Lonely Planet review
A group of small museums scattered around the city centre constitute the kaupunginmuseo (city museum), which all have free entry. All buildings focus on an aspect of the city’s past or present through permanent and temporary exhibitions.
The must-see of the bunch is Helsinki City Museum , just off Senaatintori. Its excellent collection of historical artefacts and photos is backed up by entertaining information on the history of the city, piecing together Helsinki’s transition from Swedish to Russian hands and into independence.
Other good museums in this group are Sederholmin talo , Helsinki’s oldest central building (dating from 1757 and built by a wealthy merchant), which holds temporary exhibitions; the delightful Ratikkamuseo , which displays vintage trams and depicts daily life in Helsinki’s streets in past decades; Ruiskumestarin talo , central Helsinki’s oldest wooden town house, built in 1818; and the Työväenasuntomuseo , showing how industrial workers lived in the early 20th century.