SALT Sauna Oslo: A Complete Guide to one of Oslo’s Top Saunas
In a recent blog post and IGTV video, I shared with you my experience on a boat sauna in Norway. My visit to SALT was equally amazing, yet totally different. SALT is a temporary art project made of pyramidal based on traditional Norwegian fish racks for drying fish. They’ve also got a café, space for outdoor art and cinema, a bazaar, and last but not least, the saunas!
Here, they have several different types of saunas, two of which can be rented for private use, but the big one is the real game changer: as you soak in the therapeutic steam, you can also watch a movie or a lecture or even dance to a DJ.
We opted for the Himmelsauna, a private barrel sauna on a terrace with a fireplace and benches, overlooking the Oslo Fjord. You can actually see the twinkling city lights from inside the sauna! Cool off with an outdoor shower, a dip in the cold water barrel tubs, or a jump into the Norwegian fjord. Either way, a trip to SALT is an #Oslo experience not to be missed.
READ ON for the full experience at SALT Sauna Oslo! Pin this for your next trip to Norway!
Visiting SALT Sauna Oslo: The Nitty Gritty
As you may have guessed, SALT is much more than just a sauna. It’s an entire experience. The owners describe it as “a nomadic and epic initiative of art, food, music and architecture, currently in the heart of Oslo.” And that’s indeed what it is.
First off, you’ve got SALT, the temporary art project made of pyramidal constructions called “hesjer.” These are based on traditional coastal construction methods used by Norwegian fishermen who set up fishracks on pyramids to dry fish in the wind. SALT’s Arctic Pyramid is lit up at night like an open tunnel over the seaside promenade, and serves as the entrance to the complex. The other pyramids house SALT’s other offerings.
Next up is the hygge-filled Café Naustet, partly built of driftwood found along the seashore, and furnished with details reminiscent of your grandmother’s cozy living room. At Naustet you can get real Norwegian waffles with brown cheese (a traditional Norwegian cheese), baked goods, coffee and drinks. It also serves as the check-in for the sauna.
SALT also has several other pyramidal constructions, including the Langhuset, which hosts concerts, events and art exhibitions, and Lillehjella, which hosts outdoor movies, art exhibitions and other events. There’s even a Bazaar, a bedouin inspired tent with chill space in cozy booths.
Last but certainly not least, is the crowning glory of the complex, and what I came for, the saunas! SALT houses four different saunas, including a private barrel sauna and ARDNA, one of the world’s largest saunas with room for up to 100 people! To cool down, you can choose between a dip in a coldwater barrel tub or simply jumping into the fjord.
Himmelsauna: A Private Barrel Sauna in the Sky
We chose to try out the Himmelsauna (the sky sauna), a private sauna in a wooden barrel, atop a raised platform with a stunning view of the Oslo fjord. Each of the two Himmelsaunas, is available only for private bookings, and holds up to 8 people. Since it was just Mr. Lighttravelsfaster and I, we had plenty of space. It was amazing to have this adorable little barrel all to ourselves.
The two saunas share a terrace with benches and outdoor fireplaces to relax at when you need a break from the sauna. It’s 70-90°C inside each barrel, so only the most experienced sauna-goer can last long before needing to cool down. When relaxing by the fireplace isn’t cold enough for you, descend from the terrace and take a dip in the cold water barrels outside the ARDNA sauna or jump into the fjord. It was freezing outside when we visited SALT in late November, so we opted to simply sit by the fire (although, we only lasted a minute or two before needing to go back inside).
The two Himmelsaunas can be booked individually or together. As a reminder, if you’ve booked only one of the barrel saunas, another group may book the other one at the same time as you (and you’ll be sharing the terrace with benches and fireplace).
The cost to rent is one barrel for 1992NOK (2 hours, up to 8 people) or both barrels for 3984NOK (2 hours, up to 8 people).
NAUSET: A Traditional Private Sauna
Another option for a private sauna is the Nauset sauna, located in the back of the Café Naustet. The Nauset sauna can hold up to 8 people and can be booked for 2-hour sessions. The temperature inside the sauna is between 75-90°C and you can cool off in the same manner as the Himmellsauna, via the cold water barrels behind ARDNA or with a jump into the fjord.
