Established in the early 1940s by the Nazis, Auschwitz was originally intended for Polish political prisoners. Later, when it was extended to include the neighboring site of Birkenau, it became an extermination camp for primarily European Jews, killing an estimated 1.1 million people.
Begin your trip at your Krakow hotel, where a driver will meet you at your preferred pickup time. Arrive outside the town of Oświęcim around 1.5 hours later, where you’ll join up with your guide at the camp’s visitor center.
Enter the gates of the complex under the chilling inscription of ‘Arbeit macht frei’ (‘Work sets you free’) and explore the key buildings and exhibitions that preserve the memory of the many lives lost there.
Learn how the Nazi camp functioned as you pass the barracks and watchtowers, as well as the gas chambers and crematoriums. Your guide will take care to discuss the harrowing stories in a sensitive manner as you go. You will have a brief break to eat a pre-packed lunch (own expense), as there are no eating facilities at the camp.
Afterward, visit the camp's memorial, and spend a quiet moment to remember the lives of the victims. Your tour will conclude with private transportation back to your Krakow hotel.