Having only occurred seventy years ago, and with the threat of World War Three looming, Auschwitz is a museum with significant importance, today more than ever. It can be a very heavy experience, so it’s recommended you make plans to visit the Wodka Bar on your return to Krakow.
Your experience should last around six hours. There are regular buses directly to and from the Museum (see here) with a travel time of approximately 1 hour 30 minutes each way, and your guided tour is approximately three hours in duration, including visitation to both camps.
Guarantee your visit
Make sure that you have pre-booked your tickets online, even if you don’t intend to use a guided tour you’ll need to reserve a visitation slot. You do have the option to purchase or book tickets on the day, but the queue is often very long and there is no guarantee that you will be able to enter if it is significantly busy.
Photographing your experience
You are permitted to take photographs in every area of the museum, except two that are clearly marked as non photographing areas – the room containing human hair, and the basement prison where the first tests using Zyklon B were carried out.
Carry a small bag for the day
You are only permitted to enter the museum with a bag 30cm or smaller, if your bag is larger than this you’ll need to place it into the secure luggage hold for 4 PLN. You’ll need to redeem your luggage after your visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau, as security to both camps is the same, so be sure to take what you need with you for the day.
Getting between the two camps
The shuttle bus between the two camps runs every 10 minutes for a clearly marked bus stop, and takes approximately five minutes.
Grab some snacks on the way
If you choose to use public transport, you can access the bus station through the Galeria Krakowska where you’ll find convenience stores and the like – perfect to pick up some snacks for your journey and to keep your refreshed throughout the day. You are not permitted to eat and drink whilst inside the museum, but there is a restaurant and a snack bar located on-site before and after entering the museum.
Take some change for the loo
On-site toilets are charged at 1.5 PLN per person, so it’s worth carrying some change with you as you’ll need to use the toilet at some point during the day!