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 camp for primarily European Jews, killing an estimated 1.1 million people.
Begin your trip with pickup at your Krakow hotel or in central Krakow, at your preferred departure time. Accompanied by your guide, travel to the town of Oswiecim while a documentary on WWII and the Nazi Holocaust is shown on board. After roughly 1.5 hours, arrive at the Auschwitz-Birkenau complex, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Enter the gates bearing the inscription Arbeit Macht Frei (Work Sets You Free) and then head inside to learn about how the complex quickly turned from a detention camp to a center for mass murder. Your guide will discuss the camp’s history in a sensitive manner as you visit the crematoriums and gas chambers, as well as the watchtowers and fences at Birkenau where the Nazi officers stood guard.
After examining the exhibitions inside the old prison blocks, pay your respects at the camp's somber memorial. Your trip will conclude with drop-off back at your Krakow hotel.