Are you wondering how to beat this scorching Madrid heat and soak up some of the Spanish capital’s culture at the same time? Well, the answer is simple: head to Madrid’s swimming pools. (Swimming pool season is typically June to September.) There you can just relax and cool off, or even see and be seen. The swimming pools and adjoining recreation areas are playgrounds for all ages and body types.
Casa de Campo
Being within the Casa de Campo parkland and located near Lago metro station and the boating lake for which the station is named, the Casa de Campo complex is an especially popular one with people of all ages. It has two open-air pools, an outdoor kids’ pool, and an indoor pool. However, the upper area is where people go to strut their stuff and check out the other people (gay and straight) who are busy doing the same.
Centro Deportivo Municipal, at Paseo de la Puerta del Ángel, 7
The outdoor pools are open from 11 am to 9 pm every day, but the indoor pool is open only from 9:45 am to 8 pm Monday to Friday.
Nearest Metro: Lago
Canal de Isabel II
The Canal de Isabel II complex has an outdoor adult pool and a kids’ pool and is especially popular with the neighborhood families. The sports complex still looks brand new and has a golf green, tennis courts, padel courts, (an excellent running track, too, but we doubt you’ll use it in this heat,) solarium, and a pretty good restaurant on the premises.
Instalaciones Deportivas Canal de Isabel II, at Avenida de Filipinas, 54
The pool is open from 11 am to 8 pm every day.
Nearest Metro: Canal
This municipal sports center in the La Latina neighborhood actually only has a covered swimming pool, but it’s a favorite one with the local swimmers. And of course, being poised to head out for tapas and beer at one the nearby bars after your swim does have its advantages.
Centro Deportivo Municipal La Latina, at Plaza Cebada, 16
Nearest Metro: La Latina
If you’re looking for a little more splash instead, then save the pools for later and head to Madrid’s water parks Aquópolis. There are actually two near Madrid: Aquópolis Villanueva de la Cañada and Aquópolis de San Fernando de Henares. The first one is bigger but the second one is closer. The parks have water slides, water attractions, moving rivers, and kids’ water play areas. If you don’t have access to a car, you can catch a bus to the park in Plaza de España.
[Photo: Victoria Rachitzky]