Summer is here and the sun is beating down pretty damn hard. When everything’s just a bit too hot to handle, we think there’s nothing better than to dive into one of the many swimming pools Shanghai has to offer.
Shimao Riviera Garden
This pool is part of a swanky Pudong residential complex, surrounded by seven towers of luxury serviced apartments. This means a couple of things: firstly, it’s got it all: massive hot tub, faux beach, bar, large pool, sauna, steam room. As with all good things, there is, of course, a downside. Seven towers’ worth of people use this pool, and it gets full. Avoid weekends and evenings if you’re looking for a bit of Pudong peace and quiet.
Address: Building 5, 1-2 Weifang Xi Lu (near Pucheng Lu) 潍坊西路1-1号 (近濮城路)
Hours: Tue-Sun 10am-7pm, Mon 12pm-10pm
How Much: RMB200 for adults, RMB100 for kids.
Grand Plaza Club House
This pool is often called the ‘Maya Pool’; it’s in the same Julu Lu compound as the Mexican restaurant Maya and seems to have inherited some of Maya’s laid back Mexican vibes. Its centrally located and as a result, it’s the most popular pool in the Former French Concession. The pool’s usually packed out by groups all settled in for a day of chilling and drinking. If you're looking for a little more action, the price does include access to the squash courts.
Address: 568 Julu Lu (near Shanxi Lu) 巨鹿路568号 (近陕西南路,)
Hours: Mon-Sun 9am-9pm
How Much: Mon-Fri RMB100 Sat-Sun RMB150
Mandarine City may be a little way out of town, but we think the trip is worth it. The pool is spacious and surrounded by greenery, certainly a welcome sight in Shanghai. There’s a bar that serves food too, which is always a plus, and there’s a whole bunch of tables and loungers, so your RMB100 stretches quite far.
Address: 788 Hongxu Lu, (near Huanguang Lu), 虹许路788号 (近华光路)
Tel: 6405-0404 ext. 8612
Hours: Mon 11am-8pm, Thu 1pm-8pm, Tue-Wed, Fri-Sun 7am-8pm
How Much: Adults RMB100, Children RMB60
New Star is a Korean bath house, known for its saunas and "scraping" therapies. This might not seem like the best place to go when the heat starts getting to you, but give it a chance. Tucked away in the area is a little outdoor pool and a kids’ pool. If you’re still feeling overheated, have a go at the cold plunge pool or the cool rainforest shower.
Address: 258 Jinhui Nan Lu, (near Hongquan Lu) 金汇南路258弄 (近虹泉路)
Hours: Mon-Sun: 12am-12pm
How Much: RMB88
So we’re being a bit cheeky here, but the exclusive, members only Ambassy Club lets people have a “one time try” for RMB150 during the week; weekends reserved for members only. Unlike most of the pools listed here, this one won’t get too crowded. The exclusive atmosphere makes you feel like a bit of a badass, especially when you’re not a member. There’s an indoor and outdoor pool, so you can relax whatever the weather. If you like it enough you can go all out and buy a year gym and pool membership for RMB700.
Address: 1500 Huaihai Zhong Lu, (near Wulumuqi Lu), 淮海中路1500号 (近乌鲁木齐路)
Tel: 6437 9800
Hours: Mon-Fri: 6:30am-9pm, Sat-Sun: 8am-9pm
How Much: One-time entery RMB150 during the week.
Jing’an Sports Centre
It might not be at quite the same calibre as some of the other pools on this list, but there’s no arguing with an RMB30 entrance fee. The 25 x 50m pool has nine lanes and was designed for racing. It’s a good place to get into shape for summer, but not much else. Don’t forget your swimming cap either.
Address: 151 Kangding Lu (near Changhua Lu) 康定路151号 (近昌化路)
How Much: RMB30/40
This is another one of those pools we’ve included because it’s one of the best for what it does. If you just want to have a quick, no frills swim, then head to Shanghai Stadium. For RMB30 you get a vast pool which can handle the summer swimming traffic. There’s a separate pool for swimming lessons which also helps crowd control. We’re not saying it doesn’t get busy, it definitely does, but if you get there in the mornings or evenings, you can sometimes actually have a half decent swim for a great price. Swimming cap required.
Address: 1111 Caoxi Bei Lu (near Lingling Lu) 1111漕溪路北路 (近玲玲路)
Hours: Mon-Sun 9am-10pm
How Much: RMB30
Oriental Sports Centre
If you want to lounge about all day, maybe dip your toes in the pool for a bit, then steer well clear of the Oriental sports centre. This is the pool for serious swimming. Having hosted the Swimming World Championships and the Olympic qualifying rounds, this pool is professional. It’s also crazy cheap, which can mean crazy crowds, so get in early mornings or late evenings. As with all the other budget pools, a swimming cap is required.
Address: 701 Yaoti Lu (near Linpu Lu) 耀体路701号 (近林浦路)
Hours: Mon-Sun: 9am-9pm (indoor pool) Mon-Fri: 1pm-9pm Sat-Sun 9am-9pm.
How Much: RMB20-40
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