Originally Helsinki city’s harbours were built next to the city center. In the early 2000s a new harbour was built to the eastern part of the city. Thus the areas next to the center (mainly Sompasaari and Jätkäsaari) were freed to urban redevelopment.
Sompasaari is still a large flat area covered with asphalt. Shore is large rocks. Along the shore there is a narrow patch of vegetation: grass, bushes and some trees. What a perfect place for a sauna! Sompasauna is not any special sauna. Just a small wood and plywood uninsulated building. Not any kind of room for dressing and undressing. Strip outdoors and leave your clothes on the ground.
Sauna has no amenities. No light, no electricity, no running water. Three hand saws to cut your own firewood. Small buckets to carry water from a tap 300 meters away. Usually the water is carried by car. This water is only for throwing to the hot stones. You can rinse yourself at sea and wash yourself at home.
Sauna has no service. Nobody works there. Heat yourself. Remember to bring matches. Nothing is sold, but there is a small shop in the island. You can heat your sausages in the wood burning grill.
Sounds like the last choice for a sauna? Not for me! The atmosphere is fantastic. A hidden place for relaxing near the city center. Forget shopping, forget Internet, forget fashionable clothes and hairstyle, strip your clothes and enter the sauna. You are not the only one naked. Usually everyone is naked except foreigners. But you do not have to be naked if you do not want!
Remember to swim. Water is not so cold and it feels warm when the sun is shining. Be careful when stepping down the rocks to the sea. Rocks are steep and may be slippery when wet. There is a rope to help you.
Finnish people are silent. But this is not a place where you should sit alone mouth shut. Sit outside and chat. There is always someone to speak with and usually people are talking in groups. Socialize and have fun.
Shy of going alone? No problem. There are lot of regular visitors. Only during the day you might be alone, but always there is someone else in the evenings.
The spirit of Sompasauna shortly: don’t steal, help your friend, cut wood, get water. And chat!