For most people, swimming pools conjure up memories of boxy, chlorinated bodies of water filled with hordes of screaming children. Refreshing? Yes. Inspiring? Not so much. But luckily, not all pools are lame. Whether they’re perched on the edge of a skyscraper or coloured blood-red, here are some of the most impressive swimming pools on the planet. Grab your bathing suit, your travel insurance and your sense of adventure and get going!
7 Most Amazing Swimming Pools
From Budapest to Berlin, here are the most impressive swimming pools on the planet.
Badeschiff, which literally translates to “Bathing Strip,” is a floating swimming pool in Berlin’s Spree River. The converted shipping container opened in 2004 as an art project and quickly became the coolest place to be on a hot summer day. Swimming in the Spree itself is forbidden (too grungy), but thanks to Badeschiff, residents and visitors alike can enjoy the sensation of a relaxing river swim.
The Library, Koh Samui
The island of Koh Samui in Thailand is littered with hotels, but only one has a blood-red pool. The pool at The Library, a luxury hotel on the northwest coast of the island, gets its unusual colour from the orange, yellow and red tiles that line the pool floor. And at night, underwater lights transform the pool into a glowing crimson spectacle.
Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
The Marina Bay Sands Hotel in Singapore is home to a 150-metre infinity swimming pool. That doesn’t sound so crazy, but the pool is actually located 55 stories above ground, making it the world’s largest outdoor pool at that height. Access is restricted to guests, but you can view the pool from the Marina Bay Sands SkyPark, which is open to the public.
Holiday Inn Shanghai
If you’re feeling especially brave, check out the cantilevered pool at the Holiday Inn Shanghai Pudong Kangqiao. It’s suspended 24 stories up, and has a glass bottom that makes you feel like you’re swimming on air.
Alfonso del Mar, Chile
The pool at Chile’s Alfonso del Mar Resort is huge. How huge, you ask? So huge that you can sail boats on it. It’s the length of 20 Olympic swimming pools, contains 66 million gallons of treated seawater, and is 115 feet deep. Officially the largest swimming pool in the world (according to the Guinness Book of World Records), the Alfonso del Mar pool cost $6 billion to construct and costs $2 million each year to maintain.
Not far from Sydney, on the world-famous Bondi Beach, lies a cold-water swimming club called the Bondi Icebergs. At the Icebergs, winter swimming is a time-honoured tradition. From May until September, the pool is packed with hardy swimmers who don’t mind the 15 degree C waters. Water temperatures can dip as low as 12 degrees, and on particularly stormy days the pool becomes swamped by ocean waves.
Budapest’s Gellert Baths are housed in a beautiful art nouveau building that was built between 1912 and 1918. Think painted domed ceilings, intricate mosaic floors, oodles of stained glass and a huge tiled arcade. The building boasts thermal baths (containing naturally-heated, mineral-rich water), steam rooms, a massage hall, a huge swimming pool and even a dentistry complex.