The Best Places to Go Swimming in Madrid, Spain

Piscina Lago is an open-air pool at the heart of Casa de Campo in Madrid
Piscina Lago is an open-air pool at the heart of Casa de Campo in Madrid | © Alex Segre / Alamy Stock Photo
Jessica Jones

Escape the scorching Spanish heat by taking a dip in one of these top swimming pools in Madrid, from Casa de Campo to Parque Norte.

The capital of Spain is a fascinating city to visit, but the one thing it lacks is the sea. Never fear – there are dozens of swimming pools to keep you cool in the summer heat. From public outdoor baths to natural pools in the leafy outskirts, we have put together a rundown of our favourite swimming spots in Madrid.

Centro Deportivo Municipal Vicente del Bosque

Take a cooling dip with the cinematic backdrop of the Cuatro Torres (Four Towers) skyscrapers at Vincente del Bosque. Two 50m (165ft) pools make up this glistening oasis on the edge of Parque Norte. You could easily while away an entire day here – there are six tennis courts, two basketball courts, a football field and a beach volleyball court. Head to Tete’s Cafe & Bakery afterwards, and grab a quesadilla or takeaway pizza.

Centro Deportivo Municipal Escuelas de San Antón

Looking for somewhere to swim laps without kids splashing near you? Make a beeline for this indoor pool, north of the city centre in Chueca. Here, you can steadily swim 25m (82ft) lengths in the marked-off lanes, then rest your weary muscles in the onsite sauna afterwards. There is a separate pool for little ones, plus a gym and classes like aqua aerobics.

Centro Deportivo Municipal Casa de Campo

Better known as Piscina Lago, this swimming complex is at the heart of Casa de Campo, the largest public park in Madrid. There are two outdoor pools here – one Olympic-sized 50m (165ft) pool, and another reserved solely for kids – and it’s close to Lago Metro Station. Be prepared to queue on the weekends – it’s a popular spot with local families. Alternatively, get here at 8am, when it opens, to nab a space on the grass so you’re not fighting for a slab of concrete to lay out your towel.

Centro Deportivo Municipal Peñuelas

It might look slightly rough and ready on the outside, but this pool is a hidden gem. It’s close to Embajadores in the Lavapiés neighbourhood of Madrid. Inside, there’s an L-shaped 25m (82ft) pool that’s deep enough to dive in, plus two children’s pools and a decent cafe. You’ll be surrounded by locals here, sunning themselves on the grass after their swim.

Centro Deportivo M86

Madrid hosted the 1986 World Aquatics Championships and built a swimming centre for the occasion. It is home to two Olympic-sized swimming pools (one indoor, one outdoor) as well as a diving pool, gym and sauna. In a hurry? Take a dip, then squeeze in a 30-minute express training session (although you’ll need to understand what Spanish for “burpee” is).

Gymage Lounge Resort

Four floors make up this swanky adults-only gym near the Callao Metro Station. Head to the top, where you’ll discover a hidden pool and bar. It’s one of the few rooftop pools in Madrid that isn’t inside a hotel. There’s also a CrossFit gym in the basement and a massage parlour, in case you need a full body pummeling after your dip. Finish your visit with a piña colada and seafood croquettes in the sun.

Piscinas Naturales de Cercedilla

Catch a train an hour northeast from Madrid, and you’ll find yourself in the hiking region of Valle de la Fuenfría. Dive into the outdoor Piscinas Naturales de Cercedilla surrounded by scots pine trees – it provides welcome relief from the summer heat of the city. Note: it’s a picturesque one-hour walk from Cercedilla station to the pool, but you can also hop on a bus.

Las Presillas Piscinas Naturales de Rascafría

Slightly further north than Cercedilla lies the Paular Valley. While it is also an hour’s drive from Madrid (public transport isn’t quite so easy here), it is entirely free to visit. Plunge into one of three pools along the Lozoya River. Be warned: they are chilly, but provide a much-needed respite from the mid-summer heat. Dry off, and grab a drink at the nearby bar afterwards.

Planning the ultimate Madrid holiday? Book the best places to stay in the city now through Culture Trip. Alternatively, there’s also a range of hip apartments in Madrid waiting for you. Find some grub at the best cheap eateries in Madrid, then fill your itinerary with the best things to do in town. If you’re feeling homely, why not experience the best Madrid has to offer from the comfort of your own living room?

This is an updated rewrite of an article originally by Jessica Jones.

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