When I decided to book a trip to Krakow, I did some online research on how to get from Krakow to Auschwitz and there were a lot of confusion about trains and buses. First of all, the easiest way to see Auschwitz without a rental car is to buy a tour package with a guide. I absolutely loathe tour package services and don’t like guides since I prefer to save money, use public transportation, and go on my own pace.
Here’s how to get from Krakow to Auschwitz by train:
Step 1: Head to Krakow Glowny Railway Station and look for the ‘Oswiecim’ destination on the departure board. Note the time because trains run on time and if it’s delayed, the time will be updated.
Step 2: Head downstairs to the ticket booth and buy a one-way ticket to ‘Oswiecim’ from the cashier which will cost 9.50 PLN zloty ~ $2.79 USD . Note that you can also say Auschwitz and the cashier will know right away that you’re going to Oswiecim.
Step 3: Look at the departures board again noting the train platform number and start heading upstairs to the platform five minutes before scheduled departure.
Step 4: The train ride will take approximately one hour and 40 minutes (up to 2 hours) for a one way ride from Krakow Glowny Railway Station to Oswiecim (Auschwitz).
Step 5: From Oswiecim, it will be a 20 minute walk or a 4 minute taxi ride to the Auschwitz I Museum and Memorial. Don’t even try to walk from the Oswiecim Train station to Auschwitz II – Birkenau because it’s way too far. It’s best to start at Auschwitz 1 before heading to Auschwitz 2 and there are free bus transfers between the two sites.
Traveling by train is by far the best way to get to Auschwitz because buses are cramped and can incur traffic on the highway whereas trains have no traffic and you’ll get the see the Polish countryside by rail.