Ten cool spots for a summer swim

Get ready to make a splash at our pick of some of the best badis, beaches and pools around the country

Written by
Time Out editors
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Strandbad Mythenquai
  • Sport and fitness
  • Enge

Spend a day diving into the clear sparkling waters of Lake Zurich or sun yourself on the lawns here. Lake access is via a sandy beach – great for kids and those who prefer shallower water – while more adventurous types will enjoy the 1m, 3m and 5m diving platforms. The complex also has stand-up paddle-boarding, barbecues and table tennis. Plus there’s a branch of the Hiltl Restaurant on site to satisfy your post-swim appetite.

Freibad Allenmoos
  • Things to do
  • Games and hobbies
  • Oerlikon

A badi season favourite, Allenmoos has three separate pools surrounded by grass-covered open space that’s perfect for sunbathing and summer picnics. There’s a large, waist-deep play pool complete with 72m waterslide, a kids’ pool ideal for toddlers, and a lap pool for serious swimmers with a 1.3m diving board. The grounds include beach volleyball courts, a children’s playground, barbecue area and loads of changing rooms. Hot and cold food, drinks and ice creams are available in the on-site café.

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  • Attractions
  • Beaches
  • Eaux-Vives

It's not officially due to open until spring 2020, but sun worshippers can enjoy a sneak preview of Geneva's fab new La Plage Publique des Eaux-Vives development throughout this summer. Open until September 29, the 350m public beach spans four coves and, from July 13, a grassy park, giving you a fantastic new – and free – place to relax and splash about in the waters of Lake Geneva. The wash facilities, restaurant and port still await completion, but with temporary toilets, showers and drinking fountains on hand, catering service Les Vélos de la plage's eight scooters serving up food and drink, and 'angels of the beach' staff offering advice, you have everything you need to take Geneva's newest beach for a serious test drive.

Lido Ascona
  • Attractions
  • Beaches
  • Ascona

A top spot for a hard’s day relaxing, this complex on Lake Maggiore stretches over 40,000 square metres of shady parkland, with an extensive beach, lively diving platform and all many of sports activities, from beach volleyball to wakeboarding and banana boating. Three restaurant-bar areas provide plenty of options for lunch or a relaxing sundowner overlooking the waters.

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Seebad Luzern
  • Sport and fitness
  • Yoga and Pilates
  • Lucerne

Flanked on one side by the façades of Lucerne’s opulent Nationalquai and boasting the best city lake views in Switzerland on the other, Seebad Luzern itself is no plain Jane, either. A simple, twin-courtyard design clad in raw timber and nautical-striped fabrics, it’s an elegant, gently retro structure with a vast sun deck, two enclosed pools and open lake access. Un-touristy, largely kid-free and offering reasonable entry prices, Mediterranean/Asian food (the crispy fish is divine) and cocktails, it radiates relaxed, grown-up sophistication.

  • Things to do
  • pop-ups
  • Crans-Montana

Crans-Montana is not the first place you’d think of heading for the beach, but that’s exactly what the ski resort is boasting this summer. Swapping the winter snow for sand, it’s created this spot by the lake at Etang Long offering deckchairs, swimming, food and bars, plus volleyball and cable wakeboarding for more active types. Youngsters can busy themselves with the water games, playground and inflatable lake-top obstacle course.

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Rheinbad St Johann
  • Sport and fitness
  • St. Johann

Built in 1886, the St Johann bathing house or ‘Rhybadhysli Santihans’ 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, particularly when the sun is shining. Recently renovated, but retaining its nineteenth-century ‘wooden boat’ feel, Santihans has been named one of the most beautiful pools in Switzerland. 

Freibad Marzili
  • Things to do
  • Bern

With Bern’s grand parliament building providing its stately backdrop, Marzili dates back to 1782. Free to use, it adds a 50m lane pool, a kids’ pool, a diving pool and a separate women-only section to the main attraction – the turquoise waters of the River Aare. Many swimmers arrive by water, coasting the current from Eichholz beach upriver.

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Pully-Plage
  • Things to do
  • Lausanne

Lausanne may have a great big lake on its doorstep, but sometimes it’s nice to have the convenience and facilities of a modern pool along with it. After all, how much fun is changing under a towel? Thankfully, Pully-Plage has the combo down pat. A calmer experience than the more central Bellerive Plage but with similar facilities and calibre of view, this complex in the village of Pully gives you the chance to swim a few lengths in the Olympic-sized pool, while kids can splash about in the non-swimming and paddling pools. Ping-pong tables, beach-volleyball courts and plenty of grassy space for sunbathing complete the picture.

  • Attractions
  • Rivers, lakes and ponds
  • Flims-Laax-Falera

Surrounded by thick forest on three sides in the Graubünden near Flims, the beautiful turquoise waters of this wonderful wild swimming spot are known for their pleasant 17-20C temperatures. Soak up the sun on the beach, lunch at the restaurant, have a game of volleyball, explore the waters by breaststroke or pedalo or have a go at stand-up paddle-boarding, finishing up on the lake’s central wooded island for ultimate tranquillity. No wonder its Romansh name translates as ‘lake siesta’.

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