Where is Best to Stay for Visiting Auschwitz?

Top Accommodation Choices for Auschwitz Tour

When planning a visit to Auschwitz, the choice of accommodation can have a significant impact on your experience. Auschwitz, the site of the former German Nazi concentration and extermination camp, is located near the town of Oświęcim in southern Poland. With over 2 million visitors a year, it serves as a sobering reminder of the atrocities that took place during World War II.

To truly comprehend the historical significance of Auschwitz, it is recommended to allocate adequate time for both Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II-Birkenau.

For convenience and additional cultural experiences, staying in Krakow is a practical option. Krakow is approximately 70 kilometers from Auschwitz and offers a variety of accommodations ranging from luxury hotels to budget-friendly options. This historic city also provides a vibrant atmosphere with its lively squares, restaurants, and cultural sites.

Where is Best to Stay for Visiting Auschwitz

If you prefer to stay closer to the memorial, Oświęcim itself has a number of lodging choices, though the town is quieter in the evenings.

Regardless of where you decide to stay, consider joining a guided tour of Auschwitz.

Tours are typically led by knowledgeable guide-educators who provide invaluable context and detailed narratives, significantly enriching your visit.

Auschwitz Tours can be reserved online and often include transportation options from Krakow or nearby towns.

Booking accommodation in Krakow or Oświęcim and opting for a guided tour can result in a contemplative and educational visit.

Planning Visiting Auschwitz and Accommodation

Top Accommodation Choices for Auschwitz Tour

When preparing for a trip to Auschwitz-Birkenau, it’s crucial to consider the timing of your visit, understand the entrance requirements and regulations, and explore the tour options available to make the most of your experience.

Proper planning can ensure a seamless visit that honors the historical significance of this site.

Auschwitz Best Time to Visit

To avoid large crowds and have a contemplative visit, it’s advisable to visit Auschwitz-Birkenau during the off-peak seasons, typically in the spring or fall.

Read also:

Summer months tend to be the busiest. Depending on the time of year, the site’s opening hours may vary, so checking the schedule in advance is recommended.

Auschwitz Entrance and Regulations

Admission to Auschwitz-Birkenau is free, and you have the option to explore independently or join a guided tour. However, all visitors need to secure an entry pass in advance, which can be booked via

It’s important to note that backpacks and handbags may be subject to size limitations, for which the regulations are clearly listed on the official website.

As part of the security check, visitors will be screened upon entering.

Auschwitz Tour Options

When it comes to exploring Auschwitz, you have a few options:

  • Self-guided tour: You can visit the site without a guide.
  • Guided tours from Krakow: A more informative experience provided by a licensed guide. It’s highly recommended to book these tours in advance to guarantee availability, especially for day trips.
  • All-inclusive guided tour: This tour may include transportation, ticketing, and a guide, which can alleviate the hassle of arranging these logistics yourself.

For a deeper understanding of the site’s history, it is often recommended to opt for a guided tour. Fees for guided tours apply and can vary depending on the type of tour and language required.

Auschwitz Accommodation Options

Accomodation close to Auschwitz

When planning your visit to Auschwitz, choosing the right accommodation is crucial to ensure convenience and comfort.

You’ll want to consider the location, the type of accommodation, and what each option offers in terms of amenities and value for your budget.

Staying in Krakow

Krakow, being a larger city compared to Oświęcim, offers a vast array of hotels ranging from luxury to budget-friendly.

Many hotels in Krakow provide amenities such as free Wi-Fi and breakfast included with the stay. You’ll find that Krakow, with its deep history and vibrant nightlife, can be quite an amazing spot to stay.

However, it is about 70 kilometers away from Auschwitz, which means your commute to the site could take around one hour by car or public transport.


  • Wide selection of hotels
  • More activities and food options


  • Further from Auschwitz, longer travel time needed

Staying in Oświęcim

If you prefer staying closer to the Auschwitz site, Oświęcim offers practical hotel options, such as the Hotel Imperiale, which is situated only 0.1 miles from Auschwitz.

The small size of the town provides a quieter atmosphere and the convenience of a short trip to the museum.

