Kalma Saun
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44 reviews
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Skiddy
Amesbury, UK82 contributions
Dec 2022 • Couples
Booked a private sauna room last minute, which was only a 9 min walk from the hotel, through the snow, ice and slush. Took our own towels as we couldn’t find any information, but am aware that they do hire them out. Our room upstairs consisted of a lounge area with leather chairs, hairdryer! There was a toilet room and a room with plunge pool with the sauna room next to it. We paid €25 for one hour which was adequate. There were two showers available. A great visit with friendly staff.
Written 21 December 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Lari H
1 contribution
Apr 2022 • Friends
It has awful hygienie compared to any other sauna which I have visited EVER. BRING SLIPPERS for even a little better experience. Mostly Russian people meet each other at Kalma Saun. They drink beer and eat fish according to their culture. You can imagine the smell at lockers...

Sauna had the nice heat but still it felt like I would get a infection while sitting in.

Very authentic experience.
Written 2 April 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

John H
Manchester, UK27 contributions
Jan 2022 • Solo
Watch out for knuckle dragging pig ignorant aggressive racist locals, avoid. Staff were ok but locals are.very hostile towards foreigners, only time.i had this.probllem in a wonderful friendly country
Written 9 January 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

José M
Lisbon, Portugal40 contributions
Dec 2019 • Solo
Baltic-Russian style sauna. Great to relax just look at the great time everyone’s having socializing with mates or strangers. In Russian. Doesn’t matter. If you ask nicely you’ll get helpful nice advice about what to do and how to behave. I recommend trying the birch or eucalyptus bundle to whip yourself up to a healthy red hue and boost your blood circulation. People seem to spend hours here between the dry sauna and its icy pool, shower room, lounge space (yes) and steam bath. I was there on a Saturday and it was the most revivifying experience after a long work week. It will get you ready for your weekend. I recommend trying to get a woolen elf hat to use inside, like locals do. You can buy them once you’re inside. It will protect your hair and brain cells from the heat of the dry sauna. It also makes the perfect souvenir. The neighborhood Kalma is beautiful with its 1920 wooden houses. You can walk down to the sea from the sauna along beautiful quiet streets with many good examples of contemporary buildings quite successfully managing the relationship to the genius loci. You can walk either from the Tallinn market or the seaside design district. The promenade will take you about 2 hours.
Written 15 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Steve_of_N21
London, UK2,043 contributions
Oct 2019 • Friends
On a lads weekend to Tallinn we chose to visit this more traditional Russian sauna to provide a break from the Old Town bars. A quick phone call made when we arrived in town reserved one of the private rooms for a couple of hours on the Sunday afternoon.
Karma Saun is about a fifteen minute walk from the old town and is quite close to the railway station and if walking best to find the underground walkway which takes you under the station. Once you get close you cannot really miss it as externally it’s Eastern Europe brutalist concrete architecture as shown in the photos stands out from other buildings, and we also had the advantage of being able to follow some locals with their own birch twigs.
Reception is straight in front of you once entering the double doors and here you can hire towels and pads to sit on and buy birch twigs if you have not brought your own. Two hours hire of the large private sauna, seven towels, four seat pads and two birch twigs came to just over 60 euros, which we deemed pretty good for the seven of us.
We were directed up to the first floor where we were met by another lady who showed us into the private room. There was a lounge area with sofa seating that comfortably sat six and you could get eight on the sofas at a push, and this had a small toilet on the side. You then walked through into a back section that had a large plunge pool that all of us got in comfortably and then the separate sauna room that could seat four. This area has two showers and a bucket is provided for soaking the birch twigs prior to use.
The whole area was very clean when we entered and the sauna was very efficient and came up to temperature with the application of a couple of ladles of water. The birch twigs are a bit of fun but they do make a mess when used properly, but also give the sauna a very pleasant aroma. At the end we were allowed to leave the towels and mats in the room as we left
All in all this was an interesting way to spend some time in Tallinn.
Written 18 October 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

JOHN S
Glenroy3 contributions
Oct 2019 • Solo
Great experience of Russian Sauna. Very clean . Cheap and easy to get to by tram from central Tallin
Written 6 October 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

dmittleman
Palm Beach Gardens, FL1,444 contributions
Jul 2019
Although some might find this sauna a bit off-putting, it is a great experience. The building is old and harks back to an earlier time. The changing rooms are a group experience. The saunas are traditional. There are birch branches among other types of branches to hit yourself with. This is supposed to stimulate circulation and health. There are plunge pools to cool off. Although not luxurious, the sauna is clean and well kept. Engage locals and they will explain everything to you. They are quite friendly and knowledgable about the "old ways."
Written 3 September 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jaakko_Karhu
Brno, Czech Republic19 contributions
Aug 2019 • Friends
I visited this saun while my stay in Tallinn. First time it was a random attempt, but I realised, that's pretty cool place (actually very hot inside). This saun provides interesting retro experience, I can imaging going there every week. Women and men are separated, so everybody can afford be naked there. They offer also some refreshments and various kinds of sauna viht. Mens saun is quite big and very hot and humid inside, interiors are quite old and retro, but clean, what makes interesting atmosphere. There's also a steam saun there. I've been there twice. If you want to try real estonian saun, go there :) If you're looking for spa kind of saun with aromatherapy and relaxing in quiet, don't go there.
Written 4 August 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Fleetwoodmac9
231 contributions
Jun 2019
I visited Kalma Saun back in June 2019. It was founded in 1928 and is one of the oldest public saun in Estonia, if not Scandinavian Europe. It is separated into sex, so men stay with men and women stay with women. When you enter, you pay a small admission fee. This gets you into the steam room and sauna and gives you a locker. There are also showers and a concession stand that sells snacks, sodas, beer, and sauna goods. You can walk up to it in the buff and drink a beer while sitting in the locker room You can get viht, which are birch branches which you use to swat yourself. These are to improve circulation. You can also rent a towel. The place is fairly simple, but it is definitely worth the experience, especially for someone looking for something culturally significant to do. It's easy to get to as well; the main train station/tram station at Balti Jaam is close by, as are a number of bus lines.
Written 23 July 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

CzechItalian
Canada13 contributions
May 2019 • Solo
So, I was in Tallinn for a few days and spent some time debating whether I wanted to try Kalma out after reading the reviews here. I went this afternoon and had a fine experience, but it would have been more relaxing from the start had I known the things I'm going to list here. I should add that I'm a woman: no knowledge of the men's side here, sorry.

