It is very, VERY cold in Lapland, Finland! So cold, in fact, that every resident either owns or has easy access to a hot sauna to warm up in.

In most places, a sauna is a luxury found in a shared location like a gym or a spa. Having such a luxury in the home is rare and typically something only the financial elite seek out. But in Lapland, Finland, everyone owns their own personal sauna. “Is Lapland the richest region in all the world?” you might ask. No. In the coldest areas of the world, a sauna isn’t about luxury, it’s about survival.

The Northern Lights in Lapland, Finland

Snow covers Lapland in Winter

The climate in Lapland, a region that covers a large stretch of land in Northern Europe, is friggin freezing. And when I say freezing, I mean it’s literally below zero regularly. The kind of cold that invades your bones and freezes you down to your core. It’s the perfect place to experience the Northern Lights or catch a glimpse of a wandering reindeer but if you can’t handle the cold, even with access to a sauna, this is not the place for you.

In the video below, residents of Lapland explain what it’s like to live in a culture built around saunas – from how often they visit to how they’ve learned to conduct business in a hot, steamy environment. It’s a fascinating world and probably pretty different from yours. Take a look:

“If you live in Lapland, you likely have a sauna. Pretty much everybody has a sauna in the northernmost region of Finland. People build their homes around them. And why not? It’s freaking cold up there, and saunas are warm, cozy and relaxing. We venture to Lapland to explore the hottest sauna scene in the world.”