After your guide picks you up at your hotel, hear about the fascinating history of Russia’s oldest sauna – the Sandunovsky Baths (Sanduný Banya) – a cultural landmark in the city center. Built in 1808 as a social gathering place for Moscow’s aristocracy, the complex was once serviced by 400 attendants.
When you arrive at the banya, your guide will help you find the separate facilities for men and women, and teach you basic Russian bath etiquette so you’ll fit right in. Then, in a bathing suite as you travel from steam room to hot pool to cold plunge and sauna, and back again.
Be regaled with stories about the construction of Sanduný Banya’s magnificent rococo, Moorish and gothic halls, as you enjoy the pools fed by an artesian well. If you wish, try out a veink (birch leaves swept across the back) to improve circulation. Or, simply relax with a drink – beer or tea with honey -- and snack (own expense) on khachapuri (bread with cheese filling) as you take in your surroundings. Your tour ends at the bathhouse.