Categories Destinations

Helsinki – making public saunas cool again

Would you strip down and have your next business meeting sat on a wooden bench in a hot room with the temperature hitting 80 degrees Celsius? As we interact, do deals, and build relationships in more and more diversifying ways – then why not!

Just as much as the thousands of lakes and endless pine forests, saunas are an integral part of Finland. Statistics estimate there are more than two million saunas in the country, but the majority of them are in private homes and apartments. In recent years, public saunas outside swimming halls and gyms seemed to be a thing of the past… until now.

This summer, public saunas are hot again. And, it’s the trendy city of Helsinki that’s leading the way, transforming its waterfront with the addition of two trendy public saunas in the very heart of the city.

Public saunas transform the city’s waterfront

In May, luxury sauna Löyly (it means “steam” in Finnish) opened its doors on the city’s seashore and became an instant hit among tourists and Finns alike. The impressive shell-shaped wooden building offers both a traditional smoke and wood-burning sauna – with direct access to the sea where sauna-goers can enjoy a refreshing swim all year round. Yes, that includes the winter when the waters are frozen. Would you dare?

Inside view of one of Helsinki's public saunas

If you’re not too comfortable getting sweaty with strangers, Löyly is also a restaurant and a bar with a panoramic rooftop terrace. In the weekends, you can dance the night away enjoying the sea view while top DJs play tunes until the late hours.

Outside view of Loyly's public sauna

Photos: Pekka Keränen

Another stylish public sauna is located next to one of Helsinki’s biggest tourist attractions, the Market Square. Passed the stalls selling fresh herring, fruits, and traditional handicrafts, the Allas Sea Pools has three saunas and a floating deck with three pools. The water of one these pools is drawn directly from the sea -filtered and purified with UV-technology. Besides the spa experience, this complex boasts a restaurant, a terrace with sea views and offers concerts and other events.

Regardless of the season, next time you travel to Helsinki, don’t forget your swimming suit, you might find yourself relaxing in the sauna, after a dip in the Baltic Sea. Or who knows, maybe even closing a business deal!