Holy Sweat! Check out Oslo’s floating saunas

Melt away stress in a cedar-lined sauna. Jump-start yourself in nature’s naturally-brisk plunge-pool: a fjord.

Oslo’s floating saunas offer a classic Scandinavian experience with spectacular city views.

There aren’t many places in seaside cities where jumping into an active harbour is a good idea: yuck.

Fortunately, Norway is a land of fjords. There are plenty of geographical squiggles untempered by industrial influence, with terrific views of Oslo.

Floating saunas

Floating saunas let tourists experience the combo of sweating like a beast in a very civilised box and carefully-monitored cold-swimming in a fjord. All with a view, and near your hotel!

With dip, please

KOK Oslo – in Norwegian, ‘cook’ and pronounced that way – offers visitors to the city a chance to dive into sauna culture and finish with an icy plunge, lifeguard-assisted, straight into a fjord. Solo travellers can drop in or book a space at the communal saunas at the Langkaia and Aker Brygge locations. Groups of up to 10 can reserve a private sauna from the same locations, or book a sailing tour of the archipelago, with plenty of stops for plunge time. Prices start at 250NOK, or about €24 for the 2-hour experience for individuals.

Hello, Saunamaster

Saunamasters, who are also certified lifeguards, monitor atmospheric and social temperatures. They maintain the heat of the woodburning saunas, supervise swimmers, and enforce safety regulations.

No skinny-dipping and other things to know

  • Saunas provide a changing area and storage space
  • Swimwear is required
  • Customers should bring 2 towels (one to sit on, one for drying) a bag for wet clothes and drinking water
  • Adult bevvies (wine or beer) are allowed, in moderation, (2 units per person) To protect the finish of the wood structure, only light-coloured liquids are allowed
  • Customers can enjoy snacks on the deck or in the changing room
  • Anything illegal on land applies similarly at sea

Why sauna in summer?

‘Summer’ in Oslo is a relative term. July, Oslo’s hottest month, averages a sizzling 18C, with sea temps around the same.

With the city’s looong summer days, you can take a late-afternoon sauna break with plenty of sunshine to spare.

Saunas are healthy! Benefits include improved circulation, stress-relief and reduced muscle tension.

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battleface editor Sasha Gayer
battleface magazine editor Sasha is a writer and amateur palaeontologist from New Orleans. When not writing or digging dinosaurs, she teaches English.