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Poland Itinerary

Poland Itinerary

Old Jun 10, 17, 12:57 pm
  #16  
 
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Originally Posted by Giggleswick View Post
Going by train from Krakow to Auschwitz is more complicated than going by minibus, and not to be recommended. As for getting between Auschwitz and Birkenau, there is a free shuttle bus that operated every ten minutes in the summer (I just checked the frequency online). The shuttle bus might be crowded in summer, though--I don't know, as I went in late September and it wasn't.
The distance between Auschwitz and Birkenau couldn't be much more than a mile. I remember walking between the two camps.
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Old Jun 10, 17, 1:03 pm
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Originally Posted by jaymar01 View Post
The distance between Auschwitz and Birkenau couldn't be much more than a mile. I remember walking between the two camps.
It's more than a mile, but it is within reasonable walking distance. It's about 3 kilometers.
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Old Jun 11, 17, 4:28 pm
  #18  
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Trying to find out info on visiting Auschwitz. Conflicting posts. From their website I understand that everybody needs to have a pass/ticket to get in. We want to go without guide, but I'm unable to find the link to book the tickets. Any help is appreciated.
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Old Jun 14, 17, 3:38 pm
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+1 for a trip to Gydnia if you go to Gdansk. A lot of money has been pumped in there and it's quite up and coming for Poland. Lots of nice bars and restaurants, especially good if you get good weather.

Also, if visiting Auschwitz I would recommend planning very little that evening i.e. don't go booking a nice restaurant or planning a bar crawl. It's a good experience but afterwards you're likely to just want to take it easy and not be in mood for enjoying yourself.
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Old Jun 19, 17, 3:21 pm
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Originally Posted by Budapest View Post
Trying to find out info on visiting Auschwitz. Conflicting posts. From their website I understand that everybody needs to have a pass/ticket to get in. We want to go without guide, but I'm unable to find the link to book the tickets. Any help is appreciated.
You don't need to get a guide but you should reserve an entry card for the date/time you expect to visit. You can do that here (choose the entry for individuals without an educator): http://visit.auschwitz.org/?lang=en

Alternatively, if you wish to go to a place where you can just turn up at any time and not worry about entry cards or excessive numbers of people you could try Majdanek near Lublin.

The advice from irish_goat is certainly worth bearing in mind.
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Old Jun 19, 17, 4:58 pm
  #21  
 
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Originally Posted by Giggleswick View Post
Going by train from Krakow to Auschwitz is more complicated than going by minibus, and not to be recommended. As for getting between Auschwitz and Birkenau, there is a free shuttle bus that operated every ten minutes in the summer (I just checked the frequency online). The shuttle bus might be crowded in summer, though--I don't know, as I went in late September and it wasn't.
Why would it be more complicated and not recommended?

There are direct trains - and it's less than 2 kilometres between Oswiecim train station and Auschwitz.

It's then again a 2 kilometre walk from Auschwitz I to Auschwitz II/Birkenau (I would suggest in this order), and then it's again 2 kilometres back to the train station.

Did it twice and was very easy to do - especially if you pre-load the maps on your phone (offline google maps or so).

If the walking in between is too much there are taxis and shuttles - although I can assume the walk might be nice to clear the mind and think! (it at least was for me).
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Old Jun 19, 17, 5:17 pm
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Originally Posted by Romanianflyer View Post
Why would it be more complicated and not recommended?

There are direct trains - and it's less than 2 kilometres between Oswiecim train station and Auschwitz.
I used to be a regular of the Poland sub-forum on the old Lonely Planet Thorn Tree forums (anyone else remember those?).

