For the urban explorer: Hermanni, Kotiharju and Uusi Sauna
Traditional public saunas can still be found in the heart of the city and are well worth trying just for the authentic Finnish sauna experience. They are the soul of Helsinki. For instance Kotiharju Sauna in the Kallio district is the last remaining wood-heated local sauna in the city where you can also enjoy a massage or try the ancient remedy of cupping. In addition to Kotiharju, Sauna Hermanni and Uusi Sauna are also popular local sauna.
For children in the archipelago: Lonna's sauna
For those looking for a sauna by the sea, the public sauna on the island of Lonna provides a good setting. The log-framed sauna has loft saunas for men and women, which are heated by large disposable wooden heaters. In connection with the sauna, there is a large common cooling terrace with magnificent views of the archipelago.
For pampering: Yrjönkatu Swimming Hall
Yrjönkatu Swimming Hall is something very special for locals and visitors alike. This palace-like swimming hall is an impressive example of 1920s Classicism, and for decades it was the only public indoor pool in Finland. In terms of both atmosphere and interior, it is nothing like a modern swimming hall and much more like a spa. In addition to swimming, you can lie down and relax in your own private cabin, which comes with a towel and bathrobe. What makes Yrjönkatu Swimming Hall really special, however, is that people traditionally swim in the nude, although nowadays bathing suits are allowed as well. Open Sep-May.
Helsinki Day Spa and Kämp Spa are not traditional public saunas but they too are suitable for a total pampering experience. Both establishments offer a wide range of facial and body treatments, including massages.
For the partygoer: Löyly
The hot new public sauna in Helsinki is Löyly at Hernesaarenranta on the southern tip of the peninsula. Löyly has attracted a lot of media attention around the world, not least for its amazing wooden architecture. As well as being a traditional sauna, it also houses a restaurant and nightclub. Since opening last year, Löyly has rapidly become the place to be seen with lots of space on its huge terraces from morning to night.
There are public saunas that you can visit at any time if there is space available, as well as private saunas that can be booked in advance, if you are a newbie remember to read up on appropriate sauna etiquette.
You can further read about the sauna experiences Helsinki has to offer!