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Sauna Etiquette in Sweden

Everything I'm seeing online is saying that generally people are naked or only covered with a towel in saunas in Sweden. Is this also the case in hotel saunas, or only in public ones? I'm hoping to avoid bringing a bathing suit unless absolutely necessary, and I'm guessing I won't need or be allowed to wear one for most saunas. Is my reasoning correct?

Also, if anyone can comment on the same question for Norway and Denmark, I'd be grateful.

Posted by
5554 posts

In general, yes. I have not data but in general I'd say that in most saunas swim suits are banned but there are some that allow them. But there are also regional differences, you are probably more likely to find saunas that allow swim suits in larger cities, while wearing a swim suit in the sauna is a huge faux pas in the north.

I'd guess the tradition is roughly the same in Norway. Denmark on the other hand really doesn't have any sauna culture so I don't know how they do it.

Posted by
6929 posts

From discussions with a Swedish friend, yeah, no swimsuits, the towel is actually more to protect the wooden seat from you, than you from the eyes of others. I suppose no one will object to you having a towel wrapped around you though. Same in Finland, and in Germany at the baths.

I imagine a larger hotel might have more tourists, so the etiquette might be a little looser, but if you are willing to go sans suit, that will not be a problem.