In a country where there are likely more saunas than cars, a person doesn’t have to go far to find a steamy room to warm away the winter chill. Devotees both young and old flock to saunas—essential to Finnish culture—to restore themselves mentally and physically with the hot löyly (steam). However, don’t be shocked to see people rolling around in the snow or taking a dip in arctic waters to cool down and elongate the healing practice.
Traditionally set in semi-dark rooms with temperatures often rising above 150°F, saunas can be found anywhere from Parliament to private homes. But for Finns—and visitors feeling a little more adventurous—here are 10 surprising places to get your steam on.
Burger King Sauna
Experience sauna culture like fast food royalty at the Burger King sauna in downtown Helsinki. For 280 euros (U.S. $322), you and 14 of your friends can enjoy a three-hour sauna experience that includes towels, locker room access, and a TV with an entertainment system. If the photos you take aren’t enough of a souvenir, upgrade your package and take home your own Royal Burger King bathrobe. As a word of caution, any food eaten inside the sauna may end up a tad bit sweaty.
Descend underground below the small fishing village of Herrankukkaro to experience one of the world’s largest underground smoke saunas. With enough space to seat 124 visitors across six levels, this sauna follows the ancestral tradition of burning birch wood. Occasionally, local bands perform live music for entertainment.
Kesän Floating Sauna
Drifting leisurely along the Gulf of Bothnia, the Kesän Floating Sauna is a rare find in the world of saunas. Completely run by volunteers, this sauna sits on a small wooden raft and is one of the few unisex public saunas, meaning bathing suits are required. While not rentable for groups, anyone can enjoy the floating sauna during the summer months for five euros (U.S. $5.77).