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An update from Evaneos

Oświęcim (Poland)

Practical information about Oświęcim

  • Place or Historical Monument
  • Essential
5 / 5 - One review
How to get there
37 miles from Kraków by car
When to go
Summer is the best time of year to visit.
Minimum stay
One day

Reviews of Oświęcim

Marie Foucaut Travel writer
44 travel articles

The camp is divided into two parts: Auschwitz-I, the museum located at the entrance to the town of the same name, and Auschwitz-II, which is the extermination camp and is located near Birkenau.

My suggestion:
The guided tours of the two camps are definitely worth taking. Consider booking ahead however as lots of people visit these sites. Allow a good two hours for the tour.

Located just at the exit to Auschwitz is the museum about the former concentration camp. There is also a car park, and it's possible to buy tickets for guided visits or audio guides for the two camps. Apart from these options, however, it's all free to visit.

Our guide was very passionate about the subject and that enabled me to gain a good understanding about the atrocities that took place at these sites. Once past the sadly famous gateway, I noticed the atmosphere felt very oppressive. If feels a bit like time has come to a standstill here. The stone buildings are encircled by terrifying barbed wire fences, and each had its own specific purpose (medical experiments, prison, sleeping barracks …). What shocked me most during the tour were the piles of human hair and shoes.

Definitely somewhere you absolutely have to go to when visiting Poland, as a way of commemorating what took place.

The famous "Arbeit macht frei" sign at the entrance to Auschwitz