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Get Wet: Shanghai's Best Pools

Shanghai's hot and sticky summer is in full swing, leaving us drenched in sweat, clinging to a cup of iced coffee and wiping our brows with gingham handkerchiefs. Although one remedy for the heat and humidity is safely ensconcing yourself in an air-conditioned space for the next three months, we suggest the slightly more social activity of swimming. **Shanghai's got a slew of pools** in which to cool off, so find the nearest one, slip into your suit and take a break from schvitzing.

[Mandarine City Pool](http://www.cityweekend.com.cn/shanghai/listings/sports/water-activities/has/mandarine-city-pool/): Located inside the Mandarin City complex, this popular pool in Hongqiao / Gubei offers facilities for the whole family. Not just for the tot-toting masses, adults shouldn't pass up this chance to cool down and enjoy the swim-up bar. Well-priced day passes (RMB60) make this an affordable way to escape the heat.

[Shanghai Swimming Club](http://www.cityweekend.com.cn/shanghai/listings/sports/water-activities/has/shanghai-swimming-pool/): This well maintained pool holds regular classes for this just dipping their toes in for the first time to professional swimmers. Classes for adults and kids alike, this is a great way to take the edge of the Shanghai heat. RMB30 on weekends.

[Jing'an Sports Center Swimming Pool](http://www.cityweekend.com.cn/shanghai/listings/sports/water-activities/has/jing-an-sports-center-swimming-pool/): Conveniently located within a sports complex that also includes a gym, yoga, badminton and ping-pong facilities, this moderately priced swimming facility contains four pools. Two warm-up pools, a kiddie pool and a standard-sized pool provide ample space for swimmers. The pool also offers swimming lessons for aspiring Olympians. RMB30 for an hour and a half.

[Pudong Swimming Pool](http://www.cityweekend.com.cn/shanghai/listings/sports/water-activities/has/pudong-swimming-pool/): This Olympic-sized indoor swimming pool, only a short trip from downtown Puxi, provides a great option for those serious swimmers searching for a place to train as it's rarely packed and frequented mainly by a few over-heated children and seniors. An entrance fee of RMB25 (weekdays) allows you to swim for 90 minutes in this summer oasis (towel not included).

[Changning Swimming Pool](http://www.cityweekend.com.cn/shanghai/listings/sports/water-activities/has/changning-swimming-pool/): Changning Distrcit’s only public swim spot, this indoor swimming facility actually offers two pools. The larger is 25x15 meters while the smaller pool is 10x4. Open year-round, the pool provides local families with a convenient swimming option that can hold up to 180 people.

[Hongkou Swimming Pool](http://www.cityweekend.com.cn/shanghai/listings/sports/water-activities/has/hongkou-swimming-pool/): This 80 year old outdoor swimming pool is a favorite among local residents. Not only does it provide a place to cool off in the summer months, but during the winter the pool is frozen over and transformed into an ice skating rink. A great spot for year-round family fun.

[Shimao Riviera Garden Pool](http://www.cityweekend.com.cn/shanghai/listings/sports/water-activities/has/shimao-riviera-garden/): What completes an eight billion yuan apartment complex? An equally stunning pool, of course. If the Blade Runner architecture of Pudong gets you down, take a break from smog and city life with a refreshing dip. Zen never had it so good. RMB120.

[Purple Mountain Hotel](http://www.cityweekend.com.cn/shanghai/listings/travel/hotels/has/purple-mountain-hotel/): This Pudong hotel with its newly renovated rooms and modern facilities (including Chinese and Western) is probably best know for its pool, making it a perennial stand-by for an al fresco summer dip. Modest in size, this isn't the ideal training or lap pool, but the quiet subdued atmosphere (as long as there's no party going on) is perfect for a dip to escape the heat. RMB80 for pool and gym.

**Got other suggestions? Please leave them as comments and we'll add them in!**

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When I was living in Shimao, they only accepted their residents. It might change now. You may want to call them before heading out.


@cbowd I have the same thing... it's supposedly okay to savagely push your way onto the metro using your toolbox as a bludgeon, but the minute you punch someone who does this in the face, the police have to get involved.
Claire Miles's picture

Claire Miles

I think you will find that most of the rooftop pools in Shanghai are on the small-side. I went to the JW Marriot last weekend (I must of been lucky enough to get in early) and it was pretty amazing. It's a great space and the view from the balcony is breathtaking. I think you should give it another go while it's still warm, it will be worth the effort. Trust me!


I tried to head down to the JW Marriot last weekend but it looks like they only have only 20 spots available during the weekend. Yup, only 20 spots. The guy on the phone said it usually sells out by 10am during the weekend. However, weekdays are good to go. I recently saw some pictures of the pool and it looks kinda small, blah..
cbowd's picture


I hate wearing caps in swimming pools here. Why is it that the moment you remove your cap the "lifeguard" will point and blow his whistle, but when children are using the area as a public toilet or swimmers launching phlem floaters nothing is done?


Thanks Sophie! Though I've just found out that Mrs Narsfs has been there before and therefore it's impossible to contemplate going there. Y'know, I've never been and everything, but it doesn't seem to matter...
sfriedman's picture


Not near Qibao but Sun Island has the Super Fun Happy Slide(s) for which you're looking. http://cityweekend.com.cn/shanghai/listings/travel/place-interest/has/shanghai-sun-island-golf-spa-resort/


Actually, Gubei Wills has a good pool with some sun loungers - no music though :( Are there any good fun pools in Shanghai other than that one near Qibao? I want to get my Super Fun Happy Slide on!
sfriedman's picture


Thanks, Steve! You might try the Tennis Center at the Regal International Hotel. It's a 5-star hotel and word on the street is that it's semi open to the public. http://www.cityweekend.com.cn/shanghai/listings/travel/hotels/has/regal-international-east-asia-hotel/


Super nice article. I went to the Shimao website but there isn't any information regarding the pool. I wanted to check hours, facilities etc. Also, without a beach scence in Shanghai, would you recommend other hotel facilities that are open to the public that has a vegas like pool scene. I want a place with a pool, lounge chairs, food +drinks, music, etc etc. Something that rivals pool areas in the Wynn or Bellagio etc. Do you know if some of the 5 star hotels offer day passes their pool area? Which hotel would be best? I haven't figured how to get my beach time in Shanghai yet.
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