The 5 best Warsaw to Auschwitz day trips

Warsaw, Poland, captivates visitors with its rich history and stunning architecture. However, Poland’s most well-known piece of World War II history lies just outside Krakow, Auschwitz.

Often referred to as Auschwitz-Birkenau, this former concentration camp serves as a powerful memorial and museum. A trip from Warsaw to Auschwitz offers a glimpse into one of the saddest chapters in modern history.

A Haunting Yet Important Journey to Auschwitz Birkenau

While the memorial site is closer to Krakow, a well-planned day trip to Auschwitz from Warsaw is entirely possible. This mournful experience allows travellers to pay their respects to the victims, understand the camp’s horrific history, and learn from the tragedies of the past.

A warning sign out the front of Auschwitz in Poland
Warsaw tours to Auschwitz can be easily done

Why Visit Auschwitz from Warsaw?

Auschwitz-Birkenau isn’t just another museum. It’s a place of profound reflection, education, and remembrance. Millions perished within its walls, including Jews transported from Warsaw itself. Choosing a guided tour from Warsaw ensures a respectful and informative visit, helping you navigate this emotionally charged site.

Planning Your Trip: Distance and Options

Auschwitz Memorial lies approximately 326 kilometres southwest of Warsaw. While the distance might seem significant, several convenient travel options include car, train, bus, and guided tours.

Here’s a quick breakdown:

  • Car: For maximum flexibility, consider renting a car and following a well-mapped route (approximately 4-hour drive).
  • Train: Enjoy a comfortable train journey, with travel time ranging from 2.5 to 4.5 hours.
  • Bus: Opt for a budget-friendly bus option, with travel times around 4.5 to 5.5 hours.
  • Tour: Guided tours from Warsaw offer a hassle-free experience, including transportation, entrance fees, and insightful commentary from a knowledgeable guide.

Flying to Krakow: While geographically closer, flying to Krakow and then travelling to Auschwitz might not be the most time-efficient option, especially considering the readily available direct travel options from Warsaw.


Hassle-Free Day Trips to Auschwitz from Warsaw

Visiting Auschwitz from Warsaw is a powerful and moving experience. Consider a guided day tour to simplify your trip and ensure you get the most out of the visit. These tours offer several advantages:

  • Convenience and Comfort: Let the tour operator handle logistics like transportation (including air-conditioned coaches with Wi-Fi), entrance tickets, and even hotel pick-up and drop-off. This frees you to focus on the weight of history at Auschwitz.
  • Expert Guidance: Benefit from knowledgeable guides who provide historical context and insights during the journey and the Auschwitz tour.
  • Priority Entry: Skip the lines and maximize your time at Auschwitz with priority entrance.
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Unveiling Auschwitz’s History: A Small Group Tour from Warsaw

For a more intimate and personalized experience, consider a small-group tour to Auschwitz from Warsaw. These tours typically include comfortable transportation with Wi-Fi, allowing you to relax on the journey.

Preparing for the Visit:

Your knowledgeable guide will use the travel time to provide a historical overview of the Holocaust, setting the context for your visit to Auschwitz. This will help prepare you once you arrive for what you are about to see and hear.

A Somber Journey:

Upon arrival at Auschwitz Birkenau, bypass the lines with priority admission and embark on a guided tour. The tour will cover key sites like the infamous gate, haunting cell blocks, watchtowers, and the train platform where millions arrived. A typical Auschwitz tour lasts approximately 3 hours, leaving a lasting impression.


  • Comfortable transportation with Wi-Fi from your Warsaw hotel (roundtrip)
  • Expert guide leading the tour and providing historical context
  • Entrance fees to Auschwitz I and Birkenau
  • Traditional Polish lunch (think pierogi, chicken soup, or schnitzel with water)

A Respectful Experience:

Remember, Auschwitz is a memorial site deserving respectful conduct.

This exclusive day trip offers a streamlined and respectful way to visit Auschwitz-Birkenau from Warsaw.

Door-to-Door Convenience:

cell blocks at Auschwitz
The best Auschwitz tours feature an official tour

Enjoy pick-up and drop-off directly at your Warsaw hotel, eliminating the hassle of navigating public transportation.

Fast and Comfortable Travel:

Travel to Krakow in style and comfort aboard a premium fast train. The journey takes approximately 2 hours and 20 minutes.

Expert Guidance:

Upon arrival in Krakow, a licensed guide with in-depth knowledge of Auschwitz’s history will lead your tour. The tour will be conducted in your chosen language.

A Somber Journey:

Explore both Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II Birkenau, the former concentration camp complex. Your guide will unveil the site’s history and significance, pointing out key landmarks like original roads, fences, watchtowers, and gas chambers.

