Oswiecim Travel Guide

  • Birkenau -the end of life.
    Birkenau -the end of life.
    by breughel
  • Auschwitz gates
    Auschwitz gates
    by t_cinanni
  • Auschwitz-Birkenau, Poland
    Auschwitz-Birkenau, Poland
    by jumpingnorman

Oswiecim Highlights

  • Pro
    darthmilmo profile photo

    darthmilmo says…

     Historic, educational, and true eye opener 

  • Con
    Toshioohsako profile photo

    Toshioohsako says…

     sometimes too crowded, certain things are hard to see 

  • In a nutshell
    Durfun profile photo

    Durfun says…

     Preserved death camps of Nazi genocide 

Oswiecim Things to Do

  • Birkineau Part 2

    Those who were given a reprieve at Birkineau were forced to work as slave labor either at one of the nearby factories, or as Sonderkommandos. These were those who were forced to dispose of the dead from the gas chambers and then work the ovens of the crematoria. A grisly job.Yet, in the fall of 1944, a group revolted. With crudely made tools and...

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  • Auschwitz II/Birkenau

    Located just 2 miles from Auschwitz, Birkenau is a completely different yet associated camp. It was here that the Jews of Poland and elsewhere in occupied Europe were sent for extermination. Many of them women and children. And unlike the former which had been converted into a modern museum, here, its left as it was the day the camp was liberated...

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  • Auschwitz I

    This was the first of the 2 camps that up the main camps of Auschwitz/Birkenau. Originally a Polish prison camp, the Nazis adapted it and changed the name early in 1940. In the beginning, the camp is where they sent political prisoners. Then, starting the following year, Russian POWS were sent, and then of course Jews. It was here, on September 3,...

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  • Auschwitz Concentration Camp

    There are 2 main sites: -Auschwitz I - located in the town of Oœwiêcim.Auschwitz II (Birkenau) - located in the village of Brzezinka. Ideally, both should be seen together to get a true understanding of the place in general. I'd recommend a full day at least, depending on how much you want to see; a lot of time will be spent just processing...

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  • auschwitz collections

    block 7 has exhibits on the terrible living conditions of the imates and on SS doctors c. clauberg and josef mengele's medical experiments.

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  • Individual visit or guided tour?

    If you are well aware of what happened under the Nazi regime in the countries invaded by Germany you might opt for an individual visit. Just buy a small booklet with the maps of the blocks-barracks to visit in Auschwitz I and in Birkenau. The summary description of this 24 pages guide is sufficient and is completed by a large number of signs...

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  • The Permanent exhibition - Auschwitz I &...

    From the 28 one store brick buildings five have been transformed in museums with a permanent exhibition with photographs, photocopies of documents, historical exhibits including prisoner garments, bunks and other furnishings from prisoner rooms, and items seized from Jewish deportees such as suitcases, shoes, spectacles, prosthesis, brushes,...

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  • Auschwitz Concentration Camp

    The Auschwitz (Oswiecim) Concentration Camp is definitely one of the most impressive, chilling and thought provoking sites you can imagine. Auschwitz-1 was a forced-labor concentration camp, where sadistic "medical experiments" in human prisoners were also performed. It is very well preserved. Auschwitz-2 (Birkenau) was the notorious death camp...

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  • The national exhibitions.

    Aside from the permanent exhibitions there are in blocks 13 - 21 & 27 at KL Auschwitz I permanent displays known as the national exhibitions.These are from countries occupied by the Germans whose citizens were deported and died in Auschwitz. These exhibitions show the history of invasion and occupation, the fate of the citizens and the story of the...

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Oswiecim Hotels

See all 4 Hotels in Oswiecim

Oswiecim Restaurants

  • Little hut as you approach entrance to...

    Cheap and a good selection of items......i just needed something to eat because it was around 3:00 pm and i had not eaten anything yet that day, so i just got a soda and some pretzels and that held me over until around 6:00 when i was able to get a nice dinner inside Krakow. Pretzels and coke!

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  • Basic & simple

    There were 2 stands I came across in this town. One is right outside the train station, where an old lady sold me a bottle of water (not cold, but I really didn't care), and one stand right outside the camp where the buses were waiting. Basic and minor food items could be purchased, just for snacks. I did notice a cafe looking building next to the...

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  • JUst Like Home-cooking!

    Asking my taxi driver/guide where would be a good place to stop off for a late lunch after the day out at Auschwitz and Birkenau we pulled into this small roadside restaurant on the outskirts of Oswiecim. A pretty good choice it was too. The waitress serving us hadn't been there long herself but was genuinely proud of the fact that everything was...

