Tours to Auschwitz

Jun 18th, 2003, 06:12 AM
  #1  
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Tours to Auschwitz

Are there any shorter tours of the Auschwitz/Birkenau concentration camps? I have only been able to find the 6- 6 1/2 hour bus tour leaving from the hotels.
Perhaps I will just have to go on my own or hire a private guide.
Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Thanks
jazzyguy is offline  
Jun 18th, 2003, 06:19 AM
  #2  
Jed
 
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From which city are you going?
Jed is offline  
Jun 18th, 2003, 07:47 AM
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Even if you try it on your own, you're still looking at an 1-1 1/2 hours in travel time each direction as Auschwitz is over 60 km from Krakow. The two camps are 2 km apart, there is a shuttle bus for 2 zl that goes between the two about once per hour or you can take a taxi for about 10 zl.

4 hours actually wasn't enough time to see everything as there are quite a few exhibits at the Auschwitz camp along with a 15 minute movie in English at the museum.

If you do go on your own, try to find the direct bus that goes straight to the museum. We got on the other public bus when we came back and it stopped many times on the way and added at least a 1/2 hour to the journey.

You can hire a guide once you get to Auschwitz and personally I would recommend it even though most of the displays are in English. I wish we had done that but we got there too late in the day.
Kristi is offline  
Jun 18th, 2003, 09:57 AM
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from Krakow you can take a train or bus to Oswiecim. Auschwitz is the main camp Birkenau can be skipped (since in most part is just huge land of barracks ...

Once in Oswiecim ask for Auschwitz German Camps...

Once in Camps - you can go thru it yourself - but as others I highly recommend getting a individual guide, since camp can be confussing and may cost you more time to visit by walking around in circles.

Once you get a guide - you are really the boss and can ask see what is the most important.

Check Camp Site for some great info...
Opening times/ info about guides/ prices etc.

http://www.auschwitz-muzeum.oswiecim.pl/
PeterB is offline  
Jun 18th, 2003, 07:22 PM
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Oswiecim is a historical/human waypoint. Walking about it is an awesome experience. Seeing the evidence of what was done their is frightning. It may happen again. This is not a travel experience liking sitting in a village square and drinking a beer. Scholars are spending their entire lives working in this place. Again and again I read, "Is it worth my time?". There is one other awesome place I visited. The military chapel in Edinburgh on top of the mountain. The silence is impressive. There are chests with the paperslips noting the names of their dead military. Don't visit Oswiecim so you can tell the neighbors, "Yes, I was there." See and experience it. Ask what you can do to prevent another one.
GSteed is offline  
Jun 18th, 2003, 08:28 PM
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we stayed in krakow at the grand hotel. From there we ordered a guide that took us to the camps and waited there for us. It was convienent the only problem is that there is someone waiting for you so sometimes you might feel a little rushed. Thats just how we felt, but you might have a different experience. good luck
cstars is offline  
Jun 18th, 2003, 11:36 PM
  #7  
 
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I took the Krakow City Tour to Auschwitz/Birkenau and it was a half-day, not 6 hours. I booked it at Hotel Polonia. While Auschwitz gives you so much to think about, just looking at all the chimneys at Birkenau and knowing how many people were in each barracks (2 chimneys) is a real visual sight. If you are in Krakow, be sure to take a day in Zakopane in the Tatras. I took a bus (2-hour trip) and it was very nice and interesting.
LindaW is offline  
Jun 19th, 2003, 10:04 AM
  #8  
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Thanks for the suggestions on the tours to Auschwitz. I will becoming from Krakow and will try and hire a guide once I get there. How much does a taxi cost fron Krakow to Auschwitz? CStars, how did you like the Grand Hotel? That is where I will be staying. Everything with air conditioning was booked so it was my only choice left. It is more expensive then I would have liked to pay but it is a beautiful hotel and great location from what I can tell.
jazzyguy is offline  
Jun 21st, 2003, 03:27 PM
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We also stayed at the Grand Hotel and hired a private driver for the trip to and from Aushwitz.The trip was about 45 minutes each way.
At Aushwitz, we didn't have a guide and I have some mixed feelings about that. We purchased a very good guide book that's available in the visitor center. It gave me lots of info, but I probably could have learned more from a human guide. Still, it's an emotional visit and sometimes I was glad to be alone. I could set my own pace and stop to re-group when necessary.
Aushwitz is very museum-like, but Birkenau has been left pretty much as it was found when liberation came. Many of the structures have collapsed over time, but I still found it more powerful and overwhelming for me than the Aushwitz camp. This isn't a visit you're going to want to hurry through.
MaryZ is offline  
Jun 21st, 2003, 03:31 PM
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Oh yes, the Grand Hotel. It's in a wonderful location, just a block or so from Krakow's enormous main square. The hotel has an 'old world' feel to it. Our room was lovely with a nice sitting area and good bathroom facilites. We were there in November, so air conditioning wasn't an issue. We were very happy with it.
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