Stutthof concentration camp museum

written by Maciek Bogdanski

In this article, we will provide you information on Stutthof Concentration Camp Museum in Sztutowo, which is located about 50 km from Gdansk. You’ll read how to get there from Gdansk and what to expect to see there. Moreover, we point out some information to help you organise your trip to Stutthof Concentration Camp Museum: tickets price, opening hours etc.

Stutthof concentration camp in Sztutowo village

Although the Polish name of the village is Sztutowo, even in Poland this place is better recognized by its German name: Stutthof. It is conveniently located close to the sea and has been a fishing settlement for ages. In 1919, Stutthof became part of the territory of the Free City of Gdansk, and after the beginning of the Second World War, Germany incorporated the village. What happened in Stutthof afterwards, hugely influenced its future. Even though neighbouring villages recovered from the Second World War trauma and are now popular summer resorts, Sztutowo is mostly known for Stutthof Concentration Camp that the Nazis built here.

Stutthof Concentration Camp Museum

Stutthof Concentration Camp Museum in Sztutowo, located 50 km from Gdansk, is one of the most important martyrology places in northern Poland. It is not as recognized as Auschwitz, but for people living in Pomerania this is a very important place.  If you have ever heard about the Gdansk concentration camp, you probably heard about Stutthof, since there was no proper concentration camp in Gdansk itself. Here, in Stutthof, the day after the beginning of the Second World War, Nazis set up the first concentration camp to exterminate the people of Poland and other nations. First prisoners arrived in Stutthof from Gdansk and Pomerania region.

Stutthof concentration camp museum - fence
Stutthof Museum

Those were mainly people arrested in Gdansk: priests, teachers, local politicians and civilian servants. In the following years, transports with prisoners from other parts of Poland and abroad came to Stutthof Concentration Camp. In total, during 5 years of the camp’s history, around 110 thousand people from 28 countries were imprisoned. On 25th January 1945, the camp’s commandant Werner Hoppe ordered the evacuation of the prisoners to Lebork, fearing the approaching Red Army. This is known as a death march, as many of them never reached their destination.

Stutthof Death March cemetery
Stutthof Death March cemetery in Rybno

In total, during the years 1939-1945, about 65 thousand people died in the Stutthof camp or during its evacuation. In 1962, Polish Authorities opened the Stutthof Concentration Camp Museum in Sztutowo.

Stutthof Concentration Camp Museum Gate
Stutthof Concentration Camp Museum Gate

Polish concentration camps?

Very often in Western European countries media, you may hear or read about Polish concentration camps or Polish death camps. This is the term Polish governments protest against every time. Remember, just because concentration camps – including Stutthof concentration camp – were set up in Poland, doesn’t mean they were Polish concentration camps. They were constructed by German Nazis and run by German Nazis. This doesn’t mean that we blame all Germans for it, we just want the world to hear about Nazi concentration camps, not Polish concentration camps. So remember, it was Stutthof Nazi Concentration in Poland, not Polish Concentration Camp in Stutthof.

How to get from Gdansk to Stutthof Museum

Getting from Gdansk to Stutthof Concentration Camp by bus

Gdansk to Stutthof bus (line 870) leaves every hour from Brama Wyzynna bus stop during the peak season. Ticket price is about 10-14 PLN/one way. Outside the peak season hourly buses run on weekdays, but on weekends buses run less frequently, so check the schedule here. You should get off the bus at the bus stop “Stutthof Museum” (Sztutowo Muzeum), which is about 2 km before Sztutowo village. From the bus stop you will see the entrance to Stutthof Museum.

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There are many companies offering the trip to Stutthof Concentration Camp Museum from Gdansk, but their prices start from 400-450 PLN/person (about 100 EUR). Although it is convenient to be driven there and back in a car, the price appears to be too high. If you go on your own, the trip should cost you about 50 PLN (12 EUR) per person, including an audio guide.

