Just relax, jump into the cool water every so often and just chill out. In summer, bathing lakes are simply unbeatable when it comes to escaping the heat. Many lakes in NRW have also invested in their infrastructure in recent years and expanded the range of sports and entertainment they offer so that it’s never boring, even when you have an acute urge to move. Added to this are the few extraordinary open air pools, with water-based cooling-off tips for the warm summer days in NRW to complete the list.
Reservoirs Bergisches Land
Bergisches Land and the Bergisch three, Wuppertal, Solingen and Remscheid, are a true paradise for water sports enthusiasts and those looking to cool off. No other region in Europe boasts so many reservoirs in such as small area as here. Not only do the Bergisch reservoirs ensure the supply of water to the surrounding area, they also invite you to bathe in their clear water. That is why the Wupper reservoir in Remscheid is a favourite destination for excursions during the hot season. The Kräwinklerbrücke bathing area is open to swimmers, and canoeists, sailors, anglers and divers are welcome too.
Swimming pool with a view in Bonn
Swimming with a view of the Siebengebirge
Panoramabad Rüngsdorf, Bonn
Panoramabad Rüngsdorf is located in the villa district of Bonn-Bad Godesberg right on the Rhine. This along with the view of the Siebengebirge make it one of the most beautiful open air pools on the Rhine. It was built in 1930 and reopened in 1993 following extensive renovations. In addition to the exceptional views, it also boasts a white water channel and a counter-current installation.
Dive into Düsseldorf
Relaxing in the natural beach pool
Unterbacher See, Düsseldorf
A single day is probably not enough to try out all of the leisure activities at Unterbacher See near Düsseldorf. At the two open air beach pools, guests can relax on the sunbathing lawn and swim in the clear water, enjoy a coffee on the floating lake terrace in a special atmosphere, and there are also opportunities to sail, surf, take a trip on a paddle boat or go fishing.
Swimming in the Eifel
Sunbathing on the sandy beach
One of the most beautiful artificial lakes in North Rhine-Westphalia is Rursee in Eifel National Park. At several different locations, water sports enthusiasts can pursue their passion. Anyone who prefers to get comfortable can also rest and relax on one of the bathing beaches such as Sonnenstrand Eschauel and the beach at the Einruhr open air experience pool.
Today, palm trees grow in the blue summer sky on the former State Garden Show grounds. Free beach chairs, giant bouncy cushions, a water playground or a giant swing with a view are further highlights of the lido. If you get hungry, you don't necessarily have to go ashore to eat, you can hire a barbecue boat. Up to ten people can set sail with the BBQ donuts.
Lignite opencast mining is to thank for the artificial Blausteinsee. Today, you can sunbathe or swim at a long sandy beach. Water sports enthusiasts can also sail, surf and dive.
Bathing in Cologne and Rhein-Erft-Country
Beach bars create a holiday feeling
The finest sand along 500 metres of cool water, beach volleyball and football pitches as well as an open air cocktail bar: Otto-Maigler-See in Hürth is one of the most popular excursion destinations in the Cologne-Bonn region on hot days, with good reason. Beach parties and live concerts provide that extra holiday feeling on certain days.
Fühlinger See, Cologne
Fühlinger See, which also offers a beach pool, is another favourite. Blackfoot Beach impresses with its white sandy beach, beach bars, sun island and sports facilities, which include beach volleyball and a high wire garden, to mention but a few examples. But the entire local recreation area has so much more to offer: The centrepiece is a regatta field where numerous sporting events take place, from ironman competitions to dragon boat races.
Cooling off in Münsterland
Blue water and white sand
Aasee is described as a natural oasis near Bocholt’s town centre - and rightly so. Even though it is artificial, it impresses as a local recreation area in green surroundings. The swimming cove and bathing area can be visited free of charge. Pedalos and paddle boats can be hired for some fun on the water and a sailing and windsurfing school offers lessons in the most popular types of water sport.
