Auschwitz is one of those places I knew I needed to see to understand. So in spite of the tragic historical events that went on here, I was compelled to visit on my backpacking trip last Spring.
It is a VERY powerful place. So although I do recommend visiting here, there are a few things you should recognize before going:
Be prepared to lose a whole day. Auschwitz is a much bigger place than I could have ever imagined, so you will need to take a day out of your itinerary in order to see everything. That, and you most likely won’t feel like doing much else after this. It is emotionally exhausting.
Bring a lunch. Since you are going to be there for a while, remember to pack a lunch or at least some snacks and maybe some water. However, they do have strict rules on the size of your bags, so unless you want to keep your lunch in a locker outside the museum, check regulations beforehand.
There are gas chambers. Even though many concentration camps did not use gas chambers and of the ones that did, even fewer exist today, Auschwitz does have them. This portion of the museum is the most emotional, powerful and (sadly) most popular.
I’m literally getting chills writing this!
You will NOT have a good time, but it is DEFINITELY worth it. For me personally, traveling is not just seeing the fun things. A day trip to Auschwitz was the absolute worst day of my three month trip, but I don’t regret going. I learned a lot and grew even more. If you take anything out of this post it’s that you should go, pay your respects, and know that you just witnessed an infamous part of history.
So now that we’re all totally depressed (but informed!), I’d love to hear what you have to say! Have you been? Does this change your mind about visiting? Please comment below!