Lonna island, off Helsinki in Finland, is a secluded spot to enjoy a public sauna. There are separate rooms for men and women, with a mixed sauna on Tuesdays. Clothing is optional. Visiting a sauna is so routine for Finns, the country is said to have one for every five people. Photo: Alamy

Sauna culture in Finland: stripping off with strangers and becoming fast friends

  • For Finns, a sauna is a routine ritual to be enjoyed throughout the year, where normally shy compatriots open up
  • Public saunas abound, but on Helsinki Sauna Day, locals invite you into their personal sweaty spaces
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Lonna island, off Helsinki in Finland, is a secluded spot to enjoy a public sauna. There are separate rooms for men and women, with a mixed sauna on Tuesdays. Clothing is optional. Visiting a sauna is so routine for Finns, the country is said to have one for every five people. Photo: Alamy
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