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Dachau Concentration Camp

Have any of you visited DCC? If so, did you do it on your own - or with a tour. I have heard mixed reviews and since I am leaving in two days - want to know if I should book a tour or just try to do it on my own. Will be travelling with my adult son - 30 years old. Thx.

Posted by
42 posts

We took a bus from Munich and spent the afternoon on our own touring the camp. You do not need to book a tour, you can easily do it on your own.

Posted by
638 posts

Probably one of the easiest day trips from Munich to do own your own, the train only takes maybe 15 minutes and then there are buses from the train station to the camp.

Posted by
10396 posts

Yes, easy to do on your own. But...I took a Radius tour (book at the train station in Munich) and found it was worth paying a little more. Our guide was very knowledgable and provided much more information than you will get on a self-guided tour.

Posted by
19169 posts

The Memorial offers their own guided tour. I took one and was impressed with how much the guide knew. According to the website, their guides have to attend a one year training course. Outside guides (those that work for the commercial tours), only have to attend a training course that lasts 4-6 sessions. It's very, very easy to get from downtown Munich to the Memorial. You take the S-Bahn from one of the downtown stations to the Dachau station (from the Hbf it takes 21 min). The bus leaves from a clearly marked stop in front of the station 10 min after the train arrives. It takes the bus 7 min to get to the Memorial. The round trip fare with single trip tickets cost €10/p, but one person can get an XXL Tageskarte (day ticket) for €7,50 and up to five people can get a Partner XXL Tageskarte for €13,10. Considering that a Partner Tageskarte for just the inner zone is €10,20, it's only €2,90 more for 2-5 people to go to Dachau. There is no admission charge to the Memorial, but the tour led by highly trained Memorial guides is €3. Or, also for €3, you can rent and audio guide and do the tour at your own pace. Commercial tour guides take you on the same train and bus that you would go on on you own and you pay €21. Considering how inexpensive and easy it is to do it on your own, I wouldn't pay for a tour.

Posted by
8239 posts

I've been out to Dachau a couple of times. I find the displays to have been done in very good taste, and it's well worth the trip. It's hard to believe the local Dachau citizens didn't have any idea what was going on 2 miles away right under their noses.

Posted by
32265 posts

Vickie, As the others have mentioned, it's easy to tour Dachau on your own. The travel routes suggested by Lee are excellent (as always), so you should have no trouble getting there. However, like Andrea I also chose to take a day trip with Radius Tours and I thought it was excellent. Regardless of how much training the Radius Guide was required to have, I thought his presentation was outstanding and done in a very respectful manner. Your choice..... Happy travels!

Posted by
19169 posts

I don't know this for sure, but I suspect that Radius hires former Dachau guides away from the Memorial. They just pay them more (at €21 per head, they can afford to).

Posted by
10396 posts

Radius guides are all native English speakers. They only allow English speakers on their tours. They turned away a group for my tour because not everyone in the group spoke English. They don't want to hold the group up or distract from the tour to allow for translations.

Posted by
9041 posts

The thing is though, if you haven't been on a tour with one of these companies, so that you can compare it to the ones at the Memorial, you don't know if it is not worth the money.
Otherwise it is just speculation. Most tour guides will do extensive research on their subject, gathering personal stories, delving deeply into the history of what they are presenting.

Posted by
19169 posts

The Memorial's tours at 11:00 and 13:00 are in English. My guide spoke excellent English - she was from England. And to add to Jo's comment, unless you know that the commercial guides are better, why spend all the money on them?

Posted by
989 posts

Well then...I guess we'll need to hear from someone who has taken both the offiical Camp tour and the commercial Radius tour. ;-)

Posted by
7 posts

Thanks for all your input -- and so quickly! I weighed each comment - and did book the radias tour - so I will post when I return to let you know what I thought about it. My decision was finally based on this is probably a place that I will only visit once in my lifetime - and may as well get the full scoop of a guide. I live near Washington, D.C. and have visited the Holocaust Museum several times - always on my own - but this is probably a once in a life time opportunity. Thanks Again.

Posted by
19169 posts

I'm sure anyone who blows €21 on something they could do for €3 is going to say it was worth it. Dachau is so easy to see on your own, and there is no proof that the commercial tour is any better, just more expensive, than the Memorials own tour.

