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Visiting Auschwitz

I will be traveling to Krakow in May and am planning to visit Auschwitz. I understand you must (and I would want to) take a museum guide. What is the cost of this guided tour. Also what is the easiest way (and cost) to get to Auschwitz from downtown Krakow. Also is there enough time to visit the salt mines the same day and what is the cost to do so. Thanks.

Posted by
2876 posts

You can find answers to all your Auschwitz questions here:

In my opinion, having been to both places, there is not enough time in one day to visit both places. We left Krakow for Auschwitz by local bus around 9:00 AM, got back around 4:00 PM. The salt mine took probably a couple hours less. Both places are very extensive and both are outside of the city of Krakow - in opposite directions.

The host at our Krakow B&B recommended bus over train for both destinations. We took the bus both ways to Auschwitz; we took the train to the salt mine and the bus back.

Posted by
8632 posts

Lew The salt mine tour is about four hours, more if there are crowds and you have to wait in line. It is not that close to Auschwitz. I would definitely not try and do them the same day. If it were me, I would consider booking a tour complete with transportation, as they know how to shortcut lines.

Posted by
85 posts

Hi Lew - I visited both a few years back. The salt mine by bus and Auschwitz by rental car. Taking the bus was easy and I would recommend doing that. Auschwitz consists consists of 2 major sites....Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II -Birkenau. They are perhaps 2 miles from each other. Auschwitz II - Birkenau is the concentration camp most people think of when they hear the name Auschwitz. A guide was needed for Auschwitz I but not for Auschwitz II grounds. There is a cost to go in the main building at Auschwitz II though. As you indicated you mentioned going with a museum guide. I would do recommend this at both places. I do not remember the exact amount but it a normal museum rate.

I would visit Auschwitz. Visiting the mine on the same day is too much. Take your time at Auschwitz. If you have to cut out one it would definitely be the Wieliczka salt mine. I didn't care for it much...too touristy. 2 others with me agreed. Now that I saw it I don't need to go back. Whereas I which I had an opportunity to see Auschwitz again.

Posted by
4637 posts

You can do both in one day but not on your own. We went with a tour company. Visitor center in Krakow should be able to advise you. We had a guide and watched a documentary about Auschwitz on the way there.

Posted by
11613 posts

The first bus to Auschwitz leaves from the bus station in Krakow (behind the train station) at about 8:30am, as I recall. The guide for Auschwitz I is included in the ticket price. It is an extraordinary experience.

Posted by
2791 posts

Also many inexpensive mini-buses that go there (and beyond), no guide. You get the tour at Auschwitz, and this way you can make sure of getting an English language tour (there are less of them)

Posted by
792 posts

We booked with a private tour guide who picked us up from our hotel. We had seven in the group so it was only an additional 5-10 per person total for both days. And we didn't have to wait in any lines. We were taken to our tour guide immediately.

I think you can do both in one day if you really want (and don't go to both camps) but I wouldn't recommend it. Each of the camps is unique and I think it is I portent to see them both.