If you are looking for the real Baltic sauna experience, then jump in a cab and head to Kalma Sauna, a traditional public sauna that has been open since 1928, servicing the needs of Estonians, Finns and Soviets for decades. Housed inside a period building a short walk from Tallinn train station (only 10 minutes north of the Old Town), this old institution keeps alive the tradition of municipal heat treatment – with no-nonsense attendants, locker rooms and a large area for cooling off, equipped with bar and TV.
Once inside you will hire a towel and a plastic mat to sit on (you’ll need it), as well as a birch for self-flagellation – which is done by most sauna regulars to improve circulation. The sauna itself is vast, capable of accommodating dozens of bodies, although it is not usually too crowded. Men and women are put in entirely separate rooms, so if you arrive as a couple you won’t see each other until you’re finished.