Offlumer See, Neuenkirchen
If the wind becomes a little fresher, bathing guests are guaranteed to feel like they are at the seaside. At Offlumer See in Northwest Münsterland, not only is there blue water and white sand, but also a beach promenade for a pleasant stroll.
Haddorfer Seen, Wettringen
The Haddorfer Seen, 25 kilometres east of Gronau in Münsterland, consist of five individual lakes. One of these is a natural bathing lake that is particularly popular with families with children, because not only can you swim here, you can also play in the mud at the specially designed muddy area. Visitors can also hire pedalos, paddle boats or electric boats and take them out to explore the lakes.
Bathing on the Lower Rhine
Surrounded by cycling and hiking trails
Freizeitsee Menzelen, Alpen
Between Alpen and Xanten lies the idyllic Freizeitsee Menzelen, surrounded by cycle and hiking routes. An approximately three kilometre long trail goes all around the lake. After a short hike, the cool lake with its white sandy beach and a small café invite you to sip a fresh cocktail to South American sounds.
Bettenkamper Meer, Moers
At the natural open-air swimming pool, bathing guests feel like they have gone back in time. Bettenkamper Meer in Moers on the Lower Rhine captivates with its 1920s setting. But people have been bathing here for much longer than that. 150 years ago, visitors were already splashing around in the Moersbach. The open air pool is part of the flowing waters, which means that the water remains pleasantly cool even on the hottest summer days. Out of the water, trees and beach chairs provide shade.
Kaarster Seen, Kaarst
A larger and a smaller lake in Kaart ensure that swimmers and other water sports enthusiasts do not get in each other’s way. On the larger lake, visitors sail, surf, fish and dive. The little lake is reserved for bathers: Here, you can relax on the sandy beach and sunbathing lawn, children can play safely in the separate non-swimmer area.
Wisseler See, Kalkar
Wisseler See in Kalkar combined the advantages of an outdoor pool with the natural swimming experience of a lake: The natural open air pool with its 60 metre long giant slide also invites you to relax on the sunbathing lawn and sandy beach right by the lake. Paddle boats can be hired at the beach for a tour of the lake. In addition you can also fish, dive, sail, row and surf here.
Eyller See, Kerken
People are not the only ones looking to cool down on warm days - man’s best friend also loves a cool swim. Because of this, Eyller See not only offers a beach pool for humans but also a special dog lawn with access to the water for our four-legged friends. Water sports enthusiasts can find the diving centre at the north west entrance, which also trains aspiring divers.
Blaue Lagune, Wachtendonk
At the Blaue Lagune, not only can visitors swim and relax on the sandy beach, an extensive range of leisure activities is also on offer: Among other things, the natural open air pool offers a waterskiing facility, trampolines, pitches for beach volleyball and soccer as well as a climbing garden. For a longer stay on balmy nights, tents, sleeping cabins and holiday homes can also be booked at the Lagune.
Effelder Waldsee, Wassenberg
Amici Beachclub is the name of the natural open air pool at Effelder Waldsee, and promises to make you feel like you are on holiday when you are there. Bathers can lie on the beach or swim in the waters of the lake, waterski, wakeboard or even go diving. The Aquapark also offers adventurous bathers waterslides, trampolines, climbing towers and diving platforms.
Nordsee and Südsee, Xanten
Nowhere else are Nordsee and Südsee as close together as in Xanten. At Südsee, there is a beach pool that offers bathing guests carefree summer days by the water. At Nordsee directly opposite, not only is there a sailing school but also the opportunity to waterski or drive an electric, fun or paddle boat, to surf, dive or do some stand up paddling.
Cooling off in the Ruhr Area
Swimming in front of industrial scenery
Werksschwimmbad Zollverein, Essen
Bathing before an industrial backdrop? This is possible at the Unesco World Heritage Site, the Zeche Zollverein colliery in Essen. Swimmers can now complete their lengths where workers used to sweat. The open-air pool is not just for swimming, but is also a work of art - which is also actively used during the hot summer months. Entrance to the pool, which has been created from two shipping containers welded together, is free of charge.