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What’s Included:

  • Pick-up and drop-off at your Warsaw hotel
  • Premium fast train transportation to and from Krakow
  • High-standard van transportation in Krakow
  • Entrance fees to Auschwitz I and Birkenau Museums
  • Guided tour by a licensed Auschwitz expert
  • Gratuities

This unforgettable day trip whisks you away from Warsaw by private car to Auschwitz and Krakow.

Belonging that were left at Auschwitz
Can you visit Auschwitz? yes, it’s open all year round

Your private car will take you directly to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum. Here, pay your respects at the Holocaust memorial and delve into the camp’s harrowing past with a licensed guide. Explore key sites like prisoner barracks, gas chambers, and crematorium exhibition buildings, gaining a deeper understanding of this dark chapter.

Krakow’s Medieval Enchantment:

After a moving experience at Auschwitz, head to the vibrant city of Krakow. Embark on a captivating exploration of the Old Town, where you’ll be awestruck by its magnificent medieval architecture.

A Taste of Poland:

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Indulge in a traditional Polish pierogi dinner before your comfortable return journey to Warsaw.

What’s Included:

  • Roundtrip private transportation with air-conditioned car
  • Hotel pick-up and drop-off in Warsaw
  • Entrance fees to all Auschwitz-Birkenau sites
  • Licensed English-speaking guide at Auschwitz
  • Headsets for enhanced audio clarity at Auschwitz
  • Private local guide in Krakow
  • Delicious lunch at the on-site museum restaurant
  • Traditional Polish pierogi dinner

A Seamless Experience:

This meticulously planned tour ensures a comfortable and respectful visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Relax and focus on the historical significance while your experienced driver and guides handle the logistics.

Important Considerations:

  • Be prepared for a respectful and sombre visit. Auschwitz-Birkenau is a place of remembrance.
  • Wear comfortable shoes for walking.
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This private tour from Warsaw delves into the depths of history with an insightful experience.

Krakow Salt Mines
The Salt Mines are genuinely unique.

A Haunting Encounter:

Your private Mercedes-Benz whisks you away, ensuring comfort and privacy throughout the journey. First, you’ll arrive at the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum.

Here, with a group tour guide, you’ll confront the harrowing realities of the Holocaust. Explore key sites and gain a deeper understanding of this dark chapter. You will have a short amount of free time at the site.

A World of Salt:

Following the emotionally charged experience at Auschwitz, the tour transitions to the captivating Wieliczka Salt Mine. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this underground marvel boasts stunning chambers carved from salt rock.

You will learn about the mine’s fascinating history and stunning salt sculptures. This is one of the best tourist attractions in all of Poland. It will blow you away.

Escape the Crowds:

Unlike crowded bus tours, this private experience allows you to travel at your own pace and personalize the itinerary to your interests. Your dedicated driver ensures a seamless journey, taking care of logistics while you focus on the historical significance of each location.

What’s Included:

  • Personalized pick-up and drop-off at your Warsaw hotel
  • Roundtrip private transportation in a luxurious, air-conditioned Mercedes-Benz with Wi-Fi
  • Entrance fees to Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum
  • Group tour with a licensed guide at Auschwitz-Birkenau
  • Entrance fees to Wieliczka Salt Mine
  • Private guide at the Wieliczka Salt Mine (optional, upon request)

Important Notes:

  • Auschwitz-Birkenau is a place of remembrance. Be prepared for a respectful visit.
  • Comfortable shoes are recommended for walking tours.

Unveil the complexities of history with this private tour from Warsaw. Book your unforgettable journey today!

Considering a self-guided trip to Auschwitz-Birkenau from Warsaw? It’s certainly possible, but be prepared to invest more time and effort than an organized tour. Here’s a breakdown to help you plan:

guard tower at Birkenua
Arriving at Auschwitz from Warsaw can be confronting

Transportation Options (prepare for longer travel times):

  • Train: Search Trainline to book tickets. This option might be more comfortable than a bus but can still take a significant amount of time (around 2.5 hours each way).
  • Bus: While the cheapest option, buses from Warsaw to Auschwitz can take a gruelling 8 hours each way. Consider comfort and time constraints before choosing this method.
  • Rental Car: Renting a car provides the most flexibility, allowing you to set your own pace—however, factor in car rental costs, gas, and parking at Auschwitz.

Important Considerations:

  • Long Day Trip: Expect a full day, with travel time pushing the round trip to 18 hours or more.
  • Booking Auschwitz Tour: Visiting Auschwitz requires a guided tour. Reserve your spot well in advance on the official Auschwitz Memorial website (
  • The Experience: Auschwitz-Birkenau is a place of remembrance. Be prepared for a respectful and emotionally challenging visit. I often tell people Auschwitz is the saddest place I have ever been.

