SmartShanghai's been running a yearly roundup of outdoor pools featuring, basically, every public swimming spot in the city for the past... oh, I don't know... let's say one hundred years now. This year is a little different. This year is really different. Due to Covid closures, renovations, and whatever else, our list of 15 from last year is down to 5. And these are them.
Isn't life grand!
Note: This is what's going on with the two most popular pools. Mandarin City Pool — the pool bar owners and DJs like to drink and swim at while everyone else is working a real job — is closed due to "ownership change". The other big expat favorite, Oriental Springs, is still waiting for approval to reopen because of you-know-what.
So, yeah, here's five pools that are definitely open right now.
This is actually a new addition to our list. A good option if you live in Jinqiao, the Ambassy Club pool used to be members only but it's now open to the public for an entry fee. Slightly older decoration but still green and leafy enough, and some decent F&B options available as well. Single day passes are 198rmb and family passes (two adults, one kid) are 498rmb. This one is already getting busy on the weekends but doesn't get too crowded -- still doable. Indoor and outdoor pools available at the club, in additiont to kid's play and pool areas. Good one for families. Reservation one day in advanced is now required.
Not the biggest but it's a popular one due to its very convenient downtown location right on Julu Lu and the relatively reasonable entry fee. On a weekday, 150rmb will get you in, rent you a towel, and give you access to the sauna and jacuzzi. The price goes up to 200rmb on the weekend and is 80rmb for kids under 1.2m. There is a shop in the lobby that has some nice grub for you to eat poolside under one of the shaded tables to the right-hand side. Open year-round from 9am to 9pm. Nice and simple, we like it.
Huge water park out in Songjiang with more than 6 slides and all the big wave pools for those of you who enjoy getting tossed around. With DinoBeach being closed this year it's the only water park in Shanghai (to our knowledge). It's easy to spend a whole day at the park, especially on the weekends when gets packed. Expect long lines for all the slides. Keep your expectations low for the changing rooms. Open weekdays from 10am to 6pm and weekends from 10am to 7pm. The standard mask and health code are required for entry as is your passport, or a photo of it.
A fantastic location to neck some Pina Coladas poolside on a rooftop, but the 388rmb entry fee for adults makes it a little on the steep side for what it actually is — shallow and small. Kids can get in for 200rmb, and the pool is open daily from 8.30am to 9.30pm. You need to bring your own swim cap and goggles, but they provide towels, slippers, body wash, and water for free. They recommend that you call ahead on weekends to check availability as they only let 40 people in at once.
This one is super popular with families and their kids, to the extend that it's a lot less joyful than the pictures might make you think so. Maybe wait until school holidays are over to visit this one. A reservation is not needed, just show up and pay the 300rmb for adults, 150rmb for kids under 1.2m door price. The outdoor pool is open from 7am until 7pm and will close October 1. A green and spacious option if you're looking to make a proper day of it.
Should Open Soon
This one's currently close but "should open soon". Maybe check back on it further down the line and call in advance.
One of the lesser known outdoor pool options in Shanghai thanks to it's central location and relatively reasonable price (for Shanghai standards). There's a small kids pool too. 168rmb per person on weekdays and 188rmb on weekends. No outside food and drinks allowed.