Welcome to the Sauna Capital of the World

Tampere is known as the Sauna Capital of the World. Both the International Sauna Association and Finnish Sauna Society advocated the title for Tampere in 2018. The status as the Sauna Capital is based on saunas being of high level and Tampere being home to most public saunas in Finland. 

Five years ago, there were approximately 25 public saunas in Tampere and the Tampere region. Now the number is 55 and counting. Still, we are far from the golden days of public baths when according to some sources, there were about 100 public saunas in Tampere itself, one in almost every block. 

In those days public baths and saunas were obviously a necessity. Working class people lived in humble houses and shared apartments. Public saunas were not only places to bath and relax after a hard week at work, but also places to meet people, hear news of the world and, of course, tell stories. 

Times changed, people started building private saunas and there was no such need for public facilities anymore. Not all disappeared, though.  In the city center you can enjoy the mellow löyly of the oldest in Finland still operating a public sauna, Rajaportti, built in 1906. It has survived the changes and is nowadays well known and appreciated amongst both Finns and foreigners. 

Today the only problem for sauna enthusiasts is the embarrassment of riches as the range is so wide. You can choose between old traditional saunas, saunas by the lakes and modern new facilities offering also e.g., restaurant services. New rooftop saunas offer amazing views over the city. 

The Sauna Capital wishes all World Sauna Forum participants warmly welcome to enjoy our unique selection of public saunas. Pick your favorite from the vast selection and let the löyly relax your body and melt your worries. 

And listen to the stories. They are still told in public saunas.

Article provided by Visit Tampere. Pictures by Laura Vanzo.

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