Where to Swim in Lisbon
Being a coastal city, there are always ample places to swim when in Lisbon — both inland and along the shore.
Lisbon is a city that draws in roughly double the amount of tourism in the summer as it does in the winter. Thats twice the amount of people who expect to find somewhere suitable to swim upon arrival.
We forget that swimming is not always only recreational — some people do it for their health as well, including tourists!
The Lisbon city parks usually feature an expansive lake area however these are usually not open for public swimming. During the hot summer sometimes all you need is somewhere to go to cool down after touring outdoors.
While the beach is always preferable, the beaches in Lisbon sometimes feel slightly too far away for a spontaneous swimming mission.
All along the Tagus River on the Lisbon city coastline there are open patches of land and access points that take you directly into the water. Aside from this there are a numerous other private and public swimming facilities around the city for your enjoyment.
Here is where to find them…
Hotel Pools in Lisbon
If you’re looking to book your visit to Lisbon in the summer I highly recommend booking a hotel that has swimming facilities.
For the most part, even the hostels in Lisbon make a point of giving guests access to some sort of rooftop pool or indoor baths. The summer simply gets too hot not to.
Sunset Destination Hostel is an award winning affordable accommodation on the shore of the Tagus. The hostel has a rooftop pool that overlooks the river; you can literally move from one to the other throughout the day.
Back toward the heart of Lisbon is another wonderful rooftop pool at the Jupiter Lisboa Hotel. In addition to the gorgeous pool deck overlooking the city, the hotel also has an indoor pool and children’s pool for visitors to use.
If you really want to take things up a notch, however, you’ll need to head to the Altis Belem Hotel and Spa right on the shore of the Tagus in southern Lisbon. The hotel offers Turkish Baths for guests to enjoy — I’ll leave it at that!
If you’re headed to Belem for these baths make time to enjoy a free guided walking tour of the neighborhood; it’s one of the liveliest in Lisbon.
Public Pools in Lisbon
Of course booking a hotel with a fancy pool is not always possible. Thankfully, Lisbon also has an abundance of public swimming pools that can be accessed throughout the day by both tourists and locals.
Not far from Algés is the Jamor Sports Complex. By paying a set entry fee you’ll have access to all of the sporting facilities for the day, including their impressive pools. You’ll also be able to take part in water-based aerobics classes, or send your children for fun lessons with one of the instructors.
This pool can break the bank, especially if you want to go frequently. Entrance is €37 per person.
If you’re in the mood for something cheaper, head over to the Lisbon National Club Of Swimming, one of the oldest swimming facilities in the city. Entrance is only €5 and the pool stays open until 10pm.
Beaches in Lisbon
To the far west of the city you’ll come to the Oeiras-Estoril-Cascais, the beach towns of Lisbon. Praia da Conceição is the main beach of the Cascais area and boasts beautiful, calm waters to spend some time in.
A few minutes walk away is Praia da Torre beach; less built up than the first with equally as turquoise waters and slightly whiter sand.
The historic town of Cascais is one every traveler to Lisbon needs to explore at some point. You’ll get here by taking the train from Lisbon city center (Read more about Discover walking tours).
Sportágua Water Amusement Park in Lisbon
Av. Monsenhor Bastos, 2520-206 Peniche
Depending on how seriously you take your swimming, you might consider day tripping out to the best waterpark in Portugal. The Sportágua park is about an hour north of the city center.
When you arrive you’ll be greeted by a range of pools and slides that are fun for the whole family. The park also features ample grass space where you can enjoy a picnic lunch.
The waterpark is built on the edge of an actual park which sits on the edge of the ocean gulf. The Cova da Alfarroba beach is a short walk from the park. Some visitors turn the day trip into an overnight trip, since camping on the waterpark’s surrounding park is allowed.
Entrance into the waterpark is €12.50 for adults and €9.50 for kids. Children under four enter for free.
Gyms in Lisbon
If your hotel sucks, public facilities make your skin crawl and you happen to genuinely dislike the beach; you can always join a gym.
The gyms in Lisbon usually have olympic size and quality swimming pools, either indoors or outdoors, for members to use. Especially within the city center, there is a gym on every corner.
If you aren’t going to be in Lisbon long enough for a full gym membership to be worth it, fear not. Most Lisbon gyms have a day access option where you pay per day or hour to make use of the facilities. These are great, since you’ll have access to the pools as well as the aerobics and hydro-bike sessions that come with them.
We go to Portugal to eat, to drink, to laugh and to swim — in that order.
Exploring one of the many swimming facilities of Lisbon is a beautiful way to connect with locals, see new neighborhoods and cool off under the European sun — ready?