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International Sauna Association and Finnish Sauna Society: “Tampere is the sauna capital”



Tampere is now made known as the Sauna Capital. The Finnish Sauna Society and the International Sauna Association have stated to be in favour of Tampere’s status as the Sauna Capital. The Sauna Capital status is based on saunas being of high level and Tampere being home to most public saunas in Finland. The announcement was made today at Finland’s oldest, still functioning, public sauna: Rajaportti Sauna in the district of Pispala, in Tampere.  


Finnish Sauna Society states in its announcement, that Tampere being the sauna capital promote the status of Finnish sauna both nationally and internationally.


“Tampere is renowned world-wide for its many high-class saunas, which will not leave even the most demanding sauna lovers without a good sauna heat. The city’s sauna community’s persistent and goal-directed work for the Finnish sauna culture has resulted in a lively, colourful and vital sauna culture in Tampere”, states the chairman of the board of the Finnish Sauna Society Tuomas M.S. Lehtonen in the statement.


Also the International Sauna Association ISA is strongly supporting Tampere’s status as the sauna capital. Their recommendation statement mentions that many of the nearly 30 members of the association, from different parts of the world, have got acquainted with the sauna scene in Tampere and discovered it to be on an excellent level.


In the strategy of Tampere City and the city marketing policy, nature and saunas have been given a major status.


“Tampere is a unique lake city, combining versatile nature and characteristic, vivid city environment. Saunas are an important part of this”, states Anna-Kaisa Heinämäki, Deputy Mayor of the City of Tampere.

“We can be proud of our diverse selection of saunas and for that reason, the saunas will be given importance both in the brand work of Tampere as well as the Tampere tourism marketing”, Heinämäki continues.


International sauna boom is at its hottest


Highlighting the sauna culture in Tampere and using the title of the sauna capital has been sparked the sauna communities in Tampere, when the 20th public sauna started being built to Tampere. The newest public sauna in Tampere, Tulli Sauna, was opened close to the Tampere Hall in April and in June, there will be another new public sauna opening: Restaurant Sauna Kuuma. The oldest still functioning public sauna in Tampere and in Finland is the Rajaportti Sauna, opened in 1906.


“The new sauna projects being carried out in Tampere will make the local sauna community even more diverse and the saunas even more accessible. Tampere is now the place, where every international guest visiting Finland have to come to experience at least one round in the heat of the sauna, the owner of Tulli Sauna”, Ville Virkki justifies the nomination of the sauna capital.


Visit Tampere Ltd executes the Tampere city’s tourism marketing. When the local sauna operators started discussing things, Visit Tampere concluded that also the volition the Finnish Sauna Society and the International Sauna Association were needed to support the nomination of the sauna capital.


“The supporting statements show, that Tampere has deserved its position as the sauna capital. The international sauna boom is at its hottest right now and sauna bathing has become a trend especially in Japan. The international sauna lovers are eager to travel to have that genuine, Finnish sauna experience. It’s great to be able to spread the positive news of the Finnish sauna culture to our target groups”, rejoices the Head of Marketing and Communications of Visit Tampere Ltd Karoliina Lehtonen.


Japanese sauna tourists have become known throughout the years also at Rajaportti sauna.


“In the recent years we have invested in foreign sauna-goers and translated our website to 11 languages already, the latest additions being Japanese and Chinese. Rajaportti has been an interesting destination also for Japanes architect groups, who have come to explore the sauna in connection to the Japanese spa culture “sento””, the superintendent of Rajaportti sauna, Veikko Niskavaara reports.

“Next year it will be the 100 years since the diplomatic relations between Japan and Finland were established. In the spirit of the anniversary we are preparing together with Japanese associates a joint project to introduce our sauna cultures”, Niskavaara continues.


Visit Tampere has gathered all the public saunas in the Tampere Region into a page of its own at On the pages, there are also instructions and tips to the travelers as to how to do things in the sauna. The public saunas in Tampere have also got their own Sauna Capital plaques by their doors.


For more information:


Heli Jokela, Senior Specialist, Marketing and Communications
Visit Tampere
Tel. +358 40 844 1116
heli.jokela (at)


Veikko Niskavaara, Superintendent
Rajaportti sauna/Pispala Sauna Society
Tel. +358 40 776 5198
veikko.niskavaara (at)