It might be a Finnish tradition, but the sauna culture in Norway is alive and kicking and there’s no better spot to get your sweat on than in Oslo.
The city has some seriously cool saunas – including ones that float in the fjord and one that’s more like a music tent at a bohemian festival. Oslo saunas are an essential experience of any trip here… And yes, you do have to brave a plunge into the icy water afterwards.
1. What’s so special about Oslo’s city saunas?
Saunas in Oslo are unlike any you’ve likely tried before.
SALT is a nomadic art project where you’ll find one of the largest saunas in the world and relaxing water barrels. There’s two smaller saunas that can be rented out for private use, and the large one shows movies inside.
Every Friday and Saturday, people come to dance and party after the sauna, with DJs, concerts, performances and more.
KOK is a cool sauna boat that’s open all year-round, and offers a warm, wood-fired sauna, refreshing baths and boat trips in the inner Oslo Fjord.
You can show up at its docked location, which fits up to 12 people (although they have just gotten another boat which fits more!), or else you can rent the entire boat for you and your friends. This is a great option as you go on a cruise around the fjord, stopping at restaurants along the way.
The charming Oslo Sauna Raft floats on the fjord nearby the Oslo Opera House. The raft is made from recycled materials and driftwood rescued from the fjord. The sauna can house twelve people at a time, and there’s even a hatch in the middle of the floor that leads straight down into the water.
The same group of sauna enthusiasts also runs Oslo Fjord Sauna, an architect-designed sauna raft that can fit up to 15 people, with its own diving board on the roof.
2. How do I get there?
SALT: Head to Bjørvika shoreline, towards Vippetangen Port.
KOK: It’s docked at Langkaia, only 2 minutes from Oslo Central Station.
Oslo’s sauna rafts: These are right beside Oslo Opera House.
3. How much does it cost?
SALT: 195nok ($22)
KOK: 200nok ($23)
Oslo’s sauna rafts: 200nok ($23)
4. How long does it take?
Sessions last from 1hour 45minutes to 3hours. Take your time, and enjoy the insane contrast between the dry heat of the sauna and the icy water.
5. When’s the best time to go?
First timer? You might want to go during the warmer months, as the water in the fjord gets FREEZING. That’s part of the whole experience though. For SALT, it’s best to go on Saturday or Sunday as that’s when the DJs and party vibes will be on.
6. Where will I get the best photos?
In SALT, literally anywhere will look cool. It’s like an open art installation. At the floating saunas and KOK, now is the chance to show off your diving skills.
View this post on Instagram
7. Any insider tips?
- You will be sweating heavily in a sauna, so be sure to drink plenty. Water is probably best for you, but beer and cider is acceptable too!
- Try stay inside for 10-15 minutes lying down, with the last 2 minutes sitting upright.
- Always enter the sauna dry, so bring two towels.