1. Whisks: I love sauna-ing, and I'd never tried it with a whisk before, which is why I decided on Kalma after a couple of rather sterile no-whisk saunas at the hotel where I was staying. You can buy whisks at Kalma's front desk. There was a language barrier, though, and I thought I had paid for a whisk that I'd then pick up upstairs at the sauna. Not so. If you buy a whisk at the front desk, they will hand it to you right there and you will take it to the sauna with you. Eventually, after much confusion, I gave 2.80 euros to the sauna attendant and she went down and got a whisk for me.

2. More on whisks: the whisk I ended up with was a traditional birch whisk. Very nice, but the woman next to me the first time I went in the sauna had an oak whisk, and it smelled even better. The third time I went in, a couple of women were at it with some kind of fabulous custom fresh whisk that smelt of lemon verbena. Basically, I had whisk envy. If you go to the central market, there's at least one guy selling whisks: eucalyptus, oak, and who knows what else. I wish I'd bought one. You are more than welcome to bring your own whisk--you don't have to buy it at Kalma.

3. Even more on whisks: once you have your whisk (made of dry leaves), you need to soak it in hot water for 10 minutes before you can use it. So here's what you do, as I found out. Take your all clothes off in the locker room. In your towel and flip-flops, go into the next room, which is the shower room, and find a plastic tub. If the tub is upside down, it means it's free for you to use. If it's right-side up, it means someone's using it. Using the taps (which are hot only) in the middle of the benches, fill the tub with hot water. Put the whisk in it. Then do something else for 10 minutes. I went back to the locker room and read a book; if you want to sit on a bench and soap yourself for ten minutes, giving your hair a leisurely wash and rinsing from another plastic tub filled at the tap, go for it. There were a lot of people doing that. The showers are of the kind where you press a button and get 20 seconds worth of water, so don't try for a proper wash under the shower.

4. The sauna itself: when my whisk was finally ready, I betook myself to the final door, which opened onto a surprisingly small sauna with surprisingly wonderful, not over-powering, steamy heat. The sterile sauna at my hotel was MUCH hotter and much drier and actually rather unpleasant. This was lovely, and smelled great (especially when the people with the fragrant whisks were in there!). The women with the lemon-scented whisk really went to town with the steam, pouring water on the rocks with abandon, but it still felt great. I was a bit self-conscious about starting to whisk myself (what if I was doing it wrong?), but I watched the pros and then thwacked away--legs first, then arms, shoulders, stomach, back, everything you can reach. It smelt good, it felt good.
4. The cool-down: I'm used to staying in the sauna for about 15 minutes, then doing a 10-second freezing cold plunge or shower, and then taking a 15 minute rest. This system doesn't work here, and it's the only thing I didn't really like about Kalma. I had to re-jig my system. I noticed that people were only staying in the sauna for 5-7 minutes at a time, and I eventually ended up doing that as well, because there is no water that is cold enough to properly give you that jump-start cold shock. The showers run hot to cool-ish; the plunge pool is just sort of cool, not cold. No matter how long I stayed in it, I never quite got rid of that slightly weak, slightly over-heated feeling that comes from not doing a proper cold plunge after a sauna. By the way, it becomes perfectly obvious why you should shower before entering the cold pool. You come out of the sauna covered in bits of leaf from your whisk, which they don't want in the pool. That's all.

5. Relaxation: there are a few places to sit in the locker room, and one little bench where someone else managed to lie down on her back with her legs hanging off. So there's not much lounging to be done, but I managed to relax well enough on one of the seats. I noticed some people were just cycling between the sauna and the "cold" pool without a rest period. I suppose that might work, though it's not what I'm used to. Note, too, that while you're welcome to drink or eat what you like in the locker room, you can't buy anything in there: I would have liked some water, but found out after I was already naked that water (and beer, snacks, etc.) could only be bought down in the lobby where you pay your entrance fee. Oh well. I filled my water bottle repeatedly at the sink in the toilet room off the locker room, and got by with that, feeling very thrifty. Next time, I'd go prepared.

6. Hygiene and the like: a few of the reviews here ("dirty and smelly") had me wondering, so this is worth a few words. Kalma is clean. The sauna itself smelled fantastic; the shower room and the locker room were odourless. So was the little toilet room. Nothing looked, felt, or smelt gross or grubby. The place is shabby and old-fashioned to the point of existing in a time-warp, but dirty and smelly it is not.

So, I hope that helps the next would-be Kalma-tourist to make up her mind. I don't know anything about the matter of men and women switching between saunas (i.e., the women getting a go at the wood-burning sauna) depending on the day of the week, as I read in one review. I was in the upstairs women's sauna, with a "women" sign on the door, and saw nothing posted (then again, there was no English to be seen and very little to be heard) about different schedules. But even the women's sauna was great, other than the not-so-cold water. And bring a really nice-smelling whisk!
Written 30 May 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Kalma Saun | Tallinn | UPDATED February 2023 Top Tips Before You Go (with Photos) - Tripadvisor

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