It's hot outside and a day at the pool is sounding really nice right about now. Luckily there's no shortage of indoor and outdoor pools around town where you can cool down. Whether you're looking for a sandy beach, a sun-filled party spot or a child-friendly pool with fun slides our list has it all. So grab your goggles, slap on some sunscreen and blow up those floaties because it's time to take a dip in one of the many pools in Shanghai.
Ambassy Club (outdoor and indoor)
Slides, fountains and pool play-things galore, this former French Concession private club turns into a child-magnet come summertime. Even with all the youngsters, the relatively refined atmosphere and excellent location keep us coming back. Drop in during the week for a quieter experience.
Opening Hours: Indoor: 6.30am-9pm (Mon-Fri), 8am-9pm (Weekend); Outdoor: 11.30am-7pm (Mon), 9am-7pm (Tue-Fri), 8am-7pm (Weekend)
Cost: Members only. Annual membership RMB7,000 (single) and RMB13,800 (family)
See listing for Ambassy Club.
Brilliant City (outdoor)
Pool inside an apartment complex just north of Suzhou Creek. Their RMB25 entry is great for swimmers on a budget, though expect it to be crowded. Swimming caps are required for entry.
Opening Hours: May-Aug 31, 9am-10pm
Cost: RMB25 (before 5pm), RMB35 (after 5pm)
See listing for Brilliant City Pool.
G-Luxe Hotel (outdoor)
Situated around 10 minutes away from Hongqiao Airport, G-Luxe Hotel has a decently-sized outdoor lakeside pool surrounded by a 480-square-meter sunbathing terrace with plenty of lounge chairs. Nearby hotel facilities include spas and restaurants.
Open: Jun 1-Sep 30, 8am-8pm
Cost: RMB120 (adult), RMB60 (children)
See listing for G-Luxe Hotel.
Grand Kempinski Hotel Shanghai (indoor)
Located in Lujiazui, this pool offers sweeping views of the Huangpu River and the Shanghai skyline. The 20-meter long, 160-square-meter indoor swimming pool is located on the top floor and maintains a temperature of 26-28 degrees Celsius. You'll love the natural light that streams in through the glass ceiling.
Opening Hours: 7am-11pm
Cost: Free for hotel guests. RMB345(adult)/RMB118(children) for a one-time entry.
See listing for Grand Kempinski Hotel Shanghai.
Hyatt on the Bund (indoor)
A 25-meter swimming pool is a good start, but what to do afterward? Following your invigorating swim and time in the jacuzzi, visit the Yuan Spa, hair salon or enjoy dining in one of the hotel restaurants.
Opening Hours: Year-round, 6am-11pm
Cost: Day pass: RMB190 (child), RMB345 (adults) plus 15 percent service charge. Membership: Annual RMB15,000.
See listing for Hyatt on the Bund.
Hongkou Swimming Pool (outdoor)
This large 1,400 sqm pool can accommodate nearly 600 swimmers. But even with all that space you might still get splashed. Luckily for those who prefer to really swim, ample lanes are provided. A few slides wind their way around as well and swimming lessons are available during the summer.
Open: From May, 9am-9pm (May be closed for construction this summer.)
Cost: RMB40 for two hours
See listing for Hongkou Swimming Pool.
Located on the sixth floor of InterContinental Shanghai Puxi, the Health Club features both a gym and a swimming pool. The spacious indoor swimming pool of 200 square meters is set at a temperature of 26-28 degrees Celsius. The pool has a well-organized changing room, where you can store your items and change. Open for adults and children, this is the perfect place to go for a fun and relaxing pool day.
Open: Year-round, 6am-11pm
Cost: Free for in-house guests. RMB400 for day pass. Annual membership RMB20,000, including gym and swimming pool access.
See listing for InterContinental Shanghai Puxi.
Jinshan Urban Beach (outdoor)
None of that phony fake sand stuff here. If you want to dive into the sea, frolic in the waves and enjoy fresh seafood, take the trip out to this Shanghai suburb. You have to pay to get on the beach in the summer, but it's free other times of the year.
Opening Hours: Jun 20-Sep 10, 8.30am-8.30pm
Cost: RMB20 (child); RMB20 (adult)
See listing for Jinshan Urban Beach.
JW Marriott Hotel Shanghai at Tomorrow Square (outdoor and indoor)
Conveniently located in the center of the city, the outdoor pool is the ideal spot for a sophisticated snooze and tan.
Opening Hours: Outdoor: May-Oct; Indoor: Year-round, 6am-10pm
Cost: RMB280 (adult). Free for hotel guests.
See listing for JW Marriott Shanghai Tomorrow Square.
Mandarin City (outdoor)
With a swim-up bar that serves drinks and food, this is a hot spot for pool parties. Arrive early if you want to find a chair or even space to drape your towel, as it fills up fast. During parties, drink deals may be included in the entrance fee.
Open: 11am-8pm (Mon), 7am-8pm (Tue-Wed, Fri-Sun), 1pm-8pm (Thu)
Cost:RMB60 (child); RMB100 (adult)
See listing for Mandarin City.
