Ribersborgs Open-Air Bathhouse

Malmo, Sweden | C.1898

Photo Credit: Malini Basu

The Ribersborgs Kallbadhus (Open-Air Bathhouse) – or Kallis, as the locals call it – invites guests to experience Swedish traditions like sauna bathing and ice swimming. Situated at the end of a long pier in the Öresund strait, the Bathhouse is open year round. Once each month, the Bathhouse arranges Queer Kallis, where the facilities open specifically for the LGBTQ+ community.

Originally established by C.A. Ricther, the Bathhouse was opened in 1898 and rebuilt four years later when a storm damaged the building. Upon its rebuild, a new dive tower was added to the men’s section. In the 1930s, the building was updated to include nude bathing with partitions added between the men’s and women’s sections.

Housed within the 19th-century complex are five saunas, two sea water pools, two wood-fired hot tubs, and a sun deck. Historically, the facilities have always been separated for males and females, with one shared sauna available. During Queer Kallis, the traditional division of male and female areas is eliminated to be more inclusive of all in the LGBTQ community, including those who do not identify with the binary genders.

The atmosphere at the Bathhouse is both calming and cordial with guests of all ages and orientations enjoying sea swims and hot saunas – even during the winter. A bevy of old ladies is said to frequent the Bathhouse to enjoy its benefits. Taking a dip in the icy waters during winter is a Nordic tradition believed to boost moods and increase endorphins.

Surrounded by canals, waterways, and located near the towering Turning Torso skyscraper, the Bathhouse is a relaxing oasis situated among the modern makings of Ribersborgs beach. Now owned by the City of Malmo, the Bathhouse has been declared a historic building.

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