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How to get - to/from Auschwitz

We are visiting Auschwitz/Birkenau at 9AM on a Thursday with no tour guide. Coming from Old Town/Pilsudskiego, what bus# or train (and from where) can we take to Auschwitz?

For such a popular place to visit, is there a dedicated bus/train that takes people to & from this place?

Posted by
3925 posts

Yes, there are dedicated buses to the site. If you go to the central bus station you can buy tickets for the bus. No need to pre-book, 7 of us walked up and bought tickets for the next bus. Cheap but takes a while.

Didn't feel the need for a guide, personally found it better without one as we all split up and spent time for quiet reflection at our own pace.

Posted by
4686 posts

Yes. You can take a bus (or mini-bus) to Oświęcim (Polish name for Auschwitz). There's a train too but it goes to the town, not to the camp. I would buy tickets in advance for the bus just in case; these can be pretty small "mini-buses". And show up early enough to snag a seat if you can. Buy tickets at the bus station next to the train station - tell them you want to go to Oświęcim, to the camp. They'll know; few tourists would buy a ticket just to the town.

The one tricky thing I recall (this was 2012) about taking the buses was that I had been told they would pick up in the camp parking lot to return to Krakow, but the expected buses never came. (They have a schedule inside for buses which is what I was relying on.) The incoming bus dropped us off on the road outside the camp parking lot, maybe a 1/3 mile walk from the camp entrance, so after waiting around in the parking lot for a while at the end and no bus, I just walked back out there and caught the next bus going the other direction back to Krakow.

In retrospect, and with more time, I might have taken the train back from the town of Oświęcim, had there been one at a convenient time, to try to retrace the route concentration camp victims might have taken to the camp. But I'm sure it would have taken longer to get back to Krakow than the buses.

Posted by
4948 posts

How do you get from the main camp to Birkenau if you are not on a package tour? I think Birkenau is the most important part to see.

Posted by
4686 posts

Stan, in 2012 there was a free shuttle from the main camp to Birkenau and back - imagine there still is.

Posted by
16 posts

Thank you all for replying!
Is there a bus schedule online, website? Can I buy the bus tickets online and do you pay for roundtrip or one way? How much is it?

Posted by
4686 posts

I do seem to recall the bus schedule was online in 2012 - google for it, I'm pretty sure that's how I found it. No idea if you can buy tickets online now.

Posted by
201 posts

We checked the bus schedule when we got to the entrance of Auschwitz as there is a stop right outside of the parking lot. We didn't buy our tickets beforehand but the bus was very crowded to Krakow and at each stop, more people got on. By the time we got there, we had or luggage on our laps and people in the aisles. It was an adventure, though! There is a great luggage storage spot in the basement of the camp entrance. There is a free shuttle that goes to Birkenau and back to main camp entrance.

Posted by
4686 posts

I suspect most people going to Auschwitz by bus do it as a day trip from Krakow and not bring their luggage with them or doing a one-way trip; if returning to Krakow afterward they could just store bags at the train station (which is adjacent to the bus station) instead of lugging it on the bus.