Helsinki Highlights: Visit a local sauna
Get local with a visit to a public Sauna in Helsinki.
Saunas are good for just about everyone. According to an old Finnish proverb, “If sauna, liquor and tar don’t help, the disease is probably fatal.”
Sauna is a part of the everyday life in Finnish culture. Almost every house has a sauna, some electric and some wood fire heated. Its been estimated there is between 2 to 3 million saunas in Finland.
Saunas can be found in Finland in all types of locations, from sporting stadium’s corporate boxes, to the airport lounges in Helsinki and even a sauna gondola at the ski resort Ylläs.
Below are a few of the more 'out there' Saunas you might find in Finland.
At Helsinki, where most of the people live in apartments, you would find a communal sauna within most apartment blocks. But there are quite a few public saunas available as well.
If you are staying at our favourite Helsinki hotel, you can use the Sauna at the hotel's spa area. Most larger Finnish hotels have several saunas to choose from; for example, a eucalyptus-fragranced grotto steam sauna, the Turkish hammam and of course, a traditional Finnish sauna. What a perfect way to relax after long flights and cure the jet lag.
Kotiharjun Sauna is a traditional wood fired sauna in Central Helsinki, located close to the Sörnäinen metro station. The sauna has been operating since 1928 and is perhaps the most well know sauna in urban Helsinki. No reservations are needed. Shared and private saunas are available.
If you are travelling in winter and would like to try ice swimming,Kultuurisauna at Merihaka area is the place to go. Open from Wednesday to Sunday 4pm to 9pm. No reservations needed, adults EUR 15.00 including towel hire.
Yrjönkatu Swimming hall, opened in 1928, is a beautiful 1920s classicism building in a heart of Helsinki. You will find a full size pool from here, but also an electric sauna, wood-heated sauna and steam sauna. The building itself is important historically and architecturally and the pool was the first public indoor pool in Finland.
A new sauna to try is the Löyly Sauna which opened in May 2016. The striking new Löyly public sauna complex is in the seaside district of Hernesaari, right in front of the main harbour and a short walk from our main hotels. This new venue is easily the showiest of Helsinki’s public saunas, with three different saunas to choose from, a spacious and sleek restaurant/café and several terrace areas for lounging. Think a small sauna version of the Sydney Opera House.
If you are travelling to Helsinki in March, consider planning to coincide your tour with the OPEN HOUSE day for saunas around Helsinki. Helsinki Sauna Day involves opening its private residential and business premise saunas to everyone interested in enjoying a warm, relaxing steam bath.
The Finns don’t wear swimmers when in the sauna (towels are ok), and bathing suits are also optional when swimming as well. But generally in public saunas there are either separates times for women and men or a seperate sauna for each gender.
Image credits: Visit Finland, photographers: Harri Tarvainen, Jari Kurvinen, Vastavalo, Eetu Ahanen / Visit Helsinki