Moscow can be welcoming, beautiful, friendly and mild, but there are times when it can be oppressive, gloomy or even depressing. At times like that one feels the need to escape the metropolis to enjoy fresh air in the country or seaside. Some of the best places to relax and enjoy hot sunny days are close to the water, which is why people tend to gravitate towards the ocean, ponds and rivers.
Unfortunately not everyone can afford to escape the city, however there are numerous options for fresh air and relaxation right inside the city limits. In addition to cruising along the Moscow River there are also opportunities to enjoy a swim in one of the open-air swimming pools. BigTimeMoscow has selected several of the best ones for your reference.
Outdoor Swimming Pool of the Luzhniki Sports Complex
Address: Moscow, 24 Luzhniki Embankments B.4, Subway station Vorobyovy Gory (Sparrow Hills)
Located in one of the most picturesque districts of the city, this swimming pool should definitely be included in your plans for your next day off. After viewing Moscow from above at the Observation Deck close to the sports complex (you can find a list of the best observation decks in Moscow at: http://bigtimemoscow.com/2015/06/25/a-birds-eye-view-of-moscow/), you can have a stroll through this beautiful part of the city and enjoy the day swimming in the sunshine. The swimming pool of the Luzhniki sports complex provides the opportunity to practice swimming year-round. The water is purified with low-sodium chloride, rather than chlorine, which is better for your health and doesn’t have a strong smell. In winter the water is warmed up to between 27 and 29 °C, so the trainees go to the bath through warm room across special water channels. Experienced trainers work at the swimming pool, and under their supervision adults as well as children from special groups learn to swim. There are groups forgeneral physical training for 3 year-olds, as well as for the elderly. Medical certificates and identity cards must be produced.
Chaika Swimming Pool
Address: Turchaninov per 3, Bld 1, Subway Station Park Kultury
This is one of Moscow’s most atmospheric swimming centers; you can actually see the city while you swim. Chaika has two outdoor pools (one of 25 meters and the other 50), surrounded by benches to chill out on if it’s not -10 Celsius outside, as well as an indoor cafe. Be aware that you will need to buy a spravka (medical certificate) at the entrance before you will be allowed to swim. This will be issued after a quick two-minute examination of your feet, blood pressure etc. These swimming pools are conveniently located near the subway station and near the culture and leisure of Gorky Park.
The summer beach – the VDNKh Port – is located on the site of the old fair between pavilions No 8 and 9. Over the past few years the fair has been one of the least developed areas of the National Exhibition of Economic Achievements. The beach is a 1.5 hectare open-air sports and entertainment venue with four swimming pools, deckchairs, a Jacuzzi zone, volleyball, futsal, table tennis fields, a playground, a workout site, a stage and an LED dance floor.
The Port houses three bars, a restaurant, rental pavilions, bag-check rooms, WCs, shower rooms, foot baths, hydrotherapy bathtubs, a doctor’s office, a gift shop, a children’s corner and a mother and child room. There is also a grove of mighty old oak trees in the Port’s centre. Other entertainment at the VDNKh port includes: dancing, jazz music, sports and outdoor painting. Sports programs include group and individual workouts featuring classes in water polo, swimming, yoga, stretching and dancing. The VDNKh Port is able to receive up to 700 visitors. You can also choose to combine sports activities with leisure and amusement park visits.