Offer of trip to Stutthof concentration cam[
Offer of trip to Stutthof concentration cam[

Getting from Gdansk to Stutthof by car

If you have your car, it might be more convenient for you to go to Stutthof Concentration Museum by car. Most of the route from Gdansk to Stutthof is a brand-new high-speed road, and it should not take you more than 50 minutes. If you don’t have a car in Gdansk, consider renting Trafficar for the whole day. There is a car park next to the entrance to Stutthof Museum. The parking fee is 7 PLN for 3 hours. The next hour costs 5 PLN.

Getting to Stutthof by train

This is the most interesting way to get to Stutthof, but it also takes much more time, so consider this to be a full-day trip, with spending some time on Sobieszewo Island. There is a narrow-track train that runs between Mikoszewo and Sztutowo, calling at Stutthof Museum. To board the train, you first need to get to Mikoszewo. To get there, you need to take the 112 bus (direction Przegalina) and get off the bus at the last stop. This should take you about 40-50minutes. Then you must go through Vistula River on a ferry (5 PLN). Then you have to walk about 500 meters to the train stop. Trains leave at 10.35, 13.35 and 16.35, so make sure you have enough time to catch one of them after leaving the bus. The train ticket from here to Stutthof Museum costs 15 PLN. You may buy it from the staff.

As I mentioned, it’ll take you some time to get from Gdansk to Stutthof Museum by train, but if you have accommodation in Sobieszewo or Mikoszewo, this is the best way to get to Sztutowo.

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Stutthof Concentration Camp Museum

The remains of the Stutthof Concentration Camp were turned into a museum in 1962. In the museum, you’ll see the remains of the Nazi concentration camp, including the main gate, the barracks, the headquarters, and the gas chamber. Stutthof Museum is much smaller than Auschwitz-Birkenau near Krakow, but still well reflects the sad and tough part of history. Over 100 thousand people visit the Museum every year.

Please remember to respect the place during your visit.

Stutthof Camp Museum
Barracks in Stutthof Concentration Camp Museum

Stutthof Museum – Practical Information

Stutthof Concentration Camp opening hours:

Stutthof Concentration Camp opening hours differ depending on the season.

1st of May-30th of September8.00 – 18.00
1st of October-30th of April8.00 – 15.00

Last admission 30 minutes before closing time.

Stutthof Concentration Camp tickets

Entrance to the Stutthof Concentration Camp Museum is free. There is a cinema room where every 30 minutes a short film is presented. The ticket to the cinema room is 5 PLN.

Audio guides in English and German are available for the fee of 15 PLN. Information boards inside the Stutthof Museum are only in Polish, so we recommend renting an audio guide. You may take pictures inside, but you need permission if you want to use them in a commercial project.

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You will find day trips from Gdansk to Stutthof claiming that the Stutthof Concentration Camp Museum tickets are included in the price of the trip. You shouldn’t consider this a bargain, as the entrance to the Museum is free.

Visiting Stutthof Concentration Camp museum – practical tips

If you plan to visit the Stutthof Museum in October-April, make sure to wear warm clothes because it’s mainly an open-air museum. You should reserve about two hours to see the whole museum.

There are several days during the year that visiting the Museum might be difficult: 25th of January (the beginning of the death march), 9th of May (liberating of the camp) and 2nd of September (first prisoners arriving at the camp). Parking is free on those days, but expect it to be full.

Stutthof Concentration Camp inside barracks
Stutthof Concentration Camp  – inside barracks

After visiting the Stutthof Museum

If after seeing Stutthof Concentration Camp Museum you still have some time left on that day, consider going from Stutthof to Malbork, to see Malbork Medieval Castle. Alternatively, you may go back to Gdansk through Sobieszewo Island and either simply stay on the beach, or visit Mewia Lacha birds reserve.

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Going from Gdansk to Auschwitz concentration camp

Stutthof concentration camp was the biggest in northern Poland, but it was not the biggest in the entire Poland. So if you want to see just one concentration camp during your trip, consider going to Auschwitz concentration camp in Oswiecim. There is only one direct connection from Gdansk to Auschwitz – buses leave Gdansk at 8.05. Alternatively, you may go to Krakow and then decide whether you would like to visit the Auschwitz Museum.

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