The best outdoor pools in Beijing

The first of June marks the first day of pool season in Beijing

Photo: Toby
Have you ever wanted to swim in a big swimming pool, full of water*? Beijing summer is a hot potato, full of steamy potato insides. You’re inside the hot potato too, so be sure to take your starchy mass of an existence to a pool near you, get in it and stay there until mid-September.

*2015 studies showed urine levels to be pretty high in Beijing swimming pools – some six times the national recommended urine-in-swimming-pool level. Not sure why they don’t just recommend no urine.

Baolian Sports Park Swimming Pool 宝联体育公园游泳馆

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Another pool in the Haidian district, Baolian Sports Park's got both indoor and outdoor pool options. It's equipped with everything from shallow pools for the young ones, to deep end pools for all our inner Michael Phelps.
Opening hours: Open now. Midday-8.30pm daily.
Prices: 70RMB, free for children under 1.2m.

Chaoyang Park 朝阳公园沙滩主题乐园

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Photo: Sun Park

What doesn’t Chaoyang Park have? Nothing – it’s got every single thing, and two of those things are a manmade beach and a water park. Urine levels are really quite pleasant to boot.
Opening hours: Opens June 30, 9am-9pm daily.
Prices: 140RMB (weekends), 90RMB (weekdays), excluding park entrance fee of 5RMB.

Crab Island 蟹岛水上乐园

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Photo: Toby

You had us at ‘Crab Island’. Conveniently situated just off Beijing’s majestic Airport Expressway, Crab Island features one of Beijing’s best manmade sandy beaches – top 20 for sure – as well as a decent-sized wave pool, a kids area and an amusement park.
Opening hours: Open now. 9am-9pm daily.
Prices: 60RMB, 40RMB (children).

Emperor Beijing Qianmen Hotel 皇家驿栈酒店

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Expensive and supposedly prestigious, the boutique rooftop pool at Emperor Beijing Qianmen Hotel is a little past its prime, doubling as a neat vantage point from which to admire the Forbidden City and the low roofs of the surrounding hutong neighbourhood. Don’t wee here.
Opening hours: Open now. 11am-10pm daily.
Prices: Free for hotel guests, or 258RMB per person.

Liulang Natatorium 柳浪游泳场

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Haidian, you didn’t think we’d miss you like we normally do, did you? Silly Haidian. Liulang is located near the south gate of the Summer Palace and boasts a swimming pool each for both kids and grown ups too. It’s good. It’s not an island for crabs, but it’s good.
Opening hours: Open now. 9.30am-9pm daily.
Prices: 40RMB, free for children under 1.2m.

Qingnianhu Park 青年湖公园水上乐园

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Photo: Toby

Qingnianhu Pool – or the ‘lake of youth’ – has two waterslides, a concrete patch for bros to drink and play loud music and a kiddy pool with a magnificent self-filling and emptying water bucket installation. Urine levels taste low, and there’s other snacks like jianbing, too.
Opening hours: Open now. 10am-5pm daily.
Price: 40RMB; 30RMB (for children under 1.3m).

Tuanjiehu Water Park 团结湖海滨乐园

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Photo: Toby

If there’s one thing modern life-livers can’t life-live without, it’s an inner-city beach volleyball court adjacent to a 10,000sqm pool with waterslides. Tuanjiehu Water Park has all of this and more and is walking distance from Sanlitun.
Opening hours: Open now. 10.30am-8.30pm daily
Prices: 100RMB (weekends); 80RMB (weekdays); free for children below 1m

William Edgar Hotel 威廉埃德加酒店

William Edgar Hotel
Photo: William Edgar Hotel

For some sun out of the city, head to the hills of Miyun county and into William Edgar Hotel. The huge swimming pool is popular with sunseekers who are taking a break from the heritage and cultural attractions of Beijing WTown which is where the hotel is located.
Opening hours: Open now, 10am-6pm daily.
Prices: 98RMB; 68RMB (children).

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