Visiting Auschwitz with a baby

We recently visited Kraków in Poland, and we took along our almost 15 month old, Martha. Auschwitz was on our list of things to do, because you can’t go to Poland and not visit, right? However, we had one problem, the baby! It crossed my mind that we may not be able to take her after a few people had suggested it may not be suitable so I searched on Google for answers but I found very limited information on children visiting the concentration camp. I read a couple of forums regarding older children, but that was it. Nothing about babies, and their website didn’t offer any useful information either. So I’ve decided to give my own information and review from my personal experience, so hopefully it can help someone who was in the same boat as I was.

Are Children Allowed?

My main concern was taking a baby, on their website and on the tour websites it advises that no children under 14 attend, however this was only an advisory and not a rule. And after reading the forums it’s for no other reason than children may not be able to cope with the nature of the visit and the upset it causes. People wrote on the forums that it’s a sad place and it’s ‘too much’ for little ones to witness, especially when a lot of adults get emotional and they went on to say that they’d sense the atmosphere. It’s correct to a degree but I personally think it’s okay to take a child, at a parents own discretion. It is of course sad, and children do pick up on these things. But if they’re old enough to understand it can be explained first, and you don’t have to show them everything that’s there if you think it might upset them. Just keep them out of sight of the worst blocks. To be honest I only saw 3 children throughout the whole day, and it was very busy. These were around 6/7/8 years old. Martha was the only baby I saw.

Anyway, I decide to take her regardless of the forums I read as one, it was probably our only chance to do it, and I think we would have regretted not going. And two, she’s too young to understand any of it and she wouldn’t have known what anything was. The only thing I was worried about what her playing up, crying or misbehaving when people were feeling emotional. But this was never an issue, luckily she’s very well behaved and despite people glaring at us at the beginning, they soon warmed to her tagging along with the group and some commented on how well she was doing. So I’m glad we went, and I didn’t need to worry at all about any of this.

Baby Ticket Price

Despite reading a few different things regarding prices, Martha was free. I’m not sure what age you have to start paying but we didn’t have to get a ticket for her. I looked online before our trip and almost purchased tickets as they appeared cheaper if pre-booked (this isn’t true), and this way would have also meant I would have paid for Martha too so I’m glad I waited. In our apartment, there was a poster on our door with a day trip to Auschwitz & Birkenau (I’ll get to Birkenau shortly), and it was much cheaper than I’d seen online at 160PLN each (around £32), but it didn’t sit right with me that you paid the bus driver in cash as you arrived for your tour, it may well have been genuine but I felt more comfortable booking it with a reputable company, and I wasn’t sure if this price would also be for a baby ticket too. So we went to a tourist information and booked it through them, this cost us 180PLN each (around £36), which was more than the poster, but legit at least. Then we walked no more than 2 minutes down the street where we saw another touristy information shop advertising the same trip for only 130PLN each (around £26) in their window, typical! So I was quite annoyed that I’d just paid more than I should but hey ho, I got over it. So when you go, have a quick browse to check for the cheaper deal!

Traveling With A Baby

We didn’t have a car seat with us, so we were told Martha could just sit on our laps. It’s the same in most countries that if you’re using public transport, you don’t need to have a car seat. However, regardless of the law, you never know if there will be a crash, so I wore her in a baby sling throughout the 1.5 hour journey from Kraków, there and back. So at least then if we did crash, she’d be secure to me. It was a long time for her to be ‘trapped’ but she was surprisingly okay, I just took lots of snacks for bribes. We had a little mini bus which held around 16 people and you could tell people weren’t impressed that a baby was aboard when they saw her, but luckily she proved them wrong and was good as gold.