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Visiting Auschwitz

Hello! I am planning a three month backpacking trip to Europe in the next two months. After getting a rough idea of all the places I wanted to go, Poland did not make the list.

However, one of my MUST EXPERIENCE things throughout my entire trip is I really want to take a tour through Auschwitz as it fascinates me beyond belief.

I am wondering, what is the most conveniently located city to visit in Poland via train to take a tour through Auschwitz? As I said, unless I discover another something I would like to do/see in Poland, visiting Auschwitz is my main objective.

Could anyone give me some advice or share your experience?

Thanks in advance!

Posted by
11613 posts

Kraków is the nearest big city, with lots to do/see. Auschwitz/Birkenau is a local bus ride away. In Krakow you should visit the Jewish Museum, the deportation grounds, and the Schindler Museum.

Posted by
1068 posts

As stated by Zoe, Krakow is the nearest city and there is a lot to do there regarding the Holocaust. Whether you spend much time in Krakow and take advantage of it or not, it is still probably the best base for Auschwitz.

Posted by
6027 posts

Jonah, if your desire is limited to touring Auschwitz (as opposed to touring any concentration camp) then Krakow is the most convenient access point. Like Ray I took a guided tour from Krakow which met my needs better than just hopping a train or bus to the camp. If you feel that you might be able to get a comparable experience by touring another camp, you can read some opinions from others on this forum. I posted this thread before my trip last year and it contains some good thoughts.

https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/general-europe/which-concentration-camp

Posted by
226 posts

Highly recommend the Schindler Museum - it is wonderful....a real surprise!!!!

Posted by
17 posts

"Fascinates" is an interesting way to describe an interest in seeing a concentration camp. I also have been to both Dachau and Munthausen and was very moved by the experience. You might consider one of those or another one on your route. Just be sure you are picking one that has something to see, not just a monument.

Posted by
10237 posts

Be ready to cry, it's a powerful experience.