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The 10 best public swimming pools in Berlin

Athletes, mermaids, surfers and water babies of all kinds: Berlin has a pool to suit your needs. And our editors know them better than anyone. Here’s tip Berlin’s comprehensive guide to Berlin’s best public swimming pools.



1. Wellenbad am Spreewaldplatz

Kreuzberg

The pool in the heart of Kreuzberg becomes the Atlantic thanks to its thunderous waves.

Kreuzberg by the sea (Photo: Elke A. Jung-Wolff | BBB)

This pool’s distinguishing feature is that it is Berlin’s only(!) public swimming pool with artificial waves. Every half an hour, the bell rings and Kreuzberg becomes the Atlantic coast for a short while. Athletic swimmers might get frustrated quickly by this always well-attended pool. For everyone else there’s lots offer: additional baby, children’s, and non-swimmer pools, water animals to play with, a slide, waves, and an outside area. But beware — the complex will soon close for renovations. Before then, you should throw yourself into those waves at least once. — F. Anthea Schaap

Swimmability

Fun

Looks

Cleanliness

Address: Wellenbad am Spreewaldplatz, Wiener Straße 59H, Kreuzberg

Directions: U-Bahn station Görlitzer Bahnhof



2. Stadtbad Neukölln

Neukölln

The Wilhelmine Period (between 1890 and 1918) birthed this stunning bath: a palace to excite swimmers with a taste for distinction.

Roman opulence in Neukölln (Photo: Elke A. Jung-Wolff | BBB).

A beautiful bath with two separate pools, colonnades and mosaics, architecturally inspired by ancient Roman baths. The 25-metre pool loses swimming space because of its separated non-swimmer section. Neukölln’s model building from the early 20th century is not necessarily the right choice for swimmers with great athletic ambitions. It’s much more suitable for aesthetes who wish to admire the ornamental backdrop. Specials: on Sundays and Monday evenings, nudists can swim naked. Also popular: women’s days. — F. Anthea Schaap

Swimmability

Fun

Looks

Cleanliness

Address: Stadtbad Neukölln, Ganghoferstraße 3, Neukölln

Directions: U-Bahn station Karl-Marx-Straße



3. Schwimm- und Sprunghalle im Europasportpark (SSE)

Friedrichshain

Olympic fun in Friedrichshain: a pool for all needs.

Fear of heights? Not at Schwimm- und Sprunghalle im Europasportpark (SSE) (Photo: Elke A. Jung-Wolff | BBB).

If Berlin had organised the Olympic Games of 2000, the medals for swimmers would’ve been won here. Didn’t work out — for more details, google ‘Alex Nawrocki’. Fortunately, though, this all-round gem was still finished on time. With a 50-metre pool for swimmers (four separate lanes), one for non-swimmers (with a small slide), and a piss-warm baby pool. Easy to reach by S-Bahn and tram, the baths are particularly popular with families. Sadly, the diving area is reserved for competitive athletes and sport clubs. Another minus is the floor. It’s slippery as hell. — Erik Heier

Swimmability

Fun

Looks

Cleanliness

Address: SSE Schwimm- und Sprunghalle im Europapark, Paul-Heyse-Straße 26, Friedrichshain

Directions: S-Bahn station Landsberger Allee



4. Schwimmhalle Ernst-Thälmann-Park

Prenzlauer Berg

Simply does it: at this pool the experience is reduced to the essential.

A typical GDR bath, about as sexy as… an unsexy thing. In the 25-metre pool it can get as crowded as the M25 in the morning. But at least you can already see through the large windows at the entrance whether you should turn around again. Toddlers can romp in the baby pool, but for kindergarten kids who can’t swim yet, the baths are a total party pooper: there’s no non-swimmer pool. But fans of a more purist water experience will find their place: counting laps in silence. The steam room is currently out of order, too. Same for the lift for people with disabilities. And, sadly, also sometimes the mop. — Erik Heier

Swimmability

Fun

Looks

Cleanliness

Address: Schwimmhalle Ernst-Thälmann-Park, Lilli-Henoch-Straße 20, Prenzlauer Berg

Directions: S-Bahn station Greifswalder Straße



5. Kombibad Seestraße

Wedding

Functional 1980s construction goes futuristic: the first swimming pool inside an air-supported structure is located in Wedding.

Functional futurism in Wedding (Photo: Elke A. Jung-Wolff | BBB).

A pool just like Wedding’s Müllerstraße itself. Here, the full, sometimes not so pretty spectrum of real life, awaits. Lots of smells, often many people — maybe that’s why there’s room for improvement in terms of cleanliness, particularly in the showers — but also new and remarkable things: the unpretentious, functional ‘combination pool’, finished in 1980, has become Berlin’s first swimming pool inside an air-supported structure. Since December, you can count your laps under a foil dome. From the outside, it looks like a giant golf ball. And the temperature is just right: the foil walls are filled with warm air. — Julia Lorenz

Swimmability

Fun

Looks

Cleanliness

Address: Kombibad Seestraße, Seestraße 80, Wedding

Directions: U-Bahn station Osloer Straße



6. Stadtbad Mitte — James Simon

Mitte

The masterpiece of modernist architecture is primarily an arena for ambitious swimmers.

