The Finns and their sauna

In Finland, sauna is part of the way of life and that's why they can't get enough of it. It is used for personal hygiene, political diplomacy, relaxation or occasionally for business meetings.
Sauna with Finnish touch

Sauna with a Finnish touch

If you want to take a sauna in Finland, you have the advantage that it is not too far to get there. Since the sauna is part of everyday life, it is often found in rented apartments, in private houses, in summer or winter houses, but also in an apartment. According to the European Union, there are over 1.7 million saunas in Finland. Therefore, everyone saunts when and how long they want. Whether it’s just a few minutes or a whole hour, it’s important to shower off or jump into the cold water in between.

The Finnish population has known this procedure from an early age and knows how to deal with the hot steam. At that time, the sauna was considered a substitute bathroom so that women could give birth there. Today, such times belong to the past and are over. But sauna culture remains a relevant place.

Dress code in the sauna

A small family sauna together without any problems. On family occasions, relaxing in the hot air bath is simply one of them. However, in this case, the difference is how large and related the family circle is. For this reason, men and women are separated. Visits to the sauna together are unthinkable.

Also, the idea of dressing up in bathing clothes in the sauna is extremely alien there. The sauna culture of the Finns is exclusively intended with naked skin. If you want to take a sauna in another country, you should know the rules and sauna customs.

Combining business with the sweat bath

Clothing is not allowed in a Finnish sauna. Thus, everyone is equal and will not be judged or criticized by their appearance, including clothing. This is an excellent prerequisite for negotiations – whether of a private nature or for successful business decisions. There is no need for an office, a conference room or a meeting room. Instead, people talk and sweat in the sauna. Many companies have a sauna area themselves, especially to impress business people coming from abroad.

Meeting place for a social gathering

It happens very often that students, colleagues or other groups get together in saunas. Usually it is a casual meeting. But also at parties, it improves the mood among themselves. Just as work colleagues, which can reduce tensions, counts to it. Who decides for the Finnish foreign country and an invitation to the Sauntered receives, should not think long and accept the offer. After all, it is not important how long the sauna visit lasts, but it is more about the honor of a Finn, if the invitation was accepted.

The Finnish sauna sausage

In order not to stand out in the group of sauna visitors, it is necessary to follow some rules of behavior in the sauna. One thing is for sure: it is advisable and polite that the person who comes to the sauna picks up the ladle and makes the infusion. There is no absolute ban on speaking. However, there is an unwritten law to remember: there must never be any arguing in the sauna. In addition, there is another highlight to be mentioned: In fact, something else also stews in the sauna: so-called sauna sausages. These are stewed by the heat of the hot air bath and then enjoyed after the sauna with mustard.

Finnish sauna culture: a journey through history, tradition and health

  • Origin and significance of sauna in Finland: sauna has a long history in Finland, dating back up to 2,000 years. Originally, the sauna served the Finns as a place for purification, healing and spiritual rituals. It was an integral part of the daily life and culture of the Finnish people.
  • Sauna construction and architecture: traditionally, saunas in Finland were built of wood, which adds to the rustic charm and natural aesthetics of the structures. Today, however, there are a variety of sauna types, from traditional smoke saunas to modern, luxurious saunas in hotels and resorts.
  • Sauna traditions and rituals: There are many traditions and rituals in Finnish sauna culture. For example, it is customary to wash thoroughly before entering the sauna to maintain purity. Also, Finns like to hit themselves in the sauna with a birch branch called “vihta” or “vasta” to stimulate circulation.
  • Health benefits: Finns value the sauna not only for its relaxing and social aspect, but also for its health benefits. Regular sauna visits are associated with various positive effects, such as strengthening the immune system, promoting blood circulation, relaxing muscles and improving overall well-being.
  • Sauna culture and social interaction: the sauna is not only a place for relaxation, but also a place for socializing. Traditionally, Finns take a seat in the sauna together with family or friends and use the time to talk, laugh and relax. The sauna is also a place for socializing, for example at parties or after sports activities.
  • The sauna in the modern world: Sauna culture has evolved over time and has remained alive in the modern world. Nowadays, saunas in Finland come in different varieties and environments. In addition to traditional wooden saunas, there are also public saunas in urban areas, saunas on boats and modern wellness spas with saunas.


Sauna culture in Finland is deeply rooted and plays an important role in the lives of Finns. Yet, the sauna is more than just a place for relaxation and purification; it is a place for social interaction and well-being. Over the centuries, Finns have cultivated and developed the sauna, and it has become a symbol of Finnish identity.

Taking a sauna offers health benefits such as boosting blood circulation and strengthening the immune system. It allows people to relieve everyday stress and connect with others. In Finnish sauna culture, there are certain traditions and rituals that make visiting the sauna a holistic experience.

Finnish sauna culture has also grown in importance internationally and can now be found in many countries around the world. Saunas are built in different variations and settings to meet people’s needs and preferences. Whether in traditional wooden saunas, modern wellness facilities or even on boats, saunas with Finnish flair have found their place in the world.

Thus, sauna culture in Finland is a fascinating part of the national identity and shows how a simple tradition can become an important element of well-being, health and interpersonal relationships. Anyone who has the opportunity to experience Finnish sauna culture should not miss it and embark on a journey of relaxation and enjoyment – with the unmistakable Finnish sauna touch.


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