Yrjönkatu Swimming Hall is the oldest indoor swimming hall in Helsinki, opening in 1928, and located in Kamppi. Originally the hall was privately owned until 1954 when it was transferred to the Finnish Sports Federation and then in 1967 to the City of Helsinki.
Being naked was one of the hardest things for me to adjust to about living in Finland. To most Finns it isn’t given a second thought, it’s a part of their culture and almost goes hand in hand with going to the sauna.
I had never been brave enough to visit Yrjönkatu Swimming Hall while it was open, the fear of the unknown was too overwhelming. I had adjusted to being naked in the sauna but there was something about naked swimming that felt like a step too far.
Housed inside is one pool, 25 metres in length and 10 metres wide. The hall has gone through a number of renovations, the last in 1997, though its interior has not been changed since it first opened.
Traditionally people swam naked in Yrjönkatu but since 2001 it became optional to wear a swimming suit or not. As you can swim naked days are separated and alternated between men and women.
I was able to arrange a time to visit the swimming hall before they had opened for the day. The water was perfectly clear and blue, reflecting its surroundings on the still surface of the pool.
Hidden away from view are the changing areas, showers, saunas (of course), and even a cafe on the second floor with seating looking over the pool.
More information about Yrjönkatu can be found on the City of Helsinki’s website.
This place was so amazing I couldn’t stop taking photos, it must be one of the best building interiors I have visited during my time in Helsinki.
For more great interiors see The National Library of Finland.
5 thoughts on “Yrjönkatu Swimming Hall ”
What an amazing building! As someone who swims, I agree on not being able to do it naked. We plan on going to Japan in a few years and onsen (outdoor hot springs) are a big thing there. I really want to do it but being an American I am not comfortable with the whole naked, especially in public thing. I also have tattoos, which might be an issue.
It’s really incredible. Sauna is a big part of Finnish culture so they really think differently about it. Someone once said to me “you are the only one uncomfortable in that situation” and that really changed my thinking. Good luck in Japan, I wouldn’t have thought the tattoo’s who be a problem but I really don’t know.
I hope you have now been to swim here, it’s such a lovely place! I like to go in the morning before work 💖
I still haven’t been! And now I don’t live in Helsinki so it may be a little more difficult.
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