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Museum of Worker Housing (Tyovaenasuntomuseo)

36 Reviews
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Museum of Worker Housing (Tyovaenasuntomuseo)

36 Reviews
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Kirstinkuja 4, Helsinki Finland
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gofaststripe wrote a review Sep 2019
Perth and Kinross, United Kingdom4 contributions2 helpful votes
Wonderful! You won’t be disappointed. A Finnish friend suggested we go there. A guide took the three of us around. Her English was impeccable and the tour a real insight into life of times past.
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Date of experience: September 2019
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Jennifer P wrote a review Sep 2019
Arlington, Virginia78 contributions28 helpful votes
If you're interested in how ordinary people lived in the past, this is probably your kind of museum. The small museum includes several apartments that are decorated as they would have been at different times, and connected to specific families (one of the apartments was donated all but intact by a former resident and another by a residents' estate). It's guided tour only, and they do not have a lot of staff - you might find you have to tag along with a Finnish or Swedish language tour and ask questions. That didn't ruin the experience, though. They do do English language tours when they can. Admission is free, but they gladly accept donations if you have the euros.
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Date of experience: August 2019
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Audavian wrote a review Jul 2019
Abingdon, United Kingdom73 contributions16 helpful votes
The one-room apartments in this old wooden building give a feeling of daily life in Helsinki as it changed through the 20th Century - how people lived, what they ate, etc. Our guide spoke both Finnish and English and the tour was very interesting. A little gem of a place - and it’s all free!
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Date of experience: July 2019
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Heli P wrote a review Jul 2019
Helsinki, Finland4,239 contributions479 helpful votes
A free nonstop guided tour also available in English is essential to your visit as the museum is formed of six separate, locked homes each representing a decade of the 20th century. The biographies of the former tenants, workers for Helsinki city emigrated from the country side are posted on the doors, the furniture and decoration items are typical for each historical period, some even those of the former lodger. Open from early May to late September on Wednesdays to Sundays at 11-17 the museum has also an interesting shop selling personal souvenirs. Life goes on normally in the other houses in the courtyard as they are still local council houses, idyllic and now sought after.
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Date of experience: July 2019
2 Helpful votes
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traveledall wrote a review Jul 2019
McLean, Virginia81 contributions73 helpful votes
My husband and I visited the Worker Housing Museum in early June. We thought it the best "museum" experience we had during our three days in Helsinki. The Worker Housing Museum does not receive nearly enough attention in Helsinki tourist guides -- almost an afterthought compared to the more famous museums. It accordingly has too few visitors and receives too few reviews. The museum is a set of one-room apartments that the city built for city employees (not for welfare recipients) and that were rented by city employees from about 1900 through the 1970s. Each of the perhaps ten on-exhibit apartments is displayed as it would have appeared at one of roughly ten-year intervals. A museum guide takes visitors on a tour (ours ran about 90 minutes). The tours are available in English or Finnish. Our guide had just started an English tour when we arrived and we joined that tour. My impression was that there are usually at least two guides available so there can be two tours -- one in English, one in Finnish -- going on at the same time + if you arrive while a tour is in progress, you just join the tour for the remainder of the tour and the guide will then begin the tour over again at the end to cover the beginning that you missed. The guide knows the specifics of each family whose apartment is displayed; the guide's explanation covers not only the apartment, but also includes a lot of info re what life was like for working-class/middle-class Finns in each of the decades -- like a living history museum of working-class life in Helsinki from 1900 to 1970. Our guide's English was excellent and he did a great job answering questions -- about the apartments and about working-class life in Helsinki over the years. The museum is located close to downtown Helsinki but not in downtown. It's two blocks off a tram line, so it's easy to get to from anywhere in downtown Helsinki or the close-in areas. Check the hours before going.
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Date of experience: June 2019
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