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Skjoni's Dad
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I'd love to hear opinions about whether to pay for a guided tour (from Marienplatz to camp and back with English guide) or to do a self-tour. If you've done one or the other, chime in. I was going to do a self-tour, but I'm thinking I may miss a lot compared to having a guide weaving stories and such. Thanks.
 

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We did a guided tour last time we went and found it to be great. We had an excelent guide, fun group and had a great time. I'm typically one to want to do things on our own, but in this facility the details that they were able to provide painted a good picture in our minds of the facility during operation.

It's been like 6 year since, and I don't know if they have installed the audio devices that other places now have.
 

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Self tours are fine. I am almost positive that they have audio devices there now. Be prepared for a very sobering experience either way you choose to do it. You will need a few beers afterwards, and there are some good spots in Dachau to visit to cover that end. Otherwise, a short drive over to Brauerei Maisach is heartily recommended for a good meal and some great brews.
 

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We did a guided tour last time we went and found it to be great. We had an excelent guide, fun group and had a great time. I'm typically one to want to do things on our own, but in this facility the details that they were able to provide painted a good picture in our minds of the facility during operation.

It's been like 6 year since, and I don't know if they have installed the audio devices that other places now have.
Sorry, but I must admit I'm having a difficult time with this concept-- "take a fun group tour to Dachau" -- yuck! :thumbdwn:
 

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Fun in the sense of the group vibe. If I recall correctly our tour started at the train station, group was lively, had plenty of questions for the guide and kept the tour interesting. It was back when I traveled as a student and some of us stuck together after the tour for some drinks in Munich.

There is nothing fun about Dachau or what happened there. I did enjoy the descriptive detail that the guide gave to it to help you picture the situation. Just like I enjoy standing next to buildings older than the U.S. and picturing what the area may have been like 300 or more years ago...
 

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Point well taken. I'll readily admit I often use adjectives like "fun" and "strange" in ways that probably are misunderstood or unclear to others.

But I will post my standard warning (from someone who has visited Buchenwald, the Riseria di San Sabba in Trieste, the Bendler Block and the former Prinz-Albert-Strasse in Berlin, Babi Yar, etc.): These places and others like them are not for everyone. Be prepared to be affected in ways you may not be able to predict.
 

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My wife and I did the self-guided tour and it was fine. The audio guide was good (this was last summer), and I would definitely echo what b-y said about being affected. We experienced Dachau at the end of our trip and personally, I was very numb mentally & emotionally after the visit. Everyone reacts differently, so YMMV.
 

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+1 for the experience being a life-changing one. I can never even come close to imagining the human struggle that was experienced there, but experiences like this always remind me to be genuinely thankful for what I have. My father-in-law actually had a family member who was imprisoned there (he is Polish), so the trip was that much more personal for him. I highly recommend seeing the camp, and I think you could feel just as complete an experience doing a guided tour versus a self tour. We did a self tour w/ an audio guide and it was very insightful. There are quite a few excerpts from actual prisoners on the audio tour, which sheds a light on what it was like through their eyes. Quite touching indeed, and reminds you that although these atrocities were in the past we must never forget them.
 

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I've been there twice, self-guided, and thought that the experience was very powerful both times. I've studied quite a bit about WWII and had a good idea what to expect. An old friend of mine was one of the very first soldiers to liberate the camp.
 

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I'd love to hear opinions about whether to pay for a guided tour (from Marienplatz to camp and back with English guide) or to do a self-tour. If you've done one or the other, chime in. I was going to do a self-tour, but I'm thinking I may miss a lot compared to having a guide weaving stories and such. Thanks.
I did the self tour on 2 visits and I don't think I missed much. The place is not really big and there are signs explaining everything.
 

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We went on the self guided. They do have the audio devices, which contain a ton of information; too much for me really. I was very overwhelmed and it is an extremely emotional experience. I honestly just could not take in everything. We really liked doing it on our own because that way we could wander around and focus on what interested us, on our own time frame. We spent more time in some areas than others. We tend to find guided tours rather rushed (and excellent on some occasions in their own right) but for Dachau, I think the audio for us was an excellent choice. Oh, and because we weren't with a group, we could reflect on our own without a noisy group interrupting and impinging on that process.

BTW it is very easy to get there using the Sbahn and the bus. Not a problem at all.
 

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Just to echo what has already been said - I just went a few weeks ago. Did the audio tour which was full of information, including individual accounts from victims. I'm sure that a guided tour would provide more detail and be able to respond to more specific questions I had about the camp and the town. But I personally liked the audio tour because we could do it at our own pace.

As stated, it is very emotional. We actually debated for a short while whether to go but in the end we wanted to go and felt it was important to keep the memory alive, as difficult as it is to think about. We noted that there were a number of student groups (high school, I guessed) which was heartening to see that this was something that younger generations were being taught as well. As the stone monument in the middle of the courtyard states in several languages: "NEVER FORGET"
 

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Dachau

I visited Dachau on my recent May 2nd ED visit. Self tour worked fine for me. There are audio guides and a lot of information to read. I was able to take it all in at my own pace. Be prepared for a very moving experience.
 

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Self Guided was fine for us as well

I visited Dachau on my recent May 2nd ED visit. Self tour worked fine for me. There are audio guides and a lot of information to read. I was able to take it all in at my own pace. Be prepared for a very moving experience.
+1 :)
 

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We took a guided tour, and were very pleased that we did. The guide did an exceptional job of placing the camp in a proper historical context, and gave what I'd consider a college-level lecture on the rise and fall of the Third Reich. Well worth the price of admission.
 
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