Guide to Visiting Dachau Concentration Camp

If you are thinking of going to a concentration camp during your trip to Germany, Dachau is the closest one to Munich. I tell you how to visit it.

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

6 min read

Guide to Visiting Dachau Concentration Camp

Entrance gate to Dachau | ©David Pursehouse

Dachau is one of the concentration camps erected during World War II. Today, it has become a museum to honor the victims and to remember the horrors committed during this historical period in order not to repeat them. Read on to learn about the different options for visiting Dachau.

The best option

Dachau Concentration Camp Day Trip from Munich

Get to know the history of Germany with this tour to Dachau with an expert guide.

For about 5 hours you can tour the cells and gas chambers that were used in the concentration camp of Dachau, the closest to Munich, which you can reach with this guided tour with train transportation included.

Touring a concentration camp as important as Dachau in Munich at your own pace is nice. But this visit is certainly not complete without a specialized guide to put into context everything that happened there. Therefore, I recommend booking a guided train tour to Dachau, which will explain how the prisoners lived while you visit the barracks or the memorials that were erected there.

In addition, the convenience of the train that takes you directly to the concentration camp will prevent you from having to look for other ways to get there.

Recommended if... You prefer to have the history behind this concentration camp explained to you to better understand its importance.

The best way to visit Dachau: a guided tour

Entrance to the Dachau concentration camp| ©Terence Burke
Entrance to the Dachau concentration camp| ©Terence Burke

If you are staying in Munich, it will be very easy to reach the remains of the Dachau concentration camp, as it is located only 13 km from the city, which is a half-hour drive and about 20 minutes by train. You can go and return in one day and you have the option to do it on your own or as part of an organized visit.

You have to take into account that the entrance to the Dachau museum camp is free, so an organized tour will provide you with transportation from Munich and the services of a specialized guide who will accompany you on your visit to the camp. Considering the enormous historical burden of this place, my recommendation is that you do the tour with someone specialized to help you put into context everything you are seeing.

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This is the guided tour of the Dachau concentration camp from Munich

The barbed wire fences surround the entire camp| ©matryosha
The barbed wire fences surround the entire camp| ©matryosha

The Dachau concentration camp tour is considered to be one of the most popular guided tours among all those who travel to Munich. With the guidance of a guide, the tour of the Dachau camp is a historical lesson that you will hardly forget once your trip is over.

What this tour consists of

You can book your place for this tour online by selecting the day you would like to visit. If you change your mind later or if you have any problems, you don't have to worry; you can cancel for free up to 24 hours before the scheduled date of the tour.

This experience is available in English and Spanish and the total duration will be half a day. You will have lunch in Munich and spend the afternoon in the city. The procedure is as follows: you will meet your guide early in the morning near Munich's main train station, from where the local train will take you to Dachau.


Once you arrive at Dachau station, a bus will pick you and your group up and take you to the concentration camp memorial museum. Once there, your guide will show you around the camp for approximately three and a half hours. Once the visit is over, you will return to Munich by train.

Remember that the visit is not allowed for children under 14 years old and keep in mind that although photographs are not forbidden, it is a place where respect is always requested when taking them.

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What you will see in the Dachau concentration camp

Nandor Glid Memorial| ©FaceMePLS
Nandor Glid Memorial| ©FaceMePLS

Make no mistake: a tour of the Dachau concentration camp may not be suitable for the most sensitive visitors because of the connotations of this place. In fact, children under the age of 14 are not allowed to enter. This does not mean that the experience is not recommended both historically and humanly, but it is advisable to know what you are going to see there.

The visit is organized to give a historical review of the entire history of the camps; this involves knowing how and for what purpose the first ones were created, how many of them resulted in what the Nazis called "the final solution", how the prisoners arrived at the camp and how they were distributed, how they were punished and the way of life they received there and, finally, how in 1945 this and other camps throughout Europe were liberated.

Areas included in the visit

  • The SS training camp
  • The count square
  • The Nandor Glid monument
  • The administration building
  • Religious memorials
  • The monument to the unknown soldier
  • The barracks
  • The crematorium

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Practical tips for your visit to the Dachau concentration camp

Barracks where the prisoners were crammed together| ©Sean Biehle
Barracks where the prisoners were crammed together| ©Sean Biehle

The Dachau concentration camp is about half an hour's drive from Munich and about 25 minutes on the S2 commuter train that leaves regularly every day from Munich Central Station. Please note that if you arrive at the Dachau train station you will have to take the 726 bus to the camp.

As for the opening hours, the Dachau concentration camp is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm, but since the entrance is free, you may encounter a high influx of people especially on weekends, so I recommend you to choose the early hours of the morning.

Once you get there, you can book a guided tour or rent an audio guide in several languages if you have not hired the guided tour from Munich. The duration of the tour will be about three and a half hours, so I recommend comfortable shoes and clothes.

The most important thing is that during the visit you remember that you are in a place with a very hard history behind it. My advice is that, out of respect, you should avoid taking pictures as much as possible and maintain a respectful attitude towards the victims and other visitors.

Book your visit to the Dachau Concentration Camps

Visit the Dachau concentration camp on your own

Crematoria| ©Sean Biehle
Crematoria| ©Sean Biehle

Both the Dachau camp and most of the remaining camps in Europe are a history lesson in themselves and are best enjoyed with a guide who will explain the details of how they were built, what happened and how, at the end of the war, the prisoners were released and the remaining officers were tried.

If you choose to organize your own visit to Dachau I recommend you to document yourself before visiting the camp and purchase the audio guide at the entrance for a price of about 3 euros. The entrance is free and to avoid crowds it is best to go on weekdays and early in the morning. The visit to the whole complex can take about three hours.

How to get there

As for how to get to the Dachau concentration camp from Munich, if you do not have hired transportation, the best option is the suburban train. The train is the S2 and departs from the central train station in Munich. Each way can cost about 6 euros, but you can buy a one-day tourist pass that will cost you about 8 euros and you will amortize only with the round trip to Dachau.

After about 25 minutes, you will arrive at Dachau station and there you have to take the bus 726 direction Saubachsiedlung that will leave you directly at the camp gate.

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Other interesting activities in Munich

Neuschwanstein Castle| ©Nikita SEMERENKO
Neuschwanstein Castle| ©Nikita SEMERENKO

The Dachau concentration camp tour is not the only one you can do from Munich. A very popular excursion that I recommend you include in your trip and whose character contrasts greatly with the harshness that can be the visit to the Dachau camp is the visit to Neuschwanstein Castle.

This castle is one of the most famous in Bavaria and it is said that it served as inspiration for Disney to create the famous Sleeping Beauty castle. In addition, the surrounding landscape is an ideal contrast to change of term and relax after recalling the horrors of the Dachau camps. Here is a link to my article about How to Visit Neuschwanstein Castle.

Book your visit to the concentration camps of Dachau