The first thing to do when you go to an Estonian sauna is get completely naked, though in mixed saunas wrapping a towel around you is at your own discretion. Once you get used to the heat, scoop some water onto the hot stones; it evaporates instantaneously, raising the temperature. Once everyone is sweating profusely, some might gently swat themselves or their friends with birch branches; this increases circulation and rids the body of toxins. Don’t overdo it – ten minutes should be long enough, but get out immediately if you start to feel dizzy. Locals normally follow up with a plunge into a cold lake, although a cold shower will suffice. A good place to start is Kalma at Vana-Kalamaja 9a – Tallinn’s oldest public bath (built in 1928), containing private saunas for rent as well as men’s and women’s general baths (complete with swimming pool).

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Estonia features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

A first-timer's guide to Central and Eastern Europe: 10 places to visit

A first-timer's guide to Central and Eastern Europe: 10 places to visit

Central and Eastern Europe are among the culturally diverse parts of the world, preserving a plethora of deep-rooted traditions. What’s more, large tracts of …

12 Dec 2016 • Jonathan Bousfield insert_drive_file Article
10 great winter destinations in Central and Eastern Europe

10 great winter destinations in Central and Eastern Europe

Forget the plummeting temperatures and long dark nights, winter is a hugely rewarding season in which to visit Central and Eastern Europe. Frozen rivers, frosty…

28 Nov 2016 • Jonathan Bousfield insert_drive_file Article
Top ten things to do in Estonia

Top ten things to do in Estonia

From the cultured capital of Tallinn to the winter-playground that is Otepää, here are ten of our favourite things to do in Estonia.  Admire the beauty of…

06 Aug 2014 • Kiki Deere insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month