If you ever saw movies about Russia or read books and articles about Russian culture, you must be familiar with Russian traditional bathhouses (banya). It is an absolutely unique and authentic experience that should definitely attract your attention, especially if you enjoy sauna and spa resorts.
One of the main Russian lifestyle traditions is the famous Russian Banya (bathhouse). In terms of technology, materials, design, and impact on the human organism it differs from Finnish, Roman, and other bathhouses. It is important to keep in mind the climatic conditions: one of the main wintertime pastimes in ancient Russia was cutting holes in ice and swimming in cold water, or rolling around in the snow right after steaming in the bathhouse. As a matter of fact, visiting a traditional Russian bathhouse is considered healthy, as many specialists believe that contrast in temperatures is good for your immune system. This contrast is only possible in winter, but going to banya in early spring or autumn is still an enjoyable experience.
We can say with certainty that the Russian bathhouse is today more of a symbolic artefact, but nonetheless in Moscow and Saint Petersburg you can still find traditional bathhouses built before the 1917 revolution that are still in operation today.