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Oswiecim Transportation

  • Krakow to Birkenau - Auschwitz by taxi.

    As we wanted to save our forces for the long individual visit of Birkenau first and then (after 15 h) for Auschwitz we made an arrangement with City Taxi Krakow; also for our transfers to the Krakow airport. I had already used this taxi company for the VT meet of 2010.The taxi picked us up at our hotel at 12.15 h, we arrived at KL Birkenau at 13.30...

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  • Oświęcim Station

    The town of Oświęcim lies on the intersection of road 44 and road 933 and is at the northern extremity of road 948 if you are driving there. Oświęcim's old town is located east of the River Soła, with the Main Market Square (Rynek Główny) at its centre. The bus and railway station is across the river, in the north west...

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  • Passing through Oswiecim to Krakow early...

    I never went to the camps so far, either in 2005or in 2010 as the first visit to Krakow I was with mydaughter and it was a very cold wet snowy Februarywhen we stayed a week to visit my father who washaving hip replacement surgery and had to stay a month.Ironically I hurt my leg and had to stay in bed aftervisiting the hospital a few days. Then at...

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Oswiecim Shopping

  • Skip guided tour!

    I also strongly recommend to skip guided tour, just buy a brochure and explore by yourself. I did both, and found out that guide info quite the same as info in brochure. Though, we had very good guide who was able to answer any question about history and getting around the camp. Also, in guided tour price included a 15 min documentary film about...

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  • Forget the guided tours and explore by...

    A few small shops selling guide books, maps and educational material. The museum offers guided tours of the camps interest zones but I found it better to wander around at my own pace. I bought a small, waterproof map that has a map of Auschwitz 1 on one side and Birkenau on the other. It also lists the places and items of interest. You can also...

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  • The bookshop

    At the visitor center before the entrance into Auschwitz I, there is an excellent bookshop. It has a large selection of reading material to choose from concerning the Holocaust and the camps. You should be able to find literature in several different languages here.

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Oswiecim Local Customs

  • Showing your Respect

    The thing with Auschwitz is, its essentially a gravesite; MILLIONS of people died here. You would never think to desecrate a grave or show disrespect, and yet on many occasions I encountered people who really didnt GET what this place was all about. This ranged from the people who just went around looking at things without really SEEING them...to...

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  • PHOTOS AT AUSCHWITZ-BIRKENAU

    This can be a bit confusing and I am sure, like me, you do not want to offend. Auschwitz-Birkenau is a mass grave. In fact the whole area is. This is because the ashes from the crematoria (plural) were spread on fields as fertiliser during the war. My Tour Guide pointed out this sobering thought right at the beginning. The confusion is that she...

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  • People from all over come to pay their...

    Thousands of visitors from all over come to pay their respects. Israelis are probably on the top of the list. They visit Auschwitz to pay their respects to family members or friends. As I was walking through the premises I encounter several groups of Israelis. While waiting for the cinema to start, a group of young Israelis pass by the room. Some...

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Oswiecim Warnings and Dangers

  • Photos.

    There is here some confusion about taking photos or not. This is the text from the official website (June 2011):"Taking pictures on the grounds of the State Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau in Oœwiêcim for own purposes, without use of a flash and stands, is allowed for exceptions of hall with the hairs of Victims (block nr 4) and the basements of block nr...

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  • Photos only outdoors

    In the Auschwitz concentration camp it is allowed to take photos only outdoors. This is meant to respect the death of so many people. Auschwitz is a sacred place, although it is not a church or a synagogue.Please, do respect this prohibition! It is very disturbing to see stupid people take photos with flash or film where it is forbidden while you...

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  • Take a drink

    If you intend to visit Auschwitz II Birkenau during the summer take a drink with you. It is a large area and it can be very hot, and there is no where to purchase a drink. It is a different story at Auschwitz I with kiosks and cafes.

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Oswiecim Tourist Traps

  • Non museum guides......

    As you initially enter Auschwitz, some guys may approach you asking if you want a tour. Not sure if these guys are good or not. I have heard mixed reviews.......but you really do not need any guide at all inside Auschwitz I or II because its very self explanatory.

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  • Abusive parking

    When you arrive in Oœwiêcim, on the road to the concentration camp, you will notice a parking with four or five people indicating you should park there.Beware this is not the "official parking" of the State museum of Auschwitz! It is kind of abusive and costs 2.5 PLN an hour (for cars), while the parking of the museum has a fix fee of 7 PLN. You...

