May 7, 2013

Sauna is the hottest place in Finland

If you visit Finland and leave without experiencing sauna even once, you have missed an essential part of the local culture. For many Finnish people sauna is a part of everyday life and it is enjoyed at least once a week.

Many Finns have a sauna in their own home. If they haven’t had it in the first place, they might have built it in their apartment – for example where their walk-in closet used to be! In apartments the saunas are electric, but in the countryside it’s often heated with wood and it gives the nice, softer heat.

If you get invited to a Finnish summer cottage you can be sure to find a sauna there. I’m not even sure if a summer cottage was considered a proper one if there was no sauna. At least the owners would be asked frequently “So, when are you going to build the sauna here?” It is expected.

Sauna by a lake. A place to relax and unwind.
Photo by Visit Finland Image Bank

It is quite magical in the summer when you can first enjoy the hot sauna and then go swimming in the clean waters of a lake or a sea. And then go back to sauna again. Back and forth!

Sauna in a Hostel


Many Finnish hostels provide their guests the real sauna experience. Many have included it in the price and you share the sauna with other guests (men and women bathe separately). Or then you can rent the sauna for yourself. Here is a complete list of all the hostels in our network that have saunas.

Smoke sauna


This gorgeous sauna building below is in the Lakeland area in the village of Joutsa at Hostel Vaihelan tila. It's a smoke sauna, so it takes a whole day to heat and therefore they are not used on daily basis. 

Joutsa, Vaihelan tila smoke sauna

Joutsa, Vaihelan tila smoke sauna


Here's another smoke sauna (in Finnish "savusauna"). This one is at SKO-hostel in Savonlinna, which is also in the Lakeland area.



There's a hostel called Hostel Ahopää in Saariselkä, Lapland. The hostel is part of Kiilopää Fell Centre and they offer you the experience of smoke sauna few times a week. They also have "normal saunas". Here's an introduction the all their sauna facilities.

Sauna at Kiilopää Fell Centre in Saariselkä, Lapland
Kiilopää Fell Centre is a home to Hostel Ahopää too in lovely Lapland.

Sauna by a Lake in Lapland


Hostel Visatupa is a real gem for anyone who loves nature and wants to experience the countryside in Lapland. They have a very good sauna too, it's right by a lake. In the winter you can even try ice-swimming!

sauna by a lake at Hostel Visatupa in Lapland
Sauna at Hostel Visatupa in Lapland


Let's have a look inside


Without people there though...

Koskelan lomatalo, Kaustinen
There's a log or two ready for the next time the sauna is heated at Hostel Koskelan lomatalo in West Finland


Toholampi, Hirvikoski retkeilyhotelli sauna
Cozy sauna at Hostel Hirvikoski in Toholampi


City saunas


Many city hostels offer the traveller a chance to enjoy this Finnish tradition too.

The pictures below are from two hostels in Helsinki. First there's Eurohostel that has just recently renovated their saunas to resemble a very traditional Finnish smoke sauna. It is electric though. And the morning sauna is included in the accommodation price.

Eurohostel sauna in Helsinki, Finland

Eurohostel sauna in Helsinki, Finland


Also Hostel Domus Academica, located in central Helsinki, offers its' guests a morning sauna. Plus a refreshing swim in the pool.

Hostel Domus Academica, Helsinki


Want to learn more about sauna? Start by reading an article '10 Sauna Tips for Beginners' on VisitFinland.com.

And if you wonder about the health effects sauna has, here's some information at Visit Sauna website.

HI Membership goes sauna!


Hostelling International members, make use of your membership even outside the hostels while in Finland: Forum Sauna in Turku gives you a 10% discount on all sauna and spa treatments


See you in sauna!


by Kati


updated in October 2014


5 comments:

  1. It's so true what you said about saunas being a part of life in Finland. And while there are modern saunas nowadays; i.e. electric and infrared, there are still those who use coal and wood. Well, no matter the material, the fact still remains that saunas have health benefits that everyone should take advantage of. By the way, thank you for imparting information about hotels and inns where tourists can enjoy Finland's infamous saunas.
    Lucy @ iHealth Saunas

    ReplyDelete
  2. Everyone loves it when folks come together and share thoughts.

    Great site, continue the good work!

    My weblog ... voyance gratuite

    ReplyDelete
  3. your blog describe a logical view of the things. It is very effective for the reader. Please post more blog related to this.
    Visit :- Saunabau

    ReplyDelete
  4. your blog Provides things are helps me to find my options. your blog is very nice for me please keep it up.I like it
    Visit :- Sauna

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks a lot guys! What a great blog this is! It’s precious in favor of my knowledge. sunlighten

    ReplyDelete

What do you think?