It’s a place steeped in history, but little known. It’s the Terezin concentration camp (also known as Theresienstadt). About 60 kilometers from Prague, the capital, this place was erected by the Nazis during the Second World War. It opened its doors in 1941. We explain everything you need to know about this highly symbolic place, which you can visit today.
Terezin concentration camp
4.5/5 – TripAdvisor
4.7/5 – Google
Adress : Principova alej 304, 411 55 Terezín, Tchéquie
Opening hours : Lun – Dim : 08h – 18h
Phone number : +420 416 782 225
What we think of the Terezin concentration camp
- Historic, highly symbolic site
- Guided tours available
- Much preserved in its original state
Why we recommend it
- Only 1 hour from Prague
- Historical and cultural significance
Where is the Terezin concentration camp?
About 1 hour’s drive from the capital, the Terezin concentration camp is easy to reach. In particular, you can get there by train. There are frequent trains from Holešovice station.
The journey takes an hour and ends at Terezin station. Once there, you can take a bus or simply walk. The camp gates are around 3 kilometers from the station.
Driving is another option. To get there, take the D8 freeway from Prague towards Teplice. Then take exit 34.
Again, it’s an hour’s journey. Buses from Prague can also take you to the site. Make sure you book your ticket in advance. We’re not sure you’ll be able to pick one up on the spot.
All about the Terezin camp
Originally, and as with many concentration camps, the Germans presented it as a “model camp”. It was intended to mislead international observers and conceal the real conditions under which Jewish prisoners and deportees were held captive.
In fact, the Terezin camp was a transitional stage. Prisoners were held by the hundreds (or even thousands) before being deported elsewhere, often to the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp. Unsurprisingly, living conditions there were complicated. Prisoners suffered from :
- Lack of drinking water
- Lack of food
- The development of disease
- Ill-treatment and torture.
Life in Terezin
Surprisingly, however, the deportees managed to organize themselves in such a way as to maintain a semblance of normal life. Many of the inmates were well-known artists.
These included the composer Viktor Ullmann and the poet Karel Švenk. Despite the difficult conditions, they managed to make a living from their art, right on the spot.
During its few years of operation, the Terezin camp saw no fewer than 140,000 people pass through its gates. Over 33,000 of them died on site. The rest were sent to other extermination camps. Today, the site can be visited.
What did the Terezin camp consist of?
The Terezin concentration camp consisted of several elements, starting with the Little Fortress. This was the former prison, run by the Gestapo. There was also a Ghetto (now a museum), in which thousands of people were crammed.
The latter consisted mainly of the Magdeburg barracks, which were wooden huts used as dormitories. You’ll also find the railroad tracks that carried people between the camp and the rest of the country.
The section between the Ghetto and the Bohušovice nad Ohří railway station remains intact. Today, cemeteries have been erected, including the cemetery for Soviet troops (commemorating the deaths of soldiers who came to liberate the country), as well as the Jewish cemetery and a columbarium.
How to visit the Terezin camp
If you’d like to visit the Terezin camp, you’ll need to make a reservation beforehand. You can do this directly from the official memorial website.
All you have to do is enter the dates you wish to visit and reserve your time slot. Once you’ve paid, you’ll receive a confirmation email and your admission tickets.
You can also take advantage of the offer below. Using Treepeo allows you to benefit from special rates. The tour includes the small fortress, the ghetto museum and the barracks. In short, you can visit the entire camp. Beware, it’s very time-consuming.
How much does it cost to visit the Terezin camp?
If you choose to visit the official website, an adult ticket (allowing you to visit the fortress, the ghetto museum and the barracks) will cost you 280czk (just over 10 euros). Children, students and senior citizens pay 220czk. A family ticket is available for 2 adults and 3 children. It costs 540czk.
For a one-way ticket, which allows you to visit the small fortress or the Ghetto Museum and Magdeburg Barracks, you’ll need to pay 230czk for an adult ticket. A child/student/senior ticket costs 200czk. Tours are supposed to be guided, but it’s best to make sure beforehand. Not all guides are always available.
With Treepeo, the tour is much longer (half a day, 5 to 6 hours) and much more comprehensive. You have access to all the information you need, and a guide who will accompany you from A to Z, every step of the way.