If you’ve decided to visit Auschwitz, you basically have three options: visit as part of a group organised by a Kraków tourist agency, visit independently and join a guided tour at the museum, or visit independently for free without a guide. Unfortunately, a new online reservation system now makes the latter two options much more difficult than in the past. All visits must now be booked in advance through the website visit.auschwitz.org. As a result, you may find there are no tickets available for the day you would like to visit because they have all been snatched up in bulk by tourist agencies. The unavailability of tickets online doesn’t mean you can’t visit Auschwitz when you want, but it does basically force you to sign up for a tour through an outside provider. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as it relieves you of the hassle of figuring out how to get there and back, but you will essentially be paying a surcharge for the service. For most people, however, it is worth it.
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