Whether visiting Helsinki for business purposes or pleasure, a trip to a smoke, steam or wood-burning sauna is highly recommended, particularly in winter when temperatures drop and the snow and ice sets in.
The Sauna is a staple in Finnish culture, which is further proved by the fact that there are five million inhabitants and over three million saunas. The historic roots of the traditional bath houses are difficult to trace as they seem to have played an important role the last centuries, and likely before that as well.
The sauna ritual usually begins with having a shower, before sitting down on a bench and throwing water on the hot stones to produce steam. On the countryside it is customary to jump in a lake or some form of water to cool down when the heat gets too much, in urban areas a shower will suffice.
Where to try sauna in HelsinkiBeing the country’s capital, Helsinki has many saunas that are open to the public. Some have swimming pools and other recreational facilities like chess rooms and bars. Visitors can easily find saunas in the central area as well as on the outskirts of the city. Here are some of the best places to visit:
- Kotiharju Sauna – The last genuine wood-heated public sauna in Helsinki, in operation since 1928. Harjutorinkatu 1
- Kaurilan Sauna – Traditional sauna with an unbeatable atmosphere and rustic look - Heikinniementie 9
- Sauna Arla – Founded in 1929, this sauna is heated by both natural gas and wood - Kaarlenkatu 15
- Sauna Hermanni – A more modern sauna, this one has been in operation since the 50s - Hämeentie 63
When staying at the Radisson Blu Seaside Hotel in the Business District of Helsinki have not just one, but two saunas to relax in. Refurbished in November 2016, the hotel’s top-of the line saunas and a gym will be ready to unwind your muscles after a long day. The in-house Katto Sauna & Lounge is located on the two top floors and can be rented for private parties, celebrations and other events. The Katto hosts up to 50 people and offers amazing views of Helsinki’s West Harbor.