Ainola - The Home of Aino and Jean Sibelius

Ainola - The Home of Aino and Jean Sibelius

Ainola - The Home of Aino and Jean Sibelius
4.5
About
In Ainola you can learn about the great Finnish composer Jean Sibelius and his family in the setting of his home. Ainola is located at Lake Tuusula in Järvenpää. Welcome!
Duration: 1-2 hours
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4.5
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MreMargaretRiver
Perth, Australia142 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2012 • Couples
If you are classical music lover and especially iike Siblelius you will want to visit Ainola while you are in Helsinki. It is worth it and here are some instructions for getting there. You may need these as we found the Helsinki tourist bureau at the railway station was not well informed and did not seem keen to help They did not tell us you can get there by train- probably the easiest way.
1. Look for trains to Riihimaki- two every hour from the main station. Both go through Jarvenpaa.
2. However take only the SLOW train which stops at Kyrola.
3. You can pay on the train so don't worry about getting tickets from the machines- the conductor comes around on the train.
4. Trip is about 45 minutes and "next stop" usually is shown in the carriage.
5. When you alight at Kyrola walk back along the platform towards Helsinki and go UNDER the track.
6. Follow the concrete path which is parallel to the road (there is a sign to Ainola).
7 The path goes through trees and fields and Ainola is just over 1 km - probably the second house on the left.
8. If you want to go on the lake go towards the road and under it. walk through the college campus and you will find the lake. Worth doing.
9. Reverse the procedure to return to Helsinki the times of the trains stopping at Kyrola will be shown on the platform opposite the one at which you alight.

You can get there by bus but the train and the walk are very pleasant.
Enjoy your visit!
Written 21 June 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

John W
John W
El Jadida, Morocco973 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2012 • Friends
I came here as a callow youth of 18 in 1969, one who had hitch-hiked to Finland simply to come to the country of Sibelius. I had the effrontery to knock on the back door but I wasn't allowed in - a woman (a family member, I like to think) held up a a sign in 4 languages saying the house was private.

That has changed and although I visit Finland every year, last July was the first time I have been back.

Oh joy! It was wonderful. I still love Sibelius and to see his furniture, scores, TOOTHBRUSH(!!!!), bed and just the house was wonderful. The grounds, oh the grounds, and the simple grave in them which housed firstly the Master and then his wife. How appropriate a place to have composed such music. How tragic that it was where the 8th symphony was burned into ashes to disappear forever.

There's a cafe near the entrance and they were playing Lemminkainen and the Maidens from Saari when we went in to have a cup of coffee and a cinnamon bun.

It's going to stay with me forever.
Written 17 December 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

chrisboon
Norwich, UK77 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2015 • Friends
Music is such an abstract art form; bringing intangible sounds into context and to life can be very difficult, but Ainola definitely achieves this.

We arriving from central Helsinki by train, to the station which has been renamed from Kyrölä to Ainola; there was much confusion in Helsinki about this journey, but we eventually found that H-trains run every hour, and you can buy a ticket on the train if you sit in the correct coach. Ainola is about 10 minutes walk from the station along a pleasant path.

On arrival you are directed to the ticket office and cafe, which is a modern stylish building, discretely build in the corner of the garden, hidden by the trees. We then walked up the path, to see the beautiful, imposing wooden house, appearing between the tall trees, just as I had seen in pictures.

The inside of the house is wonderful; although it's quite large, it maintains a cosy feel. We luckily joined a small English-speaking tour, although the detailed information guide also introduced the rooms on the ground floor, including the many artefacts and paintings. Of note were the green fireplace (chosen by Sibelius, it reminded him of the key of F Major), a well-known painting of the composer aged 38, and for me the most magical moment was to look into his study which contained his hat, stick, and the desk where he wrote the mythical eighth symphony, later burnt due to self-criticism.

The influence of Sibelius' wife, Aino, who the house is named after, is very clear; she managed the house, brought up the children, and did virtually everything, giving Jean the peace needed for his music; however, he clearly had a deep appreciation for her support.

Being able to see the simple graves of Jean and Aino in the grounds was a great privilege; a small candle burnt next to it. It was a very nice touch to see photographs of the Sibelius family placed around the garden, in the places where they were taken.

We finished our visit with lunch in the fabulous cafe; the food is delicious, the service excellent, and, as we'd come to expect in Finland, the décor stylish.

