A Comprehensive Guide on How to Enter Auschwitz Birkenau


A symbol of death, terror, and dreadful nazi rule, Auschwitz often known as Auschwitz-Birkenau, was a network of 40 concentration and execution camps 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 out to get there.

Where is Auschwitz Birkenau?

Auschwitz is located in Southern Poland, close to the industrial town of Oswiecim. The attractions such as the Zamek museum, main market square, etc are close to Auschwitz Birkenau. You can easily reach the destination by bus, train, or car.

Address: Więźniów Oświęcimia 20, 32-603 Oświęcim, Poland | Find on maps

Auschwitz Birkenau Entrances

Auschwitz Birkenau has two main entrances: One main entrance that is used to enter Auschwitz I or the main camp and another one that leads to Auschwitz II Birkenau. Both the entrances are in two different locations though they are easily accessible and a few kilometers away from the main camp.

Auschwitz Birkenau Entrances | 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 to the morning. 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 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 Do 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 Auschwitz Birkenau Tickets & Tours

Guided Tour of Auschwitz-Birkenau 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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Meals Included
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Guided Tour of Auschwitz-Birkenau with Hotel Transfers from Krakow Center
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7 hr.
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Combo: Auschwitz-Birkenau & Wieliczka Salt Mine Guided Tour from Krakow with Optional Lunch
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11 hr.
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Frequently Asked Questions About the Auschwitz Entrances

Q. Where is Auschwitz Birkenau?

A. Auschwitz Birkenau is located in Oswiecim, Poland.

Q. Where is the Auschwitz Birkenau entrance?

A. 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.

Q. How many Auschwitz entrances are there?

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

Q. Which is the best Auschwitz entrance?

A. Visitors can use the main Auschwitz entrances to access the camp.

Q. What is the average wait time at the Auschwitz entrance?

A. During peak time the waiting time in the queue can take about 2 hours.

Q. Which Auschwitz entrance do skip the line ticket holders use?

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

Q. Which Auschwitz entrance is used for guided tours?

A. Guided tour groups enter through the side entrance to Auschwitz.

Q. Which Auschwitz entrance do visitors with disabilities use?

A. Visitors with disabilities can use the main Auschwitz entrances.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Q. What are the Auschwitz Birkenau timings?

A. 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 the timings.

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

A. The early morning slot or the time slot before the museum closes is the best time to visit the place peacefully and avoid large crowds.