It’s not just the Swedish saunas, the cultural context of nudity in Sweden, and the archipelago of beautiful islands that make Sweden the world’s happiest country to date, but also the people that make the place feel like home.
If this is your first time going to Sweden or planning to go to Sweden, the best way to explore Sweden is by getting immersed in its culture and making the most out of the experience, particularly Swedish saunas and the social context of nudity in Sweden that you should know about.
One of the best hotspots for both local Swedes and tourists to go to are the Swedish saunas, especially in the colder months of the year. Relaxing and blowing off some steam by sitting in a sauna is one of the best ways to unwind from the stresses of life, as done by many Swedes.
While we all get the concept of saunas and how they work, it’s important to understand the difference and context behind Swedish saunas and the perception of nudism in Sweden. After all, it is always wise to understand Swedish sauna etiquette and the concept of nudity in Sweden to gain prior knowledge, especially if this is your first time going to a Swedish sauna.
With that being said, we have compiled everything you need to know about nudism in Sweden, Swedish saunas, must-know sauna etiquette in Sweden toward nudity Sweden, tips before your first Swedish sauna or Swedish saunas, the top Swedish saunas for your next visit to a sauna in Sweden, and the perception toward nudity in Sweden you must know.
That way, you won’t be the odd one out in the room. Without further ado, let’s get to it.
Nudity in Sweden: Everything you need to know
Nudity is the norm in Swedish saunas
You should particularly know that nudity in Sweden, particularly in Swedish saunas, is perfectly normal for Swedes in general. Though nudism in Sweden may seem awkward or weird to you as a foreigner, you’ll get used to nudism in Sweden over time.
When you’re in a room full of hot steam, being nude helps get your bare skin exposed to the heat, making the whole sauna experience more enjoyable than if you were to have clothes on per se. Plus, the last and worst thing you would want is your drenched clothes sticking on you throughout your sauna session (believe us, staying away from being nude takes away the whole point of the sauna in Sweden).
In a social context, there is a level or sense of honesty through nudism in Sweden as everyone is naked and exposed, implying a sense of equality in nudity Sweden. Though, in general, nudity in Sweden may be expected in Swedish saunas, that doesn’t mean nudity in Sweden is practiced in changing rooms. So, just be mindful of when and where nudity in Sweden applies.
Context of nudism in Sweden
Nudism in Sweden isn’t an absolute must in all Swedish saunas, as some Swedes choose to cover up their private parts by wrapping a towel around them. In particular cases, swimming shorts and bikinis are worn as well, though this may be objected to by purists who think it is unhygienic to wear them and prefer complete nudity.
Cultures toward nudity in Sweden shift over time, and that’s no different from the Swedes’ perception of nudity in Sweden, especially for the younger generations. Today, younger adults are more likely to cover themselves up than older adults and defer away from full nudity in Sweden. And how do you know when and what to do when it comes to nudity in Sweden? The appropriateness of nudity in Sweden all lies in when and where the Swedish saunas are.
Say you’re in an international hotel or a Swedish spa, there will be clear guides and rules to follow, such as signs or a short briefing from the staff on nudity in Sweden and whether public nudity in Sweden is allowed or practiced in that place. Most of the time, especially in mixed-sex Swedish saunas, you will be expected to cover up using a swimming suit.
On the other hand, if you’re in a more local or public setting such as leisure centers, for example, nudity in Sweden is expected as a norm. Full nudity in Sweden is especially true for single-sex saunas, where most men and women sit at these separate saunas bare naked. Though you can bring a towel with you, and people couldn’t care any less, you shouldn’t be surprised to see people around you being out in the open. After all, nudity in Sweden isn’t a taboo thing at all.
A rule of thumb regarding nudism in Sweden is that whenever the Swedish saunas are mixed (meaning both men and women sit in the same sauna room), nudism in Sweden is expected with a towel wrapped around you to cover your private parts.
In general, if you visit Swedish saunas located on the lakeside or high up in the mountains, then chances are nudity in Sweden would be supported. Contrarily, if you visit fewer public places such as international hotels per se, nudity in Sweden is less present, and you’ll expect people around you to cover up in swimming trunks and bikinis, and much less full nudism in Sweden.
