Swimming Pools, Berlin
This is a wonderful, relaxing sauna, swimming and spa center atop the Europa Center with a inspiring view of central Berlin.
All activities are "mixed" in the Northern European sense of things so you will run into men as well as women completely naked (that is why it is so relaxing since it's no big thing).
Here are some tips to enjoy your visit:
There are separate changing rooms for men as well as for women. You are given a locker key which you can wear on your wrist. For valuables I would recommend you use the special lockers (place your locker key and money in here) near the main restaurant since you will need your wallet to make food and drink purchases.
Essential to take a cleansing shower first!
If you are ONLY interested in swimming then you may wear a bathing suit in the swimming pool OTHERWISE bathing attire is NOT allowed in any of the saunas. I saw some women with swim suits but NO men wearing them.
The pool has a few jet-stream "hot spots" and make a point to swim in the outdoor area near to all the sunbathers since the view is terrific and there are two waterfalls at opposite ends, too.
There are dry saunas as well as wet (my favorite) steam rooms. These Haman-like rooms vary in their intensity and fragrance depending on which one your are in. There is even a dry sauna on the lower level that looks like a Finnish lakeside cabin.
The whirlpool baths rotate every half hour so why not visit all of them? There are basically two almost-identical sides to the sauna/whirlpool area (originally when the center opened 39+ years ago men were segregated from women).
Spa treatments (including massage) are offered on another floor which I did not visit.
Equipment: Bring your own rubber sandals, towel, bathrobe (a must) and you will save on the admission price.
Otherwise, you can rent the "complet" package at 29.80 euros as of April 2009. Late night admission appears to be a little bit less in price.
Unfortunately, they do not translate their website into English. Except for the restaurant waitress not much English was spoken BUT don't be shy about asking the regulars to guide you through this wonderful place.
For summer sports, swimming is my favorite. I used to swim competitive in secondary school and university, so its a great love for me. Berliners flock to local lakes as soon as possible and make a day of it. One very popular location is at Wannsee but there are many small lakes around Berlin, in fact, any water offering really you might see someone strip down and dive right in. But if you don't wish to try this method or want to swim laps for exercise instead of relaxing or lounging, you can try some of the indoor or outdoor pools.
One I have been to is Stadtbad Schöneberg at Hauptstraße 39 in Schöneberg 10827. Phone is 030/ 780 99 30 . You take the U4 line to Rathaus Schöneberg station. This location also has a sauna available which is excellent after being in 28*c water for a while. Just a note, the pool will be closed Juli 7-August 21. Normal rates are 4euro for an hour, or 5euros for 120 minutes. One can also purchase monthly cards or special ones for families.
Many other pools with directions, prices, and availibility at this webpage. Its in Deutsch, but even if you don't speak German, district names are easy to recognize.
A Listing of Some Out Pools, but be sure and check the website if you are interested in swimming places because many, many more are listed. Berlin Swimming Halls.
Bad am Spreewaldplatz
Wiener Straße 59 h, Kreuzberg
Paracelsus Bad (with sauna)
Roedernallee 200/204, Reinickendorf
SSE Schwimm- und Sprunghalle im Europasportpark
Paul-Heyse-Straße 26, Prenzlauer Berg
Stadtbad Lankwitz (with sauna)
Leonorenstraße 39, Steglitz
Stadtbad Neukölln und Therme im Stadtbad Neukölln
Ganghofer Straße 3, Neukölln
Some Outdoor Swimming Pool Listings:
Oranienburger Straße 78, Mitte
Columbiadamm 160, Neukölln
Sommerbad Pankow (with beach sports facilities)
Wolfshagener Straße 91 - 93, Pankow
Equipment: Bring shower shoes, a towel, a change of clothes and a waterproof bag, goggles or whatever special equipment you might need.
only in Berlin: as part of a citywide art project, an architect designed a glowing floating swimming pool anchored near the Berlin arena. And of course the wild and crazy Berliners decided to dump tons of sand to make an artificial beach and wala! come with big pink plastic sunglasses and an extra skimpy bikini and you can swim while soaking in a view of the Spree and Alexanderplatz. If only the Spree were clean enough to swim in! This isn't serious swimming, but be careful to work out before you go, as all the perfect bodies prancing around you are frighteningly cellulite free!
Equipment: a good physique (flat tummy) and a pretty bathing suit. this is one of those people watching places
If you are looking for a nice way to relax, get some exercise, or just see lots of half naked (completely naked if you manage to visit a pool on FKK day) berliners, this is what you are looking for ...
Equipment: Swimsuit. Or not (see above note about FKK day)
I actually haven't been here yet, but we bought some people tickets as a present. What is it? a giant swimming pool with ultramodern speakers equipped so you can go swimming and listen to some ***in music (eh, sorry that was rather crude). It is touted as an "entirely new sound experience" and you can float in salt water and watch all the pretty lights. I like the idea, it's like observatories with laser lights and pink floyd, only here you are surrounded by lots of floating german people