Tuesday. 25.06.2024

Helsinki Swimming Stadium opens up again at Mother's Day

This architectural pearl was designed in the Functionalist style for the 1940 Olympic games that were canceled due to the Second World War. Later, when Helsinki hosted the 1952 Summer Olympics, water sports competitions were held there

The four-month-long swimming season starts this weekend. Photo: Matti Tirri/City of Helsinki.

Are you one of those people who wonder where to go when you enjoy architecture, especially functionalism, like swimming and taking a nap in a grassy hill among old pine trees?

At least five thousand people in Helsinki do get their fix for these attributes daily in Swimming Stadium (Uimastadion or Stadikka, in Finnish). The four-month-long outdoor swimming season starts again at the upcoming Sunday 12.5.2019.

Architectural pearl

Swimming Stadium has been listed as a significant example of modern architecture in Finland. It was designed by architect Jorma Järvi in the Functionalist style prevalent during the 1930s. It was built for the 1940 Olympic Games which were canceled due to the Second World War.

Later, when Helsinki hosted the 1952 Summer Olympics, water sports competitions were held there. Almost 90 years later everything still looks the same and it feels very much like a time trip to take a dip to the 50-meter long Olympic Pool.


A child enjoying a swim. Photo: Jeff Dunham

An oasis inside the city

There is more than 'just' four excellent pools in the area. One can have fun in water slides, get ripped in outdoor gym, have a basketball match with your homies, play some beach volleyball up in the hill, challenge strangers for a table tennis game, drink excellent ice coffee at the café or just lie in the grass and watch the goshawk family nesting up in the tree above you.

It's too easy to fall asleep and have a happy nap there in the shadow of those giant pine trees.

Public sauna culture as real as it gets

Swimming Stadium gathers all kinds of people to enjoy the sun, pools and relaxed atmosphere up in the hill in the middle of the city. But there is also a big regular saunaposse there. There are two saunas, a hot one for some serious sauna majors and a mild one for everyone else.

If you want to see some old 'stadi geezers' grilling each other's backs and laughing for it, you should be there when the heat is on in the hot sauna. A very authentic Finland experience right there. It's not an everyday event, but it happens when the word is out about a decent steam beating match.


A group of persons in a Finnish sauna. Photo: Eetu Ahanen/City of Helsinki.

Reasonable ticket prices

Since Swimming Stadium is run by the city of Helsinki, entry fees are very reasonably priced, the season passes are a very good deal for those who like to swim at least every other day. There are also discount groups for students, pensioners, kids, teens and unemployed.

There aren't many places in Finland where you can take your family of four and spend a super fun day with decent food, swimming pools and water slides for under hundred euros in total.

Final rating: 

Thumbs up:

  • Excellent quality for the price.
  • Everything works so well.
  • Friendly staff.
  • Epic in so many levels.
  • No smoking, drinking or Instagramming.

Thumbs down:

  • Could get crowded on sunny weekends.
  • The hot sauna can get very hot when there is an unofficial löylychallenge going on.

Our total score: 94

Helsinki Swimming Stadium opens up again at Mother's Day