Dortmund, half past seven in the morning. A veil of mist covers the large Volksbad pool, the public open air swimming pool located in the shadow of Signal Iduna Park stadium’s south stand. So early in the morning the sun has not yet gained enough strength to let you forget the coolness of the night, but the water is pleasantly warm.
The heads of the early morning swimmers begin to emerge from the mist. They’re a dedicated fellowship who come here at the crack of dawn to swim their lengths in peace and quiet. Stroke by stroke, they enjoy the fact that they have this 50-metre pool all to themselves. No children splashing, no flying balls – just them and the water.
The diving platform looming above the bobbing heads of the swimmers and built to resemble a mine shaft tower is undergoing reconstruction and is therefore currently closed. Yet, it is this tower which symbolises the charm of the Volksbad swimming pool, a time-honoured facility originally built in 1927 and now listed and protected as a historical monument.
Fortunately, the City of Dortmund has not followed the ways of many other cities in the Ruhr Region who are closing both their indoor and outdoor pools one after the other to save money. So Dortmund still boasts an impressive number of public baths.
Outdoor pools: sunbathing lawns and sports pools
The outdoor pools are open for water lovers from May onwards. Situated in pleasant surroundings and ideal for relaxation, the open-air pool in Wellinghofen not only has huge grassy areas for sunbathing but also a 50-metre pool with 2-3 lanes reserved for the more athletic swimmers.
Wouldn’t it be fun for once to lie in the sunshine where the very first Borussia Dortmund football players used to go hunting for goals? You can do this at the open-air swimming pool in Stockheide. What is now the pool’s sunbathing lawns, at the beginning of the 20th century was the “White Meadow”, Borussia Dortmund’s first sports pitch.
Prizewinning: Froschloch natural open-air swimming pool
Known as the “Frog Hole”, this open-air swimming pool has a special role among the city’s pools. The main emphasis here lies on “wellness” and not on competitive sports. There is a hydro-massage pool and an outdoor adventure playground. The swimming pool was awarded the “Pondy” prize for its conversion from a conventional swimming bath to a pool with biological water treatment
Wischlingen Revierpark: Sauna, water chutes and salt water pool
The pool at the Revierpark in Wischlingen offers both pure relaxation and plenty of action on the water chutes. This popular leisure facility boasts a large sauna area and fun and wellness baths with a salt water pool - open all year round.
Indoor swimming pools: swimming throughout the winter
Should your visit to Dortmund coincide with the colder months of the year, then no need for you to forgo your swimming. The City of Dortmund still runs a number of indoor pools around the city. There is also an indoor swimming pool run by a swimming club in Hacheney.
Should your main focus be on swimming as a sport then you ought to head for the Südbad, Dortmund’s sports pool with a spectators’ stand and the only inside 50-metre pool in the city. This is where the swimming elite can be seen doing their training which is why at least one lane is always reserved for faster athletes. Südbad swimming pool is very easy to reach for people unfamiliar with the area. If your hotel is situated in the city centre, you can walk to the pool, but there are also S-train and underground tram stops (S-Bahn and U-Bahn) at the Stadthaus station directly next to the pool.
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Tourist Information Kampstraße 80 44137 Dortmund
Opening hours: Mo - Fr: 10 am - 6 pm Sa: 10 am - 3 pm Sundays + Bank Holidays: closed