Saunas in Scandanavia

We are visiting Scandanavia a week from now for 2 weeks. We will be in Copenhagen, Aero, Stockholm, Balestrand, Flam, Oslo. We would like to visit a sauna and would like a recommendation. We would like it to be nice but not super expensive. We're more interested in the cultural experience of being in a sauna with those from the area than we are in a super spiffy spa experience. Thanks!
Cynthia

Posted by Laura
Virginia, USA
2891 posts

For Stockholm, you can look at either Centralbadet or Sturebadet (the latter will be the luxury experience). Centralbadet will set you back 220 SEK if you just go for a Badentré on Sunday to Friday plus another 30 SEK to rent a towel. It is 320 SEK on Saturday. This gets you admission to the swimming pool, thermalbath, sauna, etc. Sturebadet is more expensive at 495 SEK Mon to Thurs and 695 on Fri to Sun. There is also a sauna at the public pool (Eriksdalsbadet), but it is pretty basic ... no different from a sauna at a healthclub in the U.S. It is in the locker room. By the way, in Swedish, the word for sauna is "bastu".

Posted by Lo
Tucson
646 posts

Laura, Do the facilities you linked require that you sauna in the nude? I checked the websites, but didn't see anything about that.

Posted by Laura
Virginia, USA
2891 posts

Lo, In Sweden, public saunas are nearly always single-sex. In a women's sauna, the custom is to sauna in the nude ... some women will wrap their towel around them and others will just sit on the towel. I don't think you'd be kicked out if you wore a swimsuit in the sauna, but it is not the custom. You'd wear your swimsuit if you were using the pool or Jacuzzi in the common area. I've only been to the sauna at the swimming pool that I mentioned (Eriksdalsbadet). I'm not a big fan of the sauna (too hot for me), so I only used it after swimming laps and showering. I've never been to Centralbadet or Sturebadet.

Posted by Cynthia
Raleigh, NC, USA
4 posts

Thank you Laura. That is very helpful. I can't decide if it will be pretty much like going to a spa in the USA which is not really what I want. I think we should have taken a side trip to Finland as I understand that is where the 'real' saunas are located. Not that it would be now wonderful, but figure I won't spend valuable travel time going to a spa that I could in essence go to here. Thanks and have a great day!
Cynthia

Posted by Agnes
Alexandria, VA, USA
616 posts

Hi Cynthia, for what it's worth, I went to a sauna in Iceland and it was well worth it and quite a different experience than I could get here in the states. I thought Scandinavians also like to jump into very cold water first, before going into a sauna..could someone confirm this?

Posted by Laura
Virginia, USA
2891 posts

I thought Scandinavians also like to jump into very cold water first, before going into a sauna..could someone confirm this? Well, "like" might be an overstatement, but there are places where you can jump in a cold lake and then go sauna. So this did trigger a memory of another place near Stockholm where you can sauna. Hellasgården is a place with a big lake outside of Stockholm. I've been skating there in the winter. They cut a hole in the ice and some crazy people (my opinion only :)) will jump in the freezing cold water. Here is information about the sauna at Hellasgården: http://www.hellasgarden.se/en/sauna and here is info about the ice hole http://www.hellasgarden.se/en/ice-hole-cold-bathing However, Cynthia, I do agree that going to a sauna in the city of Stockholm won't be that different from home. I also don't think it is worth it to go out of your way to go to Hellasgården in September ... it would be unique in the winter. Here is a video of that: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMW3QfCfeNI Now, I'm only speaking about Stockholm. There might be better opportunities in some of the other places you are visiting

Posted by Cynthia
Raleigh, NC, USA
4 posts

Thank you all. If anyone knows of any place in Copenhagen, let me know. Otherwise we shall save our sauna experience for Iceland or Finland. Regards,
Cynthia

Posted by Laura
Virginia, USA
2891 posts

Cynthia, when you get there, ask at your hotel. A local should be able to tell you the options. There aren't too many people on this board who are familiar with Scandinavia.

Posted by Cynthia
Raleigh, NC, USA
4 posts

I will do it. Thanks very much for all your assistance! Have a great night!
Cynthia