Benefits of a DIY Trip:

  • Flexibility: You control your itinerary and pace, allowing for more time at specific locations if desired.
  • Cost Savings: Self-guided trips can be cheaper than organized tours, especially if traveling with a larger group.

Drawbacks of a DIY Trip:

  • Time Commitment: Independent travel requires significantly more planning and research compared to organized tours.
  • Logistics Management: You’ll handle transportation schedules, tickets, and potentially car rentals.
  • Limited Historical Insights: Organized tours often include experienced guides who provide in-depth historical context.

Ultimately, the choice is yours!

For a hassle-free experience with historical guidance, consider an organized tour. If you value complete control and budget is a top priority, a DIY trip can be rewarding with careful planning.

Essential Warsaw Travel Information: Your Planning Guide

This comprehensive guide equips you with everything you need to know for a smooth and enjoyable Warsaw vacation, beyond just finding the perfect neighborhood to stay in.

Getting There:

  • Air: Warsaw Chopin Airport (WAW) is well-connected with major airlines, including budget carriers like Easyjet and Ryanair. Consider searching on Aviasales or Kiwi Flights for deals.
  • Train: For scenic journeys, explore train connections across Poland and Europe. High-speed trains connect Warsaw and Krakow in just 2 hours. Book tickets with Trainline
  • Bus: FlixBus offers daily connections to Warsaw from various domestic and international destinations.
  • Car: Poland’s highways offer a convenient driving option. Be aware of potential tolls on newer EU-funded routes. Rental cars are widely available.


Warsaw offers a diverse range of accommodation options to suit every budget and preference:

  • Budget-friendly: Hostels, vacation rentals, and private rooms provide affordable stays. Consider Hostelworld for hostels with flexible cancellation policies and good reviews. Use for hotels with a user-friendly cancellation policy.
  • Luxury: For a luxurious stay, explore high-end hotels.

Getting Around:

Warsaw’s well-developed public transport network allows you to easily navigate the city:

  • Public Transport: Buses, trams, metro, light rail, and urban/regional rail offer extensive coverage. ZTM tickets allow access to all these options and can be purchased at most stops or onboard.
  • Taxis and Uber: readily available for added convenience.

Currency and Travel Essentials:

  • Currency: The Polish Zloty (PLN) is the official currency. Consider using a Revolut travel card for multi-currency convenience and minimal withdrawal fees.
  • Travel Insurance: While Poland boasts good healthcare, travel insurance is still recommended to safeguard against unexpected medical expenses. Use Travel Insurance Master to compare quotes and find the best value policy.
  • Staying Connected: Pre-order a SIM card before your trip to avoid roaming charges and ensure seamless communication
  • VPN: A VPN like Proxy Master encrypts your data, keeping your online activity secure when using public Wi-Fi networks.

Considering a day trip to Auschwitz-Birkenau from Warsaw? Here’s a breakdown to help you decide:

A Powerful Encounter:

Guided day tours from Warsaw offer a moving and educational experience. As you walk through the preserved grounds of Auschwitz, including the chilling Death Block, you’ll confront the harrowing realities of the Holocaust. The museum’s exhibits serve as a stark reminder of the atrocities committed and the importance of preserving historical memory.

A Day of Remembrance:

These tours offer a chance to pay respects to the victims, gain a deeper understanding of this dark chapter, and honour their memory. While a long day, visiting Auschwitz is a powerful and unforgettable experience. Actually, we rate it as a must-experience in Poland. We have been twice.

Considering the Length:

A day trip from Warsaw to Auschwitz-Birkenau is a long journey (approximately 5-6 hours round trip). Factor this in when making your decision.

Making the Choice:

Whether you choose a day tour or explore independently depends on your preferences. Day tours offer the convenience of transportation, guided commentary, and ensured entry (tickets can be challenging to obtain). Independent travel allows for more flexibility but requires careful planning and research.

Ultimately, the decision is yours. Auschwitz is a place of immense historical significance, and a visit, no matter the format, will leave a lasting impact.

Poland Travel Experts:

Explore our comprehensive Poland travel guides for further assistance planning your Polish adventure!

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Author Bio: Mark Wyld

Mark Wyld is a Father, husband, traveller, and writer at Poland Travel Expert and other blogs. I have accumulated a wealth of experience over multiple visits to Poland. Thanks to our friends in Poland, we stay connected to the nation’s pulse, ensuring that our content is up to date with our first-hand experience. The information on this website is backed by genuine expertise.

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