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Auschwitz without a tour

Hello -

Is it possible to tour Auschwitz without being apart of a tour?

We our children are under the recommended age, but we would like to go because we do not know when we will be back to Poland. Our plan was to arrive at 7:30AM, when it opens, and do a self-guided tour, however, I saw on a blog that is not possible anymore. Is this true and is there a way around being in a tour?

Thank you!

Posted by
1156 posts

I know you saw the information on a blog, but did you check their website. Their website would give you the most up to date information.

Posted by
5 posts

I checked the website, and I did not see self-guided tours as an option, only guided, but there is still language on the website saying you can enter without an "educator" but it is not possible to book an entry ticket without a general tour.

The website, from what I have seen, does not offer entry tickets without a guided tour component which is why I mentioned the blog, perhaps they have changed the rules?

Posted by
4669 posts

They don't use the term "self-guided", but only words about "without an educator." The ticket price is so low that I presume this is not the issue for you. In any case, it is easy enough to drop off your tour group and continue on your own if that is what you wish to do. That is, it's not like a "visit only by tour group" location.

Naturally, you would need to be prepared with a guidebook and a plan to make the most of your time at the two camps. Both sites are extremely large, and hard to understand without background and descriptions. You will have to find the barracks exhibits that pertain to your interests, and the other places that you consider suitable for your children.

I consider it ill-advised to ignore the OFFICIAL advice about children's ages. You are risking not only their comfort, but possibly the comfort and experience of other visitors who may have to endure the upset reactions of your children. This is a self-indulgent decision. Sorry to be blunt, but you are not the first person to make this mistake. Your decisions have consequences for others, too.

Posted by
3904 posts

It's been several years since I've been so I cannot comment on whether things have changed but at the time of visiting there was no requirement to be accompanied by a guide. We toured the site by ourselves, at our own pace and each one of us branching off to focus and reflect on different parts of the site that interested us more or held a significant part of our family history.

I have to agree with the previous poster about ignoring the advised children's ages. It isn't a place to be taken lightly, you may not think that you'll return to Poland, you may or may not but your children certainly might. Taking them at too young an age can be harmful, it is a very harrowing place and I would not want to take anyone younger than a teen. To do so out of convenience is very misguided in my opinion.

Posted by
7539 posts

I have to agree with Tim and JC regarding your children. How old are they? To disregard the experts for your own convenience and to possibility traumatize your children is irresponsible.

Posted by
5 posts

Thank you all for the unsolicited opinions about the age of my children being younger than the suggested age. You do not know our family, their ages, experiences, and what they already know regarding atrocities committed against others.

Posted by
3904 posts

Thank you all for the unsolicited opinions about the age of my children being younger than the suggested age.

The main body of your post is in reference to the age of your children. Soliciting comments is precisely what you are doing, the fact that you don't like the responses you received is part and parcel of seeking advice on a public forum.

I would hope that your children haven't been exposed to horrors and trauma such as those that one experiences at Aushcwitz!!!!!