In stead of traditional after work and drinks we decided to do something different with a couple of my friends last Friday and rented out a cabin from Yrjönkatu swimming hall. It’s the oldest public swimming hall in Helsinki and with a bit of googling apparently it’s also the oldest public swimming hall in Finland! It’s located to Yrjönkatu just behind Forum mall.
You’re not allowed to take photos at the swimming pool (that’s why there’s only one in this post) but I recommend doing an image search for Yrjönkadun uimahalli to see what the swimming hall looks like inside to see what all the fuss is about.
I made a list of things that differ Yrjönkatu swimming hall from other public pools:
- Amazingly nice architecture
- Swimming with women only / men only
- You can swim naked if you want to
- Having drinks and snack with your friends on the balcony
- 4 different kinds of saunas, one of them a wooden one
Yrjönkatu swimming hall isn’t the largest public swimming pools in Helsinki, I think it only has 5 or 6 lanes of which 2 are reserved for water runners and the rest for swimmers. The pool is in the 1st floor with wardrobes around it and an electric sauna and showers at one side. And since all the wardrobes can be seen to the pool, Yrjönkatu swimming hall has separate swimming times and dates for men and women. Separate swimming times also allow you to swim naked if you want to, and many people do. One visit costs 5 € for the 1st floor.
The 2nd floor is a bit more expensive but definitely worth a try. With 14 €/2 hours you can rent a changing cabin from the 2nd floor balcony. Besides the cabin it also includes the possibility to swim at the pool, towel and a bathrobe and the possibility to use 3 different saunas upstairs (infrared sauna, steam sauna and a traditional wooden heated sauna, which I personally loved the most). After the swim or sauna you can relax at the balcony and order snacks and drinks from Cafe Yrjö. If you’re tired you could have a little nap in you changing cabin since there’s a small bed in each cabin.
Yrjönkatu swimming hall isn’t a spa but it does have a touch of old spa feeling to it. The atmosphere is very relaxed and calm and to me drinking gin and tonic at the balcony with my friends after a short swim and sauna felt quite luxurious. You can’t reserve the cabins so be prepared to wait – at least on a Friday evening.
I definitely recommend trying this out with your friends or after a long day at the office on your own, too!