Sauna was a sanctuary
Sauna in the old times was a special, almost holy place for Finns and has somehow stayed that way through generations. When life was poor, there was no running water, no central heating, sauna was the place where life started and where it also ended. It was a bathroom to do your daily washing and laundry, a hospital to deliver babies and heel diseases, and in the end, a church where they prepared their loved ones for the last journey.
Public and private saunas
This funny map by Reddit shows you the what it might look like if we could tag all of the public saunas in Finland:
Public saunas can be found everywhere in almost every gym, swimming hall, hotel, etc. Besides that it is very common to have a sauna in a block of flats for the residents to use. And then, of course, there are numerous saunas in private homes and apartments. Yes, in the land of only 5,5 million people there are estimated to be at least 2 million saunas!
Where to have sauna in the city?
You have probably been lucky and booked a room in a hotel where they – of course – have at least morning, maybe also afternoon or evening sauna for the visitors. Or you might stay in an apartement, where the owner, right after handing you the keys, explained how to heat the sauna up the correct way.
We at Hop´n Shake Helsinki Tours love to experience it the local way. First a little walk in the nature and then washing off the dusts of the day. There are couple of wood heated saunas in Helsinki in a very easy reach by tram, metro or bus. Ask for a private tour!