Posted by
10396 posts

There are many ways to do the same thing. Which is the BEST way? Who knows. What I think is the best may not be the best for someone else. Is it BETTER to drive or take the train? The train may be better for some and a car may be better for others. Not everything comes down to what costs less. I'm sure you will enjoy the Radius tour experience Vickie.. Have a great trip!

Posted by
7 posts

Very true, but after having to purchase a train ticket - I only spent about 4 euros more with my discount.

Posted by
19169 posts

Radius doesn't show a 50% discount. A Munich XXL Partner Tageskarte for €13,10 would take both you and your adult son to the Memorial and back, and it would cost €6 for two people for the Memorial's own tour. That's €19,10 for the whole trip for two of you. Radius says the full price is €21, €18 for students. So you should have paid a least €36 for both of you.

Posted by
32265 posts

Vickie, I agree with Andrea - enjoy the tour and have a great trip!!!

Posted by
9041 posts

Vickie, I am sure you will have a very memorable experience on your tour. Do come back and let us know how your trip to Germany was. We are always interested.

Posted by
19169 posts

Except for a "Kurzstrecke", a round trip for two in the inner zone will cost €10; an Innenraum Partner Tageskarte costs €10,20 and you can use it for unlimit trips, so it makes sense. For only €2,90 more (€13,10) you can get a Muenchen XXL Partner Tageskarte and go into the second zone where Dachau is. For two people, traveling RT to Dachau and taking their tour cost only €8,90 more than staying in the inner zone, and you can use that day ticket for more travel in Munich that day. When you can get the same thing (and there is no proof that the 3rd party tours are not the same thing) for less, why go out of your way to pay more? I'm thinking of writing a book entitled, "Europe on $500 a day (or, how to make your trip more expensive than it needs to be)". People on this site have given me wonderful examples to quote.

Posted by
3050 posts

I don't really think paying a few Euro per head counts as some sort of ridiculous splurge, although it certainly sounds like the guided tour offered by the memorial itself is a good deal and the option that I would personally use. (I skipped Dachau previously because I'm planning on going there alone in the future - I didn't want to visit it with my traveling companions for personal reasons) When it comes to money and travel, I think it's important to remember that there are some things worth paying extra for, and what those things are will vary from person to person. If someone is really uncomfortable with public transit - as a lot of Americans are - it may be worth it to them for piece of mind to take a tour that guides them through that, even though yes I agree that the trip from Munich Hbf to Dachau is very easy. Just like a Bayern-pass isn't the best option for everyone, because for some people, getting to your destination faster or in more comfort while traveling is worth the money, if you can afford it. So there's really no need to get snarky. There's rarely a "right answer" to travel questions like this, just a matter of preference.

Posted by
7 posts

I wanted you to know I am very glad we spent the extra for the tour of Dachau! It was quite an intense visit and I appreciated the extras the guide gave us. Also, I actually enjoyed the small group that we were with the entire time - because we were able to talk about it on the train ride back to town. So...yes, it was worth the few extra Euros. Thanks again for all the assistance. Our trip to Munich was grrrreat! We also spent two days in Salzburg - totally enjoyed the Sound of Music Tour as well as visiting the Fortress. Our last two days were spent in Freising - near the airport - nice way to end the trip - very relaxing and a great Brewery! I will return to Germany some day. We stayed in Pasing - about 5 stops from Central Munich - so we really got to know the trains - and they worked wonderfully. Wish we had the same kind of system here in the USA. Vickie

Posted by
10396 posts

Vickie, I am so happy you felt it was worth the little bit of extra money for the Radius tour. I felt the same way about it. I am all for saving money, but sometimes it is worth spending a little more for a better (for you) experience. I'm glad you enjoyed your trip!

Posted by
32265 posts

Vickie, It's great to hear that your tour of Dachau went well. I also felt that the Radius group provided a good tour of the site. I can certainly agree that travel in that area is wonderful. I'll be returning to Munich this fall, and really looking forward to it. I'm not sure if you noticed, but there's now a section on the HelpLine for "Trip Reports". If you wanted to post a more detailed description of your travels, that would be the place to do it. If you're like the rest of us here, you're probably already starting to plan your next trip. Cheers!