Guided tours and workshops

Our diverse range of tours provide interesting new approaches to our exhibitions.

The National Museum’s tours offer an interesting approach to the exhibitions with the help of its inspiring tour guides. You can choose a tour that best suits your group from our extensive selection or ask us to design you your own special tour. Our period tours describe the main features and artefacts of a specific time period, whilst our theme tours focus on a certain phenomenon or subject matter at varying times. The National Treasures tour illustrates the gems of our collections from different periods and provides the visitors with an overall understanding of Finland’s history. The tours around our temporary exhibitions present their main themes.

Tours can be held in Finnish, Swedish and English. You may also apply for a tour in French, German, Russian, Japanese or Mandarin China.

The workshops provide an interactive dive deeper into a selected subject. At a workshop, a selected exhibition is observed from a specific angle, after which the experience is deepened by making things with your hands, conducting other activities or through other theme-appropriate means. Our workshop selection varies depending on the season, so please check the availabilities.

  • The National Treasures tour
    The tour provides an overview of the history of Finland and illustrates the gems of our collections from the world’s oldest net to an emperor’s throne.
    Target group: Suitable for all
    Available: until September 2019

  Period tours

  • Prehistory
    This multisensory exhibition and tour will lead the visitors to consider how the prehistorical period can be studied and what life was like back then. They will also learn about the Stone Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age, as well as the difference between the historical and prehistoric era.
  • From Prehistory to the Middle Ages
    The tour looks at the main features, lifestyles and artefacts of both the prehistoric era and Medieval times. The visitors will learn about the concepts of history and prehistory, as well as the prehistoric periods from Stone Age to Iron Age.
    The tour can be taken by two groups simultaneously.
  • Life in the Middle Ages The tour discusses how the life of the common people differed from that of the nobility, what impact did the new religion have on people’s everyday lives, and how the historical era differs from prehistory. The tour also includes the museum’s tactile teaching collection with both genuine artefacts and replicas of the period’s objects.
  • Swedish Rule
    The tour describes how Finland gradually became part of the Swedish empire from the Middle Ages onwards and how the union broke in 1809. The tour introduces the main artefacts of the period, illustrating the life of the different classes.
  • From Autonomy to Independence
    The tour focuses on Finland as the autonomous Grand Duchy of Russia, from the Finnish War to the early years of independence. The main themes of the 19th century and the developments that led to the independence are linked to the foundation of the National Museum and the treasures in our collections.
    The tour can be taken by two groups simultaneously, combined with the Story of Finland tour.
  • The Story of Finland
    This tour is all about the lighter and murkier moments in recent Finnish history. The tour includes artefacts from the autonomous era and iconic objects illustrating the welfare state. 

Theme tours

  • Life Before
    This story-based tour focuses on a few themes, takes the visitors to both a wealthy manor hall and a poor chimneyless cabin, and tells the tale behind the museum’s ceiling frescoes, originating from the Finnish national epic Kalevala.
  • The Treasure Hunt
    On this interactive tour, the participants use picture hints to try to find a bear cub that has hidden itself somewhere in the museum with a treasure chest. The tour introduces children to the museum’s main collections through a game, and at the end of the tour the participants will receive a small prize for finding the treasure.
  • The Interactive Attic
    Life in the olden days in a chimneyless cabin is explored on this interactive tour by learning about history through active participation. The Attic is an interactive exhibition introducing history through games, activities and experimentation. The exhibition’s activities will also entice adults to join in and take a stroll down memory lane.
    Available: Mon-Fri at 9 am, 10 am and 11 am, as well as at 4:45 pm (except on Wednesdays).
    Suitable for two simultaneous groups combined with the Life Before tour.
  • Customs and Traditions
    The urban and rural customs and culinary traditions are illustrated by the dishes, cutlery and furniture used by different social classes from the Middle Ages to the 19th century.
  • From Art to Art Periods
    The tour paints a comprehensive picture of art and art periods with the help of the museum building and collections. The Stone Age animal head sculptures, Medieval saint statues, 19th-century portraits and Gallen-Kallela’s frescoes in the central hall of our National Romantic building illustrate the continuum of art over the course of millennia.
  • From Nature Worshipping to Lutheranism
    This tour describes the changes in our conception of the world across a time perspective of thousands of years: The Stone Age shamanistic rock art, the first Christian artefacts, Medieval saint statues of the Catholic Church, and the significance of pulpits in Lutheran churches.
  • Getting to Know Finnish History
    This tour is intended for adults with an immigrant background, and it has been designed to help the participants understand the background of Finnishness through discussions and to describe the history of Finland through some of the objects in the exhibition. The tour includes discussions and exercises based on the group’s language skills. Please let us know your group’s language skill level when making your reservation.
    Group size: Recommended to groups of no more than 15–20 people; the maximum number of participants is 25.

Workshops

In the Boots of an Archaeologist excavation workshop
Step into the boots of an archaeologist and study the ancient times! 
The workshop teaches children about prehistory and archaeology through interaction and exploration. The participants will study prehistoric artefacts, join an excavation, discuss their finds and paint their own rock art.
Available: Limited availability in May and September, bookings only with the online form in April and August.