The Sechs-Seen-Platte is a natural oasis in the heart of the Ruhr Area. Once created by sand and gravel mining, today it is Duisburg’s largest local recreation area. The natural outdoor pool at Wolfsee is a popular excursion destination for families. As well as being able to swim in the lake, there is also a large children’s pool near the shore. Water sport fans can also surf, sail, fish and dive at the other lakes.
Water sport enthusiasts have long been actively using the lake. Pros can sail and surf here, beginners are welcome at the surf school. If you would like, you can also hire a canoe or, more recently, try out the new trendy sport that is stand up paddling. Because Essen was the European Green Capital 2017, the guests at Seaside Beach, the self-proclaimed South Seas paradise in Essen, have since recently been able to swim in the lake too. Previously, swimming was not allowed but you could use the mini-golf, climbing garden, beach volleyball facilities as well as the cocktail bar, all of which are still available.
Silbersee II, Haltern
A 900 metre long glistening silver beach by the sparkling blue waters of the lake - this is Silbersee II in Haltern. Sports fans are in the right place at the Silbersee surf station: After receiving safety instructions from TuS Haltern, you can surf on the lake.
Glörtalsperre in the Southeast Ruhr Area is surrounded by forest and invites you to relax in the water, not just on warm days. A walk around the Glör is also to be recommended on less sunny days and the 3.4 kilometre loop trail is also accessible to wheelchair users and pushchairs. At summer temperatures however, the natural pool on the north shore of the reservoir is the top excursion destination. Entrance is free.
Bathing lakes in Sauerland
South Seas Short Break
Waldfreibad Gudenhagen, Brilon
With its approx. 6,500 square metres of water, Waldfreibad Gudenhagen is one of the biggest open air pools in Germany. The enormous swimming pool here is right next to the forest and bathing guests can enjoy a picnic or a nap on large sunbathing lawns, while hobby sports fans can play around on the beach volleyball pitches.
Strandbad Uferlos promises a South Seas mini-holiday at Möhnesee. Here, bathing guests can spend a relaxing day at the “Westphalian Sea”, as the artificial lake in Sauerland is also called. In addition to the beach pool, there are a further two bathing areas at the lake. Moreover, the lake is a paradise for water sport fans. You can sail, surf, fish and dive here from spring to autumn.
Biggesee and Listersee, Olpe
Biggesee is a superlative body of water: On the waters of the biggest reservoir in Westphalia, visitors can take a trip on the biggest steamers in Sauerland, the MS Westfalen and the MS Bigge. The huge lake can also be explored under the surface of the water: Biggesee diving school offers beginners and advanced courses. At both Biggesee and its tributary, Listersee, there are plenty of bathing areas and beach pools that invite you to jump into the cool waters on warm days.
Cycling, hiking or bathing - at Hennesee visitors can have a really sporty or relaxing day out. Three bathing coves offer loads of room to sunbathe or cool off on a hot day. The lake is just two kilometres from Meschede - it can be reached on foot via the Himmelstreppe or Henne Boulevard, right in the pedestrian zone with small cafés and shops, inviting you to stay a while.
Anyone who prefers to stay dry can take a trip on Sopresee in a canoe or pedalo. But there is plenty to discover in the region either on foot or by bicycle too. Anyone who would prefer to take it easy can relax on the shore or enjoy the views on a boat trip. And if it gets really hot, the only thing that remains is to jump into the cold water.
Bathing in Siegen-Wittgenstein
Cooling down in mountain water
Müsen outdoor pool
In South Westphalia's largest natural open-air pool, visitors can cool off in pure mountain water and also find everything an open-air pool heart desires: a bathing island, a water slide, a diving area and a sandy beach. And they say the kiosk serves the best chips in the Siegerland region. Sounds like a perfect day at the lake.