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New Sauna Global Map of 84 countries reveal what to wear as spa lovers ease out in a Spa 

Welcome to the great ‘To Towel, or Not to Towel’ debate for the travel-savvy spa enthusiast! Ever faced the mortifying moment when you’re just too underdressed, or worse, overdressed for a sauna?

 Sauna Relaxation
Sauna Relaxation

If so, the crack team of spa experts at SpaSeekers have embarked on an international rescue mission to save you from your etiquette slip-ups when you are soaking in the almost heaven sauna.

Armed with nothing more than curiosity, sheer determination and, of course, an abundance of towels, the researchers set out to unravel the mystery surrounding sauna decorum in 84 different countries. Think of it as a global treasure map, but instead of X marking the spot, we have three different colours indicating whether to don a swimsuit, a towel or well… nothing at all!

 Wellness in a Hot Spa
Wellness in a Hot Spa

Let’s just say, some findings raised more than just a few eyebrows. For instance, our British, Canadian, Spanish, and Kiwi friends prefer to maintain a certain decorum by encouraging the ‘towel-wrap’. That’s right, 24 countries encourage the towel before a steamy session.

Relaxing in a sauna
Relaxing in a sauna

Now, if you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, the spa experts have uncovered 23 nations where you can ditch the bathing suits and feel the freedom! Places like Belgium, Germany, and Japan, where wearing swimwear might actually be considered, dare we say, uncouth! But don’t toss that towel just yet. In many of these places, you might need it to sit on for hygiene reasons.

So, whether you’re a modest towel-clad sauna-goer or a daring skinny-dipper, the SpaSeekers guide has got you covered – or not, as the case may be!

Spa experts have created a global guide to where in the world you can relax in a sauna naked, without getting into trouble.

Sauna etiquette in North & Central America
Sauna Etiquette in North & Central America

The global map reveals sauna etiquette for 84 countries around the world so that spa lovers everywhere know exactly when to bring a towel – or throw on a swimsuit – before entering a sauna.  

To help spa-goers to avoid embarrassment, researchers at SpaSeekers conducted manual research to find out the sauna etiquette in some of the world’s most visited countries, and presented the spa rules of each, onto a worldwide map that categorises each of the countries into three colours.  

Sauna etiquette in Africa
Spa Etiquette in Africa

Countries Where You Should Wear A Swimsuit In The Sauna 

In pink on the map are the 41 countries where you should wear a swimsuit in the sauna, with countries abiding by these rules including Australia, Brazil, France, Greece and the Maldives.  

If opting to wear a bathing suit, spa-goers should ensure that the swimsuit is 100% clean before entering, in order to avoid spreading bacteria. Furthermore, sauna-goers should avoid wearing bathing costumes that have dangling decorative pieces – this is because these can overheat and burn the skin if they were to make contact.  

Sauna etiquette in Asia
Spa Etiquette in Asia

Similarly, swimsuits made of PVC materials are at risk of melting, or letting off chemicals when they overheat – and at the very least will prevent the skin from breathing properly. With this in mind, swimsuit wearers should ensure the costume they choose is made of quality material and is a loose fit to reap the benefits of a spa as much as possible.  

Countries Where You Should Wear A Towel In The Sauna 

Presented in purple are the 24 countries where you should wear a towel in the spa, and this etiquette is encouraged in countries including the United Kingdom, Canada, Spain and New Zealand, to name a few.  

Sauna etiquette in Europe
Spa Etiquette in Europe

As with wearing swimsuits, spa-goers should ensure any towels brought from home are completely clean before entering the sauna – or alternatively, spa guests are often given complimentary towels to borrow upon arrival. In some countries, it maybe be acceptable to remove the towel and just sit on it once you’re inside, however, this is something that would need to be checked with the spa itself.   

Countries Where You Can Go Nude In The Sauna 

In light pink on the map are the 23 countries in which you can enter a sauna fully naked. Countries that encourage a nude experience include Belgium, Germany and Japan – with it even being considered rude to wear swimwear in Germany, where spa areas are considered designated ‘non-textile areas’ for hygiene reasons. Towels are sometimes required, purely to sit on, so that is worth getting clarity from the specific spa itself.  

Sauna etiquette in Oceania
Spa Etiquette in Oceania

While the thought of sitting naked in a hot room with strangers might feel foreign to some, the experience is completely normal practice for many spa-loving countries around the world, as revealed by’s research, where spa-goers can relax in the pool, and other spa experiences completely starkers.  

In some countries (highlighted in blue on the world map) including Singapore, Mauritius and Argentina, there was not enough information to make a categorisation on sauna etiquette rules. Travellers and spa-goers are advised to conduct their own individual research for these countries before taking off their swimsuits pre-spa. 

Sauna etiquette in South America
Spa Etiquette in South America

Jason Goldberg, Director at comments: “A holiday is the perfect time to kick back, relax and treat yourself to some time in a spa”

He added, “Whether booking in for a day whilst you’re on your holidays, or your hotel has a sauna or spa facilities onsite, many people will be spending time in a spa over the summer, escaping from the stresses of everyday life in the heat of a sauna. However, with sauna etiquette and rules varying from country to country (and sometimes even from spa to spa), it’s important to know what common practice is when it comes to getting your kit off.  

You don’t want to make anyone feel uncomfortable, or worse, get yourself kicked out of a spa for indecent exposure – so always be sure to research sauna etiquette ahead of visiting a spa in a new country. If you’re unsure of the rules, check in with staff at the spa you’re visiting, as they’ll be able to help clarify the guidelines so that you can avoid any embarrassment.”  

Sauna etiquette around the world
Spa etiquette around the world

A Guide

  • A new map reveals sauna etiquette rules for countries around the world  
  • The research shows that in 23 countries, including Germany and Japan, you can enter a sauna naked 
  • In 24 countries, including the UK, you should wear a towel, and in 41 countries spa-goers should wear swimwear in the sauna 

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