If you know anything about Sibelius, or appreciate his magnificent music, a trip to Ainola is an absolute must; a truly wonderful experience that I will remember for my whole life.
Written 14 July 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TeWe
Helsinki, Finland1,135 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2020 • Couples
While Jean Sibelius is an interesting person the visit to his former home was a bit disappointing. Not much effort had been put into telling a bit more of his life. What also struck us was that the garden of the property was very badly maintained, why not employ some young people to take care of it in the summer for example.
Written 4 July 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sorrel340
Coventry, UK15 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2014 • Solo
I went to Ainola by train from Helsinki, which involves getting a slower commuter train (one train per hour) to the Kryölä station, which is more of a halt than a station. From there it's maybe just over a kilometre walk to the house, which is fine as the house is only open in the summer.

If you phone up in advance you can get a guided tour in English: I only phoned the day before and got a guide to myself. The guide was very knowledgable and was happy to do a tour that was targeted at the level of the visitor and what interests them. The house itself is well-preserved, and although only the bottom floor of the house is open it is full of furniture, artwork and items all greatly associated with Sibelius. I also enjoyed walking in forest garden around the house, where you can see the graves of the composer and his wife, their sauna/bath-house and several paths around the trees.

Less impressive is the environment that has grown up around the house towards the lake, where there has been much development and things are quite different from how it would have looked in Sibelius' day. Walking to the lake after the tour was somewhat dispiriting, and as the guide said: Sibelius loved the house for the view of the lake: a view that has now gone.

There were families with young children there, but it really isn't a place with much to interest the young; those who love the music, though, will get a lot out of a visit.
Written 19 May 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

susieH2604
Beverley, UK18 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2014 • Couples
Ainola isn't far from Helsinki, yet its a different world there. So calm and peaceful, in a beautiful wooded location. If you like the music of Sibelius and are interested in his life, then do visit this place. The house is apparently as it was when he, his wife Aino, and their family lived there. Parts of the house are not open to the public, but you do get to go into the drawing room and dining room, and can peer into the room where he spent most of his last months and even see the bed in which he died! The garden and the grave of Sibelius and his wife, are also worth a look, and there is a gift shop and coffee shop by the public car park. We visited as part of a party from a cruise ship and had a very informative and helpful young man as our guide, but I think you can visit individually. There is an entrance fee, but I am not sure how much it is. But for Sibelius fans, it is a 'must' when visiting Finland.
Written 8 July 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SimonVG
Casole d'Elsa, Italy43 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2013 • Friends
I had a very enjoyable trip to the atmospheric and beautifully located Ainola. This really worthwhile for Sibelius enthusiasts, especially on a nice day. It was easy on the train using the directions in this forum from Rarisang and MreMargaretRiver but here are some updates: As Rarisang says trains depart every day from Helsinki to Kyrölä once every hour at 48 minutes past the hour, returning from Kyrölä at 43 minutes past the hour. The trip takes 29 minutes. When we traveled from Helsiniki you had to buy the tickets before boarding the train and validate them on the train - while on the return leg you could buy them from the conductor. At Kyrölä, as MreMargaretRiver says, after leaving the platform you walk on the road back towards Helsinki and then take the first turn under the rail line, where you will see a sign to Ainolo (1 km). As of September 2013 the footpath diverts onto a meandering temporary route by a new road, which is a little confusing, as they are putting in a new road bridge. However just keep following the signs for pedestrians/bicycles and you eventually join the old trail which takes you right to Ainolo.
Written 8 September 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Nicole027
London43 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2012 • Family
I've been to a few composers' houses and this must rate as the most beautiful and peaceful location. You get a real sense of what it must have been like when Sibelius and his family lived here. It isn't that easy to get to which means that there aren't hordes of visitors which also helps the peaceful atmosphere. To get there, DO NOT follow the advice given in the Lonely Planet Finland book which says to get a bus to Hyrla. You will be stranded miles away from the house (we ended up having to pay 20 euros for a taxi - I'm still fuming with Lonely Planet). Just get a train from Helsinki station to Kyrola (it takes about 45 minutes and costs about 5 euros - we came back that way). And then it's about 1km walk from there. Definitely worth a visit for classical music lovers. We also walked down to the lake where Sibelius apparently used to walk every day.
Written 25 August 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kenneth V
Helsinki, Finland1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2012
The visit combined both the insight to Sibelius personal life and a historical view of Finnish rural life some hundred years ago. I would strongly recommend for all tourist. It's a must see place!
Written 11 January 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ellen M
Aliso Viejo, CA40 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Friends
Lovely setting, and interesting to see Sibelius home and gardens. Enjoyed the English guide material. Small cafe and gift shop there as well.
Written 5 July 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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AINOLA - THE HOME OF AINO AND JEAN SIBELIUS (2024) All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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