Built for the 1924 Olympics, this complex features a retractable Plexiglas roof, a 50m pool (often split into two 25m pools) and one for kids.
Don’t be fooled by its slightly Stalinist appearance: what the centre lacks in charm it makes up for in spades with its space and light, even if the huge glass ceiling is a little faded with age. In the summer months, and in spite of the huge crowds, the 50m pool is crammed with swimmers, bathers and sun-tanners alike. It is also one of the places where all styles of swimmers seem to be able to coexist happily – whether they are doing laps, aqua aerobics or doggy paddle. There’s even a bar on the first floor during summer.