2013-12-28

3 best saunas in Tampere (+ 1 extra)

October evening at Rauhaniemi sauna by Näsijärvi lake. 

Stuck in Tampere and thinking what to do when it gets so cold and rainy/sleet outside? Don´t worry, this early winter is the perfect time to explore Finnish sauna culture. I will introduce here my favorite 3 (+1) sauna places in Tampere, Finland that are all available for foreigners too! Saunas in my blog post are in random order, all you need to do is check when and where you want to go. I also recommend at least 2 hours time for the experience in whole, from the dressing room to chill out session afterwards.  

The recommended saunas are in Rauhaniemi, Rajaportti and Telakka. I also added one extra, Kaupinoja. These links will take you to the pages and on this page you´ll find more about them if their own pages are not informative enough, just scroll down and start planning when to go!

If you are want some more general info about saunas or ice dipping in Finland, you might be interested in these links;


This in one of the most visited public saunas in Tampere. It is highly popular among foreigners and every time you will meet someone who is not a native. So, if you want to start the easy way, this might be your choice. There will always be someone at the sauna who speaks English. There are 2 saunas (smaller and bigger one) located by the lake and has a good well maintained ice dipping facilities. For hotter and humid experience I recommend the bigger sauna.The bigger is oil heated while the smaller is a "typical" electrical one as you might have experienced outside Finland, this is the minus because this sauna is not very sustainable. Both saunas are mixed, and the swimsuit/bikini/swimtrunks are mandatory. There is a drinking point next to the sauna entrance.  

The dressing rooms are located on the same yellow building, but you need to cross the yard to get to saunas. There are small lockers with keys in the women dressing room  for your valuables, in men dressing room no- leave the valuables at a box when you pay and collect when you leave. Same goes when the women lockers are full. Both dressing rooms have toilets. 

The showers are located near the bigger sauna. Do not forget to rinse your feet every time you enter the bathroom and do shower (or dip to the lake) before you enter sauna. There are sitting covers hanging on the wall next to the big sauna/shower entrance, you may want to use one. Bring your toiletries and towel to the showers, then you do not have to run back to the dressing room in your wet swimsuit. 

Opening times vary depending on the season, but saunas are open every day. Check the webpage! Ticket sale closes half an hour before closing time.

Summer season (1 May to 30 Sept) 
Weekdays 3 pm to 8 pm
Weekends 1 pm to 7.30 pm 
Winter season (1 Oct to 30 April) 
Mon to Thu 3 pm to 8 pm
Friday 3 pm to 8.30 pm
Weekends 1 pm to 7.30 pm

Cost
5,5€/adult per time, 2,5€/child under 15. You can stay whole day with the price. 

What to bring
Own swimsuit, own towel, own shampoo and soap. A practical tip is to bring flipflops for walking on the icy yard and in the hot sauna. Sauna cap can be useful. Alcohol (read: a can of sauna beer) is not prohibited on the yard, but do not take glass bottles to sauna/showers. 

How to get there
It is a half an hour walk (or a bit less) from Tampere city center. You can also take a bus nr 2, a single ride costs 2,5€. 

Rajaportin sauna entrance. Photo from [http://www.pispala.fi/rajaportinsauna/galleria/kuvia.en.html]

Oh, the blessing of the smooth wood heated sauna spirit is wonderful in this oldest still working public sauna of Finland. This is a traditional sauna where the washing area is in the lower part and the sitting area is higher. Sauna has the nicest atmosphere and can be quite crowded at certain times. The sauna is separated, not mixed and here you are supposed to go in completely nude. 

I will not bore you by giving the introduction too long since the web pages are excellent and the gallery gives you the peek to what goes on inside. Starting from the opening hours, prices, ways to get there etc and when the cafe (with beer option) is working. One note though, the toilet is not actually in the sauna building itself, but in the cafe. 

What to bring
 A big towel, your own shampoo and soap and a smaller towel to sit on. Why the towel needs to be big? Just enough big to cover your bottom (and maybe the upper half as well if you are a female) when you get outside and sit around to cool down a bit. Towels can also be rented. 


Telakka washroom window with lace curtains and a dim view to the city.

Now something truly exotic! Only for women! A traditional peat sauna! Located in city centre.  In a brilliant cultural building, once a month! In a unique traditionally build and wood heated sauna that you will remember years after!

What it means, is that you cover yourself with peat and let the substance heal your skin and mind. I will soon publish a post of the experience itself, now here you will get the details on basic stuff. The page is unfortunately in Finnish, but with my help here you will manage to book an experience. 

Opening times 
Opening times are seasonal, autumn (syksy) and spring (kevät) and the dates (on Mondays, once a month) are displayed on their page in the beginning. The actual times when you get in the sauna and can start the treatment are at 16:30, 17:15, 18, 18:45, 19:30 and 20:15. The maximum amount of persons at the same time in the sauna is 8 ladies. 

You need to make a reservation for the sauna! The contact details are here kerbok(at)gmail.com and phone (+358) (0) 44 5214527 Kerbo (the caretaker) said to me that she also answers to English enqueries, put the title "Peat Sauna" to the subject field when you make the reservation. Decide a date and time when you wanted to go. You may ask cancelled places the sauna day after 14:00 from Kerbo, by sms or call. 

Cost
Peat sauna 18-24€ and other treatments starting from 20€.

What to bring
Bring your own towel, and a swamp or some other device to get the peat off  your skin afterwards in the shower. There is water for everyone, and the peat is included in the price. For other enjoyment you can have a drink or dinner downstairs in the restaurant or reserve time (and a bit more money) take Indian head massages, reiki healing or ear candle treatment. The treatments have to be reserved as well, contacts are listed on the web page. 

REMEMBER TO DRINK A LOT OF WATER BEFORE and AFTER THE PEAT TREATMENT!

How to get there
Telakka is located nearby the railway station, a short walk from city centre (central square) the address is Tullikamarin Aukio 1. Also very near the great Dream Hostel!

I recently went here, but I am not sure if I would now recommend it, because the previous cosines is gone after the big renovation and there is a noisy public building project (water purification plant) going on next to the sauna premises at the time of writing Nov 2013. 

The second one located on lakeside Näsijärvi and has an excellent and safe staircase for ice dipping. The big sauna is wood heated and had this special smell because of the burning wood, but at the moment . This sauna has been for the "hard core" sauna people and it still is but it is not that easy to skip the heat by sitting on lower places anymore. The sauna lighting has been quite ruined in the renovation and it is too dark compared to other areas. The big plus though is a very informative info about winter swimming on their web page and the place itself  is very wheelchair accessible. Also it is practical that the showers have a direct access to dressing rooms, just take your toiletries and towel, swimsuit can be changed in the showers on the way to sauna. There are lockers where you can put your valuables, hairdryers and plenty of space! The sauna is mixed and everyone has to wear swimsuit. 

What to bring
Own swimsuit, own towel, own shampoo and soap, flipflops and sauna cap for the max heat. There are wood covers to sit on.  

Their web pages will tell you everything you might want to know in English about winter swimming!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for reminding about Rajaportti As soon as your blog appeared in my feed today, my evening plans were set.

Giulia Spritz said...

Thanks for the post, a very interesting comparison. From the Rajaportti website I was not sure if it was nude or not. I'll be there soon! :)