Drunken Swedish Sauna: What you need to know
It’s probably one of the most out-of-this-world experiences for anyone visiting Sweden or going to Swedish saunas for the very first time!
It is essentially a practice when a group of friends (both males and females) chug down a few friendly chugs of alcohol at the lakeside, get bare naked, sit for a session at Swedish saunas, and finally take a naked dip in the water. In this case, nudity in Sweden is a common practice and is normal, especially among friends.
Now, if you’re ever faced with this kind of situation involving nudism in Sweden, the best thing to do is act natural and follow along to blend into the social context. Otherwise, you would be the odd one out if you sit in Swedish saunas wearing undergarments, unlike everyone else practicing nudity in Sweden.
Even if nudism in Sweden seems to go against everything you know, trust us when we say that nudity is better off this way in Sweden saunas.
There is always a first for everything, may it be your first few steps, and your first time trying Swedish saunas and getting exposed to the culture of nudism in Sweden.
To ensure you get the most out of the experience while respecting the norms associated with nudity in Sweden, we have compiled everything you need to know about Swedish saunas and nudity Sweden. These include etiquette in Swedish saunas, tips for the best experience at Swedish saunas, how to behave toward nudity Sweden, and our top and most recommended Swedish saunas.
Basic sauna etiquette in Sweden
A trip to Sweden isn’t complete without a visit to the sauna. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro; no one can deny the relaxing powers of sweating in a warm room with total strangers covered with nothing but a towel.
While most of us are used to saunas being separated by gender and clothing, it’s important to remember that the Swedish sauna is a public space where nudity is expected and that there is sauna etiquette to comply with. This is why following a set of basic sauna etiquette in Sweden is crucial for a more comfortable experience.
Here is some basic sauna etiquette in Sweden to keep in mind when enjoying your first Swedish sauna while respecting the attitude toward nudism in Sweden:
1. Keep your eyes at eye level
This is something we all learned at a young age, but it bears repeating. It may be tempting to look your fellow sauna-goers up and down (or around) if they’re naked and you’re not—but don’t do it. Though nudity in Sweden is normal, it doesn’t mean you get to ogle at the people around you. It is arguably the most crucial sauna etiquette in Sweden for a reason.
Acknowledge them with a courteous nod or greeting from across the room, and that’s it. Instead, focus your attention on the view outside whenever possible. It is a way of respecting nudity in Sweden and your fellow guests trying to enjoy the hot steam at the sauna in Sweden.
2. Leave the humidity control to the pros
Saunas have their unique way of getting hot and humid (namely steam). If you’re finding it uncomfortably dry in there, don’t reach for the water bucket yourself—that will only make everyone else uncomfortable!
Instead, ask everyone else in the room if they’re comfortable with the adjustment and have a staff member or anyone in the room with more sauna experience do so.
3. Never ask for birch leaves
Many movies set in Sweden show characters vigorously whipping each other with bundles of birch leaves, but this is not a real Swedish tradition, nor does it happen in any Swedish saunas. So, it’s best to avoid it entirely to save yourself from the embarrassment of asking.
4. Stay hydrated
Remember to stay hydrated (with water) before and after going through the sauna cycle. The heat will cause you to sweat out a lot of water—if you become dehydrated, both your health and your experience will suffer, so keep a filled water bottle with you throughout your sauna experience.
5. Never force yourself
The higher up the seating level, the hotter it will be. Some (mainly men) have tried to move up to the highest level to show macho they are by staying there for extended periods, which is a no-go, especially for first-timers.
We recommend starting at the lower seating levels and moving up to the level you can bear and finding comfort for a better sauna experience.
Tips for the ultimate experience in Swedish saunas
1. After swims or workouts, take a shower before entering the sauna in Sweden
Not only is it a courtesy to other bathers, but you also don’t want to introduce too much moisture into the dry air. Some of the more heated saunas may require two showers—one before and one after—so pay attention to the sign when you enter.
2. Hydrate yourself with water before and after your sauna sessions
Hydrate with plenty of water before and after sauna sessions. Sweating is going to leave your body dried, so be sure to drink up before entering the sauna and replenish afterward.
