Where to Swim in Madrid
If you look at a map, Madrid is quite literally the centermost point of Spain, equal distance from every shoreline in every different direction.
This has made opportunity for recreational swimming difficult for the locals, and so the city has had to adapt to the demand. If you’re visiting Madrid, the best place to swim is your hotel, but not all of them have pools on offer!
Here are the public swimming spots that you need to know about if you’ll be in Madrid during the peak of summer — they will save your sanity, trust me!
Piscina Natural De Cercedilla in Las Dehesas, Madrid
Verdict: Best Pool in Nature
In 1978, a series of swimming facilities were constructed along the banks of the Arroyo de la Venta river, a natural haven just outside of the city center. They were once all natural pools, but are now chlorinated due to the high frequency of visitors.
The pools are managed by the las Berceas recreational complex which also offers expansive lawn areas, snack bars, ablution facilities, and even a sickroom. You can enjoy the pools from mid-spring through to the end of August, between 10am and 8pm.
There is a €7 per person entry fee, and a discounted rate for children. Expect to spend the better part of your day here, and pack accordingly.
Lago Pool in Madrid
Verdict: Best Outdoor Pool
Lago is a popular summer spot for families with children! The grounds offer one olympic sized leisure pool, and another dedicated solely to kids. It’s about a minutes walk from the Lago metro stop, which adds to the pool’s convenience.
One can easily spend an entire day enjoying these waters, but if you intend to visit on a weekend, be prepared to queue. Alternatively, arrive just after 8am to be one of the first in line for entrance; this way, you also get first pick at the grass areas and won’t be left pining for a cube of concrete upon which to place your belongings later on.
It costs €6 per person to get into the Lago Pool.
Hours: Monday TO Sunday — 9am to 9pm
ADDRESS: Centro Deportivo Municipal Casa de Campo, Paseo de la Puerta del Ángel, 7, 28011 Madrid, Spain
Metro STATION: Lago
Emperador Hotel in Madrid
Verdict: Best Rooftop Pool and Best Hotel Pool
Most of the hotels in Madrid have swimming pools onsite, and a lot of them are happy to let non-guests enjoy them… for a fee.
If you’re going to splurge on a day at a hotel pool then it might as well be one that takes your breath away. On the rooftop of the Emperador hotel you’ll find a lavish swimming space with panoramic views over Madrid in every direction.
It’s at the very top of the 10th floor, and is the largest hotel pool in Madrid. To enter, you’ll have to fork out €50 from Monday to Thursday, and €65 the rest of the week. Prices include lunch and there is also a multi-day pass option available for €210.
Hours: Monday to Sunday — All Hours
ADDRESS: C/ Gran Vía, 53, 28013 Madrid, Spain
Metro STATION: Callao
Las Presillas in Rascafría near Madrid
Verdict: Best Pool for a Day Trip
If you have the means to get out of the city center for a day, catch the train up into the Paular Valley, situated directly north of the Spanish capital. Here you’ll find the home of the breathtaking natural pools of Rascafría.
These pools are very cold, but this isn’t much of an issue in the peak of summer when anything to relieve the heat becomes welcome. There are three pools on the edge of the river, and there are picnic facilities, snack bars and toilets.
Admission into the Rascafría pools is free to all, but anyone who brings a car along will have to pay the €9 parking levy. This is a wonderful way to enjoy the heat of the summer whilst surrounded by nature; not something always attainable back in the city!
Centro Deportivo Municipal Escuelas de San Antón in Madrid
Verdict: Best Pool for Serious Swimmers
It’s serious swimmers only at this indoor facility situated in the north of the city center, in a vibrant neighborhood known as Chueca.
This olympic swimming pool is divided into six lanes, ideal for competitive swimmers who need to get their laps in even when on vacation. I wouldn’t recommend bringing children to swim here, as some of the more professional athletes may kick up a fuss.
Entrance costs €4.50 per person, and one can swim until 11pm between Monday and Friday.
Hours: Monday to Sunday — 7am to 11pm
ADDRESS: Calle de la Farmacia, 13, 28004 Madrid, Spain
Metro STATION: Tribunal
San Juan Reservoir near Madrid
Verdict: Best Remote Swimming Pool
If you leave Madrid in a car or on a train, and head directly west for a short period of time, you’ll eventually come face to face with the San Juan reservoir, a water facility built in 1955 with the intention of generating electricity.
The reservoir boasts 14km of beaches and crystalline waters. Spanish families from nearby districts flock here in the summer to take advantage of the amenities, as this is the only reservoir in Madrid where swimming is actually permitted.
Arrive early for a place to lay down your towel; these shores can get extremely busy during peak season.