Kotiharjun Sauna

Kotiharjun Sauna, Helsinki: Hours, Address, Kotiharjun Sauna Reviews: 4.5/5

Kotiharjun Sauna
2:00 PM - 8:00 PM
2:00 PM - 8:00 PM
2:00 PM - 8:00 PM
2:00 PM - 8:00 PM
2:00 PM - 8:00 PM
2:00 PM - 8:00 PM
The only public sauna in Helsinki that is heated with wood.
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing

128 reviews
Very good

Juho P
Iisalmi, Finland39 contributions
Jan 2020 • Friends
Kotiharjun Sauna is absolutely worth of visit. There is separated saunas for women and men. After relaxing sauna you can chill a moment outside the sauna on the street.

Even we visited in Kotiharjun Sauna on Saturday evening there were enougt room and free lockers for us.
Written January 26, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

West Yorkshire82 contributions
Sep 2019
As a fan of Saunas in the UK I wanted to try the most traditional sauna I could find in Helsinki and this one ticked all the boxes. First thing to say is that no sauna in the UK that I know of can prepare you for the cultural difference in taking a sauna in Finland. These differences are immediately apparent as you walk up the street to the entrance to the sauna, where you will see sauna users (male and female) wrapped just in towels, sitting on the walls outside the building cooling off drinking tins of beer. Note this is not accompanied by loutish behaviour! Sauna staff friendly and welcoming, the changing rooms charmingly original. On getting undressed you pass through what again appears to be an original shower room, before entering the sauna itself which is dimly lit, very hot,multi tiered and to a British tourist's eye resembles something closer to a power station boiler room than a sauna - Great !!! Some points of Sauna etiquette - before putting water onto the sauna coals, check with the sauna user sitting at the highest point in the room first. This was belatedly pointed out to me (politely) when I did otherwise. Birch twigs freely available to enhance this traditional experience. Note there are separate changing rooms and saunas for males and females as it is expected that you go into the sauna naked.
Written January 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Hyeres, France174 contributions
Nov 2021 • Friends
I visited this traditional community sauna with local friends on a recommendation. It goes back to the 1920s, a time of solid workmanship and organisation. As a sauna, it is not so harsh, more mellow than some. The whole process by which the sauna is heated is fascinating, and too long to write in this review. The long handled water scoop is huge. The interior is so functional. Well worth a visit if you want to learn about classic sauna.
If you wish, you can sit outside between sessions, or just have a beer in the changing room.
Written November 22, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jose L
New Delhi, India28 contributions
Aug 2013
Tips for a smooth experience.

Bring two towels from your hotel. One to sit on can be a small one, just enough to cover the real estate of your seated bum. The other one is to dry off with when you're finally done.

Lockers provided can handle a day or backpack.

Bring your own water and stick in the freezer at entrance.

Get over being naked. Nobody cares.

Go to shower room first and use provided gel soap in tub. If you don't shower first you will stink up the sauna. That's rude and gross.

Big metal buckets are in the corner next to a spigot. Fill with cold water and splash cold water on yourself as needed.

Experiment with heat by sitting in different locations within sauna.

Stay in the sauna until you think you can't take it anymore then dash to the shower room for a quick rinse with cold water. Very invigorating. Repeat. I stayed a good 2.5 hours and could've stayed longer.

Hydrate. Beer is available but I opted for water.

An elderly lady "washer" will be in there. 9 euro to be washed. Very relaxing, though you're splayed naked for all to see. Just don't worry about that. She also isn't going to go anywhere near your junk. So it's all good. I gave a small tip.

I couldn't get a massage because it requires a one-day advanced notice. Would've been great I'm sure.

Good mix of local and tourist clientele.
Written August 24, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Greenville, SC73 contributions
Jun 2012 • Friends
I say whether or not you're male or female, this is a must see, but don't expect this to be a social experience if you are female. When walking up, do not be surprised if you see about a dozen men, only in towels, drinking outside the front door. I urge you to go past and not let that stop you if you feel discomfort.

The sauna typically opens at 2PM. The counter only takes cash, so be prepared. Also, if you are a student, your student ID must have an expiry date. Mine did not, so I had to pay the full rate (12 Euro instead of 8.50 Euro). Towels are 3 Euro, so I suggest you bring your own to save money. The changing rooms do have lockers with keys for free, so you don't have to be concerned with your belongings.

The women and men do have separate saunas. If you are a male, they have a cooler near where you walk in if you bring beverages with you and fancy sitting outside with the other men. For women, there isn't really the same social element to the experience. When we first went in, there was another woman who did make some small talk with us, but later in the afternoon my friend and I were whispering while in the sauna and were shushed by a local.

Overall we enjoyed the experience. We personally had wished it had been a bit more social, but it was very nice, and helps with the cold Helsinki days.
Written June 3, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Olga K
47 contributions
Apr 2017 • Solo
Kotiharjun is one of the local gems that hasn't been overrun by tourists. Sauna culture is huge in Finland, and you'll see lots of locals coming there to hang out with their friends, or enjoy some quiet time alone.

