Wondering how long it takes thanks
Wondering how long it takes thanks
Here's the Wikitravel guide to Auschwitz
I travel around europe on my motorbike, sometimes alone and sometimes in groups. As a result I have been to the camp 3 times.
It is a very sad place that the Polish people have kept preserved in a manner that preserves without exploiting.
Just get a bus in your own good time and spend half aday.
There is a saltmine near Krakow. go there. I recommend to everyone.
Allow a whole day for Auschwitz as it takes around 1.5- 2 hours to get there by bus. When you get there, watch the short movie and then do a guided tour. I can't remember the exact cost but it was reasonable.
I would suggest doing the walk from Krakow to the camp. It takes a long time - but in the rain, you can experience just a little of what people went through, who had to walk there themselves in -20c of snow and wind, before they even arrived there.
A very moving day out and admission to the camp (I prefer that to the word museum) is free. You are welcome to take photos and use camcorders. An incredible experience.
I took a packed 90mins small local bus there, it was a terrible journey (and lost how to get there)...that draining experience was very affecting in preparation the concentration camps as theose who perished would have experienced similar although they would have had to endure for much longer. The camp itself was harrowing, in particular where them cremated the bodies, it was such a batch production line they created, I was in there alone except for an 18year old Japanese boy who broke down in tears.
Allow a whole day - you can take either busses or trains to get there easily from Krakow. It is also closer to Katowice, so if you are continuing on, it might be an option to do it on your way through. I recommend doing the tour - it was definitely reasonable, but you can explore on your own afterwards if you'd like. Be prepared for it to be emotionally challenging, but definitely worth a visit.
Trip each way is 1.5 - 2 hours, guided tours are about 3 hours. Hope that helps.
I visited a few years ago on late January . I am not too much of a tour person, but it was the end of my trip and weather was too cold and snowy so I decide to book an organised tour all the way from Krakow rather than having to deal with train stations, walking a lot etc. I think cost was ~100 zloty, admission on both sites included,as was transfer between them (Auscwitz + Birkenau) . If my memory serves me right, route from Krakow was fine but road curvey at times and lots of frost and snow, so we were moving no more than 60-80 kms per hour. Trip lasted ~2 hours. Tour leader made the arrangements and a guide of the Auscwitz took over. It was a very emotional and very interested tour. I think it lasted ~ 2-3 hours on Auschwitz, then a 10 minutes transfer to Birkenau, then about 30 minutes tour there and some free time before taking the long way back to Krakow.
You may consult the official page and familiarise your self with rules there, I think visiting by your self is allowed on winter but not on summer/busier season, or is restricted only on specific timings (?)
Note: the tour i was discussing was for the site only, and not a guided tour from Krakow. Mariha2912 is right, the possibility of doing it completely solo varies depending on time of day - in busy season you can't go between 10 & 3 without joining a tour group, but your best bet is to check the website.
I very rarely take a guide, but in this case, I was very happy I did. You can always go back in and continue exploring on your own afterwards.