My group will be visiting Krakow next month. I am looking for a good tour of Auschwitz for one person in our group who has not visted the site. He needs transportation and a guide (which I believe is provided at Auschwitz). It seems that many of the tours want a minimum number of people, but he is only one and want to find a tour he can join as a single person. Recommendations?
www.toursbylocals.com will let you see many local tour guides. You can read reviews, read tour itineraries, ask potential guides questions, etc.
It's easy to get to Auschwitz from Krakow by public transportation, then just join a tour group upon arrival (I did a self-tour without a guide - you can if you arrive at the camp before 10am). (Though, you might need to reserve an entry ahead of time online) Go to the bus station in Krakow (adjacent to the train station) and buy a ticket to Oświęcim (Polish name for Auschwitz). Most buses or mini-buses stop outside the camp parking lot; mine did - it was about a 1/3 of a mile walk to the entrance. Some stop in the parking lot directly. When buying the ticket, just confirm that it stops at the camp. Lots of tourists use it - they'll be expecting that. (Why would the average foreign tourist buy a ticket to Oświęcim but not visit the camps?)
I didn't buy a return ticket, not knowing what time I'd be finished. I saw a posted schedule for buses back to Krakow stopping in the bus parking lot, but the scheduled bus never showed up. So a few of us - me and another few tourists - simply walked back to where I'd been dropped off in the morning on the road and caught the next bus back to Krakow and bought a ticket on board - didn't have to wait long.
I'm a solo traveler. I booked a ticket to Auschwitz in advance online (advance tickets can sell out many days ahead of time), and then I just went to the Krakow bus station and bought a ticket on the public bus. The Auschwitz ticket secures you a place on a tour. At the end of the tour, I took a public bus back to Krakow, paying the driver.
However, I am sure there are plenty of bus tours that will be happy to sell a spot to your friend. You want a public tour, not a private tour. It's my understanding that all the guiding at Auschwitz is done by camp employees, so I don't think there's any concern about the quality of the visit to the camp, no matter how you arrange the visit. It's just a matter of whether a person wants to pay extra to be on a tour bus rather than a public bus. There may be differences in where the various public tours pick customers up, of course.
If you are looking for a full-service package tour, you might check with your hotel. My Krakow hotel signed me up (as a solo traveler) for a full-service group tour that included hotel pick-up in a minivan/shuttle, round trip transportation to Auschwitz where we met our guide for the day, entrance to and guided tour of both sites, transportation from Auschwitz to Birkenau, continuation with the same Auschwitz guide and then hotel drop-off.
The cost (October 2018) for them to take care of everything was 160 PLN, about $42, which I paid via credit card to the driver. You can do it yourself for much less (as others have described) using straightforward public transportation and buying your own ticket online.
Edited: this is the tour which I joined, as recommended by my (RS recommended) hotel:
The entrance ticket to the camp includes the shuttle bus between Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II (Birkenau).
I was also in Krakow solo and joined a small group tour arranged through the local tour office. I think I found it by looking online, then just went to the office to sign up. I don't remember the exact cost but it was definitely under $50 and well worth it. I usually use public transportation to get to places like that but just didn't feel like doing that this time.
Thanks. Great suggestions and we are looking into them.
When you buy a ticket on the bus for the return trip to Krakow, do you have to pay with cash or can you pay with card? Thank you!