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The best authentic Finnish sauna

A thoroughly authentic sauna offering - very different to the tourist experience offered by Allas... read more

Reviewed December 4, 2023
Matthew J
Very Warm, in More Ways Than One

I had a wonderful experience visiting this sauna. As a solo American stopping by, I wasn't sure... read more

Reviewed July 5, 2023
freutmich
,
Kansas City
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Reviewed May 21, 2017 via mobile

Visiting a sauna was one of my missions when travelling in Helsinki. I have done some research to determine which one to visit, the key criterion was something unique and memorable.

Originally I was to visit another sauna which was kinda close to this one and offered the opportunity to dip in the sea, but on the day I visited, the sea didn't look too inviting. As a result, that original sauna I wanted to visit became less appealing. I immediately changed my plan to visit Kotiharjun Sauna instead, since the offer of a traditional sauna made me really curious.

Kotiharjun Sauna can be easily reached by Metro (I was using a 24hr travel card then so it made sense for me). I arrived on a Thursday at about 4pm and was the only female user. This gave me a good opportunity to check out the changing room and to truly experience the zen of steaming alone in the dim and quiet sauna.

The changing room got lockers, benches and tables for people to hang out. I realized this as when I finished my sauna at about 6pm, two mothers and their kids arrived, I saw them laying out food and drinks on the table (like a picnic!). I chatted with them and asked them if they came often and how long they usually stayed there for. "A few hours at least, we sauna, then eat and drink, sauna again, drink again...and so on!" The kids even got some beach toys!

It was a truly enjoyable experience.

Date of experience: May 2017
2  Thank herolimo
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed April 17, 2017

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!

Date of experience: April 2017
7  Thank olgakO7206NK
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed February 5, 2017 via mobile

Kotiharjun Sauna is a traditional Finnish sauna which gave us a super nice start of our Saturday evening in Helsinki. We really liked the traditional feel, the nice people to chat with, and the very warm and lively atmosphere! Go there!

Date of experience: February 2017
1  Thank joakimb705
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed January 7, 2017 via mobile

I went to the sauna on the first day arriving in Helsinki. It is rather old and the locker doesn't really work but that doesn't really matter. The atmosphere counts the most, there is a good mixture of people, young and old, with people signing and rap, chatting in the changing room or outside the sauna on the street with a beer.
This wood heat sauna is much hotter than other electric heated sauna I tried in Finland, and is way better.

Date of experience: December 2016
Thank 526fultonm
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed January 2, 2017

I went here on my first trip to Helsinki and it was pretty fun. For an American, it feels like a very exotic and authentic Finnish sauna experience.
The sauna itself is wood burning and more in the traditional Finnish style. Locals come after work and often socialize outside with beers or soda.

Pro tip: Bring your own cold beverage. I'm partial to a chilled sparkling water with my sauna.

Date of experience: April 2016
1  Thank geoffbund
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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