Getting From Krakow to Auschwitz-Birkenau – The Ultimate Guide

I guess you’re curious about how to get from Krakow to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial in Oświęcim. If yes, then you’re in the right place. I believe the information I’ve got here will help make your trip a breeze. By the time you’re done reading, you’ll know exactly what you need and can plan your journey accordingly.

Getting From Krakow To Auschwitz – How Far Is It?

You might be wondering how far it is from Krakow to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum and Memorial Site. Well, this landmark is tucked away in Oświęcim, a city about 70 kilometrs west of Krakow.

Interesting fact: Auschwitz is actually the German name for Oświęcim, which became infamous in the 1940s due to the Nazi concentration camp. The entrance gate to the camp, infamous for its "Arbeit macht frei" ("Work makes you free") sign, is only about 2.5 kilometers from Oświęcim's heart.

Getting From Kraków to Auschwitz by Car

If you want a straightforward journey, taking a car from Krakow is the way to go. There are three main routes to reach Oświęcim from Krakow, all pretty smooth. Now, let me break this down:

  • You can zip through the A4 motorway, exiting at Chrzanów, and then take the Libiąż route. But remember, the motorway is tolled at the gates in Balice.
  • Another option is driving through Alwernia. This route spans about 60 kilometers and will take you roughly an hour.
  • Lastly, you might opt for the Spytkowice and Zator path. It’s slightly longer, around 70 kilometers, and may take 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Personally, I believe the Alwernia route provides the best compromise in terms of distance and time.

↳ Make sure to read my guide to the most amazing places to stay in Kraków:
How to Find Best Place to Stay in Krakow Old Town – Your Guide

Kraków to Auschwitz by Bus

If you need an alternative to driving, taking a bus is an excellent option. I can tell you, the bus stop in Oświęcim is pretty near the museum – a 10-minute walk at most. Buses to Oświęcim/Auschwitz leave from the MDA station (Małopolski Dworzec Autobusowy), situated right behind the Central Railway Station on Bosacka Street.

Quick Overview of the Bus Journey:

  • Where you’ll leave from: MDA bus station (ul. Bosacka 18) – Here is Google Maps Location
  • What you’ll pay: PLN 16-20 for a one-way ticket
  • How long it’ll take: 60-120 minutes
  • Walking distance from the bus stop to the Memorial Site: just about 10 minutes
  • Need more info?: Here’s the bus timetable for your convenience.

Getting tickets for your bus journey is pretty simple. Just head to the MDA station ticket offices on the day of your trip. Some bus drivers also sell tickets onboard their vehicles, which can be handy. The cost of a ticket can range from PLN 16 to PLN 20, depending on the carrier.

Speaking of carriers, private ones like GT Trans, Lajkonik, Marek Lewański, and Przewóz Osób JS ply this route. They run buses at frequent intervals, usually every 20-40 minutes. You’ll also find PKS buses on the station timetable, but these tend to be less frequent.

Now, after a ride of about 90-120 minutes, you’ll be dropped off at one of three stops near Auschwitz: Muzeum Auschwitz (the closest to the Memorial, serviced only by Lajkonik), Więźniów Oświęcimia (a short walk from the entrance), or Oświęcim Ice Rink (the farthest, about 5 kilometers away).

Train from Krakow to Auschwitz

Pictures in Auschwitz Memorial Museum

If you’re someone who enjoys the charm of a train journey, don’t worry, you’re covered. From Krakow’s Main Railway Station, you can hop on a train to Oświęcim. It’ll take you about 1 hour and 40 minutes, and there’s a train leaving roughly every 1-2 hours.

Here’s a quick rundown:

  • Where to catch your train: Krakow Central Railway Station : Here is it’s Location
  • Ticket price: PLN 12.50 for a one-way ticket
  • How long you’ll be onboard: Approximately 100 minutes
  • Getting from the station to the Memorial: A 20-30 minute walk, or 5-10 minutes by bus

To check out the train timetable, click here .

Tickets, priced at PLN 12.50 for a one-way trip, can be purchased at ticket offices or online. The train ride ends at Oświęcim station, roughly 2 kilometers away from Auschwitz. You can walk this distance (it’ll likely take about 25 minutes) or opt for public transport in Oświęcim, stopping at the Muzeum stop. A normal ticket costs PLN 2.70, while a discounted ticket is PLN 1.70.

What’s the Best Way to Reach the Auschwitz Museum from Krakow?

I am convinced that while traveling by car is often the best option, it’s not the only one, especially if you’re already in Krakow and don’t plan on renting a car.

Buses or minibuses are a solid choice. They’re affordable, run frequently from early morning till late evening (the last one usually departs from Oświęcim to Krakow before 20:00), and offer a hasle-free experience. The service is so frequent that even if you miss one, the next one will be along in a few minutes. So, I think it’s worth to say, this is a budget-friendly, swift, and convenient way to travel. No need to overspend here 🙂

From Kraków to Auschwitz by Taxi

This is definitely one of the most expensive way to travel from Kraków to Oświęcim (Auschwitz), however it is still an option. You are probably curious how much it takes to get from Krakow to Auschwitz by taxi. According to the one Krakow taxi corporation website, in 2023, it cost 414 PLN to get to Auschwitz from Kraków. So it is around 100 EUR.

This is how much it cost to get from Kraków to Auschwitz by Uber

You should know the taxi is not the only option you have. There is also Uber in Krakow, which is a little bit less expensive. According to Uber website, the cost of getting to Auschwitz, it is between 296 – 325 PLN.