The Heat in Helsinki

Helsinki

Saunas are an essential part of Finland’s culture. In fact, there are more saunas than cars in the capital, Helsinki! The tradition of relaxing in steamy rooms started over 2000 years ago; and has continued today as a way to soothe the body, relieve oneself from the winter cold, and commune in a social setting. Get into the local spirit by popping into some of the city’s best public bathhouses! Remember to observe proper etiquette: don’t be afraid to bare it all, rinse your body before stepping into the room, and sit on your sauna towel at all times.

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Updated 5 months ago

Löyly - Sauna

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Helsinki, Finland • Recommendation • 

Löyly is a striking eco-designed property perched on the waterfront. It’s home to three wood-heated saunas, each with sweeping views of the water. After getting your steam on, it’s common practice to cool off by dipping into the Baltic Sea—even during winter! Cap off your sauna experience with a Nordic meal at Löyly’s on-site restaurant; or with a tipple at its spacious outdoor terrace.

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Kaurilan

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Helsinki, Finland • Recommendation • 

In 1995, Saara Lehtonen moved a 19th century authentic log cabin from Tuusula to Helsinki. After several years of being a private sauna for her family, Kaurilan was opened to the public. The rustic building operates from Monday to Wednesday at 6:00PM to 10:00PM at two-hour intervals per session. Book in advance on their website to see which schedules are mixed or women-only. You may also hire the entire sauna on other days of the week (except Sundays). Sauna linens, candles, and bath products—crafted by Saara herself—are provided.

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Sauna Hermanni

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Helsinki, Finland • Recommendation • 

Built in the basement of a nondescript apartment block, Sauna Hermanni is one of the few remaining public saunas in Helsinki! Duck into the quaint space to heat up via modern sauna stoves alongside after-work and post-study regulars. The place exudes an old-school charm, with retro wood panels and locker rooms plastered with old posters. Some days, Sauna Hermanni hosts DJ nights, movie marathons, and poetry readings at its outdoor patio.

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Sky Sauna Helsinki

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Helsinki, Finland • Recommendation • 

Just as it name suggests, Sky Sauna Helsinki raises the steam to the heavens. Two cabins in Helsinki’s SkyWheel take the form of traditional Finnish saunas, giving you breathtaking views of the city as you enjoy a heaty session! Book your spa day on their website at least 24 hours in advance. Rates are based on one-hour periods, accommodating up to four people (additional guests are charged EUR 30 each) every time. The SkyWheel rotates every few minutes. You’re free to get on or off at any point during your slot—just radio the operator via the provided walkie talkies. On the ground, you’re welcome to cool off at the private seaside lounge, which comes with a hot tub!

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Allas Sea Pool

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Helsinki, Finland • Recommendation • 

Just a stone’s throw away from Market Street, Allas Sea Pool gives a modern take on Finland's sea-spa culture. The marine spa boasts three electrically-heated saunas (two gender-segregated and one mixed, also available for private bookings), two warm water pools, and one sea water pool—all with a marvelous view of the Baltic Sea. Time your visit on a Wednesday to catch the weekly Wine and Stretching event, a 75-minute stretching class that concludes with a glass of vino!

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Sompasauna

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Helsinki, Finland • Recommendation • 

On the banks of the Gulf of Finland in Sompasaari lies Sompasauna, a self-service public sauna maintained by local volunteers. Two newly-built wood-heated saunas stand on the property, both decked in quirky, colorful designs (pro tip: the smaller hut is hotter). Do as the Fins do, and bare it all before stepping into the steamy rooms. Remember to bring your own towels! Feel free to take a dip into the sea after your session, but do it at your own risk—there are no staff (or lifeguards) on site!

  • Sompasaarenlaituri, Helsinki, Finland

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Yrjönkatu Swimming Hall

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Helsinki, Finland • Recommendation • 

Opened in 1928, Yrjönkatu Swimming Hall is Finland’s first and oldest public swimming hall. It’s architecture exemplifies Nordic classicism, as seen in the soaring archways and Juliet balconies that frame the 25-meter heated pool. Men and women are allowed access to the swimming facility at certain times of the week. Check the schedule before dropping by! After a few laps in the water, head upstairs to relax in an electric, wood-heated, steam, or infrared sauna. Yrjönkatu also has private saunas for guests who’d rather relax on their own.

  • Yrjönkatu 21B, Helsinki, Finland

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