If you are considering visiting the Auschwitz Birkenau Memorial and Museum, you may be wondering what the options are for getting there. What’s the fastest, cheapest, and most convenient way of getting to the Auschwitz Birkenau camps? In this article, we’ll try to help you find the answer.
How far is Auschwitz from Krakow?
To learn about the history of the death camps and see interesting monuments from World War II, you need to go to the Oświęcim – a city located about 68 kilometers from Krakow.
Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum, and the main entrance gate with a characteristic signboard „Arbeit March Frei” is located approximately 2.5 km from the center of Oświęcim.
Getting to Auschwitz Birkenau – what are the options?
There are several ways to get to the Oświęcim city and visit Auschwitz Birkenau Museum.
1. Renting a car
2. Getting a bus from Kraków
3. Getting a train from Kraków
4. Booking a private transport
3. Booking an organized tour
Renting a car
If you would like to stay independent renting a car might be a good option. Prices starts from 130 pln / small car fo 10 hours. That should be more than enought to go to the Oświęcim and visit both camps. Visiting Auschwitz and Birkenau usually takes 2,5h with guided tour.
There are 3 roads leading to Oświęcim from Kraków.
- about 65 km long route leading through Spytkowice and Zator (the journey takes about 1 h 20 min);
- 1 hour 10 minutes long route through Alvernia;
- route about 70 km long, via the A4 motorway with the exit in Chrzanów, then leading through Libiąż, taking nearly 1h 15min.
You must remember that when choosing to travel on the motorway, you have to take into account the tolls at the gates in Balice. Including for this reason, the route leading through Alvernia will be the best choice here.
Getting a bus from Kraków main station
If you do not have a car, a very good solution is to travel to Auschwitz by bus or minibus. There is a huge number of them on the route Krakow – Oświęcim. You can catch them even every several minutes on weekdays. The best solution is to buy a ticket at the bus station called Dworzec Autobusowy MDA Kraków, Bosacka, Kraków.
Ticket prices, depending on the carrier, range from 12 to 15 PLN. The route takes approximately 1 hour 30 minutes and the exact timetable can be found on the website of the MDA station.
By choosing a bus, you can even get to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum. When choosing a different carrier, you must be aware that you may have to walk from the bus stop for about 10 minutes.
Private buses also run on the Krakow – Oświęcim route. These are, for example:
- Lajkonik (Click here to see the timetable)
- Przewóz Osób JS Marek Lewański
They leave the station on average every 20-40 minutes, so at relatively short intervals.
In Oświęcim, you can get off at 1 of 3 stops near Auschwitz – Birkenau:
- the farthest stop is „Oświęcim Lodowisko” (about 5 km from the museum);
- „Więźniów Oświęcimia” – requires a few minutes on foot;
- „Muzeum Auschwitz”, located closest to the entrance to the museum.
The only bus company that stops at the „Auschwitz Museum” bus stop is Lajkonik.
Getting a train from Kraków
If you are looking for a more comfortable solution, you should consider to travel by train. To get from Krakow to Oświęcim, go to the main railway station. Trains, usually operated by Polregio, stop there several times a day, and the route goes directly through Oświęcim.
Here you can check the exact timetable.
A train ticket from Kraków to Oświęcim costs about PLN 12. The journey itself takes a relatively long time, almost 2 hours.
The downside is that the train does not stop directly in front of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum. To get there, you need to spend about 20 minutes on foot or use public transport.
In the latter case, the ticket costs an average of PLN 3, and the journey takes a few minutes. The exact timetable can be found on the website of the MZK in Oświęcim or Koleo portal.
If you choose to travel by train, be aware that it can be more expensive and take longer than traveling by direct bus.
Booking a private transport
There are a couple of benefits when choosing a private transport.
The options listed above are cheaper, but waste a lot of time waiting for a bus or train. In addition, you have to come to the right stop, which can be a challenge for people visiting this place for the first time.
Private transport will be a good choice for people who want to save time and hassle. You can book private transport with a driver who will pick you up from your accommodation in Krakow and drive you directly to the Auschwitz Museum, after the first part of the tour you will go with your driver to Birkenau – the second camp a few kilometers away.
During the tour, you do not need to look at the watch and control the departure of the train or bus or wait for the next departure when you are late. You decide when you come back to the city.
Booking an organised tour
The last option is to book a guided Auschwitz tour with transport. In this case, you don’t have to worry about anything. You choose a convenient date and start time.
You can check our live availability for the Auschwitz Guided Tour below:
You choose where you want to be picked up from (it is possible to pick You up from selected hotels).
On the day of the tour, the driver will arrive at the address (your hotel or meeting point). The travel time to the Museum from Krakow is about 2 hours, it may be longer due to morning traffic jams in the city.
After reaching the destination, the group is handed over to the guide and the first part of the tour at the Auschwitz I Museum begins. The tour takes place in the selected language, tourists also receive a headset to hear their guide better among other groups.
After the first part is finished, the guide will take the group to a place where you can rest. The break lasts about 15 minutes, after which the driver takes the group to the second camp – Birkenau (Auschwitz II).
After meeting the guide from the first camp, the second part of the tour begins – it lasts about 1.5 hours. In this part, the group is 90% outside, so appropriate clothing is very important.
After the tour, the group returns to Krakow with its driver. The entire trip takes 7.5 hours.
There are 5 options to travel from Kraków City to the Auschwitz Museum
We hope that we have clarified the topic of how to get to Auschwitz from Krakow in 2022. If you need an additional information feel free to call us: +48 12 352 34 55 or send us an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org