Oswiecim

Travel Guide Europe Poland Oswiecim

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Introduction

Oświęcim, a town of 43,000, lies in Southern Poland, roughly 60 kilometres from Krakow. The town is best known as being home to Auschwitz I, a WWII concentration camp, and its close proximity to the Auschwitz expansion camp - Auschwitz-Birkenau, an extermination/forced labor camp. The first record of the town dates to the 10th century. Originally, Germans and Poles inhabited the town. In the 15th and 16th centuries, the Jewish population of Oświęcim began to grow and in a relatively short time Jews were in the majority.

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Sights and Activities

  • Jewish Museum Oswiecim
  • Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp
  • Oswiecim Castle
  • Cemetery of Mosaic/Jewish Religion
  • Old Town Market
  • Cafe Bergson - In the center of Oswiecim’s historic Old Town is Café Bergson, located in the 100-year old Kluger House. Café Bergson combines elements of the House’s original interior with minimalistic design, maintaining the soul of the family’s home while making the House modern and accessible. The café brings together local culture and regional and traditional products in a relaxed, historic atmosphere. Address: Plac Ks. Jana Skarbka 2, Phone: +4833 844 70 02, Hours: 11:00am - 7:00pm, Price: $US 1-4

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Getting There

By Plane

Arriving at Kraków-Balice (55 kilometres) or Katowice-Pyrzowice (70 kilometres).

By Car

From Katowice (35 kilometres), Kraków (60 kilometres, route 780).

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Getting Around

By Foot

Oswiecim is easily navigated on foot, as everything is close by.

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Keep Connected

Internet

In the cities there are more and more Wifi Hot Spots, so if you have your own mobile device, you can connect. Best chances of finding one are at airports, railway stations, in cafés, shopping malls and universities. Places like McDonald's and Starbucks usually have unlimited free wifi. In some hotels you can find free wifi, though you might have to pay as well or maybe just use it for a limited amount of time. Internet cafes become less popular recently as people prefer to use internet at homes.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

To call to Poland from abroad, dial the Polish country code,48, then the number without the leading 0, as if calling from a domestic mobile phone.
The general emergency number is 112. Police (997), Ambulance (999) and Fire (998) have phone numbers as well, and municipal police has 986 as a number.

Mobile phones work almost across the whole country. There are four mobile phone operators in Poland: Plus, T-Mobile, Orange and Play. About 98% of the country is covered by the standard European GSM 900/1800 MHz network, the remaining 2% are wildlife reserves or high mountains. 3G is available in almost every town.
Domestic call rates are roughly the same across all services. Prepaid starter kits with SIM card (called starter in Polish) are widely available in reasonable prices (PLN5-20, most of which is available for calls), in most of the shops, supermarkets and news agents.

Just about every shopping centre has at least one independent cellphone shop, the guys who run them are usually knowledgeable and have a range of cheap handsets which you can use as a local / travel phone. This may be a good option since juggling SIM cards is always a pain.

Post

Poczta Polska is the Polish public post service. Post offices are generally open from 8:00am to 6:00pm Monday to Friday. Some offices are open on Saturday until 2:00pm and the main post offices in major cities are open daily, 24 hours. Services are generally ok, but don't expact it to be fast and it is not always reliable, though most letters, postcards and parcels will arrive at its destinations after a week or two. You can find the red post boxes dotted throughout the country. You can check this postal website to see how much sending a letter, postcard or parcels costs, both domestically as well as internationally. For sending packages internationally, you can also check FedEx, TNT, DHL or UPS, as they have fast and reliable services and generally competitive prices as well.

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Contributors

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This is version 5. Last edited at 13:15 on Aug 19, 14 by Utrecht. 4 articles link to this page.

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