Parts of the Elbe river and many lakes before the city’s doorstep are perfectly fine for a nice refreshing swim. In the central parts of the city, things are only slightly more complicated. Sure, bath translates to Bad in German, but you’ll have nothing other than a good time diving into Hamburg’s swimming pools.
For one, sanitary standards are high, rates are moderate due to municipal funding and, because there are so many of them, the pools rarely get too crowded.
For finding the nearest swimming pool, look no further than the website of Bäderland, a citywide network of outdoor and indoor pools. While there are also many saunas and steam baths to be found on the page, it’s mostly the outdoor pools that catch people’s attention during the summer months. There’s nothing better than shutting out the noise of the city while going back and forth between heating up on the lawns and cooling down in the water.
Restrictions due to COVID-19
Please note that while outdoor pools were temporarily closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, most outdoor pools have since reopened as of June 2021, for example in Aschberg, Marienhöhe, Neugraben, Osdorfer Born, Rahlstedt and Finkenwerder, as well as the Bondenwald and Kaifu baths. Tickets for all pools should be purchased online in advance, as entry is limited and more spontaneous guests risk having to stay out.
Kids will love Hamburg’s longest slide at Freibad Aschberg in the Hamm district and the tube slide and climbing wall at Freizeitbad Billstedt. Freibad Dulsberg has a slide as well as a couple of diving towers for the daredevils.
In Boberg, Farmsen and Tonndorf (Ostende), beaches are turned into public baths. In Hamburg's Stadtpark, the public pool is adjacent to the popular city park’s lake. In Finkenwerder, the pool comes with a free view of the Elbe river. The Marienhöhe, Osdorfer Born and Neugraben pools are open in summer, as there is no indoor area.
Festland in Altona is among the most central outdoor pools of the city. It’s a true oasis for people who are desperate for a short holiday. For the same reason, Kaifu in Eimsbüttel is extremely popular with the locals. Rahlstedt’s public pool, on the other hand, is located a good deal away from the city centre so that you could almost swim into the neighbouring state of Schleswig-Holstein.
Bäderland will also answer your questions regarding FKK nude swimming. In Germany, nudity in public pools is acceptable only during designated hours. In addition, Bäderland informs you about swimming classes, both for children and adults.