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topcat69
06-03-2015, 07:58 PM
Anyone been recently?
Reccomend a decent hotel at a reasonable price and best tour advice?
Thanks in advance.

bodge
06-03-2015, 09:03 PM
You need to base yourself in Krakow, plenty of hotels and a top spot, Kazimiercz (Jewish area) and the Schindler factory are there as well.

There are loads of travel operators that offer minibus tours, it's about a 45 minute drive. make sure you go to both Auschwitz and Birkenau which is close by.

bf2k
06-03-2015, 09:39 PM
I work in Gliwice a lot which is actually closer to Auschwitz then Krakow. Its a nice town and the bars are quite good. The hotel Silva or Diament Plaza are the places to stay.

It's also where WW2 started. They have Europe's largest wooden structure (and TV Mast I think) which is where it has all meant to have "kicked off".

scoobyclaret
07-03-2015, 08:36 AM
We had a 4 day break in Krakow in June 2013 and did a day trip to Auschwitz.

There are various companies offering 'tours' to the camps and the ones we looked at all seemed to be in the 15-20 pp price range but it's easy enough to get to Auscwitz using public transport.

We got a public minibus from the main bus station which cost about 12 zloty return pp (less than 3)-journey took just under an hour.

If you arrive at Auschwitz between 10am and 3pm it's compulsory to take a guided tour which costs about 8 pp-outside of those times you are free to wander around on your own.

We got to 'Auschwitz 1' just before 10am so we had the choice of joining a tour but we chose to just buy a guidebooklet/map for 1 and wander around by ourselves. There are information boards in English and Polish at key locations around the camp and inside the buildings.

There is a free minibus that takes you from Auschwitz 1 to Birkenau, journey is under 10 mins.

Word of warning, what you see (and picture i

claretphil
07-03-2015, 09:30 AM
I would endorse everything mentioned above would add the following.

We went in Spring 2013, caught one of the minibuses mentioned by Bodge which are cheap and run regularly. I don't recall us having a choice with regard to the guided tour on arrival at the camp but that actually added to the experience. The moving presentation given by our guide, who had lost her father and two uncles at the camps brought into stark relief the enormity of the atrocities committed there. The tour of Auschwitz is so emotionally draining there is a temptation to pass on the visit to Birkenau which is a 3km shuttle bus ride away. As already mentioned you need to go to Birkenau too which is where the train transports arrived.

It would be completely wrong to describe a visit to Auschwitz as an enjoyable day trip. There is nothing to enjoy there, but it's an incredibly moving and memorable experience and something I would recommend to all.

mgill87
07-03-2015, 11:08 AM
I was considering going to Poland this summer but have decided to go elsewhere. However it's very much on my wishlist for the future! Krakow is (I've heard) a very nice city. Auschwitz is apparently well worth visting and an emotional experience for many.

ClaretTony2014
07-03-2015, 01:36 PM
"It would be completely wrong to describe a visit to Auschwitz as an enjoyable day trip. There is nothing to enjoy there, but it's an incredibly moving and memorable experience and something I would recommend to all."


I've not been but it is somewhere I really do want to visit at some time. I went to Dachau in 2007 which was a difficult enough experience. As Phil says, these visits are not enjoyable but so moving.

ClaretinAtherton
07-03-2015, 03:37 PM
I have just returned from a long weekend In Krakow. We stopped in the Park Inn, Monte Cassino.which was only 10mins walk into the centre. Excellent location and you walk past the Tea Time Pub that serves real ales and owned by a Burnley lad. We went to one of the tourist information booths and sorted the Auschwitz and salt mine trips. Pick up at the hotel and guided tours. Very good value for money.

Darthlaw
07-03-2015, 03:41 PM
I've stayed in Krakow a few times and usually use sodispar for their serviced apartments. They have also in the past organised travel in our own vehicle to and from Auschwitz for the same cost as an organised tour.

Salt mines mentioned above are a must too. - view external link (www.sodispar.pl)

bluelabrador15
07-03-2015, 04:27 PM
An interesting read:

Breaking the Spell: The Holocaust: Myth & Reality:

by Nicholas Kollerstrom

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Breaking-Holocaust-

cloughyclaret
07-03-2015, 09:24 PM
You need to delete that Yorks, you will regret posting that when you've sobered up.

polskaclaret
07-03-2015, 09:45 PM
"20% off a free t-shirt"
Comedy genius or drunken typo?

If I had my way I'd force bluelabrador15 to watch Shoah in it's entirety with no toilet breaks.

bluelabrador15
07-03-2015, 10:22 PM
An interesting watch:

David Cole in Auschwitz Full Documentary

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PWCOjOj4RAU

Bin_Ont_Turf
07-03-2015, 10:37 PM
I personally have never understood the morbid curiosity, but each to their own.

bfcjg
07-03-2015, 11:32 PM
This place is why we should realise we are all human beings and should guard and attack all regimes (eg Islamic state)that promote the theory that one religion/race etc are superior.

minniemouth
08-03-2015, 11:17 AM
Wonderful city for a city break. We could have done a week.
Whatever you do don't go by train to Auschwitz. We enjoy a train ride when we are away but this took 3 hours in a bone shaker as the rail is not the 40miles direct but a circuitous 90 miles with regular stops. Painful, never again.

KTMADV
08-03-2015, 12:34 PM
I've been many times. I think I will be going again in May with a buddy who's never been. On our way back from Ukraine on our motorbikes.
Kracow is a great city to visit.

Covclaret
08-03-2015, 01:42 PM
I went 20 years or so ago and it's something I will never forget. Someone mentioned the salt mines at Wielizcka, we'll worth a visit.

The Bedlington Terrier
08-03-2015, 02:35 PM
Auschwitz is a humbling, harrowing and horrific experience. My single visit totally upset my own personal equilibrium. The place is monumental in its monstrosity. Once for me was more than enough.
Everyone should visit once and then remind ourselves never to let such horror to happen again.

grumpyoldman
08-03-2015, 04:41 PM
Yes Krakow is a great city to visit. Really didn't know what to expect at salt mines and kind of went along with it but it was well worth it.

As for Auschwitz...agree you can't/shouldn't enjoy it but I have it as one of the most memorable trips I have ever made. It's as horrific as the buildings and exhibits plus your imagination will allow, but boy did it leave me with a huge sense of how lucky our generation is and how we have to treasure the peace we have (albeit new and scary types of 'war'still exist).
Don't miss out Birkenau...the sheer scale of it,and the railway, blows you away.

Also agree - don't go on the train. it is easy and cheap but long and rattly. There are better ways and probably just as cheap.

Don't not go!!

topcat69
08-03-2015, 05:38 PM
Thanks for all the help and comments.
Hope to take it on board sometime in May or June.