New Star (outdoor and indoor)
Not only do they offer hot tubs, cool baths, steam and dry saunas, showers, a restaurant and a lounge, but you can get a workout in at the gym or go for an afternoon snooze in one of their cabanas. Not a bad deal, even if it isn't located directly in the city center.
Opening Hours: May-October, 7am-9pm
Cost: RMB200(weekday)/RMB320(weekend) for adults, half price for children
See listing for New Star.
New World Shanghai Hotel (outdoor)
Coming in at 250 square meters, while pricier than some of the ground-level spots, this hotel pool is large, quiet and has a fantastic view. An ample number of lounge chairs and a decent-sized outdoor terrace promise a relaxing afternoon escape. Just remember to bring your swimming cap!
Opening Hours: From May, 7am-9pm
Cost: RMB200 (Weekdays), RMB300 (Weekend)
See listing for New World Shanghai Hotel.
Purple Mountain Hotel (outdoor)
This round rooftop pool throws parties every summer. When the atmosphere isn't filled with pumpin' beats and party-goers, it's a great place to catch some sun. Luckily, the skyscrapers don't block the rays. There's also a kiddie pool that'll keep the little ones entertained.
Open: Jun 15-Sept 30, 7am-11pm
Cost: Free for hotel guests, RMB200 for non-guests
See listing for Purple Mountain Hotel.
Shanghai Grand Plaza (outdoor)
It might be small and it's not as fancy as some of the other cool pools in town, but it's cheap, convenient, and an easy place to reel in a group of friends to gather here. Make sure to bring everything you need for the day because they won't let you back in once you leave.
Opening Hours: From May, 9am-9pm
Cost: RMB100 (Weekdays), RMB150 (Weekend)
See listing for Shanghai Grand Plaza.
Shanghai Sun Island Golf & Spa Resort (outdoor and indoor)
Surf's up dude! This massive pool makes waves with its 'real imported sand' beaches and twisty slides. More of a luxury weekend getaway than a day trip, you can also go rock climbing, play on their 36-hole golf course, rent go-karts and ride horses.
Opening Hours: Indoor: Year-round 11am-9pm; Outdoor: Mid Jun-Oct, 9am-6pm
Cost: Free for guests. Non-members RMB200 (outdoor pool) and RMB155 (indoor pool)
See listing for Shanghai Sun Island Golf & Spa Resort.
Shimao Riviera Garden Pool (outdoor and indoor)
This location offers plenty of swimming space and a good-sized stretch of beach. When we head here, we stay all day. A few volleyball courts are usually set up and there's also a workout pool inside. But with a bar outside serving up cocktails and beer (albeit on the pricier side) you won't find too many people swimming in those lanes.
Opening Hours: Indoor: Year-round 7am-10pm; Outdoor: Jun-Sep, 10am-7pm
Cost: RMB100 (child), RMB200 (adult)
See listing for Shimao Riviera Garden Pool.
Sofitel Shanghai Sheshan Oriental (outdoor and indoor)
Dotted with islands and playgrounds, the outdoor swimming pool extends 4,400 square meters and is bordered by a beach with real sand from Vietnam. The poolside bar offers beer, champagne and cocktails and there is also an indoor heated swimming pool.
Opening Hours: Indoor: 7am-10pm; Outdoor: May-Sep, 9am-6pm
Cost: Free for hotel and brunch guests, RMB300 for non-guests, half price for children.
See listing for Sofitel Shanghai Sheshan Oriental.
Sunny Beach Bihaijinsha (outdoor)
The largest artificial beach in China with 650,000sqm of water and 80,000m of sand, its name – which means blue sea and golden sand – is particularly apt. There are water trikes, volleyball nets and surfboards for rent – just like a real beach. Food is also welcome, so take along your picnic baskets.
Opening Hours: May-Sep, 8.30am-9pm
Cost: RMB65 (adult), RMB30 (child)
See listing for Sunny Beach Bihaijinsha.
W Shanghai - The Bund (outdoor and indoor)
The indoor and outdoor pools at the W Shanghai – The Bund ensures swimming in any season. During the warmer months, indulge in the outdoor pool and deck with views of the spectacular Shanghai skyline. Offering sunbeds, snacks and a poolside bar, this is a excellent option for parents and children alike. The indoor pool is set at a comfortable 28 degrees Celsius and presents underwater speakers and an oversized whirlpool.
Opening Hours: Indoor: 6am-10pm; Outdoor: 10am-6pm (April-November)
Cost: RMB480 (Mon-Thu); RMB580 (Weekend) ；half price for children
See listing for W Shanghai - The Bund.
Yanlord Garden Lujiazui (outdoor and indoor)
On the opposite side of town, you can find the twin pool of the Yanlord pair. It offers two decent-sized outdoor infinity pools. Although it's no beach, it has one of the greenest compounds in Shanghai. So you won't hear us complaining. You must live in the compound to become a member, and then you can use the pool.
Opening Hours: Indoor: Year-round 7am-10pm; Outdoor Jul-Sep, 7am-10pm
Cost: Members only, contact management for more details.
See a listing for Yanlord Garden Lujiazui.
[Cover image via Sohu]