If you're planning to visit Auschwitz Birkenau Memorial in Southern Poland while on your holiday in Krakow, you're probably wondering how much it costs. In this post, we will have a look at some practical information about visiting the Auschwitz Birkenau State Museum, including the cost of a guided tour. I

Auschwitz Concentration Camp

Auschwitz is a former German Nazi Concentration camp that operated during World War II between 1940 and 1945. It was opened by Nazis near the town of Oświęcim located around 60 km from Krakow, Poland, which was at the time occupied by Nazi Germany. Although opened to detain political prisoners, with time it grew in size and became an extermination camp and the largest death camp in Nazi Germany. Three large parts formed the Auschwitz Birkenau Complex – Auschwitz I, Auschwitz II Birkenau, and Auschwitz III Monowitz. Auschwitz II Birkenau was the part where most of the camp’s victims died, mainly in gas chambers.

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A guided tour of Auschwitz Birkenau Memorial

The former concentration camp is now the Auschwitz Birkenau Memorial and Museum and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Despite being a dark place with a tragic history, many people decide it is important to pay it a visit. Auschwitz Concentration Camp is one of the most popular places to visit in Krakow and there are many guided tours to choose from. Let’s have a look at the cost of a visit to the Auschwitz Birkenau Museum and some of the available tours.

Is entry to Auschwitz free?

The price of the Auschwitz museum ticket depends on the type of tour and whether you want a guide or not. Admission to the museum is free and you have to pay a fee only when booking a visit with a Museum educator (an authorised Auschwitz guide). This means that if you are planning to see the grounds without a guide, you can get a free entrance ticket. In such a case, it is important to note that individuals without guides can enter the museum only during certain hours (usually in the afternoon). The hours change depending on the month, so it is essential to check this detail on the museum’s website. Even though the admission is free, it is not recommended to just turn up at the museum’s ticket office. A personalised entry pass is required to access the museum and as it’s a very popular place, getting a last-minute ticket on site is not guaranteed, especially in high season. Museum tickets should be reserved online at least one month in advance.

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How much is a ticket to Auschwitz?

If you’re going to Auschwitz Memorial for the very first time, we strongly recommend choosing the option with a Museum guide. Individual visitors can join general guided tours. Only educators with the Museum’s licence can show people around Auschwitz, so you can be certain of having a highly knowledgeable Auschwitz guide. An individual entry pass for a 3,5-hour visit with an educator-guide cost around 85 PLN.

Groups of more than 10 people are required to book a guide for more efficiency and organization. The price depends on the group’s size.

The Museum also offers Study Tours that are slightly more detailed and include selected national exhibitions that are not part of the general tours. A one-day study tour of 6 hours costs 125 PLN per individual.

Note also that there’s a luggage storage facility and the lockers come with a fee of 5 PLN per one-time opening/closing.

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What does a general tour of Auschwitz Birkenau include?

General guided tours offered at the museum last 3 hours and 30 minutes and include a tour of both Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II-Birkenau. During the first 1 hour and 30 minutes, you will see the buildings and exhibitions at Auschwitz I. Then, the tour moves to the second camp, Auschwitz II Birkenau, where visitors can see prisoner’s brick barracks and ruins of gas chambers and crematoriums. Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II are located approx. 3.5 km from each other and individual visitors that are part of a general guided tour can use the museum’s shuttle bus to move between the two parts.

Getting to Auschwitz from Krakow

Keep in mind that Auschwitz is located around 60 km (38 miles) from Krakow, so you also have to count on the cost and time of getting there. In order to get to the Auschwitz Memorial and Museum, you have to travel to Oświęcim. As this is a popular place visited by many tourists every year, the connection between Krakow and Oświęcim is well-developed. You can take a bus, which is the cheapest option, but also time-consuming. In addition, it is possible to get a train from Krakow to Oświęcim. This option, however, can at times be even longer than the bus and you’ll have to either walk a bit or take a local bus to get from the train station to the museum.

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Tour Auschwitz Birkenau with MrShuttle

For a stress-free day and a smooth visit to KL Auschwitz Memorial and Museum, we recommend booking an organized tour. Not having to figure out timetables and bus stops or train stations will likely bring you peace of mind. At MrShuttle, you can find a few Auschwitz tour options starting from 229 PLN. Whether you want to join a small group tour or have a private tour with a hotel pickup, you should easily find the one that satisfies your needs.

Among our tours, you will find a regular Auschwitz Birkenau Tour from Krakow which comes with entrance tickets and shared transportation. The journey takes around 1h 20 min and you will watch a documentary movie about Nazi concentration camps on the way. If you’re not interested in a shared tour, you can instead book a private alternative and have your own tour guide and private transportation. For those on a tight schedule who don’t want to miss a thing, we have a day trip to Auschwitz and Wieliczka Salt Mine. And if you’ve opted for visiting Auschwitz on your own without an educator, you may still want to book a private transfer and not worry about public transport.