A Comprehensive Guide on Auschwitz Entrances

A symbol of death, terror, and dreadful Nazi rule, Auschwitz often known as Auschwitz-Birkenau, was a network of 40 concentration camps in Poland that served as the home to the Nazis' systematic killing in the past. If you are going to visit the camp for the first time, you might be confused about the entrances. We’ve compiled all the important information about the Auschwitz entrances in this article. Keep reading to find out where they are and how to get there.

Where is Auschwitz-Birkenau?

Auschwitz entrances

Auschwitz-Birkenau has two main entrances. Both entrances are in two different locations, but they are easily accessible and only a few kilometers away from each other.

  1. The main entrance: It is used to enter Auschwitz I or the main camp.
  2. Hell’s Gate: This entrance leads to Auschwitz II Birkenau.

Auschwitz entrances explained | Location and getting there

Auschwitz Entrance - The Main Entrance to Auschwitz I

The main entrance to Auschwitz I

The entrance to the main camp, Auschwitz I, is located on national route 933, just on the outskirts of Oswiecim. The sign "Arbeit Macht Frei", which means "work makes (one) free," has been inscribed at the entrance gate to Auschwitz I ever since it opened. All the visitors, irrespective of their ticket types, use this gate to enter the camp. Group tours use a side entrance from here to enter the camp. 

How to reach? Direct trains can be accessed from Krakow's Main Railway Station which stops at Oswiecim's Central Station, which is 2 kilometers from Auschwitz.

Entrance timings: Except for January 1, December 25, and Easter Sunday, the Museum is open daily, every day of the year from 7:30 AM. The closing time may vary depending on the month of your visit.

Auschwitz Entrance - Hell’s Gate Auschwitz II Birkenau

Hell’s Gate Auschwitz II- Birkenau

The main entrance to Birkenau can be seen from the loading rail ramp and is commonly known as Auschwitz/Birkenau Hell's Gate. Everyone who visits the main camp also covers the Auschwitz II Birkenau camp through the hell’s entrance gate, irrespective of their ticket type. The main entrance to Auschwitz II is located 3 km away from the main camp. 

How to reach? You can walk three kilometers between the two old concentration camps via Leszczyńska and Wyzwolenia streets. However, there are free buses that could take you from camp 1 to camp 2 as well. 

Entrance timings: The Museum is open every day of the year from 7:30 AM, with the exception of 1 January, 25 December, and Easter Sunday. Depending on the month you come, the closure time could be different.

Disabled access

People with movement difficulties typically require assistance from someone else because of the uneven brick paving of the roadways and sidewalks within the former Auschwitz I concentration camp. To help visitors with mobility issues, more space has been set aside at the entrance and exit gates. Wheelchair use is more challenging inside brick-and-mortar barracks due to space congestion. 

Access to the barracks is made available by means of movable ramps inside the former Auschwitz II-Birkenau complex. However, when making a reservation, you must submit the proper request for the same.

Which Auschwitz entrance should I choose?

Whether you have a skip the line ticket or a normal entry ticket to the Auschwitz camp, you have to use the two main entrances to enter the camps. Having said that, a guided tour or the skip the line access tour could definitely give you benefits over the normal tickets.

Queues at Auschwitz Birkenau entrance

When you reach the Auschwitz Birkenau entrance you’ll find 2 types of queues. 

Queue 1: Visitors without pre-booked tickets must stand in this queue. 

Queue 2: Visitors who have skip the line tickets or guided tour tickets can use this line and enter directly.

How to enter Auschwitz Birkenau?

Auschwitz Entrance - How to Enter Auschwitz Birkenau?

Book your Auschwitz Birkenau tours

Auschwitz-Birkenau Guided Tour with Fast Track Tickets
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3 hr. 30 min.
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Auschwitz-Birkenau Guided Tour with Transfers from Meeting Point & Optional Lunch
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7 hr. - 7 hr. 30 min.
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Auschwitz-Birkenau Guided Tour with Hotel Transfers from Krakow Center
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Combo: From Krakow - Auschwitz-Birkenau & Wieliczka Salt Mine Guided Tour
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11 hr.
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Frequently asked questions about Auschwitz entrances

Where is Auschwitz-Birkenau?

Auschwitz Birkenau is located in Oswiecim, Poland.

How many Auschwitz entrances are there?

There are two main Auschwitz entrances to the camp - one to the main camp and one to Auschwitz II.

Where is the Auschwitz-Birkenau entrance?

The main entrance to Auschwitz I is located at Oswiecim and the entrance to Auschwitz II is located 3 km away from the main entrance.

Which is the best Auschwitz entrance?

The most preferred Auschwitz entrance by visitors is the main entrance to Auschwitz I concentration camp.

What is the average wait time at the Auschwitz entrance?

During peak tourist season or timings, the waiting time in the queue can take about 2 hours. Consider buying skip-the-line or fast-track entry tickets to get direct entry into the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.

Which Auschwitz entrance do skip the line ticket holders use?

Skip the line ticket holders can walk past the queues and enter the campsite directly from the main Auschwitz entrance.

Which Auschwitz entrance do visitors with disabilities use?

Visitors with disabilities can use both Auschwitz entrances.

Which Auschwitz Birkenau entrance do I use if I have already purchased tickets?

Visitors who have already purchased tickets can just show their tickets to the staff and enter the museum through the main Auschwitz entrance.

Which Auschwitz entrance do I use if I don’t have tickets?

You will have to contact the ticket counter at the Auschwitz main camp to get your tickets and then enter through the main entrance.

Which Auschwitz entrance should I use if I’m traveling with a group?

Groups mainly use the side Auschwitz entrance to enter the campsite.

How can I avoid waiting in line for a long time at Auschwitz-Birkenau?

The best way to avoid long lines is by booking Auschwitz guided tours or skip the line tickets.

What are the Auschwitz-Birkenau timings?

The Auschwitz Birkenau is open daily from 7:30 AM. The closing time could differ based on the months that you choose to visit. Click here for more information on Auschwitz timings.

What time should I visit Auschwitz-Birkenau to avoid waiting in line?

The early morning slot is the best time to visit Auschwitz-Birkenau peacefully and avoid large crowds.