This claims to be the only wood-fired sauna in Finland, and the smell of burned wood in the hot room is really something special. The facilities are old ('rustic' may be a good term to use), but still clean and well looked-after. There are three main sections: the hot room itself, the shower/massage room, and the changing/chillout room where you can sit down with a drink and chat with your friends or read a magazine in between trips to the sauna.

A few cultural points to consider:
- You need to shower before going into the sauna
- The saunas are nude, but don't worry - men and women are separated into different saunas. Some cultures *coughBritishcough* can get very embarrassed about going naked in public, but the atmosphere here is very relaxed, no one will stare at you, and it's generally a very asexual and body-positive experience.

A few tips:
- Bring your own towel, otherwise you'll need to pay $3 to rent one
- Bring your own beer, but enjoy it in the common room - you can't bring drinks into the sauna itself.
- Don't stay too long in the hot room - about 10-15 mins is recommended for beginners. Make sure to cool down between trips to the hot room either by having a cold shower, or sitting in the common room.
- Drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated.

So do it like the Finns and give yourself a real authentic experience!
Written April 17, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Steven G
Edinburgh, UK226 contributions
May 2014 • Couples
Being an experienced sauna user I thought a visit to Helsinki's only remaining wood-burning one was essential and I was deeply disappointed. I am sure they market this sauna as "historic", but for me, it is just old. Any sauna you may have have used in your own country is probably both more enjoyable and better-looking than this. Separate saunas for men and women, and the men's is quite large, almost like a small theatre. The sauna proper has relatively little wood and much more concrete than I expected. Some corners look dank and were actually smelly (the wrong way). If you are used to the kind of saunas to be found within spas in Germany, which have an emphasis on relaxation, this one looks basic and rough. No particular smell of burning firewood, contrary to my expectations, and the price of €15 was substantially more than the sauna on the ferry to Helsinki. I can understand now why all the other wood-burning saunas in Helsinki have closed -I wish this one had, too!
Written May 13, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

DC Harris
Brixton, UK18 contributions
Mar 2019 • Solo
As a British sauna lover I chose this because it’s not only the oldest sauna (91 years old) but also the only one heated by wood. I’d never been to a wood-fired sauna before and beware to 1st timers it’s much more full-on than normal one’s especially when they put fresh water on the steam hits you like a blade! It’s just one auditorium sized sauna and while it might feel quite basic at first once you relax and get used to the heat it’s fantastically soothing & relaxing. You need to have regular breaks though and the best thing to do after a period in the sauna (I just about managed 10 mins at a time) is go outside for a few minutes to air off so towel hire is essential! When I visited it was a max of -1degrees and snowing but this just added to the atmosphere! I lasted just over an hour but a local patron (they were all very friendly) told me he does 5 hour stints although he did say he was ‘hardcore’. There is also a reading area inside the building you can go to after the sauna if you don’t fancy going outside in just a towel.
I felt amazing after, clear skin and very rested. It’s really cheap as well at just 14 Euro’s or 17 with towel. So glad I went. If you like Saunas you’ll love this!
Written March 11, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

London, UK21 contributions
Nov 2010
A few stops on the metro out of town but easy to spot (the big neon SAUNA sign helps!) at the bottom of a residential block. Friendly English-speaking staff at the door sorted out hire of a towel and a locker key - you don't need to bring anything, but I guess toiletries and your own towel wouldn't be wrong.

It's all no frills. First there's the locker room with a few wooden benches and a table with groups animatedly sharing views on what was in the newspapers. This leads to a shower room with a table at which a very east European-looking woman was generating vast amounts of soap-suds to scrub down ageing men, and also plenty of hooks to hang your towel up. Then it is round to the sauna itself - a bit like an underground bunker with hefty concrete steps for a couple of dozen men to sit on. At one end the huge wood burner chugged out hot steam - every now and then the the sauna experts at the very highest levels demanded a splash of water to heat things up again.

If you feel really brave you put your towel back on and go and sit on the low wall in the street outside. Although it was -12 outside we were so warmed up by the sauna we could happily do this for 5 minutes or so while chatting!

It was all very naked, so not for the bashful, but nothing remotely sexual. Almost everyone in the locker room and outside was swigging cans of beer - adding to the slightly "rugby club changing room" feel. (How they coped with the dehydration, who knows!) Probably three quarters of customers were local men escaping the wife on an early Saturday evening, also a fair number of trendy student-types getting together for a night out, and a handful of tourists soaking up the atmosphere with the steam. No sign of any women - maybe there was something upstairs?

A great way to warm up in a Helsinki winter.
Written February 6, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Elina S
Helsinki, Finland370 contributions
Jun 2018 • Friends
This is a sauna as it shoud be: warm and soft air, smell of wood, space and quietness. Ladies and gents have their own dressing rooms, showers and saunas so people are naked (but tourists sometimes use towels). You can leave your stuff in a lockable cupboard and buy some cold drinks when you go outside to enjoy fresh air so bring a large towel. It's a good idea to take your flip flops as the floor in sauna can be quite hot and a small towel to sit on. Go to sauna and become a better version of yourself!
Written July 2, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Showing results 1-10 of 85
Anything missing or inaccurate?
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing