Rotterdam has no shortage of swimming locations. The iconic, cathedral-like Oostelijk swimming pool, the brand new Olympic-size pool in Charlois, the secluded Quarantine beach – all have their own charm. But my personal favourite swimming spot is the Van Maanenbad pool. The reason? It combines pretty much all these charms into one. It is an icon of architecture, built in 1937, that was recently renovated. The renovation has been so successful that the 80-year old Van Maanenbad won the national award for the best new swimming pool!
Much like the Oostelijk pool, the Van Maanenbad has preserved many classic design features inside and outside. Speaking of outside: the unique feature of Van Maanenbad is the outdoor pool, open until September 21st. The pool is tucked between building blocks and from the outside you’d never suspect it was there. But it is – out of sight, but not out of reach, complete with outdoor gym, a grass field, a football pitch and a playground waiting to provide you with relief on hot summer days.
The outdoor pool is closed during the winter months, but the Van Maanenbad remains a welcome escape from the winter chill, with its warm water and a steam room, a classic but crisp icon of Rotterdam swimming.