The best pools, rivers and lakes for swimming in Switzerland

Dive into some of the amazing rivers, lake “beaches” and outdoor swimming pools in Switzerland.
Lausanne swimming pool
©LausanneTourisme/www.diapo.ch
By Time Out contributors |
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Summer is truly underway in Switzerland when people start to take to the rivers, lake “beaches” and badis (public bathing areas at the lake) in their droves. So whether you're looking to swim yourself fit or simply take a refreshing dip, nothing beats a swim in the open air. Luckily, Switzerland has loads of options for front-crawlers and pool-posers alike, many of which are located in the middle of the city, making it easy to beat the heat in minutes. 

 

Best places to swim in Zurich

Things to do

Seebad Enge

icon-location-pin Enge

On-site swim coaches, yoga classes, ving-tsun, SUP and relaxation techniques plus a beautician and a sauna which is open all year round - you get it all at Badi Enge.

Flussbad Oberer Letten Outdoor Swimming Zurich
© Zuerich Tourismus
Things to do

Flussbad Oberer Letten

icon-location-pin Industriequartier

Whether you lounge around on the wooden panels of the right bank, play a game of beach volley, enjoy a glass of Spritz from the container bar, or join the sun-hungry at the concrete structure of Pier West on the left bank - do ensure your body is in shape and your tattoos are all polished up. 

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Things to do, Ice skating

Dolder sports

icon-location-pin Fluntern

During the summer season, the public pool and mini golf are a popular attraction for families. 

Sport and fitness

Strandbad Mythenquai

icon-location-pin Enge

Mythenquai badi is a popular summer spot. Spend a day diving into the sparkling, clear waters of the Zurichsee, or sun yourself on the lawns here.

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Things to do, Games and hobbies

Freibad Allenmoos

icon-location-pin Oerlikon

A badi season favourite, at Allenmoos you'll find three separate pools surrounded by grass-covered open space that's perfect for sunbathing and summer picnics.

Things to do, Festivals

Horn Richterswil

icon-location-pin Richterswil-Samstagern

The Richterswil Horn is a popular local park, no doubt due to its stunning location on the shores of Lake Zurich. 

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Sport and fitness

Seebad Utoquai

icon-location-pin Seefeld

First opened in 1890, the charming wooden structure is now one of the trendiest summer pools in town. With men’s and women’s pools and gender-separated sun decks, superb lake access and a range of sauna and massage treatments on offer, this is the place to be during summer in Zurich. 

Katzensee
© www.zuerich.com
Things to do

Katzensee

icon-location-pin Affoltern

Take the family on a walk around the lake - it won't take much more than an hour. During the warmer months, bring your swimsuits and have a dip at the Badi. 

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Rimini
Rimini
Bars and pubs

Rimini

icon-location-pin Kreis 1

When it comes to a pool-party venue, Rimini is the river set swimming area and bar that excels in a chilled-backed atmosphere. 

Frauenbadi
© Martin Rütschi
Things to do, Event spaces

Frauenbadi

icon-location-pin City

During the day it’s women only in this Badi right next to Zurich’s town hall, but in the evening the location turns into the 'Barfussbar' with weekly concerts and cultural events.

Best places to swim in Geneva

Things to do

Genève-Plage

Genève-Plage is a water sport-lovers paradise, with an Olympic sized pool, paddling pool and 9-metre waterslide as well as lake swimming access and a 10-metre diving board into Lake Geneva (Lac Leman).

Things to do

Bains des Pâquis

icon-location-pin Pâquis

Built in the 1930s, the Bains des Pâquis is a public swimming baths right on Lake Geneva and a popular social meeting place for Genevois of all ages, shapes and wallet-sizes. 

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Things to do

Plage d’Hermance

The pretty medieval town of Hermance is a wonderful place to walk around and its grassy lakefront strip is a popular spot on warm weekends, perfect for a picnic in the heart of a picture postcard setting. 

Best places to swim in Lausanne

Things to do

Bellerive Plage

icon-location-pin Ouchy

The place to hang out in summer, this 1930s outdoor leisure centre is eternally popular when the sun comes out. 

Things to do

Pully-Plage

icon-location-pin Lausanne

There may be a great big lake on our doorstep, but sometimes the convenience and facilities of swimming in an outdoor pool appeal instead – it’s all the fun with none of the hassle that comes with al fresco bathing.

Best places to swim in Bern

Things to do

Aare outdoor baths

icon-location-pin Bern

The outdoor baths at Marzili, in the shadow of the grand parliament building, are among the oldest in the country, and free to use. 

Sport and fitness

Freibad Ka-We-De

icon-location-pin Bern

With a 30m swimming pool that becomes an ice rink in winter, a wave pool, 10m waterslide and kids pool, this is a fantastic family destination in Bern. 

Best places to swim in Basel

Sport and fitness

Rheinbad St Johann

icon-location-pin St. Johann

Built in 1886, the St Johann bathing house or "Rhybadhysli Santi Hans" as it's also known, is the ideal spot to dip your toes in Basel's fast-flowing river. The badi has shallow areas for non-swimmers as well as a river pool. Located in the centre of town, it has historically been a popular meeting place for Baselers young and old, particularly when the sun is shining. Recently renovated, but retaining its 19th century “wooden boat” feel, Santi Hans has been named one of the most beautiful pools in Switzerland.   

Best places to swim in Lucerne

Sport and fitness, Yoga and Pilates

Seebad Luzern

icon-location-pin Lucerne

Swim in the crystal clear waters of one of the world's most beautiful lakes. The Seebad Luzern offers a laid back vibe with its simple wooden construction of two courtyards surrounding open air pools. There's also a cafe serving up seasonal salads, freshly grilled meats, paninis and a range of hot and cold drinks, with cocktails once the sun goes down. Plus, you can do dance and yoga classes here.  

Best places to swim in Ticino

Health and beauty, Spas

Splash & Spa Tamaro

icon-location-pin Monteceneri

Get set for a tidal wave of fun and, er, relaxation! Splash & Spa Tamaro has a huge amount of water-based activities on offer. 

Things to do

Lido di Lugano

This large, central Lugano swimming centre has an Olympic-size swimming pool, a diving pool and children's water play area. 

Best places across Switzerland

Lac de Joux
© Roland Gerth
Things to do

Lac de Joux • Jura

icon-location-pin Jura

The huge Lac de Joux in the Jura valley of the same name is a draw for outdoor enthusiasts at any time of year. In summer it’s a magnet for swimmers, sailors and windsurfers making the most of the warm water.

Health and beauty, Spas

Thermalbad Brigerbad • Valais

icon-location-pin Brig

Elevating this Valais spa above some of its neighbours is the immense 182m-long water slide, a giddy prospect for kids – and big kids.

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Centre Thermal Yverdon-les-Bains, Yverdon spa, Time Out Switzerland
©Centre Thermal Yverdon-les-Bains
Health and beauty, Spas

Centre Thermal • Yverdon-les-Bains

icon-location-pin Yverdon

There are more scenic thermal baths in Switzerland, but what this one lacks in bucolic views it makes up for in convenience and a reasonably entry price. 

Discover more great things to do in Switzerland

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