Now that the summer heat has hit in Madrid, the only thing you want to do is splash around in a cold body of water. Madrid may not be blessed with the sea close by but fortunately there are some great outdoor pools to dive into. There are numerous public swimming pools, with accompanying grassy areas for lounging, that are open for the summer season and will only charge you 4.50 euros to get in. Since they’re cheap and open to all, be prepared for crowds and a fight for sun loungers but if you time your visits wisely (mornings or during the week) you’ll find a good spot (opening times are generally 11am to 9pm). Alternatively, you can treat yourself and take a more indulgent dip in one of the city’s chic rooftop hotel pools, some of which are open to non-guests at a fee. Here are our top picks for outdoor swimming pools in Madrid.
Photo credits: JasonParis, Flickr
Known to the locals as the Piscina de Lago, this popular sports complex situated in the pretty Casa de Campo Park offers a giant 50-meter pool (164-foot), a 33-meter pool (108-foot) and a children’s pool. There’s also a 25-meter indoor pool and a workout room. You can happily spend the whole day hanging out here by the pool with a group of friends but get there early to secure a good place on the grass.
Paseo Puerta del Ángel, 7
This is another popular summertime hangout for locals and tourists looking to cool off. There are two 50-meter (164-foot) swimming pools and a kid’s pool and plenty of shady area for lazing and reading a book. Located right in the heart of the city, you’re surrounded by a modern backdrop of skyscrapers, including Madrid’s Cuatro Torres. And if you’re feeling energetic, you can check out the other sporting activities going on there that include soccer, handball, basketball, skating, beach volleyball, tennis and water polo.
Av. de Monforte de Lemos, 13
Situated in the historic Lavapiés barrio, this outdoor swimming pool complex has two smaller pools (a 25-meter and a 20-meter) but plenty of leafy green outdoor space for summer picnics and tanning time.
Calle de Arganda, 25
This is one of the biggest sports parks in Madrid and boasts one of the city’s largest swimming pools that previously held the title as the largest outdoor pool in Europe at 130 meters long and seven times larger than an Olympic pool. Since it’s a bit of a trek from the center of the city (around 50 minutes by metro and bus) we’d suggest going for the day. But with three enormous interconnected pools to jump around in as well as a vast grassy area, a café, and areas to play golf, tennis and archery, there’s plenty to keep you amused for a full day.
Carretera de la Coruña
Discretely hidden in the Chueca district is this stylish little pool and oasis perched atop of the chic Room Mate Oscar boutique hotel. Designed by well-known interior designer, Tomas Alia, it’s the perfect place to cool down in luxuriant surroundings. Plush Balinese beds, white loungers and unobstructed 360-degree views of the city await you. Full day entry to the hotel rooftop pool costs 40 euros Monday to Thursday and 60 euros on the weekends (there’s also the option of paying for a half-day on the weekends, which is 35 euros). All packages include a sunbed, towel, locker and welcome glass of bubbly. The pool is open from 10.30am to 7pm but you can stay on in their terrace bar and get merry until 2am from their menu of over 30 cocktails. You must reserve your spot ahead of time and you can book via the website.
Plaza de Pedro Zerolo, 12
This is no ordinary urban gym. Head up to the roof and you’ll be surprised to find a lush garden, terrace bar and pool that’s open to all and free (yes, free). Ideally situated in Malasaña, just north of Gran Vía, you can stop there for a dip and an Aperol Spritz after a hectic afternoon of shopping. It’s a hot spot for people watching in the summer and plays host to a program of cool events and parties. It’s open every day from midday to midnight.
Calle de la Luna, 2
Off all the rooftop hotels in the city open to the public, this is probably the largest and looks out from its pride place on the 10th floor of the Hotel Emperador over the city’s impressive skyline, in particular the Gran Vía and Royal Palace. The neat terrace beach bar and pool offers a snack bar, a restaurant (with various menu packages), roof garden and sunning area complete with hammocks for an afternoon nap. Non-hotel guests pay 46 euros for a full day from Monday to Thursday (30 euros after 7pm) and 59 euros from Friday to Sunday and on holidays. The pool is usually open daily from 10am to 9pm except when there’s a special event.
Calle Gran Vía, 53
Discovered any other cool outdoor pools in Madrid? Share your tips with us in the comments section below.