Utoquai Seebad Utoquai Seebad

Wild swimming in Zurich: the top spots

Outdoor spots in Zurich to cool off when it gets hot in the city.

Rejuevenate, and get a change of pace from the city at Zurich's best outdoor swimming spots. With the serene Mythenquai beach, the tranquil River Limmat and the authentic, wooden palace at Utoquai, you won't be short of options on a sunny day. 

Strandbad Mythenquai

Mythenquai Strandbad 2Strandband Mythenquai

Lying on a sandy beach then taking a leisurely dip in the crystal clear water. That doesn’t sound like a typical way to relax in a central European city but it’s the norm for summer in Zurich. One of the best bathing options is the lakeside beach at Mythenquai, a short tram ride from the centre. As well as the 250-metre long beach, it has diving platforms out on the lake and a restaurant, plus stand-up paddle-board rental and table tennis. Something for everyone. www.stadt-zuerich.ch

Related: Swiss museums: in & around Zürich


Au-Hoengg Werdinsel 2Werdinsel

This is one idyllic spot that’s popular with locals but most tourists don’t see. A leafy island between the River Limmat and a canal, it’s a great escape from the city heat and hustle. It’s also very low-key, with showers, loos and barbecue pits – and not a lot else, except green lawns and blue water. The farthest end of the island is reserved for nude sunbathing and swimming. Get there from the main train station on tram 17 towards Tüffenwies. www.map.search.ch

Related: Great Swiss train journeys: The Gotthard Line

Seebad Utoquai

Utoquai SeebadSeebad Utoquai

The wooden palace at Utoquai, built in 1890 and still going strong, is a Zurich institution when it comes to urban bathing. It’s very central, beside the lakeside promenade and just along from the opera house. There are sunbathing terraces and two pools for non-swimmers (separated by gender), plus access to the lake so you can swim out to the floating decks. Enjoy a sauna, steam or massage while you are there. www.stadt-zuerich.ch

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1 Strandbad Mythenquai
2 (Werdinsel) Badeplatz au Höngg
3 Seebad Utoquai