Auschwitz Memorial Museum
Auschwitz © Grippenn
The Auschwitz concentration camp forms the largest cemetery in the world, preserved as a memorial to the victims of the Holocaust during the Second World War. Visitors can obvserve the structures, ruins, and gas chambers, while visiting exhibits at the museum. The buildings contain displays of photographs and piles of personal articles of the victims, including battered suitcases, and thousands of spectacles, hair, and shoes collected from the bodies. The sheer scale of the tragedy can be experienced at the Birkenau Camp, with a viewing platform to give some perspective over the vast fenced-in area. It was the principal camp where the extermination of millions took place, a chillingly efficient set-up with rows of barracks and four colossal gas chambers and ovens. Purpose-built railway tracks lead through the huge gateway along which victims were transported from the ghettos to the camp in crowded box-like carts. Taking a guided tour of the camps is the best way to fully comprehend what you are seeing and a tour takes at least three and a half hours. Visitors should try and book a place on one of the various guided tours at least two weeks before visiting - see the official website below for details.
Address: Wiezniow Oswiecimia 20, 32-603 Oswiecim, Poland
Telephone: +48 33 844 8000
Transport: There are regular coach and rail services from Krakow (a one hour journey), and a shuttle bus runs between Auschwitz I and Birkenau from mid-April to October.
Opening times: 8am to 3pm, Monday to Sunday.