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 a larger concentration and extermination camp for primarily European Jews.
Begin your half-day trip with pickup at your Krakow hotel. Accompanied by your private guide, you'll travel out of the city to the town of Oswiecim, roughly an hour away. Here you’ll find the Auschwitz-Birkenau complex, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the harrowing location of the world’s largest genocide attempt during WWII.
Enter the gates bearing the inscription Arbeit Macht Frei (Work Sets You Free) and then head inside to learn about the atrocities that once took place there. Your guide will explain the camp’s history in a sensitive manner as you visit the crematoriums and gas chambers, as well as the watchtowers and fences where the Nazi officers stood guard.
Examine the exhibitions inside the old prison blocks and pay your respects at the camp's memorial. There is no cafe at Auschwitz-Birkenau, but you will be given a break to eat your packed lunch (own expense). Your trip will conclude with drop-off back at your Krakow hotel.