Accommodations here may have fewer amenities compared to Krakow, but the proximity to Auschwitz is a significant benefit.


  • Closer to Auschwitz for easy access
  • Quieter, smaller-town feel


  • Fewer hotel and food options than larger cities

Hotels Versus Hostels close to Auschwitz

When deciding between hotels and hostels, your choice typically comes down to the balance between comfort and budget.

Hotels in Poland might cost more but usually offer private rooms and more amenities like on-site restaurants.

In contrast, hostels are excellent for those on a tight budget, often providing communal living areas and kitchens where you can prepare your own food, potentially saving on meal costs.


  • Private accommodations with various services
  • Higher prices, but more comfort


Transportation to Auschwitz

Transportation to Auschwitz in Poland

When planning your visit to Auschwitz, your transportation options are varied with accessible travel by bus, train, or car.

Choose the mode that best aligns with your time, budget, and preferences.

Travel to Auschwitz by Bus

Why to travel to Auschwitz

You can catch a bus to Auschwitz from several towns in southern Poland.

Notably, Kraków, which is approximately 70 km away from the museum, offers frequent bus services.

The travel time ranges from 1 hour 20 minutes to 1 hour 40 minutes, and tickets cost between 16 to 20 PLN.

Buses from Kraków will drop you at the museum or nearby. Upon arrival, you have the option to use a shuttle bus inside the memorial site without charge.

Travel to Auschwitz by Train

Train services are available but less direct than buses. You should head towards Oświęcim—the town closest to the museum.

From major cities like Kraków or Katowice, you’ll find several trains per day. Once in Oświęcim, you may need to take a short taxi ride or a local bus to reach the museum itself.

The train travel can offer a scenic view of the more rural parts of southern Poland but may require a transfer along the way.

Car Rentals and Parking

Renting a car in Poland provides the most flexibility for your travel.

From cities like Kraków or Katowice, you can drive to Auschwitz in about an hour or slightly more, depending on traffic.

Rental services are available at airports and within major towns. Upon reaching Auschwitz, you can use the onsite car park.

This option suits those who prefer setting their own pace or are planning to visit other sites in the area.

Travelling with car to Auschwitz

Exploring the Surrounding Area

When planning your visit to Auschwitz, you’ll find that there’s more to see and taste in the area, including stunning attractions and authentic local cuisine.

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Nearby Attractions

After paying your respects at Auschwitz, consider exploring the rich cultural tapestry of Southern Poland.

One must-visit destination is Kraków, located about 70 km from Auschwitz. This historic city is home to the majestic Wawel Castle, a symbol of national pride and a treasure trove of art and architecture.

Attraction in Krakow Wawel

Kraków’s vibrant Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a delightful maze of streets brimming with history.

Another notable city is Wrocław, situated in western Poland. Known for its beautiful market square and hundreds of whimsical dwarf statues, it offers a unique and charming urban experience.

For those seeking mountain scenery, Zakopane is an excellent choice. Nestled in the Tatra Mountains, it’s perfect for both summer hiking and winter sports. Read also Auschwitz and Zakopane Tour

Why Visit Zakopane

Attraction Location Distance from Auschwitz
Wawel Castle Kraków ~70 km
Old Town Kraków ~70 km
Town square Wrocław ~270 km
Tatra Mountains Zakopane ~150 km

Local Cuisine and Dining

Indulge in the flavors of Polish cuisine that showcase a rich culinary heritage. When in Kraków or any nearby town, be sure to try dishes like pierogi (dumplings), kielbasa (sausage), and chłodnik (cold beet soup).

Dining in Southern Poland also presents an opportunity to enjoy oscypek, a smoked cheese made from salted sheep milk exclusive to the Tatra Mountains region.

Best Polish Oscypek

Restaurants in Kraków’s Old Town serve a variety of traditional foods. They often accompany these with live music and a warm ambiance.

Whether in Kraków, Warsaw, or other towns, you’re likely to find both rustic eateries and fine dining options that provide an authentic taste of Poland.

Food Item Description Best Enjoyed In
Pierogi Stuffed dumplings Kraków Old Town
Kielbasa Polish sausage Traditional restaurants
Oscypek Smoked sheep cheese Zakopane area


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