During the session you’ll have access to a small changing room and a shower available in Naustet. The main difference between the Nauset and Himmelsaunas is that the latter is inside a barrel on a terrace overlooking the Oslo fjord. You have views from both inside the barrel and when relaxing at the fireplace on the terrace.
Nauset is a traditional sauna without windows or views. Nonetheless, it’s still a great option when you simply want a hygge-filled sauna in which to take a good schvitz. The cost to book the Nauset sauna is 830NOK for up to 4 people in 2 hours and 200NOK extra per person (max 4 extra).
ADRNA: A Communal Sauna filled with Music and Dance
Last not but not least is the communal sauna, or ARDNA, which consists of the Árdna, Skroget and Barrel saunas. Árdna, SALT’s largest sauna has a capacity of 100 people and holds a comfortable temperature of 60–80°C (140–176 Fahrenheit). While Árdna is one of the world’s biggest saunas, that’s not all it is…it also hosts an entertainment program consisting of musical performances, readings, DJ sessions, and more in what they call Sauna Sessions.
On Fridays and Saturdays DJs play in the bar in Árdna, and the dancefloor is ready for guests to sweat a little more. On Sundays they take it down a notch and play ambient tunes with a chill vibe for total relaxation. Can you imagine actually dancing inside a sauna? Or listening to live music while getting your sweat on?! For me, that’s reason alone to go back to SALT. Árdna also boasts large glass windows enabling you to look out the city of Oslo as you sweat.
Entrance to ARDNA also provides access to the Skroget and Barrel saunas. Skroget has a pleasant temperature of around 70-80°C. The Barrel sauna, which has been built inside a 100-year-old, 7.000-litre aquavit barrel can get up to 80–90 degrees Celsius (176–194 Fahrenheit),
Cool off in the two cold water barrel tubs outside ARDNA, in the outdoor showers or via a jump into the fjord.
The cost for the communal sauna at ARDNA is 195NOK per person (or 100NOK for SALT members), and 150NOK for students. Children 7 to 14 years are 50% off and children under 7 are free.
What to know when visiting SALT Sauna Oslo.
To visit SALT saunas, you’ll need to bring your own towel or rent one at the bar for 50NOK. You may also want to bring a lock for the locker room, although you can buy one for 50NOK. Since we used the private Himmelsauna, we simply kept our stuff on the terrace. Bathing suits are required and you should also bring flip-flops to walk around in. There are two changing rooms and two outdoor showers. Unlike KOK Oslo, the boat sauna I reviewed here, BYOB is not allowed at SALT. However, there is a fully licensed bar at Cafe Naustet.
Book your sauna ticket online at https://www.salted.no/ or take a chance on drop-in. Check-in is at Café Naustet or the reception (depending on the day of the week). The saunas are open every weekend, except during the summer. SALT is located at Langkaia, close to the Oslo Opera House.
What’s the verdict? Kok Oslo Sauna Boats vs. SALT Sauna Oslo
So which did I prefer, the Boat Sauna at Kok Oslo, or the private barrel Himmelsauna at SALT? Well, the answer is…both! The experiences are entirely different. Being on a boat sauna is extremely unique and unlike any other sauna I’ve ever tried. At the same time, the Norwegian art and culture at SALT is not to be missed. I mean, who else but Norwegians would think to include music and dance inside a sauna? Plus, it’s pretty cool to be inside an actual barrel sweating it out and the whole complex has a unique industrial, contemporary art kind of feel. Next time I’m in Oslo, I’ll definitely return to both of these!
Check out the video below for a recap of my sauna experience at SALT Sauna Oslo. You can unmute the video with the volume controls!
You can also see more from my SALT Sauna Oslo experience on my Instagram @lighttravelsfaster by clicking the photos below! Don’t forget to follow along for more tips and tricks from luxurious and adventurous destinations from around the world!
Happy sweating everyone!
Happy sweating everyone! If you decide to go, make sure to let me know! I love hearing that others enjoy something as much as me! Stay tuned for more amazing experiences you can have when you visit Oslo, Norway!
Disclosure: Our experience at SALT was sponsored. However, all opinions are my own. Please check out our disclosure policy for more details. Thank you for your support!~Eileen Rhein from @lighttravelsfaster