Tenement Museum, New York City

4.5
To see America through the eyes of an immigrant living in New York about a century ago, visit Tenement Museum, a five-story brick building that once served as home to nearly 7,000 people from over 20 different nations. The museum promotes tolerance and provides a historical perspective on the immigrant experience, featuring exhibits built to depict the lives of those who lived here between 1869 and 1935. You can take a tour of the former tenement any day of the week, but to place the lives of immigrants in the broader context of the city's history, consider taking a walking tour of the entire neighborhood. Check online for availability, and take advantage of considerable savings by booking a combination tenement-neighborhood tour. To visit Tenement Museum and get the most from your holiday in New York City, create itinerary details personal to you using our New York City travel route planning tool .
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Tenement Museum Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
5,615 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • Although a little over priced, my husband and I came out satisfied. We only got to go onto one floor but the guide was knowledgeable and interesting. The room that was recreated was interesting. Note:...  more »
  • I thought I knew a bit of history on NYC, but was pleasantly surprised to learn a few things I had not known previously. Their Historians do a great job describing the lives of the people who first po...  more »
  • An absolute go to when visitors are in town, one of the cities best museums. Was born in NYC and lived here all my life and learn something every time too! All of the tours are wonderful. Plan ahead a...  more »
Google
  • Having taken the inside tour of this museum a few years ago, which was awesome, I was excited to try the walking tour. Sadly, “exciting” isn’t the adjective I can use to describe it. The guide was one of those people who make you, the customer, do all the work. She wanted to know our thoughts, and feelings, and explanations, and experiences… we ended up spending 20 minutes in front of each building this way, learning almost nothing. I didn’t pay $25 US to hear some guy from wherever guess what “landmark” means. Besides, we could barely even hear her, and she was miked—so even if the other people in the group were fascinating, I couldn’t hear them. After two buildings, the guide ditched the interesting part of Orchard St. and Delancey and went off on a half-hour jag about boring buildings blocks away built in the 1960s. After over an hour of the two-hour tour, having seen THREE buildings, one of which wasn’t even part of the fascinating network of streets and tenements right by the museum, I’d had enough. Perhaps I just had a poor guide that day, but judging from the reviews this is how they do it. I agree with the reviewer who suggests walking around the neighborhood on your own instead, enjoying the bagels and atmosphere. This tour was not worth it, and somehow managed to do the impossible—make the Lower East Side seem boring.
  • The Tenement Museum is very unique because of the variety of interactive tours you can take. Unlike a normal museum, you have to book in advance and select the topic of your visit. I attended “Sweat Shop Workers” which took a small group (~15) through a series of families’ lives around the turn of the 20th century as represented by their living accommodations. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable, and it added much color to the development of the LES. Great way to spend an afternoon if you are interested in the fascinating history of NYC.
  • What an interesting place! I came here (and brought friends!) on the recommendation of my cousin, and was not disappointed. This is the best place to learn about the lives of immigrants to the US over the years! I took one of several tours, and plan to go back for another tour next time I am in the city! No photos allowed inside the museum.
  • My friends and family have heard nothing but my rave reviews for the last week. An excellently curated museum experience, the tenement museum should be included in any tour of New York/Ellis Island. The immigrant experience in turn of the century New York is beautifully & lovingly represented-- truly feels present in the rooms of the tenement museum. Here there is sorrow, hope and fortitude in the people that built America as we know it. Read into the individual tours and go to the one that resonates with you! We went to "sweat shop workers," which centered on two real Jewish families who lived at 97 orchard and worked in the evolving garment industry.
  • I've attended 2 of their tours so far. The tenement apartments are beautiful and the stories are fascinating. Note that NO photos are allowed. Tours are limited in size due to the size of the apartments. It's best to buy a ticket online ahead of time so you get the tour and time that you want. The gift shop has wonderful NYC related items. And there is a bathroom and lockers (to hold your bags while on tour) downstairs from the gift shop. Highly recommended for tourists and especially locals.

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