Many of you have requested advice on the best tours to visit Auschwitz and Birkenau. In response, we have created this practical guide to provide you with all the necessary information on the best tours, including those departing from Krakow or other cities in Poland. We also offer helpful advice on booking tickets to ensure a smooth and hassle-free experience.
Additionally, you will find information on combo tours that allow you to visit both Auschwitz and the famous Wieliczka Salt Mines on the same day. We also recommend other worthwhile visits in Krakow, such as the Krakow Ghetto, the Płaszów Concentration Camp, and the Schindler’s Factory.
With this guide, we aim to provide you with all the information you need to plan your trip to Auschwitz and make the most of your visit to Krakow.
Best Auschwitz Tours from Krakow
There are many guided tours available to visit Auschwitz from Krakow. To help you make an informed choice, we have selected the most reliable, comprehensive, and safe options based on our experience and feedback from travelers. We consider factors such as reviews and comments, value for money, expertise of the guide, and the overall quality of the experience.
This tour is extremely popular among travelers, boasting over 10,000 positive reviews. Conducted by experienced local operators, it includes round-trip transport with pickup from your hotel or apartment in Krakow, a full visit to Auschwitz and Birkenau, and an official Auschwitz Museum guide (known as an “educator”) who can speak the language of your choice. If you need to, you can cancel your reservation for free up to 24 hours before the tour.
We highly recommend this tour because not only is the price very affordable (cheaper than going on your own), but the organization is impeccable as well. Plus, you won’t have to worry about booking your visit long in advance (as availability of tickets on the museum website is limited) or standing in long queues to enter.
If you find yourself pressed for time during your visit to Poland, you may want to consider taking a combo tour that covers Auschwitz and Birkenau in the morning, followed by a visit to the Wieliczka Salt Mines in the afternoon. To participate in this convenient option, you’ll need to book a pre-arranged guided tour that has everything planned out to ensure that you can make the most of your time and experience both destinations in a comfortable and safe way.
The combo tour allows you to explore the solemn history of the Auschwitz concentration camp and witness the harrowing remains of Birkenau, followed by a visit to the enchanting Wieliczka Salt Mines, a UNESCO World Heritage site. With a knowledgeable guide by your side, you’ll learn about the significance of each location and be able to fully appreciate their unique features. Opting for a combo tour is an excellent way to make the most of your time in Poland and ensure you don’t miss out on any of its top attractions.
If you are planning to visit Auschwitz on your own, it is important to note that booking your visit on the museum’s official website in advance is mandatory. This is especially crucial during peak season when the demand for tickets is high, and you may need to book several months ahead of time.
Booking through the museum’s website ensures you have a guaranteed entry time, and it’s the best way to visit the Auschwitz and Birkenau camps. However, if you are unable to secure a ticket on the museum’s website, don’t worry! There are other reliable online agencies that can help you book a ticket regardless of availability on the museum website. Here the one we recommend.
Free Walking Tour of the Krakow Jewish Quarter
One of the must-do activities in Krakow to gain a deeper understanding of its turbulent history is to visit the picturesque Kazimierz district, which was once the Jewish Quarter (distinct from the Krakow Ghetto, later established in the nearby district of Podgorze).
Kazimierz is one of the oldest and most authentic districts in Krakow, famous for being the filming location of “Schindler’s List.” You can easily explore this area by joining an excellent free guided walking tour. The tour runs daily, but it’s essential to book in advance due to limited availability (groups are usually small).
The passionate organizers of these tours also offer another captivating free guided walking tour: the Free Walking Tour of Krakow, providing the opportunity to explore the hidden gems of Krakow Old Town.
Płaszów Concentration Camp Tour
To better understand the atrocious history of WWII in Krakow you should go to the lesser known Płaszów Concentration Camp. This used to be the main forced labor camp located near Krakow and is where Schindler’s List was set.
Here it is still possible to see the house from which the camp commander shot Jews in a famous scene from the film (it was really the home of Amon Goeth, commander of the camp). Your guide will tell you the history of the Ghetto and interesting facts about life in Krakow in those dark years. This guided tour is a must if you are a history buff just like me.
Oskar Schindler’s Factory Guided Tour
Schindler’s Factory is located in an old industrial district a few steps from the Krakow Ghetto and today is one of the most famous museums in Krakow. Take part in one of the very interesting guided tours that allow you to visit it at its best.
Made famous by the film Schindler’s List, during the Nazi occupation of Krakow this factory had become a sub-camp of the Płaszów Concentration Camp, where hundreds of Jews worked under the German industrialist Oskar Schindler. In this way Schindler was able to save thousands of people from death. Today his factory is the most significant museum on the Krakow Ghetto and on life during the Nazi occupation of the city.
Learn about the history of Krakow after the end of WWII
After the end of the war, Poland passed from the Nazi occupation to communism. Here Stalin decided to build one of the most important steelworks in the world, with the idea of transforming the city of Krakow, historically inhabited by intellectuals, into a model working-class city.
If you are a history buff or if you simply want to find out what life was like here during the years of communism, book one of the exciting tours to Nowa Huta: passionate guides will take you in an original socialist-era car to the Nowa Huta neighborhood, where everything seems to have remained like the old days, and where you can visit old nuclear bunkers and old-fashioned Soviet canteens.
Best Auschwitz Tours from Warsaw, Wroclaw or Katowice
Auschwitz is also easily accessible on a day trip from Warsaw and other major cities in Poland.