You don't have to stay at the nicest resorts or spend time in a millionaire’s backyard to experience a day next to a gorgeous and luxurious pool. Instead of the boring and over-chlorinated pools that you're used to, we’ve put together a list of 12 shimmering pools that span the globe amd are all open to public. What's more, you can experience them yourself for the price of a pool floaty. So say goodbye to the traditional public pool that you know, and dive in to these fun and novel pools!
12 of the Best Public Pools in the World
1. Bondi Baths - Sydney, Australia
The Bondi Baths in Sydney is an Olympic-size swimming pool, and is home to the Bondi Icebergs, a winter swimming club. The pool is fed by the water of the Tasman Sea, but the pool is often a few degrees cooler than the ocean, despite the waves crashing against and into the pool itself. The public is welcome here, and casual visitors love to stop in for a summertime dip, when the water warms up to 70 degrees and warmer. After spending some time in the clear blue water of the pool, visitors can enjoy the clubhouse, which boasts a gourmet bistro, two bars, fitness facilities, and a1,600 square-foot sundeck. Day passes cost just $6 and the pool is open year round.
2. Krapfenwaldlbad - Vienna, Austria
Even if you can’t pronounce this public pool’s name, it’s still a beautiful spot to visit in Vienna. It sits in one of Vienna’s prettiest neighborhoods, and is part of a popular park, complete with four heated pools. It is a fixture in the city’s summer scene for locals, and the amenities include a restaurant and bar, table tennis, beach volleyball courts, and a children’s playground. The pools themselves aren’t anything too extravagant, but the park offers exclusive views over the entire city of Vienna that you won’t see anywhere else. The pool is open from May to September, and admission is only about $7.
3. Kastrup Sobad - Copenhagen, Denmark
Kastrup Sobad is a circular wooden pavilion that sits in the Baltic Sea near Copenhagen. It captures the essence of Danish design, and this “sea bath” rises up at the end of a 328-foot boardwalk that connects the pool to shore and shields bathers from the costal winds. The waters only reach the low 60s at their warmest, but for die hard swimmers it’s a beautiful place to go for a nice swim. Even if you aren’t ready to brave the cool waters, the pool is a great place to relax and spend quality times with friends or to enjoy the beach views. Admission is free, and the pool is open to the public from June to September.
4. Thermae Bath Spa - Bath, England
If you’d like to bathe in the same water that Roman conquerors once did, then the Thermae Bath Spa is a must visit spot. From the naturally heated rooftop pool, visitors can take in the panoramic view of Bath that includes the towers of Bath Abbey. The New Royal Bath building also houses the Minerva bath, which offers a more futuristic swimming experience, and is complete with massage jets, a whirlpool, and a lazy river. Head to the Cross Bath to bathe in mineral-rich water that boils straight up from the earth below. After you’ve bathed to your heart’s content, head to the nearby Roman Bath’s museum to check out ruins of previous baths. The Spa is open year round, and two hour spa usage costs $40.
5. Piscine Olympique D’Antigone - Montpellier, France
This public pool is home to some of France’s elite Olympic athletes, and swimmers are greeted by Antigone and Venus upon entry. This Olympic sized lap pool and leisure pool is part of a very modern bi-level sports complex. Head downstairs for lap sessions or a water-polo match, or climb upstairs for a second lap pool, a sun terrace, retractable roof, whirlpool, and even a waterslide. The pool is open year round, and adult passes are only $7.
6. Badeschiff - Berlin, Germany
Badeschiff translates literally to “bathing ship”, and this german bathing ship floats atop the Spree River in Berlin. The 90-foot long, and seven foot deep pool was created out of a converted barge and is now open nine months a year. In the summer, the pool hosts yoga classes, concerts, and movie screenings to lure locals and travelers to hang out on the adjacent floating wood platform, at the cafe, and on the nearby man-made beach. In the winter, a clear shell protects swimmers, and two saunas are added for swimmers to enjoy. The pool is open From May to September and November to March, and admission is just $6.
7. Gellert Thermal Baths - Budapest, Hungary
The healing waters of the Gellert Thermal Baths in Budapest date back to the 15th century. It first opened with just six thermal baths, and today the expansive complex is composed of a mineral hot spring, cold baths, saunas, a steam room, a spa, and two outdoor pools (including a 130-foot long open-air wave pool). The beautiful space is full of intricate stonework and mosaic tiles, and the 98 foot long indoor pool sits under a vaulted glass ceiling. The indoor areas are open year round, and the outdoor pools open up just during the summer months. Access to all that this public space has to offer is just $20.
8. Blue Lagoon - Grindavik, Iceland
The Blue Lagoon draws more than 400,000 visitors each year, and these sky blue hot springs are full of 1.6 million gallons of 100-degree seawater. These pools sit in a surreal landscape of black lava mounds, and visitors can cover themselves in silica mud, known for its relaxing and healing properties. It was formed in the 70’s near the local geothermal plant, and a wellness center opened alongside it shortly after. The center offers a restaurant, spa, dry sauna, and steam baths. This world wide attraction is open year round, and a day pass to the wellness center and hot springs is $42. It is just over a half hour's drive away from Reykjavik.
9. Barton Springs Pool - Austin, Texas
This 1,000 foot long public pool in Austin is actually a natural spring, and a dip in these waters is known to be very rejuvenating. Spend time lounging poolside on the grassy banks, or escape to the shade under an ancient oak tree. The pool sits in the Zilker Metropolitan Park, and this 355 acre park is just south of downtown and hosts the Austin City Limits Music Festival. Park goers, aside from going for a swim, can play frisbee golf, visit the playgrounds, or go for a walk in the Zilker Botanical Garden. The pool is open from March to January, and access for adults is only $3.
10. Coral Gables Venetian Pool - Coral Gables, Florida
This Florida pool in Coral Gables is a man-made, jade green, eight-foot deep lagoon. The pool is drained every night and refilled with fresh spring water, and it is even listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It’s connected to a set of waterfalls and grottoes that visitors can marvel at and explore. There is also a poolside cafe for a cool drink and a snack while you lounge on the pool deck. The pool is open to the public year round, and admission for non-locals is $11.
11. Yrjonkatu Swimming Hall - Helsinki, Finland
This swimming hall in Budapest is the oldest public pool in Finland, and the building is full of historic and artistic significance. The main level houses the pool itself, and the water is surrounded by beautiful tiled floors, high ceilings, and arched columns. Men and women have separate designated swim days, as many visitors prefer to swim nude. The building’s second floor holds private cubicles with day beds, a sauna, and a place to grab a drink and a snack. The pool is impeccably clean, and it is a great way to experience part of Finnish culture. The pool is open year round.
12. Lava Pools - Madeira, Portugal
Naturally occurring volcanic rock in Madeira has formed a series of small, but stunningly beautiful pools along the northwestern coast of Portugal. These ‘lava pools’ are filled naturally by the ocean water, and are the main attraction in the village of Porto Moniz. Despite the rugged geography, the pools are complete with visitor friendly amenities like changing rooms, lockers, a restaurant, and lifeguards. Even better, the entrance fee costs just $3.
This article was written by Alexis Hartmann.