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  • Transportation scams

    Watch out. Busfares are pretty cheap, about 8 zloty one-way. Many people try to strick you for their own deals in Krakau for 60 to 120 zloty return. They mention you get a return fare, free entrancy and transportation to between the 2 camps. The return fare is 16 zloty, entrance is free and transportation is free as well. So watch out! Also the...

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Oswiecim What to Pack

  • Tissues

    Bring some tissues with you to the camp, for the more emotional people will have trouble getting through without some tears. Photos are allowed outside, I can't be sure about inside the buildings, I didn't attempt it.

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  • Weather Can Be Extreme

    The weather in Poland can be very harsh in the Winter months. I last visited in November and it was bitter cold. Wrap up warm and pack gloves, a hat and waterproof shoes. Birkenau is a vast site and when covered with snow quite hard to walk on, especially if you venture away from the main paths. For less sure-footed visitors it may be worth...

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  • Remember

    Loads of Tissues A decent guide to both camps.We bought this one in the Auschwitz visitor centre.

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Oswiecim Off The Beaten Path

  • Drunk or aslept

    Iker fell down after hours shouting laughing never shut up this guy... and after some "argues" in Auschwith with a jewish group lol ... everybody were so tired after a long day walking and loosing our path as well for half an hour..we walked a little bit more than the common people trying to find Ausch 2 and coming back to thr train station on...

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  • Death Camp Museum Birkenau/Auschwitz II

    It's not right in the centre of town, like the smaller Auschwitz I camp, yet it's probably [to my mind] the more worth visiting, for it's sheer size, and the incredible atmosphere... it's chilling.

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  • Discovering the prewar shtetl

    The small museum of the Jewish Center in Oswiecim takes visitors back to the world of the shtetl in prewar Poland. Old family fotos and video testimonies from survivors bring back a time when Oswiecim was not another word for genocide. And only in this context you can understand the words of an old woman reflecting on her youth in this town and...

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Oswiecim Favorites

  • Diary of Anne Frank

    I read the diary of Anne Frank as part of a setwork book at school and remember it well, it is a moving account of the years that a lively young girl was forced to go into hiding for almost 2 years.In July 1942, Anne Frank went into hiding with her family in a small attic space above her father's business premises in Amsterdam. Those 2 small rooms...

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  • Schindlers List

    I borrowed the book Schindlers Ark by Thomas Keneally and bought the DVD as well. I visited the Schindler factory whilst in Krakow. The power of this movie is to show that there were Germans that were championed as heros amongst the Jews, people who could have been heavily prosecuted for showing mercy to what the nazis viewed an inferior people....

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  • If this is a man - Primo Levi (Book)

    Primo Levi was an Italian Jew transported to Auschwitz in Feb 1944, he recounts his experiences. Out of 650 Italian Jews transported to Auschwitz only 20 were left alive at the time of the liberation.

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Explore Deeper into Oswiecim
Things not to do.
Things to Do
Not a Polish concentration camp!
Things to Do
Auschwitz II Birkenau
Things to Do
Auschwitz I Concentration Camp
Things to Do
Auschwitz I
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adminstration building
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auschwitz I main gate
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auschwitz barrack
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auschwitz main gate tower
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auschwitz roll call.
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auschwitz warning sign
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auschwitz electrified fence
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auschwitz collections
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auschwitz "wall of death"
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auschwitz "death block"
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auschwitz gas chamber and crematorium
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auschwitz crematorium ovens
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birkenau hell's gate
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birkenau mens barracks
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birkenau unloading ramp
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birkenau "path of death"
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birkenau woman's camp
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birkenau gypsy camp
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birkenau gas chamber II
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birkenau gas chamber III
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birkenau sewer plant
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birkenau "the sauna"
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birkenau gas chamber and crematorium IV
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birkenau ash pond
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Visiting Aushwitz I and Birkenau
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Auschwitz - Birkenau state museum
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AUSCHWITZ - THE CONCENTRATION CAMP
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AUSCHWITZ - THE EXTERMINATION CENTER
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Auschwitz II (Birkenau site)
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Visiting Auschwitz
Things to Do
............cont.
Transportation
Coach to Oswiecim
Transportation
Auschwitz II- Birkeneau
Things to Do
Getting from Auschwitz i to Auschwitz II
Transportation
Getting to Auschwitz from Krakow
Transportation
Map of Oswiecim

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