The Nordic Nomad

Helsinki, Finland

Sweat it out: Helsinki’s 5 best public saunas

From traditional to trendy: the 5 best saunas Helsinki has to offer

Helsinki, the heart of Finland, has long celebrated the soothing ritual of the sauna, weaving it seamlessly into the fabric of daily life. From wood-fired havens that echo age-old traditions to contemporary retreats where minimalism meets modernity, the city boasts an array of saunas each offering a unique immersion into Finnish culture. Beyond the warm embrace of steam and timber, these sanctuaries often surprise with gastronomic delights, captivating architecture and scenic vistas, making them more than just places for a steamy respite. As the city’s shoreline continues to evolve, drawing both locals and travellers alike, dive into our curated list of the five most distinguished saunas Helsinki has to offer.
The Art of Finnish Sauna Finland Nordic Lifestyle

How do locals savour saunas in Helsinki (and why should you, too)?

In Helsinki, saunas aren’t merely about warming up; they’re a cherished cultural tradition. Locals often treat these steamy sanctuaries as communal living rooms, places where relaxation and camaraderie intertwine. Conversations flow effortlessly, from casual banter to impassioned debates, all while surrounded by soothing steam. What sets Helsinki’s sauna culture apart? Well, it’s not uncommon to find folks pairing their sauna sessions with delightful foods and refreshing drinks, all within the same premises. This harmonious blend of relaxation, conversation and gastronomy truly embodies the city’s spirit.

For visitors keen on soaking up authentic Helsinki culture, skipping the saunas is not an option. But don’t just dip a toe in; dive deep. Wander beyond the usual tourist paths, robe up and step into one of these warm havens. Engage with the locals, learn their tales and perhaps share some of your own over a hearty Finnish snack. It’s not just about feeling Helsinki’s literal warmth, but also basking in the metaphorical warmth of its vibrant community. Making the sauna experience a top priority ensures a genuine glimpse into the city’s soul.

Read the full article on the art of Finnish sauna.

Löyly Helsinki Uusimaa Finland public sauna
Löyly Helsinki Uusimaa Finland public sauna

01

Löyly

The hot steam that rises from the sauna stove is referred to as löyly in Finnish. It is also the name of the hottest restaurant and public sauna in Helsinki, which can be found in the Hernesaari neighbourhood at the southernmost point of the city. The sauna was created by Avanto Architects and interior designer Joanna Laajisto. It features a restaurant, a year-round terrace, and two other wood-heated saunas in addition to the traditional Finnish smoke sauna. All year long, one can take a refreshing swim in the sea right from the sauna, which has direct access to the outdoor seating area. Although there are separate showers and changing rooms for men and women, since the saunas and other public areas are mixed, patrons are kindly requested to wear swimming costumes at all times.

Löyly
Hernesaarenranta 4
Helsinki
Finland

Photography courtesy of Löylö

Lonna Sauna Helsinki Finland

02

Lonna Sauna

Lonna Sauna, located just a short boat ride from Helsinki’s bustling centre, provides an ideal opportunity to escape city life and relax in a natural landscape. OOPEAA architecture studio designed this unique sauna. It pays homage to Finnish sauna culture while also offering a modern and elegant interpretation of traditional wooden structures. The structure has an eye-catching zinc roof that gleams in the sunlight. Handcrafted wooden logs with an untreated finish lend a familiar look and feel to the design. Inside, wood-burning stoves pay homage to tradition, while sculptural elements give the space a modern feel and firmly place it in a modern context.

Lonna Sauna
Lonnan saari
Helsinki
Finland

Photography courtesy of Lonna Sauna
Kulttuurisauna Helsinki Uusimaa Finland public sauna
Kulttuurisauna Helsinki Uusimaa Finland public sauna

03

Kulttuurisauna

Kulttuurisauna, an innovative creation from designer Nene Tsuboi and architect Tuomas Toivonen, stands as a testament to Helsinki’s dynamic evolution. This wood-and-pellet-heated oasis, which was unveiled in 2013, captivates with its monastic minimalism, blending Japanese inspirations with raw exposed materials. Beyond its walls, a peaceful courtyard faces the sea, a tranquil spot where bathers engage in quiet reflections before venturing into the water. But this isn’t merely a haven for relaxation; it’s also a hub for architectural and urbanistic contemplation. As Helsinki continues to embrace its coastal heritage, reshaping its shoreline neighbourhoods and rekindling connections to the sea, Kulttuurisauna offers a unique immersion into this transformative journey.

Kulttuurisauna
Hakaniemenranta 17
Helsinki
Finland

Photography courtesy of Kulttuurisauna
Allas Sea Pool Helsinki Uusimaa Finland public sauna

04

Allas Sea Pool

Allas Sea Pool, an urban marine spa at Helsinki’s vibrant heart, reimagines the ways of relishing the Baltic Sea. Just a brief stroll from the iconic Market Square, this year-round oasis boasts three unique saunas offering panoramic sea vistas, two warm water pools and an authentic sea water pool, sourced and purified from proximate streams. But Allas is not merely about aquatic indulgence. Elevate your experience at the Allas Seagrill, which commands captivating sea views or luxuriate under the stars at the Allas Sky Bar, celebrated for its mesmerising panoramas.

Allas Sea Pool
Katajanokanlaituri 2a
Helsinki
Finland

Photography courtesy of Allas Sea Pool
Uusi Sauna Helsinki Uusimaa Finland public sauna
Uusi Sauna Helsinki Uusimaa Finland public sauna

05

Uusi Sauna

Uusi Sauna, a contemporary beacon in Helsinki’s Jätkäsaari neighbourhood, reinterprets the essence of the traditional neighbourhood sauna. Infused with modernity, it seamlessly blends the warmth of a public sauna with the allure of a dining hotspot. The restaurant, with seating for 100 and dual terraces, offers an inviting milieu to savour after a tranquil sauna session. Patrons can unwind in the wood pellet heated saunas, designed distinctively for men and women, or opt for a private electrically heated retreat. Beyond the sauna, the bar beckons with its assortment of beverages and sumptuous bites, promising an immersive blend of heritage and innovation.

Uusi Sauna
Välimerenkatu 10
Helsinki
Finland

Photography courtesy of Uusi Sauna

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