Words are not good enough to describe the Holocaust. If you ever have the opportunity to visit Dachau in Germany, do so. It conveys in a very tangible manner the horrors that people went thru. In contrast, Auschwitz-Birkenau boogles the mind with the mere size of the place. Practical info after the pictures.
“Work brings Freedom”
List of Torture methods used, notice number three:
Auschwitz is located a 1.5hr train ride from Krakow (our train took 1.75hrs in reality) costing 9.5złotys/pp one way. Krakow’s station takes credit cards, only cash on the return trip. Early train leaves Krakow 7:14am (earlier one at 5:30am). Exit train station and walk straight forward for 1km, you will be there.
The Museum is free and opens at 8am. If you arrive after 10am, you will be requiered to join a tour. Big groups arrive around this time and it gets terribly crowded.
Buy the Birkenau guide booklet at the bookstore (5złotys); it has a map, pictures, and explanations on what you’re seeing. Don’t miss the 15min “Liberation of Auschwitz” movie right at the entrance.
After Auschwitz, take the free 5minute shuttle to Birkenau (runs every half hour, every hour coming back). Take double the water you think you’ll need with you.
If you’re hungry afterwards, the museum’s cafeteria has good food, cash only. Next to the train station, really good pizza, credit cards accepted.