Plan your visit
In order to take in the grounds and exhibitions in a suitable way, visitors should set aside a minimum of about 90 minutes for the Auschwitz site and the same amount of time for Auschwitz II-Birkenau. It is essential to visit both parts of the camp, Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II-Birkenau, in order to acquire a proper sense of the place that has become the symbol of the Holocaust as well as Nazi crimes againt Poles, Romas and other groups.
The grounds and most of the buildings at the sites of the Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II-Birkenau sites are open to visitors. Some buildings are not accessible to visitors (including the blocks reserved for the Museum administration and its departments). Please familiarize yourself with "the rules for visiting ".
Auschwitz I is where the Nazis opened the first Auschwitz camps for men and women, where they carried out the first experiments at using Zyklon B to put people to death, where they murdered the first mass transports of Jews, where they conducted the first criminal experiments on prisoners, where they carried out most of the executions by shooting, where the central jail for prisoners from all over the camp complex was located in Block No. 11, and where the camp commandant's office and most of the SS offices were located. From here, the camp administration directed the further expansion of the camp complex.
Birkenau is where the Nazis erected most of the machinery of mass extermination in which they murdered approximately one million European Jews. At the same time, Birkenau was the largest concentration camp (with nearly 300 primitive barracks, most of them wooden). Over a hundred thousand prisoners were here in 1944: Jews, Poles, Roma, and others. The nearly 200 hectares of grounds include the ruins of the gas chambers and crematoria and places filled with human ashes. There are primitive prisoner barracks and kilometers of fences and roads.
For an admission fee, visitors may view the 15-minute film presenting the first moments after liberation. The film is shown in the visitor reception building at the Auschwitz I site.
Persons interested in a more in-depth exploration of Auschwitz may take advantage of the lectures, workshops, and seminars offered by the International Center for Education about Auschwitz and the Holocaust.