It's time to think about getting the ticket to see Auschwitz and I have a question on the public transit. I've decided (until I change my mind) to visit in the morning without a tour. There is a bus company called Lajkonik that sells shuttle tickets ahead of time, but are there other buses/shuttles that go out in the morning? Do I have to get this ticket ahead of time or can I do that the morning of and not worry about there only being this one bus company? Thanks, all.
I did it by public transportation from Krakow (is that where you will be starting out?), but I did it almost seven years ago. I suppose a few things may have changed.
In 2012, I went to the bus station next to the train station in Krakow and bought a ticket on the early bus to Oświęcim (Polish name for Auschwitz). I made sure the bus stopped near the camp (lots of tourists use it, so they shouldn't be surprised by such a qustion.)
The bus dropped me on the road outside the camp parking lot, about 1/3 of a mile away from the camp entrance. Some buses may drop you off in the camp parking lot. To get back to Krakow at the end of my day, I waited in the camp parking lot for a bus they showed as scheduled to stop there, but none did. With a few other tourists, I walked back out to the road where I had been dropped off in the morning and just got on the next bus going back to Krakow.
In 2012, you could enter the camp before 10am without a guide. Check the Auschwitz website for the latest time limit, the need to pre-select a timed entry (which you couldn't do in 2012), etc.
There is a train to Oświęcim from Krakow, but it takes you to the center of town, not to the camp entrance.
Can you buy bus tickets online without buying them at the bus station? No idea.
I don't know the answer but if you use the Search box at the top of this window, you may find posts that have discussed this subject over the last few years. Suggest you use Auschwitz as the search term.
Also, it's possible Rick's Eastern Europe guidebook will cover your question, as this is the kind of detail he often includes in his guidebooks; you can try to search it on Amazon before purchasing it, or you could call somebody at Rick Steves Europe and ask them.
Yes, Rick's guidebook has about a page and half on this topic, including a recommendation to check schedules for public buses and minibuses at the Tourist Info office in Krakow. The main public bus service is PKS and you can find schedules in Polish on a few different web sites, such as https://rozklady.nocowanie.pl/oswiecim/wyszukiwarka_pks/. The book reports that these can fill up and are not reserve-able, so arriving about 15 minutes in advance is recommended. Of course, you basically must reserve your ticket to Auschwitz, with very few available at the last minute.
There weren't forum replies to this specific question. People mention "getting a bus in the morning" but I want to make sure a bus will be available before I get the ticket to the site. Lajkonik does sell ahead of time but they leave at 6:20am, 7:10am, etc. Not a whole lot of information about buses that leave in between these times, over all the internet (or the first many pages of a search anyway). I checked the book out of the library awhile ago but am waiting for the upcoming new edition before I buy it. I tried the website link (thank you for that) but couldn't get the schedules to open, so for now I should get the ticket I want and figure there will something available and check as soon as I get into town.
The trip is in August so hopefully that July updated book comes out soon!
Your question is very specific and I don’t know the answer to it. We took a bus to Auschwitz last summer but we did not take an early morning bus. I don’t know how early the buses start and I don’t know the bus company names. We got a list of bus times from the tourist office, as suggested by RS guidebook. The bus took us directly to the parking lot. The return bus left from the same stop.
If you want an answer to your question before you buy your Auschwitz ticket, perhaps you could call the Krakow tourist office and ask them for details on early morning buses. I wouldn’t rely on someone like me who was there a year ago because schedules change and what I observed last year might not be relevant for this year. We did not arrange bus transport in advance. We just showed up. The bus didn’t sell out. That’s as specific as I can get.
In the past I would have said, "Just go to the bus station when you get to town and get accurate information there". That's what I did last year, but the only reason it worked was that I was spending a long time in Krakow and there were still some Auschwitz tickets available when I got definitive bus information. Later in the week I went by the tourist office and watched many people being told online Auschwitz tickets were sold out for the next X days.
I ended up being hyper-cautious about my timing, choosing a bus that got me to Auschwitz more than an hour before my scheduled entry time (which I believe was in the early afternoon).
Take a large bottle of water; you'll probably need it, and bottled water Is very expensive on site. Beware the soda-vending machine; my Coke basically exploded all over the floor when I opened it.
Allow more time than you think you need to get to the bus station in Krakow. It's just beyond the train station, but I found that area of town tricky despite going over there several times. A map on your phone with a You Are Here dot can be very helpful.