We all felt it. Lake season in Berlin is much too short. But outside of those idyllic months when you can jump on the S-Bahn and reach a beautifully shaded swimming spot in half an hour, swimmers in Berlin can get their fix at one of the city’s stunning public indoor pools.
Do you want to take a serious, sporty swim, or just hang out in the water? Practice diving, or taking your kid to play in artificial waves? We’ve rated Berlin’s pools for attractiveness, fun and sportiness (by which we mean, whether or not you get a proper workout swim in). So which is the right pool for you?
Built in the Wilhelmine Period (between 1890 and 1918), this beautiful space features two separate pools set along colonnades and mosaics. Inspired by the design of ancient Roman baths, the 25-metre pool might not be the right choice for swimmers with great athletic ambitions. It’s much more suitable for aesthetes keen to float and gaze up at the building’s stunning interior. Look out for their Specials, like women-only swimming days, all-nude bathing on Sundays and Monday evenings and midnight swims during winter, when the pool is open from 19:00 – 01:00 on the last Friday of the month.
- Stadtbad Neukölln, Ganghoferstr. 3, Neukölln, details.
Schwimm und Sprunghalle im Europasportpark
The pool at Europasportpark has a 50-metre pool with four separate lanes (one that’s shallow enough to stand in and has its own kiddies’ slide), and the warm baby pool makes the spot a popular swimming location for families. Sadly, the impressive high diving area is reserved for competitive athletes and sport clubs only, but it makes for some excellent entertainment while you bob around in the water.
- Schwimm- und Sprunghalle im Europapark, Paul-Heyse-Str. 26, Friedrichshain, details.
Although the 25-metre pool at Schwimmhalle Ernst-Thälmann-Park can get some serious crowds in the morning, it’s a go-to spot for lane-swimming if you get your timing right. There’s a baby pool available for toddlers, but unfortunately no paddling pool for those who are still leaning to swim. If the swimming facilities at Schwimmhalle Ernst-Thälmann-Park don’t quite do it for you, try out the sauna or steam bath (which requires a €10 cash deposit to visit).
- Schwimmhalle Ernst-Thälmann-Park, Lilli-Henoch-Str. 20, Prenzlauer Berg, details.
With its impressive air-supported dome structure, swimming in Wedding’s Kombibad is a unique experience. The dome, which covers two 50-meter-long pools provides a heated cover, making the pools accessible during the colder months.
- Kombibad Seestraße, Seestr. 80, Wedding, details.
Stadtbad Mitte “James Simon”
This is one of the best. An architectural highlight from Berlin’s Weimar days, the light-filled space boasts six lanes (two of which are reserved for athletes). It’s the perfect spot for some relaxing lane-swimming, but try to avoid the busy mornings if you want a whole lane to yourself.
- Stadtbad Mitte “James Simon”, Gartenstr. 5, Mitte, details.
Stadtbad Charlottenburg (Alte Halle)
Opened in 1898, the Stadtbad Charlottenburg is Berlin’s oldest still-functioning pool. Just make sure you check the opening hours before visiting, as Stadtbad Charlottenburg has limited opening hours (with Thursdays being the only time when the pool is open to the public for the entire day). And with no lane divisions, it’s not the ideal spot for proper athletic swimming, but its stunning interior makes for a nice view while you’re floating about.
- Stadtbad Charlottenburg (Alte Halle), Krumme Str. 10, Charlottenburg, details.
The kid-friendly Kombibad at Gropiusstadt can get pretty loud, but you shouldn’t write it off entirely. With a paddling pool, diving area and kids’ slide, this often-busy spot has ample facilities for the crowds. Feeling brave? Head to the diving pool with 1m and 5m diving board.
- Kombibad Gropiusstadt, Lipschitzallee 27-33, Neukölln, details.
The pool at Finckensteinallee is a hidden gem for athletic swimmers. The 50-metre pool with its ten(!) lanes offer lots of space for sporty swimming, especially on weekends. Since there aren’t any paddling pool facilities, it’s not the most kid-friendly location – which is a plus if you’re looking for a calm weekend workout.
- Schwimmhalle Finckensteinallee, Finckensteinallee 73, Lichterfelde, details.
Stadtbad Schöneberg “Hans Rosenthal”
Without a doubt, the main attraction of this pool is its 53-metre-long slide. There are also toddler and paddling pools, a jet-stream and whirlpool, as well as saltwater pools. The 25-metre pool with three-metre high diving boards covers the basics for the more athletic swimmers.
- Stadtbad Schöneberg “Hans Rosenthal”, Hauptstr. 39, Schöneberg, details.