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Budapest to Auschwitz to Krakow and back

Raleigh, North...
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Budapest to Auschwitz to Krakow and back

I am trying to plan a trip that includes flying in to Budapest, then heading to Krakow including a visit Auschwitz then back to Budapest to fly out. I would love any advise and also an answer to this question:

Is is feasible to take the night train from Budapest to Auschwitz...get off at Auschwitz, have early am coffee until 8am... tour the site then go to Krakow? Since visiting Auschwitz is a priority in my visit to Krakow it seemed silly to go past it on the night train only to return. Any thoughts or recommendations?

I would then take the train or bus to Krakow after the Auschwitz visit.

Thanks in advance to any who can provide insight.

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1. Re: Budapest to Auschwitz to Krakow and back

Nice idea, if it can be done, I don't know if the train from Budapest to Krakow will a stop at Auschwitz - which is not exactly a metropolis.

You don't indicate how much time you have for your trip, what time of year or how many people are traveling together. These things are important to know in order for you to get the best suggestions.

Among the issues to consider is the question of whether you should fly into Budapest (assuming you have the understandable desire to see the city) AND fly out from Budapest. It might be more in your interest to fly into another city and fly out of Budapest, or the reverse, on an "open jaw" ticket.

The train from Budapest is, as you may be aware, a long journey. Visiting the concentration camp sites (which is probably your main interest) is an all day journey from Krakow if you want to explore both camps sufficiently. There are bus excursions from Krakow.for tourists.

If you have a number of people with you, even renting a car may make sense but not if you can't return the car to the same location - because of exorbitant fees on top of the expensive car rental. Driving from Krakow to Auschwitz is not a long or difficult trip. Driving from Budapest to Krakow is a long trip, probably still over six hours, but a beautiful trip which can be justified by stopping along the way in the Tatras to take in the scenery. Driving from Auschwitz back to Budapest can be a real challenge, you can look at the viaMichelin site for a idea. You also have to be cognizant of what road permits may be needed in each country if you travel on highways.

Budapest, Hungary
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2. Re: Budapest to Auschwitz to Krakow and back

Hey beachfan,

First - I am a major fan of Krakow. An absolute gem of a town by a variety of measures (history, culture, preserved sights, people, etc.) And Auschwitz - well it's pretty jaw-dropping, and that's likely an under statement. Worth every minute of a long-journey, so no matter our answers here - keep looking for the best route.

I have only driven the route (many times) - and it's tough. While the distance between the cities is not long, the primary two-lane journey is difficult, crowded and can be dangerous because of speed. A great train person to look up here on TA is - GCEK from the Prague forum. He knows most everything about the routes and specifics. Do yourself a favor and ping him (thanks GCEK).

If possible, I highly suggest hiring a guide at Auschwitz I. While the camp reeks of it's horrible past, a guide can deliver insights no book can. And be sure to get to Auschwitz II. It speaks for itself. One autumn my parents came over and we drove up and visited the camps. My mother, being a history student, cried the entire way back to Budapest. Six hours. It's powerful.

Good luck. Have a good journey. Enjoy Budapest as well.

Jeremy

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3. Re: Budapest to Auschwitz to Krakow and back

There is a direct overnight connection between Budapest and Oswiecim (Auschwitz), as of now it's 20:05-4:53am, since early Dec. will be 20:05-4:48am

Standard fare return ticket Budapest-Krakow-Budapest allowing a stop in Oswiencim is 96 euro (will be slightly more since early Dec.) + sleeper reservations (couchette from 9,4 euro, sleepers from 14 euro). Also a limited number of discounted tickets available (from 39 euro per each direction), in advance purchase required

Budapest, Hungary
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4. Re: Budapest to Auschwitz to Krakow and back

Hi,

There's train daily, but reaches Auschwitz quite early in the morning, you better look out, or if you asleep and took off only in Krakow, there are many tour companies, do a bustour to Auschwitz

Raleigh, North...
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5. Re: Budapest to Auschwitz to Krakow and back

Thank you all for this helpful information. I am still planning.... and still feeling a little overwhelmed. It will just be two of us traveling and to be frank we hate to rent cars in other places. So, bus, train or plane once in that area of Europe will be our options. We would plan to spend a few days in Krakow and plan for two to three days either side of that visit for getting in/out. Auschwitz is a must. Outdoor cafes/beer gardens our other priority. Now we are trying to decide if our entry city should be Budapest, Vienna, or somewhere else (we are dependent on Delta or American.) We visited Prague and loved it, but would like to explore another city instead of repeating that one so soon.

Phoenix, Arizona
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6. Re: Budapest to Auschwitz to Krakow and back

From Krakow Auschwitz I and II is only about a 2 hour or less drive. Seeing the camps and the drive combined is pretty much an all day affair. Your have a choice to go there on your own and join a group tour. If you are there before 3 pm. you must do a group tour. Or you can hire Tomasz Cebulski from Polin Travel which can be found here on Trip Advisor. He is in Krakow and is certified as a guide for the camps. He is very knowledgeable and knows all the history of Krakow from early times to the present. We used him for two days last summer while in Krakow. He was really good. Also if you are interested in renting an apartment I can suggest Sodispar Apartments which is who we used while in Krakow. You can Google Sodispar Apartments. We flew from Copenhagen to Krakow with a change of plane in Germany, I think Frankfurt. From Krakow we flew to Prague via Munich, and from Prague we took the train to Vienna, and then again took the train to Budapest.

Raleigh, North...
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7. Re: Budapest to Auschwitz to Krakow and back

Greyhound... Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Krakow... of those which city was your favorite?

Phoenix, Arizona
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8. Re: Budapest to Auschwitz to Krakow and back

Hard to say. Each has it own beauty and character. For me Kracow had much history to learn and experience about the plight of the Jews before and during WW2. The hot chocolate was amazing. It was small and a quaint city, Prague was beautiful and walkable and also had magnificent architecture. It also offered me the opera of Mozart. We saw Don Giovanni in the theater where Mozart first conducted it. Vienna is also beautiful and big, not like NYC, but palaces in the city center. Also great opera, great transportation. Excellent food and of course the Sasha Torte. Again if I can see great opera it is a great city. Lastly the beauty of Budapest. Magnificent, walkable and the Danube River to contemplate. We return to Vienna and Budapest this summer because we did not see enough in the 3 to 4 days we were in each.

Winnipeg Beach...
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9. Re: Budapest to Auschwitz to Krakow and back

We are booked on a River cruise in September 2014 that terminates in Budapest. We want to visit Auschwitz and are wondering what you might recommend. My wife has a disability that precludes long walks and we are planning on taking her walker. Return air travel hasn't been booked yet and any departure location is an option??

David T

Phoenix, Arizona
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10. Re: Budapest to Auschwitz to Krakow and back

That is a tough question to answer. You could take the train from Budapest to Krakow which is a long journey and probably overnight. Or you could fly, but there are probably no direct flights so you would have to fly through probably Munich or Frankfurt. Then I suggest you hire a quid to take you to Auschwitz. I can suggest Polin Travel-Guide and Genealogy Services which is located in Krakow and you can Google them. They are also highly rated here on Trip Advisor.