Sauna is almost everywhere in Finland. Going to sauna is a tradition¨for Finns and a moment of relaxation. Finns go to sauna all year round and for many it´s a weekly event. Sauna is also an important part of some festivities, like Midsummer’s Eve and Christmas.
The modern sauna is designed more and more to offer surroundings for a relaxing sauna time. The sauna of today also has more of spa ambience than ever. What used to be a practical bathing spot has turned into a space where people unwind, and pamper their bodies as well as their souls. Going to sauna has become an experience in itself.
The saunas come in every size and shape, depending on the space whether the sauna is in the city or in the countryside at a summer resort. Traditionally saunas were made out of wood and wood still is an essential element of sauna design. Traditional saunas are heated by wood, but most of the urban saunas are rapidly heated up by electricity. The type of the heater that provides the best sauna experience is a matter of taste.
In Helsinki, there´s a wide selection of public saunas. Some public saunas still use the traditional chopped logs in the wood-burning heater, but there are also some using pellets made out of wood in the heater. Most public saunas offer beverages and food, ranging from snacks to main course. Many hotels also offer sauna as a part of their spa section.
In 2018, The Helsinki Christmas Market (Tuomaan Markkinat) brings a charming Christmas sauna to the heart of the market on Senate Square, right next to Helsinki Cathedral. While cooling off in the open air, hot and cold beverages can be enjoyed from the sauna bar. The market is open from the 1st until 22nd of December, Mon-Fri 11-20 and Sat-Sun 10-19. The sauna yard is open Wed-Fri 15-20, Sat-Sun 14-19, and the 5€ fee includes a towel.
Five other interesting saunas in Helsinki
- Kotiharjun sauna (traditional, wood-heated stove)
- Sauna Hermanni (traditional)
- Uusi Sauna (modern, wood pellet heated stove)
- Allas Sea Pool (modern, open-air pool)
- Yrjönkatu swimming hall (classic spa)
Images: Helsinki marketing and Tuomaan markkinat (for details click image).