The great, big, wonderful list of all the best pool around town for the summer two-oh-two-one. Hot town, summer in the city!

  • Ambassy

    1 .


    Ambassy Club (Xuhui)

    Ambassy Club has indoor and outdoor pools that both require a membership for regular usage. Non-members are allowed to show up and test both pools, gym, and spa for a one-time fee of 300rmb, as of July 1. It’s 7000rmb for a year-long membership for one person, or 11,800rmb for a couple. To stop people coming twice on the cheap, they are taking everyone’s name and phone number – seems they’ve wised up over the winter months. In any case, the indoor pool requires a swimming cap but not the outdoor one. Towels arent provided and you may be asked a couple of questions about your health. The outdoor pool is currently open and will close September 30 but until then, its open Monday from 11am to 6pm and the rest of the week from 9am to 6pm.

  • Grand

    2 .


    Grand Plaza Club House (Xuhui)

    Not the biggest but is a popular one due to its very convenient downtown location 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.

  • JW

    3 .


    JW Marriott Tomorrow Square (Peoples Square)

    A fantastic location to neck some Pina Coladas poolside on a rooftop, but the 358rmb 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.

  • Mandarin

    4 .


    Mandarin City Pool

    Long-time favorite out in Hongqiao right here. On the weekends its usually packed with a rowdy, often boozed up laowai crowd drinking beers and listening to EDM and Trap music on cheap speakers. During the week, its a haven for hungover DJs and underemployed English tutors. Monday afternoons is Shanghai F&B day-time drinks. Theyre open daily from July 1, 9am to 7pm. Fee is 130rmb for adults and 80rmb for kids. Definitely hard to get a seat on the weekend.

  • New

    5 .


    New Star (Pudong)

    New Star is a Korean bathhouse and has outdoor pools at their locations in Hongqiao and Pudong, the latter being not too far from Century Park. The baths and outdoor pools are currently open, and the entry fee of 118rmb gets you access to everything in the noticeably sanitary complex all day (or theyve got a discount on Dianping). Towels provided, but swim caps are compulsory you need to bring everything else. Both locations are popular weekend spots and can get crowded, but the size is pretty good, particularly at the Pudong location. Open daily from 10am to 8pm.

  • Oriental

    6 .


    Oriental Springs

    Oriental Spring opened in winter 2019, closed, and then re-opened in summer 2020. Its the only hot spring on this list, and its also the only one that doesnt require you to travel hours outside of town. The entire three-floor water resort is dedicated to a 15,000sqm hot spring, including fifteen (!) outdoor pools with different features and five indoor saunas. Theyve also got a variety of restaurants, recreational activities, books, massages, and so forth. Theyre open daily from 11am to midnight, and fees are currently 169rmb during the weekday or 199rmb on weekends. SmartShanghai has an exclusive deal for June and July only, where 149rmb gets you access to the hot spring and free-flow beer and soft drinks all day. Evening pass is 69rmb from 4.30pm onwards. Find out more on SmartTicket here.

  • Playa

    7 .


    Playa Maya

    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 its the only one in Shanghai (to our knowledge). Its easy to spend a whole day at the park, espescially 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 caode (Sui Shen Ma) are required for entry as is your passport, or a photo of it.

  • The

    8 .


    The Portman Ritz-Carlton

    The Portman-Ritz Carlton complex is an expat haven on Nanjing Lu, but facilities are unfortunately open only to members. For access to both indoor and outdoor swimming pools as well as their fitness center, membership is 1788rmb for one month or 2888rmb for two months. Their outdoor swimming pool is open daily from 10am until 7pm and closed on rainy days. SmartTicket has a great deal on the One-Month Membership here;

  • Purple

    9 .


    Purple Mountain (Pudong)

    Great place for a good old poolside knees-up. A big pool surrounded by lots of space with decent views of the city make this an ideal spot to party. Riviera have been doing this since way back in 2005. It’s open to the public from now until the end of September and costs 200rmb for adults or 100rmb for kids. You will be required to wear a swimming cap, which could mess with your party vibe if you’re trying to impress the opposite sex. Towels provided.

  • Radisson

    10 .


    Radisson Blu Forest Manor Hongqiao

    The Radisson’s substantial outdoor pool is open to outside visitors. No reservations are needed but a swimming cap is. For Mondays to Thursdays, the pool costs 200rmb for adults and 100rmb for kids. For Fridays to Sundays, it nearly doubles to 380rmb for adults and 190rmb for kids. You can buy a 3-month seasonal family membership for 10,880rmb, which gives two adults and two kids access to the swimming pools and fitness centers. The pool is open 8am to 7pm.

  • Sofitel

    11 .


    Sofitel Shanghai Sheshan Oriental

    Indoor and outdoor pools are open at the luxury hotel out west. 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 youre looking to make a proper day of it.

  • WET

    12 .


    WET BAR (Bund Area)

    The posh AF pool and poolside bar of the W hotel in Hongkou that only has a limited amount of day passes each day. If you’re not a resident, you’ll have to lay down a wedge on the pass - 480rmb from Monday to Thursday then 580rmb from Friday to Sunday. This gets you access to the outdoor and indoor pool, plus the FIT gym and a locker. No caps required and towels are provided. The indoor pool is open from 6am to 10pm, and the outdoor pool is open from 10am to 6pm. W Shanghai has an exclusive deal with SmartShanghai; Take Me AWAY is available every day from now until August 31, public holidays excluded. For 1980rmb, you and a friend can enjoy happy hour with free-flow food and drinks from 6-8pm, FIT day passes (includes swimming pool), and a 70-minute individual spa treatment (50 minutes of deep tissue massage and 20 minutes of mini facial). The outdoor pool is open from 10am-6pm, and the gym and indoor pool are open from 6am-10pm. Click here for all details.

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