a direct that leaves around 10am and gets in around 1530. My very superficial search on MyDayTrips said the drive from Prague to Oswiecim was about $250, and I can't imagine two train tickets would cost nearly that much. That being said, I can't prove that, because when I typed in your route on rozklad, I was told I could buy the tickets at the station but was given no price. Perhaps someone else will have better luck finding the price. As for the trip to Budapest, check out airline prices leaving from Krakow or even Katowice. On skyscanner there are flights listed in September for as low as $66 for a direct, one hour flight from Krakow to Budapest.

Posted by
16632 posts

The direct morning train from Prague to Krakow should cost no more than $50 per person in 2nd class (buying tickets there), and less if you get off at the Oswiecim stop.

Posted by
31 posts

Thanks for all your input--
to explain a bit, yes we will be really jet-lagged that is why I was thinking of hiring a driver rather than trying to figure out the trains and all the connections.

And staying at Osweicsim seemed like the best, I know it will be emotional draining to tour, so I thought a hotel close by would be the best for decompressing after the tour.
We have used trains in England and Spain and plan on using them again from Budapest and again in Vienna so we know that trains are an amazing way to get around.
I was just trying to create a "soft landing" for the beginning of our trip.
Another factor, I have RA so I'm trying to limit a lot of stress and schlepping our luggage until I have recovered from the flight.

But I will look into the trains again--thank you.

Posted by
2480 posts

It is really best to have your accommodation in Kraków. Oswiecim has very limited facilities.
I understand your preference for a private drive from Prague after a long flight, but even a reasonable price of USD 250 is around USD 200 more than you would spend on the train, which has a perfect departure time (10.24 AM) and is a comfortable direct one. Wouldn't it be a solution to split your stay in Prague? Two nights at the start of your trip and one night less at the end?

Posted by
114 posts

I second tonfromleiden's suggestions. You say you're looking for a soft landing, but I think your current plan has you doing the opposite. You'll be sleeping in three different places in the first few days of your trip (plane, Prague, Poland). Maybe consider spending two (or even three?) nights in Prague before heading out? That will give you time to settle in, get over the jetlag, and let your RA settle before moving on. The train will be a straight shot to Oswiecim or Krakow, much cheaper, and, depending on the car used, perhaps more comfortable than a private driver. And, again, I would really urge you to stay in Krakow those two nights. It's an easy bus ride (clearly marked, as I remember it) from Krakow to the camps, and coming back to Krakow will give you physical distance from the camps. Besides that, Krakow is a beautiful city that I think you will enjoy.

Posted by
4658 posts

My feet were pretty sore after touring both camps, so even though I love trains, I am glad I took the bus back to Krakow afterward instead of hiking all the way back to the train station. (And then I toured the salt mines later in the day, perhaps a mistake because that requires even more walking; my feet were wiped out by the end of that day!)

Posted by
11108 posts

If you do not want to walk between Auschwitz and Birkenau, there is a free shuttle bus connecting them.