The best places to swim in Paris

Paris Plages, swimming pools, leisure centres and water sports centres: the best places to swim in Paris

When summer is in full swing, it’s hard to resist the urge to go for a swim. With swimming pools and water sports centres, not to mention the annual Paris Plages event, you can treat yourself to a refreshing, relaxing dip right in the heart of Paris!

A shining sun that rises early and sets late, climbing temperatures, rosy evening light that colours the city’s monuments like at no other time of year… every summer, Paris offers a natural display that you can never get tired of. To help you make the most of this beautiful season, Paris gets ready for summer by opening a multitude of great new places to go swimming with friends or family. Ready, set, dive in!

Paris Plage, the unmissable summer event

Paris Plages 2017 - Bassins canal de l'Ourcq © Mairie de Paris

This has been the ultimate event for beach lovers in Paris for 15 years. From 6 July to 6 September 2019, Paris Plages will be bringing a touch of the coast to the Parc des Rives de Seine and the La Villette canal basin with parasols, deckchairs and palm trees, perfect for basking in the sun and taking a dip. For a quieter, more peaceful swim, head to one of the three pools that make up the huge Paris Plages swimming space beside the Canal de l’Ourcq (Quai de la Loire, 19th arrondissement). Children (must be accompanied), people with reduced mobility and experienced swimmers alike can find their own depth and have fun their way from 11am to 9pm. Three other free, secure summer pools give Parisians and tourists the chance to dive headfirst into the season. The Elisabeth sports centre in the 14th arrondissement is on the Left Bank, while north of the Seine you can find the Louis Lumière (20th) and Léo Lagrange (12th) sports centres.

Open-air swimming pools

Piscine Joséphine Baker, bassin extérieur, Paris © Gérard Sanz / DJS - Mairie de Paris

Summer is also a time when certain pools in Paris can roll back their retractable roofs so that visitors can sunbathe as well as swim! Those who like history as much as they like swimming can opt for the swimming pool in Butte-aux-Cailles (13th arrondissement), the oldest swimming pool in Paris (1924) whose Art Deco features make it a listed historical monument today. The Georges Vallerey swimming pool (20th) lets you swim in the legendary pool where the American Johnny Weissmuller won his first Olympic titles in 1924 (a few years before becoming an actor to play Tarzan in 12 films). Other classic Parisian pools include the Aquaboulevard de Paris and the Joséphine Baker swimming pool with its floating pool installed on a barge and views of the quays of the Seine (13th). And there’s more! From the pools surrounded by nature in Auteuil at the heart of the Bois de Boulogne to those in the 19th arrondissement (Hébert and Georges Hermant), as well as the Keller (15th) and Roger Le Gall (12th) swimming pools, you’ll have no trouble finding a spot to relax in a deckchair or lay out your beach towel in the sun. If you would prefer to cool down in a covered area, you can try the Pailleron sports centre (19th) and the Hébert swimming pool (18th).

Huge choice around Paris

Ile de loisirs de Vaires-Torcy, activité nautique, Paris © Vincent Colin

There are also just as many leisure and water sports centres to discover in natural settings on the outskirts of Paris, where you can enjoy a complete change of scene and lots of extra activities to try out once you’re done swimming. Some 10 km from Paris and accessible by metro is the Île de Loisirs leisure centre in Créteil (94), which has a 1,300 m² space with a wave pool, a water slide and other aquatic attractions. There is also a sailing school where you can try out catamaran sailing, dinghy sailing, optimist sailing and windsurfing. You can also enjoy a swim outdoors in Jablines and Vaires-Torcy, both 5 km from Disneyland Paris, as well as horseriding, golf and more. Finally, those looking for aquatic fun in a natural setting further off the beaten track can try Bois-le-Roi (in the heart of the Fontainebleau forest), St-Quentin-en-Yvelines and Estampes, where expert swimmers, kids just learning and families having a picnic can all enjoy a beach atmosphere, with lakes instead of the sea.