Summer is, hands down, the best time to be in Zurich. This has mostly to do with the fact that you can swim in the river and lake. One of the best spots is Unterer Letten, an old-fashioned wooden ‘Badi’ (swimming pool) built into the river Limmat and surrounded by an interesting cityscape.
What never fails to astonish me, even after many years in Zurich, is how clear and clean the water is – you can actually see the ground.
There’s some insider knowledge necessary to get your best swimming experience at Unterer Letten. To start, you need to engage in a bit of climbing action to get further out than the steps leading into the water. Watch how the locals do it and you’ll be good to go. When you reach the end of the pool area, again it’s a good idea to have watched the locals beforehand. There’s an iron fence in the water, and you need to swim feet first approaching it, so you can press your feet against it and in the process get treated to a nice back massage by the currents.
This may all sound terribly complicated and like far too much of a hassle, but trust me – it’s great fun, and going back to a ‘normal’ swimming pool later will seem tedious to you.