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Must-experience saunas in Helsinki region
3 minute read
an architecturally impressive sauna building on the shores of the Baltic Sea in Helsinki

Credits:: Ulla Mäkelä

Discover ten Helsinki saunas to try

In Helsinki for many locals, a sauna truly is a second living room.

landscape view in the evening of Helsinki city center silhouette
The scenic Allas Sea Pool is located next to Helsinki Market Square and the Presidential Palace.
Credits: Eetu Ahanen

Löyly, Helsinki

Löyly is one of the most well-known public saunas in Finland. Located in a former industrial area on the Helsinki waterfront, this delightful sauna offers visitors respite from the hustle and bustle of the city. The sculptural wooden building features three wood-fired saunas, a year-round outdoor swimming pool and a welcoming restaurant that serves Finnish classics like meatballs and creamy salmon soup. On a summer day, there’s nothing better than soaking up the sun on the large outdoor terrace while enjoying a refreshing drink and stunning views of the Baltic sea.

two women look out to sea from a design sauna terrace
Credits: : Harri Tarvainen
two women enjoying the steam in sauna
At Löyly, you can use the public saunas – which are traditional smoke or wood-burning – or rent a sauna for private use.
Credits:: Harri Tarvainen

Kuusijärvi, Vantaa

Kuusijärvi is a hugely popular year-round recreational centre just north of Helsinki in the city of Vantaa. Located only a 15-minute drive from Helsinki Airport, Kuusijärvi offers both electric public saunas, as well as the classic Finnish smoke sauna experience. Right outside the saunas, you can dip your toes into Lake Kuusijärvi. The saunas are typically crowded on the weekends, so try a weeknight visit if you’re looking for a calmer experience. Kuusijärvi also has a restaurant and café serving burgers, salads, soups and refreshments. 

people swimming in an idyllic lake surrounded by a park and forest
Credits: Juhani Räty

Allas Sea Pool, Helsinki

Right in the middle of chilly Helsinki, you’ll find a buzzing pool that’s open year-round and provides an oasis of well-being for residents and visitors alike. In addition to Allas Sea Pool’s cold sea water pool and sauna, there’s a warm water pool and, during the summertime, a children’s pool. Whether you’re looking to take a moonlight swim in the middle of winter or swim laps and sunbathe during the summer months, Allas Sea Pool offers your chance to do it in a unique urban setting. There are also several restaurants and a popular concert venue onsite. Still feeling stressed? Try a wine and stretching class!

a woman getting out of a swimming pool in the center of Helsinki
The warm water option at Allas Sea Pool is heated to 27°C all year round.
Credits: Julia Kivelä

Uusi Sauna, Helsinki

Located in the new residential area Jätkäsaari next to a former cargo harbour, Uusi sauna brings the classic Finnish neighbourhood sauna into the 21st century. It’s run by Kimmo Helistö, a man who has been called the godfather of the sauna boom in Helsinki. This new location is a combination public sauna and terrace, bar and bistro that seats over hundred guests. Its dark-toned interior reflects old sauna culture while paying homage to the modern, urban neighbourhood around it.

Kulttuurisauna, Helsinki

Kulttuurisauna is the choice for sauna-goers looking for a simple, Nordic aesthetic with an eco-friendly twist. Located in Helsinki’s Merihaka district, this sauna was designed by Finnish architect, Tuomas Toivonen, and Japanese designer, Nene Tsuboi, and opened in 2012 as a part of Helsinki’s World Design Capital year. Kulttuurisauna is open year-round, and you can also try ice swimming in the winter. Pre-booking is mandatory and currently, reservations can only be made for one person at a time.

a group of women sitting on a sauna terrace
From the steps of Kulttuurisauna, you can admire the historic buildings of Kruununhaka or the urban 1970s-style high rises of Merihaka.

Lonna, Helsinki

Just a short ferry ride away from Helsinki’s Market Square is the charming island of Lonna, which is the perfect spot for a relaxing summer escape from the city. Here, you’ll find two modern, simple seaside saunas featuring traditional wood-burning stoves and a large terrace with spectacular views of the Baltic Sea. There are separate sides for men and women, but mixed saunas are offered on Tuesdays and Fridays. Both saunas can accommodate 12 people, and advance bookings are recommended.

people going to the sauna after a swim in the Baltic sea in the Helsinki archipelago
Credits: : Julia Kivelä
a seaside sauna on a small island off Helsinki
The Lonna sauna was designed by Finnish architecture company OOPEAA. The sauna, completed in 2017, is built solely with natural materials and has a handcrafted wooden log structure.
Credits:: André Alexander Baumann

Kotiharjun sauna, Helsinki

Kotiharjun Sauna is one-of-a-kind when it comes to its history: it’s the last wood-heated public sauna in Helsinki, and has been welcoming visitors since 1928. This traditional sauna sits in the eastern part of Helsinki in the laid-back Kallio district. This formerly working-class neighbourhood has undergone massive changes recently and now offers visitors an array of hipster-esque restaurants, bars, clubs – and saunas.

a group of men cooling off in the street after a sauna
Credits: Jussi Hellstén

Sauna Arla, Helsinki

Sauna Arla, loved by many locals, is one of the most iconic and historical public saunas in Helsinki. The sauna was founded in 1929 and, like the nearby Kotiharjun Sauna, it is located in the Kallio district. Arla’s authentic, no-frills saunas are heated with natural bio gas. On Sundays, there is a traditional washer in the sauna, and massage and even cupping are available upon request. If you’re feeling hungry or thirsty after this traditional experience, bring your own drinks and food, or buy some smaller refreshments and snacks at the front desk.

the entrance to a public sauna, pictured from the street, in the middle of Helsinki

Sompasauna, Helsinki

Sompasauna is a public sauna – in every sense of the word – as it was built and is still maintained by a group of volunteers. As there is no staff, showers, service or storage lockers, you’ll need an open mind to visit this sauna. But rest assured, you’ll be rewarded with a relaxing sauna, a sense of community, and a sincerely unique experience. You’ll find Sompasauna in Hermanninranta, which is about a 20-minute walk from the Kalasatama underground station.

a man sits in a sauna and enjoys a steam bath
Credits: : Harri Tarvainen
a do it yourself sauna facade
Credits:: Harri Tarvainen

Oittaa, Espoo

Oittaa is one of the capital region’s most popular recreational areas. Located by Lake Bodom in Espoo, it offers many opportunities for outdoor activities like swimming, hiking, skiing and orienteering. Operating in an old stone byre building, this sauna offers a restaurant and an equipment rental shop with ski sets, row boats and kayaks. After a great day spent outdoors, try the sauna (which is heated every day in the winter) followed by a dip in the lake.

There are amazing saunas in other regions too – see the must-experience saunas for LakelandLapland and the coast and in the Finnish archipelago.

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