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“Have been on better tours in the city”
Review of Tenement Museum

Tenement Museum
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US$37.50*
and up
East Village Walking Tour with Food Tasting
Ranked #58 of 1,155 things to do in New York City
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: The Tenement Museum preserves the history of immigration through the personal accounts of those who built lives in the Lower East Side. Visitors can view restored apartments from the 19th and 20th centuries, walk the historic neighborhood, and interact with residents to learn the stories of generations of immigrants who helped shape the American experience. The museum is available by guided tour only. Each tour focuses on a specific theme and takes visitors to different areas of our two historic tenement buildings or neighborhood.
Reviewed 4 July 2014

I did not do a building tour, but did a neighborhood walking tour - Storefront Stories. I have to say I've been on better walking tours in the city (Photo walk-abouts in W. Village and Victorian Christmas walking tour in Grammercy and Chelsea areas by NYC Discovery Tours). This tour had limited information provided and wasn't particularly interesting compared to the others I've been on - and I don't think it has to do with it being a less interesting neighborhood with less history, etc. The tour guides on the other tours just seemed to be better at painting pictures and story telling...

2  Thank chatterbox-2007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"hard times tour"
in 449 reviews
"lower east side"
in 737 reviews
"irish outsiders"
in 331 reviews
"immigrant experience"
in 216 reviews
"sweatshop tour"
in 182 reviews
"orchard street"
in 170 reviews
"sweatshop workers"
in 154 reviews
"shop life"
in 140 reviews
"immigrant families"
in 134 reviews
"irish family"
in 130 reviews
"living conditions"
in 116 reviews
"sweat shop"
in 87 reviews
"irish tour"
in 74 reviews
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in 63 reviews
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in 58 reviews
"early immigrants"
in 69 reviews
"new york"
in 815 reviews
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3,099 - 3,103 of 5,728 reviews

Reviewed 4 July 2014

GREAT experience. I lived in NY for 25 years and never even knew about this gem of a tour.

Whether or not your ancestors were recent immigrants, this tour is a must when you visit NYC. The apartments are kept as they were 100 years ago and the tour guides are really knowledgable and kind. The groups aren't too big and though it got a little warm, there are modern fans in most of the rooms. We went on the "Sweatshop Workers" tour on the 3rd floor. My 14 and 10 year old daughters came with me and my wife and we all really enjoyed it.

The tour is exactly an hour and leaves you in a great neighborhood to sightsee and take in some local cuisine.

I lived in NY for over 25 years and never new about this hidden gem. Go, and you'll love it.

1  Thank Glenn K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 July 2014

This was my second time at this museum and I must say they have really fixed up the tenement since the last time I visited ten years or so ago. The tours are relatively costly but, I must say, seeing how much they have fixed up the tenement really motivates you to support this museum. The tours are very interesting and provide a good contrast to how the rich lived at the same time, which you can get an idea of at the Roosevelt birthplace or Merchant's House Museum. This Museum really uses media and guide/guest interaction to make the visit memorable and bring the era and neighbourhood into context. I enjoyed more than one tour (like Shop Life and Hard times) to get more out of my time there.

Thank James M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 July 2014

Was there June 2014. Blown away. Such a wonderful way to view and get a feel for what immigrants experienced. We took the "Hard Times" tour. Berto was our guide and did a great, enthusiastic job. Advice all to stroll through China town on your way to visit this historic place.

3  Thank Dean D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 2 July 2014

Go back in time to the area where my parents lived in in the early part of the 20th century. i came on a bus trip from Baltimore to this museum. We met a "resident" portrayed by an actresses as a young girl with a Sephardic background. The give and take of this experience took the group back to 1916. The actress stayed in character talking about schooling, and entertainment, The interaction was excellent with our group. I only wish we had more time to take another tour in the building or a walking tour of the neighborhood, but our time was limited. The building itself on Orchard is also a key character in the story of life on the Lower East Side. They have added an elevator for mobility challenged people, but only to a limited part of the building. Fortunately, the apartment we visited was just a few steps up from where we started our tour. The museum had a nice gift shop with books, art and souvenirs. My most important take-away was a reminder of what my ancestors had to go through living in very small quarters, without electricity and no central heating or cooling system other than a stove or a window. It really is a wonder that their large family eventually 9 for my father and 7 for my mother could build a life in this new land.

2  Thank BronxG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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