In the height of summer in a city, (if you’re somewhere that isn’t frequently raining like the UK…) it’s hard to put up with the heat radiating off the tarmac and the packed buses and trains. What you need is a swim - and if you’re lucky enough to be visiting - or living in - one of the cities listed below, you’re in luck.
London, UK - Hyde Park Serpentine Lido
One of the best-kept secrets in central London is the Serpentine Lido in Hyde Park, open on weekends in May and all week from the beginning of June to September. A welcome respite from the heat of the city, cool off in the river and enjoy snacks and drinks at the riverside Cafe Bar. Fun fact: the Serpentine Swimming Club is the oldest swimming club in Britain and members swim every day in the Lido and hold a famous race on Christmas day.
Amsterdam, Holland - Sloterplas
In Amsterdam, one of the best outdoor swimming locations (apart from the canals) is Sloterplas. A large lake located in Amsterdam West, it is reached by a 25 minute bike ride from the centre or by Tram 7 to the stop ‘Sloterpark’. There is a sand beach on one side of the lake, perfect for lazing away the day, and also, like Hyde Park, a restaurant located in Hotel Buiten on its terrace.
Paris, France - Plages
Different to our other two suggestions, Paris Plages is a scheme that was started in 2002 in France by the Paris Mayor’s office. Every summer, the scheme builds artificial beaches on the banks of the River Seine, which in recent years has included a floating swimming pool. This idea has proved so popular with Parisians in the humidity of Paris, that every year the initiative has grown and it now includes many different areas of Paris and has a shuttle ferry linking the two banks of the Seine.
Berlin, Germany - Badeschiff
Similar to the Plages in Paris, this swimming spot in Berlin is a floating pool on the banks of the River Spree, opened in the summer of 2004 as an art project and converted from the hull of an old ship. It is open from 8 am to midnight every day and there is an onsite bar and parties held by the pool throughout the year, with different DJs coming to play records.
Zurich, Switzerland - Tiefenbrunnen
Saving the best for last, this swimming spot on the shores of Lake Zurich is guaranteed to amaze you and your family. With breathtaking views of the alps, the lido is open from May to September, daily from 9.00am - 8.00pm. There are plenty of recreational activities to take part in on the Lake and no shortage of spots to eat and drink. Dating back nearly 150 years, the lido was rebuilt in 1954 in the style of a residential garden.