3. Sit at a level you can bear
Listen to your body! Swedes love their hot saunas, but that doesn’t mean we all have to sit at the highest temperature just because everyone else does. Take it slow at first and find a comfortable level for you. You can always move up or down as needed during your session.
4. Take a cool shower after your sauna session
This not only helps to cleanse the pores and remove any sweat from the body but also allows you to lower your body temperature before you go into the sauna and helps to prevent overheating once you’re in there.
5. Apply some lotion as a finishing touch
After your shower, apply some lotion as a finishing touch. The dry heat of the sauna in Sweden can dehydrate skin quickly, so this will help replenish moisture and leave your skin feeling silky smooth.
Top 3 sauna in Sweden recommendations
If you’re wondering where the best places to get some steam are, don’t worry. We have you covered! We’ve scoured for the top 3 saunas in Sweden that we highly recommend for your next visit so you can choose the proper sauna in Sweden for you.
1. Centralbadet spa
This sauna in Sweden is situated in the gorgeous Art Nouveau building, close to the infamous Drottninggatan space. Needless today, the spa itself boasts coverage of about 3,500 square meters, an airy space indeed!
The spa has all you need for the grandest and most blissful self-care experience from a swimming pool, Nordic sauna, skincare, and massages. It is available any day of the week, but weekdays are less crowded than weekends.
After your spa experience, you can also indulge yourself with some Swedish delicacies at the restaurant available and hang out by the roof terrace. Now that’s a whole new definition of relaxation.
2. Arctic Bath Hotel
The Arctic Bath Hotel is located in the Swedish Lapland and is infamously known for its floating sauna in Sweden (yes, you heard that right). The entire spa forms a circle with saunas made of wood on the sides of a river spot where you can swim at. Simply dip and steam as you please, so long as you follow the guidelines as prompted by the staff and signs.
3. Storhogna Högfjällshotell & Spa
It is a ski resort located in Vemdalen that is widely known for being able to ski in and out of the place, outdoor hot tubs, an all-natural hole for swimming, and of course, a delightful sauna with a stunning view of the mountains!
Regardless of the seasons, even in winter, the hole for swimming is open at all times! So, you can dip in the cold waters and steam up in the sauna whenever you like.
Perception of Nudity in Sweden
The idea of public nudity in Sweden might sound intimidating or even outrageous to some people, but nudity in Sweden is a normal and celebrated part of Swedish culture. In fact, the country is considered one of the most progressive places globally when it comes to nudism in Sweden. The Swedes are so comfortable with nudity that they have built over 3,000 saunas around the country, many of which are clothing-optional and involve full nudity in Sweden (depending on the place and context, of course).
Nudism in Sweden has a long history in the country, dating back to at least the 19th century. Aside from being something that can be seen as more comfortable and healthy than wearing clothes, nudism in Sweden is also an expression of freedom and equality in Swedish society.
The Swedish belief of nudity in Sweden is that if everyone is naked together in a sauna, then no one person should feel self-conscious about their body. Public nudity in Sweden is actually protected by law as long as everyone present is comfortable with nudism in Sweden—and if you aren’t comfortable with nudity in Sweden, there are plenty of places where you can keep your clothes on.
Though Sweden is considered one of the most progressive countries in the world when it comes to nudity in Sweden, there are still rules concerning nudity in Sweden for those who want to expose themselves.
Full steam ahead to Swedish saunas
Swedish saunas are not only a great way to spend an afternoon, but they are also a fantastic way to meet some friendly locals. They can be found in practically every neighborhood (and many even have them in their homes). About everyone in Sweden has had some experience with a sauna of one kind or another, including the ones involving nudity in Sweden.
Now you know when and where nudity in Sweden applies and the general perception of Swedes towards nudity in Sweden.
Remember the rule of thumb of covering up in more international settings such as hotels or resorts, especially when it’s a mixed-sex sauna in Sweden with bathing suits. When in single-sex saunas or more public or local saunas in Swede, you can opt for nudity Sweden or cover up your private parts with a towel wrapped around you.
Though nudity in Sweden is a common ground for all Swedes, you should always be mindful of the basic sauna etiquette in Sweden. Knowing and understanding sauna etiquette will not only respect your fellow guests but also make the most out of the experience.
So if you’re up for it, gulp down plenty of water and join the Swedes for a sauna!