Freibad Blackfoot Beach
Water and wide expanses: Blackfoot Beach Photo: FUENF6

The top six outdoor pools and bathing lakes in Cologne

From a natural bathing pond to a 50-metre pool to sundowners at the beach bar, Cologne is spoilt for choice when it comes to outdoor pools and bathing beaches.

Lentpark – a natural pool in a natural setting

Naturbadeteich Lentpark
A splash of nature: the bathing pond at Lentpark Photo: KölnBäder GmbH

Sustainability plays a vital role in this combined indoor/outdoor pool and ice rink in Cologne. In the winter, they heat the indoor pool using the heat generated by the rink’s refrigeration system. In the summer, the environmentally friendly swimming pond opens to bathers. Instead of chlorine, algae are used to clean the pool. Not only does this produce a wonderful seawater smell, it’s also much better for the environment. There’s a section for swimming lengths (50 metres), a non-swimmer area, stones to jump into the water from, a double-width slide and a toddlers’ area. A paradise for kids – in summer and winter alike.

Lentpark pool, Lentstraße 30, 50668 Cologne

Stadionbad – an action-packed pool experience

Stadionbad Köln
The water cannon’s ready at Cologne’s Stadionbad Photo: KölnBäder GmbH

The ultimate outdoor pool in Cologne for action lovers. The vast grounds in Sportpark Müngersdorf boast no fewer than six pools, including a 50-metre sports pool and a leisure pool (also 50 metres) with a water cannon and current channel. If it’s adrenalin you’re after, you can take the plunge – literally – into the 3.5 metre deep diving pool from a one, three, five, seven and a half or ten-metre diving board. And after all that water, table tennis, beach volleyball or basketball action, the French fries from the snack shop taste even better. Stadionbad also has lots of green spaces of course, where you can chill in the cooling shade of the trees.

Stadionbad, Olympiaweg 20, 50933 Cologne

Aqualand – fun, fun, fun!

Apparently, some people get bored swimming lengths and counting tiles. No fear of that happening at Aqualand though, where there are no lap or diving pools to be seen. The seven waterslides, however, are bound to give kids young and old a thrill. There’s the Aqua Canyon Slide, which catapults visitors 103 metres downwards. Or the 150-metre-long Aquaconda Slide, which shoots swimmers (only swimmers can go on the slides) up the slide at rocket speed. The “Space-Taifun” Slide has flashing lights and fog effects and on the first indoor looping slide guests reach a speed of 50km per hour. For those who prefer a calmer vibe, there’s a saltwater pool and an outdoor pool with a current channel. Most of the pools are housed under a large glass dome and there are lush green areas outside to bask in the sun on a warm day.

Aqualand, Merianstraße 1, 50765 Cologne

Naturfreibad Vingst – Holiday feeling complete with a sandy beach

Naturfreibad Vingst
An idyllic setting with an adventure playground rolled in: Naturfreibad Vingst Photo: KölnBäder GmbH

 Naturfreibad Vingst is a well-kept secret among people who prefer the smell of lake water to chlorine. It started life as a gravel pit but now wild shrubs adorn the shore of the lake and a fine sand beach lends a touch of holiday feeling. There’s a grass area with mature trees providing natural shade to laze under and the water quality is excellent. For families with children, there’s also a spacious adventure playground, with a ship to climb on, a zipline, waterplay areas and everything else you’d expect. The pool doesn’t have set opening hours though so make sure you check the times on their website.

Naturfreibad Vingst, Vingster Ring, 51107 Cologne

Ultimate summer feeling with swimming, diving, canoeing and more at Fühlinger See

Strandbad Blackfoot Beach
Beach volleyball, stand-up paddling or swimming? Decisions, decisions at Blackfoot Beach Photo: Blackfoot Beach

There are seven sections to Fühlinger See. Swimming is only allowed at Blackfoot Beach on the western shore. With its white sand, crystal clear water, beach volleyball courts, cool cabanas and a beach bar serving cocktails, it’s the perfect place for a hot summer’s day. But Fühlinger See has much more to offer than just a swimming beach – there’s a high ropes course, stand-up paddleboards, canoes or kayaks for hire to explore the lake or you can discover what’s under the water’s surface on a dive with the diving school. On the last weekend of July, the legendary Summerjam reggae festival adds a splash of Caribbean flair.

Blackfoot Beach, Stallagsbergweg 1, 50769 Cologne

A taste of the tropics at Escher See

5,000 tonnes of sand beach in an area of 30,000m². Palm trees, rum-based drinks and summer beats: Escher Badesee park is Cologne’s answer to Bali. When temperatures climb, a stand-up paddleboard on the lake or a spot under the airy roof of the Monkey’s Island Beachhouse are great places to chill. It’s no coincidence this is considered one of Germany’s nicest beach clubs. There’s plenty for families with children too. The beach only opens if it’s more than 24°C and the sun’s shining. There’s also a nature reserve nearby – ideal for a stroll before an evening dip and a sundowner.

Monkeys Island, Am Baggerfeld 4, 50767 Cologne

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