Half the posts seemed to be from tourists fretting over how to get from Krakow to Auschwitz, as if it posed logistical difficulties akin to trekking across the Amazon rain forest. The truth is that both minibuses and trains are relatively straightforward and easy. I hopped on a local bus the first time I went there and that was no problem either but I can understand why some people might not want to take that option (despite being really cheap).
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Old Jun 19, 17, 5:20 pm
  #23  
 
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Originally Posted by Romanianflyer View Post
Why would it be more complicated and not recommended?
Sorry, I guess I overstated it. I'd just assumed that somebody who was looking for an alternative to a bus tour would want the most direct option, and that would be the minibus, which also more frequent than the train. But taking the train and then walking or taking a local bus or taxi works, too, of course.
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Old Jul 24, 17, 8:36 pm
  #24  
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I was all set to use the mini bus option but after further thought decided to do some more exploring to make sure I was doing the right thing. While doing some more research I came across a company called "Shuttle4you". I contacted the owner by email and had an answer the following morning.
My wife and I were offered private transportation from our hotel in a Mercedes Van to both camps, a private tour guide with a small group of 12 at each location and return to our hotel. The arrangements for tickets and guide were all taken care of. We did not have to do a thing. We were promptly picked up at 9:00AM and we returned around 4:00 PM, so about 7 hours al in.
He also took us to a place called Camp Canada where there were 2 of the actual rail cars on display. This was where all trains would pass through for off loading the human cargo before further transportation to Aushwitz and later Berkinau.
The cost for all this came to 500.00 Zloty's or about $135.00 total or $67.50 each.
We were so glad that we chose this option since this will probably be our only trip to this area and wanted to make sure we did it right.
If you are interested in this type of tour you can contact the owner, Damian Szafran at: www.krakowauschwitz.com
They also do airport transfers and offer trips to the other area attractions. I highly recommend his company.
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Old Jul 25, 17, 7:41 am
  #25  
 
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It is really great that all the important things were managed by them. By taking this type of service, We can enjoy the tours without headache.
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Old Jul 25, 17, 9:33 am
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Originally Posted by general45 View Post
The cost for all this came to 500.00 Zloty's or about $135.00 total or $67.50 each.
We were so glad that we chose this option since this will probably be our only trip to this area and wanted to make sure we did it right.
If you are interested in this type of tour you can contact the owner, Damian Szafran at: www.krakowauschwitz.com
They also do airport transfers and offer trips to the other area attractions. I highly recommend his company.
For a guided tour, rather than just transport to Auschwitz, there are a number of good tours available through Viator. I did one last summer for about $42 US. It may have been about an hour less total time than what you described but was as thorough and convenient.
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Old Jul 25, 17, 7:08 pm
  #27  
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Originally Posted by JBord View Post
For a guided tour, rather than just transport to Auschwitz, there are a number of good tours available through Viator. I did one last summer for about $42 US. It may have been about an hour less total time than what you described but was as thorough and convenient.
I did look at Viator but it is one of those companies that's located internationally and I have been burned in the past by larger companies that overpromised. Plus, the price I received for a 7 hour private tour was coming in at $140.00 per person, so $280+ for my wife and I.
In doing my research I found out that the company I chose was small (5 vehicles) and all the recent reviews rated it 5 stars for quality, safety and delivering what was promised and he answered every question I threw at him very promptly depending on the time of day and time difference. He also mentioned that he would be giving the tour and making all the arrangements which sealed the deal.
I guess the most important thing is that we both seem to be happy with the choices we made and your recommendation offers one more choice for FT readers.

Last edited by general45; Jul 26, 17 at 6:26 am
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Old Jul 29, 17, 8:13 am
  #28  
 
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Originally Posted by general45 View Post
In doing my research I found out that the company I chose was small (5 vehicles) and all the recent reviews rated it 5 stars for quality, safety and delivering what was promised and he answered every question I threw at him very promptly depending on the time of day and time difference. He also mentioned that he would be giving the tour and making all the arrangements which sealed the deal.
I guess the most important thing is that we both seem to be happy with the choices we made and your recommendation offers one more choice for FT readers.
There is nothing wrong to select small company but don't choose it only on the basis of reviews. Because they are not to be authentic at all the time.
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