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Oświęcim [4] is a city in Lesser Poland Voivodeship, Poland. It is a quiet and unassuming town situated near the foot of the Jura Mountains and the Silesian border, known for its charming medieval castle, yet better known around the world for its German name, Auschwitz.


Market place
Town Hall

Oświęcim, a town of 43,000, lies in Southern Poland, roughly 60 km from Kraków. The town is best known as being home to Auschwitz I, a World War II concentration camp, and its close proximity to Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination, and forced labor camp.

The first record of the town dates to the 10th century. Originally, Germans and Poles inhabited the town. In the 15th and 16th centuries, the Jewish population of Oświęcim began to grow and in a relatively short time, Jews were in the majority.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

Kraków-Balice (55 km) or Katowice-Pyrzowice (70 km)

By car[edit]

from Katowice (35 km), Krakow (60 km, route 780)

Get around[edit]

  • Bus

Buses are frequent and cheap, if not totally reliable around the town. Particularly to the Auschwitz museum not far away.

  • Foot

Oswiecim is easily navigated on foot, as everything is close by.

See[edit][add listing]

  • Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp
  • Auschwitz Jewish Center, it includes a museum about the former jewish life in Oświęcim. Jews were for 150 years the majority in this town.
  • Jewish Cemetery
  • Jewish Museum, Plac Ks. Jana Skarbka 5, +48 33 8447002, [1]. 10:00 am - 6:00 pm. In the center of the town of Oswiecim (Auschwitz), the Jewish Museum presents Oshpitzin, a permanent exhibition about the town's thriving pre-war Jewish community. Through artifacts, documents, photographs, and state-of-the-art multimedia, the exhibition captures the history and spirit of this vanished community. 6/10 zł. (50.040047,19.220502) edit
  • Oswiecim Castle
Jewish museum in Oswiecim

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Ice hockey stadium.
  • Life Festival Oświęcim [5], music, theatre, art festival whose main concept is building peaceful relations between cultures. May.

Buy[edit][add listing]

Anything, as Poland is notoriously cheap.

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • Cafe Bergson, Plac Ks. Jana Skarbka 2 (The Cafe is located behind the Synagogue), +48 33 844 70 02, [2]. 11:00 AM - 7:00 PM. In the center of Oswiecim’s historic Old Town is Café Bergson, located in the 100-year old Kluger House. Café Bergson combines elements of the House’s original interior with minimalistic design, maintaining the soul of the family’s home while making the House modern and accessible. The Café brings together local culture and regional and traditional products in a relaxed, historic atmosphere. 2-4 USD. (50.04005,19.22050) edit
  • Hotel Galicja, a bit pricy, but fancy cuisine. Dabrowskiego Street.
  • Rapsodia the pizzeria. Good Italian-style pizzas, reasonable prices. Sniadeckiego Street (by the town's Culture Center (OCK)).
  • Scorpion Restaurant, just opposite the Station, very cheap, not overly friendly, but a wide variety to choose from when waiting for a train.

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • Pub Kancelaria Caffe, Tea, and drinks - is near synagogue temple and Castle. Place in Old Oświęcim town decor, with before WW2 photographs of the town and people who lived in town.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Hotel Olecki, [3]. good hotel, reasonably priced, a few meters from Auschwitz  edit

Get out[edit]

  • Kraków. An hour's journey from Oswiecim, take the bus or the train from the train station.

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