Whether you're looking to get in shape, pining for a cocktail and a sun lounger or desperately seeking ways to keep the kids entertained over the next couple of months, Moscow has an outdoor pool for you. Dive in to our list of the best spots around the city for exercise, relaxation and partying — all in the fresh air.
Shore House Yacht Club
Dreaming of the French Riviera but lacking the funds to jet off into the sunset? The Shore House Yacht Club could be just the ticket. This luxurious resort has really succeeded at bringing a touch of Mediterranean glamor to Moscow. Boasting a sparkling clean pool, relaxing loungers, a VIP area and — if you're feeling particularly regal — outdoor mattresses, the Shore House Yacht Club is the ideal spot to soak up the sun, sip on prosecco and experience a little bit of the high life. Celebrating a special occasion? Why not go all out and hire one of their pavilion tents for your party? A range of bars and restaurants cater to different tastes while each weekend there is a special children's program with entertainers and supervised play areas. A weekday pass including entrance, towels and a sun lounger will set you back 1,000 rubles. At the weekend — 2,000 rubles. It's not cheap, but it's the closest you're going to get to St. Tropez in Moscow.
Shore House Yacht Club
66th km MKAD. Metro Myakinino
Something for everyone
The Chaika sports complex near the Park Kultury metro station is the most central spot in the city to catch some rays and take a dip in the open air this summer. Four heated swimming pools cater to sporty and not so sporty sun-seekers, while the children's pool is the perfect place for little ones to practice their front crawl before taking part in one of the frequent swimming competitions hosted by the complex. An artificial beach, a mini-golf area and an exercise zone provide plenty of options for those looking to make a day of it. If you're feeling particularly indulgent, slip into the sauna afterwards. Chaika also has a number of English-speaking sports and swimming instructors. Two hours at the complex will cost around 1,000 rubles, but consider investing in a membership card for a considerable discount.
Chaika Sports Complex
3 Turchaninov Pereulok, Bldg. 1. Metro Park Kultury
Hip beach club vibes
Located in Sokolniki Park, the Bassein (the swimming pool) is one of the most popular places to swim, sunbathe and socialize on long summer days in the city. The area is bordered by tall trees —creating a very natural feel — while a synthetic beach brings a little bit of the tropics to this vast Moscow park. The Bassein boasts Wi-Fi, two heated swimming pools and plenty of recliners, while a children's swimming pool caters to the younger crowds. Those of a sporty persuasion can try their hand at volleyball, table tennis, frisbee, aerobics or perhaps take a jog around the park before cooling off with a dip in the expansive pool. As evening approaches, the place fills up with the partying crowd. People swarm to the bar, dance as DJs spin discs and then jump in the pool for a starlit swim. Entry costs between 400-600 rubles for a session or 1,400 rubles for the whole day.
1/1 Sokolnichesky Val. Metro Sokolniki
Port at VDNKh
Escape the heat
Now into its second year, Port at VDNKh offers Muscovites a beach holiday experience in the sprawling grounds of VDNKh. The recreational center is located between pavilions eight and nine and operates on a time-based system — on entry you are given a smart bracelet and at the end you pay for the duration of your visit. The complex spans 1.5 hectares and offers a diverse array of attractions. Four swimming pools, four beach volleyball courts, a relaxation area packed with sun loungers and even a jacuzzi have made the area a hit with locals. At a loose end after your swim? Table tennis, an exercise area and an illuminated dance floor should provide plenty of entertainment. Order a mojito from one of the three on-site bars and feel the stress of city life fade away. Entrance costs 700 rubles.
119 Prospekt Mira. Metro VDNKh
Sporty, modern complex
This popular outdoor pool complex opens every June to the delight of sporty Muscovites across the city. There is a larger sports pool for laps and a smaller pool for those simply looking to take a relaxing dip. Plenty of sun loungers border the pools so you can relax in the sun or enjoy people watching after you've taken a dip. The whole area is modern, clean and very trendy. Food trucks, huge comfy bean bags and even an on-site sports training center offer plenty of entertainment for those less interested in swimming. You could easily spend a whole day exploring the complex and picnicking with views of the Moscow River. Fees range from 800 rubles to 5,000 rubles, depending on the perks and length of stay. You may have to go for the weekend all-day package (1,500 rubles). Come for a swim, stay for the atmosphere.
Luzhniki Sports Complex
24 Luzhnetskaya Naberezhnaya. Metro Vorobyovyiye Gory, Sportivnaya
If you're serious about swimming
If you live in the northeast of the city or are a serious swimmer who likes to gulp in fresh air, the Neptune pool is for you. It has two outdoor pools, one 50 meters long with eight lanes and one measuring 25 meters with six lanes. It's open from very early in the morning — Mon. to Sat., 6:45 a.m. and Sun. from 7:30 a.m. — and stays open late enough in the evening (Mon. to Sat. until 10 p.m. and Sun. until 8:30 p.m.) for workaholics who need to unwind after a tough day at the office. And it's affordable at 300-350 rubles a session, less if you buy a package. They conduct a variety of classes for adults and kids, including water polo, and have a small fitness center for a pre-swim workouts and sauna for post-swim relaxation. The only slight hitch is that you need a doctor's certificate of health to be allowed entry. But otherwise, this is one of Moscow's great secrets: an affordable, Olympic-size, outdoor swimming pool. Don't tell anyone.
30 Ulitsa Ibragimova. Metro Semyonovskaya