Celebrated internationally as a “guerilla sauna” and the “most public” establishment of its kind, this volunteer-run sauna has offered beachfront service since 2011.
Sompasauna began as a modest attempt to repurpose an abandoned water-front shed and wood-burning stove. It was initially intended to be a small outfit for a close-knit group of friends, but as more people caught wind of the project it has slowly become something of an example for Finland’s growing number of “open-door” saunas—that is, saunas that are run by local co-ops rather than the government or private entities.
Sompasauna is located at the southernmost point of the Kalasatama district, offering visitors scenic beach views, growing shopping opportunities, and convenient links to public transportation. Sompasauna is self-service; the site offers wood and a stove, but it’s up to you to keep the steam going. Don’t forget to bring your own towel, bathing suits, and beverages as well. While visiting, try to make an extra effort to leave everything as you found it! Sompasauna survives on the tireless efforts of volunteers and visitors alike.
In keeping with the sauna’s communal ethos, site users are responsible for keeping everything clean and safe for others – so don’t forget to keep things tidy and take your trash with you. Though Sompasauna’s operation grows more and more by the month, keep your fingers crossed that it continues to grow and thrive. Time will tell how Kalasatama’s rapid development will affect the livelihood of this cozy institution. Regardless, though, its founders plan to keep it going even if they have to find a new location.
NOTE: Due to the infrastructure development around the area, there’s a possibility that Sompasauna’s location won’t be the same as it is now.
Sompasauna useful infos:
Address: Lapinlahdenpolku 8, 00180, Helsinki
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