The closest city to Auschwitz is Krakow, but if you are in Warsaw and are still interested to visit Auschwitz then you can also do so. Keep in mind that the Concentration Camp is located almost 3 hours away, so it will take you the full day to explore Auschwitz and return to Warsaw. In this travel guide from Warsaw to Auschwitz you will find all the information you need to start your journey.
Auschwitz is one of the saddest, yet most important places I have ever visited. It is important to go here and remember the horrible place where over a million Jews and other minorities were murdered during WWII. It is important to go to this type of museums so we can finally learn from history and not repeat it again.
Travel Video: A visit to Auschwitz, Poland
How to get from Warsaw to Auschwitz?
The easiest way is to book a one-day trip to Auschwitz from Warsaw. I found several options online but only one was available the day I wanted to go, so I booked my tour through AB Poland Travel. It is a pricey but it includes pick up and drop off from your hotel in Warsaw, lunch, all the entrance fees and a one hour tour of the Old Town in Krakow.
If you want to do it by yourself, it is also possible. There are two ways: The first one is to take a train from Warsaw to Oswiecim. The train can takes between 3.5 to 4.5 hours. Once you arrive to Oswiecim you can either take a bus or hire a taxi to take you to Auschwitz. Getting between Auschwitz I and Birkenau Concentration Camp is really easy as you can either walk the 3 kilometers, or take a museum Shuttle Bus. The other option is to take a train to Krakow and then a bus to Oswiecim or hire a tour locally.
How long do I need to visit Auschwitz?
One day will be more than enough to take a tour and visit Auschwitz and Birkenau. Each concentration camp takes about 90 to 120 minutes to visit.
What did your tour included?
My tour started really early, 6:10 AM to be exact. The driver picked me up from in front of my hotel in Warsaw and then we picked up another couple and headed towards Auschwitz.
Once we arrived at Auschwitz, the guide gave us our tickets and we started our 11AM guided tour. Auschwitz was a network of concentration and extermination camps built in occupied Poland by Nazi Germany. In the tour you see the original fences, wooden watchtowers, the railway ramps and even the cattle cars that took millions of people from around Europe to this horrible place.
In the museums you will be able to understand better the terror and the inhumane conditions that Jews, Poles, Romanies, handicap and other minorities had to live and die in. In the museum collections you see original documents, suitcases, women hair, shoes and other belongings from grown ups and kids who were taken here where a majority of them were murdered.
Then we visited Birkenau Camp and took a tour of the grounds. Birkenau was considered a work and an extermination camp. In this terrorific place more than 90% of the prisoners died, a majority of who were Jews. The Nazis tried to destroy this camp as they realized the war was coming to an end.
For lunch we went to a local restaurant and enjoyed fresh local food.
Tour of Old Town Krakow
After visiting the concentration camp we drove for another hour to Krakow where our English speaking tour guide was waiting for us to give a one hour tour through Old Town Krakow.
In Krakow we visited the Main Market Square, the Town Hall Tower, St Mary’s Basilica, Krakow Barbican and the Cloth Hall. We started our tour at the top of the Wawel Hill, where the cathedral and royal castle are located. From here we enjoyed a beautiful view of the Vistula River and the Waverl Dragon.
We drove back from Krakow to Warsaw and arrived back to our hotel close to midnight. So, it was definitely a full day trip to Auschwitz from Warsaw!
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