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Auschwitz - Joint Organized Museum Tour (guided) or Tours from Krakow

Hi all - I will be visiting in mid June and plan to book the Organized Museum Tour (45 zl per pax) for three people. I would like to have the guided service. Website is below:
https://visit.auschwitz.org

Another alternative is to join tours from Krakow, and RS's books say that included a guided tour of the camp (150 zl). I am a bit confused as I thought outside guides are not allowed to show the travellers around (or as a guide); then how could an organized Tour from Krakow could provide such guided service within the camp?

Which one is better? We travel in 3 and have allocated full day for Auschwitz. Thank you all.

Posted by
1439 posts

We took a tour from Krakow. The tour folks picked us up at the hotel. When we arrived at Auschwitz our small group was handed over to a guide who conducted the entire tour of Auschwitz and Birkenau. When it concluded, we rejoined our Krakow driver and guide for the trip back to our hotel. Our hotel made the phone call to arrange the tour; I do not recall the price nor the company with whom we traveled.

Posted by
12643 posts

I think it is the case that all the guiding is done by employees of the memorial/museum, no matter what sort of package you buy. I just bought a bus ticket at the Krakow bus station and a ticket to the memorial museum from the latter's website.

Posted by
919 posts

Been there twice and did what Denny did. You will read different ways there once your there it is pretty much the same. The camp tour guides take over. I would suggest you do what ever is more comfortable for you. Me I like to buy the tour and have someone take me there and bring me back. I think there are certain times of the day you can wander but someone will log on and let you know.

Posted by
3689 posts

Same for us. Tour picked us up at our hotel and turned us over to an English speaking museum guide at Auschwitz. We happened to be the only native English speakers on our tour of 10 or so.. Excellent guide. Toured both Birkenau and Auschwitz.

Posted by
582 posts

I've only been once, last Autumn, so can't say which is better, although independently travelling to the memorial by local bus is obviously cheaper.

We used "Krakow Shuttle", cost per person was about 160PLN; and we were very content with it's service which was as advertised. They picked us up at our hotel (about 24hrs before they confirmed the specific pick-up time for our hotel), on the drive over they showed a documentary film, then handed us over to an official guide for the first tour, then bus to the second camp where the same guide took us around. It was useful having the same guide as he could link things he told us at each camp. Then the bus back to Krakow. There were about 12 on our tour. I think left Krakow about 8 O'clock and were back mid-afternoon.

Posted by
12643 posts

I also had the same guide for both parts of the camp; I assume it always works that way.

Posted by
25 posts

Thanks everyone.

If I were to book with the museum (organised tour), and after the 3.5 hours of organised tour, can I still linger around in the camp so as to maximize the time, plus there could be some exhibits that I probably like to revisit?

I have checked around, if I were to join the tour from Krakow, I have to leave after the stipulated time; right (3.5 hour total)?

Thanks everyone.

Posted by
12643 posts

I would imagine if you take a tour from Krakow that includes transportation to the camp, there may be an issue if you want to stay longer, because you're supposed to take the tour-provided bus back to the city. However, there would be nothing to stop you from buying a ticket on a public bus. When I visited the camp, I didn't buy a round-trip bus ticket, just a one-way. I just paid the driver on the return bus when I was ready to go back.

What I'm not sure about, unfortunately, is whether you can get back into the Auschwitz I area after your tour of Auschwitz II (Birkenau). You travel between the two by bus, and you are returned to a point outside the tourist-entry gates at Auschwitz I. Can you get back into Auschwitz I at that point? I just do not know. I suspect the answer to that question doesn't vary depending on whether you take a Krakow-based tour or not, because at the camp everyone seems to be funneled into the same process.