Helsinki has several well-maintained public indoor pools, and popular outdoor pools open in the summer months. Most pools have one or more saunas, and many also have professional massage therapists in the premises for sports massages. Entrance fees are generally around 3 to 4 Euros. Here are some of the best swimming pools in Helsinki.
Yrjönkatu Swimming Hall
The Yrjönkatu Swimming Hall (Yrjönkadun Uimahalli, Yrjönkatu 21 b, tel. 09 310 87401) is a historic swimming pool with a speciality: naked swimming. The use of swimsuits in the pool was accepted in 2001, but naked swimming is still popular. There are separate swimming times for men and women so check the opening times by phone or on the website.
Built in 1928 and renovated in the 1990’s, the swimming hall is the oldest in Scandinavia and its architecture and décor have been inspired by traditional Roman baths. The swimming hall has several saunas, and massages are available by advance booking. There is also a gym and a fitness centre in the premises.
Mäkelänrinne Swimming Centre
Ideal for families, the Mäkelänrinne Swimming Centre (Mäkelänrinteen Uintikeskus, Mäkelänkatu 49) is the biggest swimming hall in Finland. The main pool is 50 metre long, and there is also a cold water pool, a diving pool, a children’s pool for swimming lessons and a separate wading pool for the smallest children. Other facilities include a steam room and a sauna, sun beds, a massage therapist, a café and meeting rooms. Groups can also book private saunas.
The Swimming Stadium
The Helsinki Swimming Stadium (Uimastadion, Hammarskjöldintie) is open between mid-May and mid-September. The water is 25 degrees Celsius and the pool is open regardless of the weather. The Stadium has a 50 metre long pool, a children’s pool, a diving pool, a water slide and a children’s wading pool. There is also a gym and a volleyball court. The pool opens at 6.30 in the morning from Monday to Saturday and at 9 am on Sundays, and is incredibly popular on sunny summer days.
Public Beaches in Helsinki
In the summer Helsinki’s public beaches are the best places to swim. There are over 20 beaches in the city, but the most popular is Hietaniemi, or Hietsu (Hiekkarannantie, buses 55 and 55A). The beach gets packed with sunbathers and swimmers in the summer, and there is also a volleyball court, a basketball court, a playground for the kids, a kiosk for refreshments, and a lifeguard on duty.
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Photo by /kallu.