Zurich’s Best Badis for Swimming

Zurich’s locals are fanatical about swimming and the best way to join them is to take a plunge into one of the badis, or outdoor pools. Strandbad Mythenquai is popular, not only because it’s the only badi in Zurich with a beach, but because of its five-meter diving board. One of the most aesthetically pleasing badis is the art deco Frauenbad Stadthausquai, and the oldest in Zurich is the Männerbad Schanzengraben, a spot surrounded by an ivy-laden wall.

Bellerivestrasse 200, 8008 Zürich, Switzerland
One of Zurich’s largest badis, Strandbad Tiefenbrunnen attracts families with its stunning non-swimmer’s pool (accessed via a wooden footbridge), meandering 62-meter water slide, multi-level jumping platform, and all sorts of activities from outdoor table tennis to volleyball on its sprawling lakeside lawn.
Mythenquai 95, 8002 Zürich, Switzerland
This sprawling badi on the left side of the lake bears the distinct honor of being the only one in town with a sandy beach. Other draws include a 5-meter tall diving tower, barbecue areas, an expansive green lawn and phenomenal mountain views. While it’s a slight jaunt from the tourist attractions of the Old Town, it’s well situated for other pursuits; the Rietberg Museum and Belvoir Park are just a short stroll away.
Utoquai 50, 8008 Zürich, Switzerland
This historic wooden badi situated along the pretty tree-lined Utoquai near the Zurich Opera House has welcomed lakeside idlers since 1890, and parts of the original swimming “palace” still remain intact. There are now mixed and separate pools and sunbathing areas (with the occasional nude bather), plus floating decks and diving platforms. On any given summer day, there’s a lot of lake traffic nearby—crisscrossing sailboats and paddleboats—which is great if you want to feel part of the action, though a slight nuisance if it’s tranquil waters you’re seeking.
Badweg 10, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
This is river swimming at its most civilized. Zurich’s oldest badi, the men-only Männerbad Schanzengraben, is tucked away near the stock exchange and surrounded by the ivy-draped old city wall (you’ll miss it if you don’t look for it). Come evening, the badi transforms into the popular Rimini Bar, where both men and women mingle on floor cushions and rugs lining the pool’s edge.
Stadthausquai 12, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
Situated on the left bank of the Limmat River in the Old Town, this is the badi to go to if you want to swim with a postcard-worthy backdrop (Grossmünster Church is diagonally across). In the daytime, it’s women-only in the Art Deco bathhouse; come evening, it transforms into the beautifully lit Barfussbar, which welcomes a mixed crowd.
Lettensteg 10, 8037 Zürich, Switzerland
The hip and edgy kids of Zurich West cool off at this graffitied urban badi on the banks of the Limmat River. They’re either sunbathing on the narrow strip of lawn, dangling their legs off the wooden platform, or taking a plunge into the 400-meter long swimming channel. If you want to follow suit on the latter, take caution: currents can get strong. Tamer pursuits include petanque and beach volleyball.
Mythenquai 9, 8002 Zürich, Switzerland
The most centrally-located mixed badi boasts a prime spot on Lake Zurich, though not too much swimming actually goes on here—it’s more about sunbathing, people-watching, and the occasional dip. There’s also a sauna, massage treatments and outdoor yoga sessions, all surrounded by a beautiful arboretum and fantastic views of the Alps. Photo © Martin Rütschi/Zürich Tourism.
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