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#TravelPorn: 7 Cities You Wouldn’t Think of First for Swimming (London, Berlin, NYC + 4 More)


People take their summer vacations and there are the usual destinations for swimming; Rio, Miami, Honolulu, etc. But a summer city break might include one you live in or would never think of for cooling off. These 7 cities offer hots spots for lowering the heat with the locals.

McCarren Park pool was built in 1936 and recently restored by Rogers Marvel Architects


Manhattan, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Staten Island & Queens, the five boroughs that make up New York City have some great outdoor pools if you’re visiting or one of the 8 million trapped there during the sweltering summer months. Leave Manhattan and take the subway out to Astoria in Queens, where there’s a vast 50-meter Olympic-sized pool or Uber it over to Williamsburg to dip into THE hipsters’ hangout of choice, McCarren Park pool (which doesn’t open until June 27 this year, btw.)

Hamstead Heath swimming pond


Swimming in the Thames might be planned for some future date, but not to worry in the north of London there’s Hampstead Heath park for freshwater bathing in one three swimming ponds. The huge Tooting Bec Lido, southwest of the city, is a 91-meter pool with room for real swimmers and just those who want to get wet. South London’s Brockwell Lido has a nice cafe and central London’s, Hyde Park has a secluded swimming spot in the Serpentine Lido.

Vancouver is one of the best cities in Canada for taking to the water. (Photo, Frontier Travel)


Vancouver is obsessed with the outdoors, making it the best city in Canada for beaches. Third Beach is great as is the Stanley Park seawall where you have the added bonus of being able to bring you own barbecue. Trout Lake Beach has a dedicated swimming raft for freshwater dips, an alternative to the saltwater that surrounds the city.

Zurich has 18 official outdoor bathing spots with stunning city surroundings


Switzerland loves diving into rivers and lakes in the High Alps but Zurich has 18 official outdoor bathing spots itself, with crystal-clear water in picture postcard surroundings. Tiefenbrunnen swimming beach is on the shore of Lake Zurich and draws the crowds with diving boards and the offering of a post-swim professional massage. For segregated swimming (by sex not race) the Schanzengraben river pool is for men and dates back to 1864 and the female-only Stadthausquai pool is an art nouveau gem with beautiful views of the old town.

Berlin may be miles from the ocean but it has no shortage of freshwater beaches. (Photo, visitBerlin/ Torsten Seidel)


Berlin is a long way from the sea, but swimming is easy thanks to a string of beautiful lakes like the classic beach at Wannsee, open since 1907 with warm freshwater and a waterslide bonus. Muggelsee is in East Berlin, with a roped-off lido and the uber-hip Badeschiff floats on the River Spree in an old barge with a footbridge connecting the pool to a bar area with hammocks and ice-cold beer.

Stockholm has lots of pretty beaches and secluded coves to get your swim on. (Photo, Jeppe Wikstrom)


Daring Swedes dive straight into the water from the city’s myriad quays, but there are also lots pretty beaches for more secluded dips. Smedsuddsbadet has a sunbathing lawn and sandy shore and is popular with families. Hop on the Number 1 bus for a truly local experience and go all the way to Oxhalsbadet in Stora Essingen where there are diving platforms and steps for emerging from the cool waters.

The Molitor was once Paris’s most popular baths and now it’s one of the city’s hottest hotels. (Photo, Sofitel)


The yearly Paris Plages event transforms the banks of the Seine with sandy beaches and temporary pool for cooling off right in the middle of the bustling city. The Molitor was once one of the city’s most popular baths, but it sat derelict for 25 years until 2014, when it was reopened as one of the city’s hottest hotels. All of the 124 rooms have views of the courtyard lido.

(via CNN)

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