KL Auschwitz-Birkenau (Konzentrationslager Auschwitz-Birkenau) is an internationally recognisable symbol of terror and cruelty of the Second World War. The camp was established in the outskirts of Oświęcim (annexed as Auschwitz to the Third Reich) in the first half of 1940. The exact date of its opening is considered to be 14 June 1940, when the first transport of 728 Polish political prisoners arrived at the KL Auschwitz-Birkenau. The newly arrived inmates were tattooed with their camp numbers and then put for a quarantine period in buildings adjacent to the area where the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum is located today. Only after the shocking words of camp director SS Obersturmfuehrer Karl Fritzsch did the prisoners become aware of the tragic fate awaiting them. “You have not come to a health resort here, but to a German concentration camp from which the only way out is through the crematorium chimney,” he said. “Anybody who doesn’t like it can go and jump on the high-voltage barbed wire. If there are any Jews in the transport, they have no right to live any longer than two weeks, priests one month, and all the rest three months.” Altogether, over 1.1 million men, women and children lost their lives in the camp until 1945. A visit to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum is an opportunity to commemorate the victims of what is regarded today as the biggest crime in the history of humanity.
1.This is a regular tour (group sightseeing), but can be organised as a private tour on request.
2. Tour duration: up to 7 hours
3. For safety reasons, before entering the museum, every participant in required to undergo a search and luggage inspection.
4. The Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum allows you to bring a hand luggage item with maximum dimensions of 30 ˣ 20 ˣ 10 centimetres (11.8 ˣ 7.8 ˣ 3.9 inches). In case of larger luggage, please contact us before the tour.
5. Due to the nature of the tour (visiting the site of a former extermination camp), the participants are requested to respect the memory of the dead by dressing and behaving appropriately.
6. The Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum can only be visited with an official museum educator.
7. Auschwitz-Birkenau is an open-air museum, where the weather can change rapidly. Therefore, the participants are required to bring warm, waterproof clothing (e.g. sweaters, jackets, umbrellas) and sun-protective items (e.g. hats, caps, sunglasses).
8. The participants will be walking on a ground which becomes muddy in case it rains. Therefore, they should wear comfortable, waterproof shoes.
9. Only pay toilets are available around the museum.
The Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum (today called the Memorial) was officially opened thanks to the efforts of former prisoners on 14 June 1947. Its premises include two preserved parts of the KL Auschwitz-Birkenau: Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II-Birkenau. The Auschwitz I area originally consisted of administrative buildings, supply stores, workshops and enterprises where prisoners were forced to work beyond their endurance. Auschwitz II-Birkenau was the place where the mass extermination of men, women and children kept in the camp took place. During a 2.5-hour-long tour of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum, visitors will see a series of original or partly reconstructed buildings and structures that made up the KL Auschwitz-Birkenau complex. Each of them is a shocking testimony to the cruelty of those managing the camp and a cause for reflection on the limits of humanity. The short sightseeing program prepared by the museum does not include two items (a visit to the “Death Block”, where the camp arrest was located, and a visit to the International Monument to Camp Victims); in all remaining aspects, the route covered by visitors does not differ from the route of the standard tour. For this reason, the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum – 2,5 h program is recommended particularly to persons who have arrived in Kraków for a short time and have a limited budget, but, nevertheless, would like to visit the important historic site that was entered in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1979.
Check your booking on your phone or tablet
We cooperate only with qualified and experienced tour leaders and guides
We organise regular and private tours, for small and large groups
We have been named the leader of the year among tour operators a number of times. The award is presented by Wieliczka Salt Mine.