Time Travel Back 100 Years To

The Volksbuurt Museum 

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From Clogs to Cobblestones: The Story of Utrecht’s Working Class

Real Life in a 1920s Dutch Suburb

The Volksbuurt Museum, a/k/a the Dutch Museum of Working-Class Neighborhoods, is a special celebration of the industrious soul of hard-working skilled laborers around the turn of the century. Like most cities at that time, Utrecht had a working-class slum where “the common people” lived, often inside smaller houses in poor condition. The township’s most densely populated neighborhood back then was “Wijk C”, a 1000-year-old district called Handvoetboog where large families lived in small hovels. The neighborhood no longer exists, but its impact and memory are duly recorded here in the Volksbuurt Museum.

Walk in their Shoes

Visitors will step into the life of the fictious “De Jong” family and discover the big times and small stories of ordinary life in the early 1900s. Endless chores, class struggles, petty crime, and constant hunger were just some of the challenges that impoverished locals dealt with every day. These stories are explained through videos, artifacts, re-enactments, and artworks from the era. After this revealing exhibit, you may look at your own neighborhood with a new perspective!

Dutch people and locals will likely find the exhibits a fascinating return to an earlier age, fostering a better understanding of the problems their forebears endured. But for foreign tourists, with a limited schedule, there may be better ways to spend your time here in Utrecht, especially without a good knowledge of the Dutch language, though English is used in many displays.

DISPLAYS SHOW GENERATIONS OF CITY LIFE
EXHIBITS TELL LOCAL STORIES WITH CARE AND CONTEXT
Old Dutch Slums
SCENES FROM TURN OF THE CENTURY UTRECHT

Volksbuurt Ticket Prices

  • Children (0-5 years) : Free
  • Children (6-12 years) : €3.00
  • Adults : €7.50
  • Museumkaart – Free

Open Tuesday thru Sunday 11 am to 5 pm

Getting There

By Foot or Bike : The museum is less than a 10-minute walk from Utrecht Centraal or a 5-minute bicycle ride.

By Public Transport : Take buses #1, #3, #6, #7, or #27 to the “Sint Jacobstraat” stop and walk 1-minute north

By Car : Street parking is very limited. The closest garage is under Hoog Catharijne next to the train station.

Address: Waterstraat 27, Utrecht, NL 3511 BW12oooooooo Phone : 030 231 8292 Web www.volksbuurtmuseum.nl

Volksbuurt Logo combo

The Volksbuurt Museum is a unique diversion if you’re touring historic Utrecht.  It tells the tales of the often-overlooked citizens who helped build and run the city with the fruit of their labors and the sweat of their brows.  The museum pays tribute to their efforts and homage to their legacy.

A nice video overview of the museum (in Dutch/use subtitles)