An architectural gem in Mitte (Photo: Elke A. Jung-Wolff | BBB).

An architectural highlight from Berlin’s Weimar days, built in the style of the New Objectivity movement. The light-filled space lifts your spirits before you’ve even touched the water. Out of six lanes, two are explicitly for athletes. Which makes the clean and calm pool a good choice for motivated swimmers, although it’s best to pick a good time for your visit. Otherwise you’ll need to share your lane with a few too many other, even more motivated, Berliners. Another unique feature: the two sports and gymnastics rooms. — F. Anthea Schaap

Swimmability

Fun

Looks

Cleanliness

Address: Stadtbad Mitte “James Simon”, Gartenstraße 5, Mitte

Directions: U-Bahn station Rosenthaler Platz



7. Stadtbad Charlottenburg (Alte Halle)

Charlottenburg

With a water temperature of 30°C, things are a bit calmer at this historical bath.

A calmer pool for calmer days. (Photo: Elke A.Jung-Wolff | BBB).

Opened in 1898, the ‘municipal public bath’ is Berlin’s oldest pool still in existence. With its brick-and-steel construction, it’s evocative of the Arminius market in Moabit, an old covered market. It is, however, significantly calmer at the pool: during the week, it’s only open to the public in the morning, when mostly older people have time to swim. In the afternoon, but not at the weekends, the pool is reserved for schools and sport clubs. Proper competitive swimming feels weird here, anyway, as the 25-metre pool also comprises a non-swimmer area. Instead, get fit at one of the many sports courses you can attend without registration. — Eva Apraku

Swimmability

Fun

Looks

Cleanliness

Address: Stadtbad Charlottenburg (Alte Halle), Krumme Straße 10, Charlottenburg

Directions: U-Bahn station Richard-Wagner-Platz



8. Kombibad Gropiusstadt

Neukölln

This pool brings pupils, pensioners, and out-of-towners together — and is thus almost as collectivist as the satellite town of the same name.

Indoor view swimming pool Gropiusstadt with toys on water surface
A pool for everyone (Photo: Elke A. Jung-Wolff / BBB).

Pretty loud — and less aesthetically pleasing than the buildings around it as it’s a simple block: the combination pool at Gropiusstadt. But you shouldn’t write it off entirely, even if school classes splash around, fight for five-cent coins for the hair dryers and maybe, possibly, learn to swim. Apart from them, only pensioners keep themselves fit here. Leaving enough space for everyone else to spend time in the water. — Marlene Wessel

Swimmability

Fun

Looks

Cleanliness

Address: Kombibad Gropiusstadt, Lipschitzallee 27-33, Neukölln

Directions: U-Bahn station Lipschitzallee



9. Schwimmhalle Finckensteinallee

Lichterfelde

If you make it to Lichterfelde, you can do something for both your health and fitness.

Indoor view of swimming pool Lichterfelde
Lichterfelde’s best kept secret? (Photo: Elke A.Jung-Wolff | BBB).

If you don’t happen to live near the hidden pool at Finckensteinallee, you might never make it here. Except if you’re a competitive swimmer: they race here by bike or car from miles around. The 50-metre pool with its ten(!) lanes offers lots of space, especially at weekends. As there aren’t any non-swimmer, or other ‘fun’ pools here, you’ll only find people who take their health seriously. Or who are training for a triathlon — three to four dedicated lanes offer enough space for that. Wannabe swimming Rambos who tend to push everyone else from their lane are sneered upon in Lichterfelde, and tone it down. Don’t forget to pack something to eat: there’s no snack bar and the gastronomic options nearby aren’t much to write home about. — Eva Apraku

Swimmability

Fun

Looks

Cleanliness

Address: Schwimmhalle Finckensteinallee, Finckensteinallee 73, Lichterfelde

Directions: Bus X11



10. Stadtbad Schöneberg “Hans Rosenthal”

Schöneberg

Splash around peacefully in this public indoor waterpark

Indoor view of Schöneberg's swimming pool
Schöneberg’s indoor waterpark for everyone (Photo: Elke A.Jung-Wolff | BBB).

The main attraction of this pool? Definitely the 53-metre-long slide. Its most recent renovation (in 2019) turned the listed public pool in a proper indoor waterpark. There are toddler and non-swimmer baths, a lido with a jet-stream channel, whirl and saltwater pools which, alongside the aforementioned slide, make for great splashing around and relaxing — but not so much serious swimming. There is, however, a 25-metre pool with one and three-metre high diving boards. In this pool there’s room to be athletic. — Friedhelm Teicke

Swimmability

Fun

Looks

Cleanliness



Translated by Aida Baghernejad



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