Family friendly pools ‘en plein air’
Summer took a very long time to arrive this year. But thankfully it’s here now and we’ve got some fabulous ideas that should keep the kids cool and happy. In the summer months, many of the city’s pools lift their retractable roof and become open air. Some even have sun loungers (take note, Mamas – the summer holiday is long, and you might just need this!). Here is our super useful guide to the best outdoor pools in Paris.
Sun decks and wading pools at the Joséphine Baker
Piscine Joséphine Baker is a Paris classic and no summer is complete without a trip here. This pool actually floats on the Seine. It’s really a giant barge housing a pool. When the roof comes off in the summer months, it’s quite a sight, with a 250sqm pool and a 50sqm kids wading pool. A highlight for the Mamas is definitely the huge sun deck with spectacular views of the river, as well as the jacuzzi and sauna.
It’s a place for lounging, with the kids smiling and happy. It’s an inexpensive day out as they charge just regular public swimming pool prices. But be warned…it does get busy, with so many families wanting to take advantage of this outdoor treat.
Piscine Joséphine Baker, Quai François Mauriac, 75013 Paris. Tel: 01 56 61 96 50
Metro: Bibliotheque Francois Mitterand. Buses: 89, 64.
We have to include this kids paradise. Aquaboulevard is the biggest urban water park in Europe and it’s right here in the 15th district of Paris. It has two wave pools, 11 giant water slides, indoor and outdoor jacuzzis and lazy rivers. Plus, there is a sandy beach featuring actual Mauritian beach huts imported from Mauritius!
This is a real, full, fun family day out. It’s not cheap though – we warn you that prices are 33 euros for adults and 19 euros per child, so plan a long day here and get your money’s worth. There is no entry for kids under the age of 3 so this is not one for the very young.
Aquaboulevard, 4-6 rue Louis Armand, 75015 Paris. Tel: 01 40 60 10 00
Metro: Balard. RER: Boulevard Victor. Buses: 39, 169.
Centre Aquatique at Neuilly
Ok, this one is technically just outside of Paris at Neuilly, but it is easily reached using Metro line 1. The Centre Aquatique with both a fun pool and water slides, plus a sports pool for those looking to swim a little more seriously. There is a toddler wading pool too.
It’s surrounded by lovely lawns where you’ll find Parisians sunbathing and kids playing. Its a special spot and reasonably priced at 7 Euros. Just like Josephine Baker, the pool at Neuilly gets busy, so it’s a good idea to arrive early.
Centre Aquatique, 27-31 Boulevard d’Inkermann, 92200 Neuilly-sur-Seine. Tel: 01 55 62 62 70
Metro: Pont de Neuilly, Les Sablons, Louise Michel.
We love this 1920s art nouveau gem in the 13th district. There are 3 pools to choose from at Buttes-aux-Cailles, two outdoors and one indoors. The outdoor pools are still partially heated by the hot springs which were discovered on the site in 1866, and this helps keep the water up to a comfortable 28 degrees. The indoor pool is famous for its curved art nouveau roof, painted in vibrant yellow and red.
Piscine de la Butte-aux-Cailles, 5 place Paul Verlaine, 75013 Paris. Telephone: 01 45 89 60 05
Metro: Place d’Italie, Corvisart. Bus: 57.
Located at Porte de Vincennes, the Roger-Le-Gall swimming pool manages to keep everyone happy by reserving the 25m pool for serious swimmers and sports clubs, leaving the gloriously big 50m for public use. The roof is opened in the summer months and the surrounding lawns are filled with sun-bathers.
However, we do have to alert you that there are five ‘naturist’ hours per week (usually in the evening) – yes, that does mean nude swimming! So perhaps schedule your family swim at other times.
Piscine Roger le Galle, 34, boulevard Carnot, 75012 Paris. Telephone: 01 44 73 81 12
Metro: Porte de Vincennes. Bus: 29, 56.
Olympic-sized Piscine Georges Valleray
When you arrive at Piscine Georges Valleray, it can look a bit Soviet-style, but keep an open mind as you’ll soon learn why it’s a favourite for those living in the 20th district and beyond. It was built for the 1924 Olympic Games and the roof comes off in the summer months.
There is a giant 50m long pool which is often divided in two, there is also another pool for kids. Somehow they keep everyone happy – the serious lap-swimmers, the splashing families and the sun-bathers. Plus, in the summer months, there is a bar on the first floor.
Piscine Georges Valleray, 148, avenue Gambetta, 75020 Paris. Telephone: 01 40 31 15 20
The Piscine Hébert is located right in the La Chapelle neighbourhood in a shaded, tree-lined public garden and has two pools, one 25m and the other 12m. They open the roof on sunny days.
Tucked away as it is, it doesn’t get as busy as some of the other pools featured so is a good option, away from the crowds on a sunny day.
Piscine Hébert, 2 rue des Fillettes, Paris, 75018. Telephone: 01 55 26 84 90
Metro: Porte de la Chapelle, Marx Dormoy. Bus: 35, 60.
Perched right on the edge of the Bois de Boulogne, the Piscine d’Auteuil is a favourite spot for Parisians. It is not exactly outdoor swimming but the roof can partially retract and there is outdoor space to sunbathe, with trees for shade.
It’s ideal to combine with the boating lakes of the Bois de Boulogne and Chalet des Iles restaurant, both just a short walk from the pool.
Piscine d’Auteuil, Route des Lacs à Passy, 75016 Paris, Telephone: 01 42 24 07 59
Metro: Ranelagh. Bus: 32, PC1.
Splurge at the Molitor
Now here’s a thought. Leave the kids at home and book yourself a trip to the Molitor (see featured pic). This is really in the realm of fantasy given the 180 Euro price tag. But when the long school holiday is getting too much for you, you can at least dream about this luxury outdoor pool in the west of Paris. The Molitor has seen it all. It opened it 1929 and was a magnet for glamour and chic. The world’s first ever bikini debuted there in 1946. It closed in 1989 and fell into disrepair, before re-opening to much fanfare in 2014. Sadly it’s too expensive but we would love to try it just once. Preferably with a Bellini from the bar!
La Piscine Molitor, Avenue de la Porte Molitor, 75016 Paris. Telephone: 01 56 07 08 80
Metro: Michael-Ange Molitor
A brilliant place to take the children all year round but particularly special during the summer months. This great shallow pool is perfect for little kids. Fun for children and a relaxing space for parents too.
Jardin d’Acclimatation, Bois de Boulogne, 75116 Paris. Telephone: +33 1 40 67 90 85
Metro: Les Sablons
A few tips
With most of the pools we have mentioned, you should assume that your family will all be expected to wear swimming caps and the boys and men should wear close-fitting swimsuits – no loose trunks or shorts. We are talking Speedos. Always hilarious!
Also, do call the pool in advance to check their opening times – they vary and they operate a different schedule during school holidays.
Hope you enjoyed this brilliant guide to the top ten outdoor pools Paris. This post and many more will be coming your way over the Summer, so keep it locked to Mama Loves Paris. Follow Mama Loves Paris on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram.