Whether you’re an active sauna-goer or a newbie interested in experiencing authentic Finnish sauna culture, Tampere is the place to go. This city in central western Finland is the sauna capital of the world.
The historic gem is the Rajaportti sauna – the oldest public sauna still operating in Finland. It’s located in the old working-class district of Pispala, and its roots date back to 1906.
If you’re looking for a lakefront sauna, head for the legendary Rauhaniemi or Kaupinoja saunas. Both offer the opportunity to go for a swim, too – even in the winter, if you have the guts (or sisu, as Finnish people call it) to take a dip in ice-cold water.
Kaukajärvi is a lake just outside Tampere with a beach and a sauna, and the cleanest water in the whole Pirkanmaa region. Suomensaari, a sauna in the Lielahti district, is renowned for its feisty heat and friendly service.
Tohloppi and Hervanta, also just outside of town, offer unique experiences at delightful lakeside locations. The former is a barrel-shaped portable cottage. At Sauna Restaurant Kuuma (kuuma means “hot”), visitors can enjoy a sauna and some good food, and even take a dip in the lake – all year round.
In Tampere, every day is a sauna day.