There is nothing more Finnish than sauna; many Finns think you can’t grasp Finland or its culture without bathing in a sauna. Saunas have proven health benefits, like improving circulation and firing up the body’s sympathetic nervous system. They promote a feeling of relaxation, as the soothing heat invites you to hang loose and breathe deeply.
Did you know that there are in fact 3 million saunas in Finland? Most saunas are in private homes and summer cabins but there are also many interesting public saunas around the country. Here’s a look at a few must-visit ones.
Löyly is one of the most well-known public saunas in Finland – and one of the most photographed. Located in a former industrial area on the Helsinki waterfront, this sauna offers visitors rest from the hustle and bustle of the city. The architectonic wooden building features multiple wood-fired saunas, a year-round outdoor swimming pool, and a restaurant that serves Finnish classics such as creamy salmon soup.
Saana Sauna & Spa, Kuopio
Situated on the shores of Lake Kallavesi in Kuopio, Saana is a recent addition to Finland’s modern public sauna scene. It features three separate saunas – including a smoke one – an indoor hot tub, waterfall showers, two outdoor swimming pools, and the opportunity to try open-water swimming year-round. The restaurant serves locally sourced food and boasts picture-perfect views of magnificent Kallavesi.
Tampere – the sauna capital of the world – is a must-visit destination for all sauna lovers. Combining traditional sauna with urban vibes, Kuuma is a welcome addition to Tampere’s vibrant sauna scene. The sleek lakeside building features two saunas and a popular restaurant serving seasonal, Nordic-style cuisine and a delicious tasting menu with select wines. On a summer day, the outdoor pool and large, two-story terrace overlooking Lake Pyhäjärvi fill with crowds enjoying food and drinks into the wee hours.
Serlachius Art Sauna, Mänttä
In the art-filled lakeside setting of Serlachius Museum Gösta in the town of Mänttä now stands the Art Sauna, which has something to offer not only sauna enthusiasts but also lovers of art, design, and architecture. The sauna, which opened its doors in 2022, features a unique circular steam room, an outdoor terrace, and the opportunity to take a dip in quaint Lake Melasjärvi.
Arctic Sauna World, Muonio
Arctic Sauna World is located between the fells on the shore of Lake Jerisjärvi, next to the Pallas-Ylläs National Park in Finnish Lapland. It consists of four saunas, each representing one of the four elements: earth, water, air, and fire. Want to test out a smoke sauna? Or enjoy panoramic lake views while bathing? How about braving a quick dip in a frozen lake? At Arctic Sauna World, you don’t have to choose just one.