It's summer (if you hadn't noticed), and that means: pool time!
To find the city's best pools, we dived into blue water all over the city, checking for over-chlorination, floating Band-Aids and murky water. We bravely strode into showers in search of slime, checked out shower gel and hair dryers. And we baked our weary bones in saunas.
A few places didn't make the cut. But we found some spectacularly great pools, both outdoor and indoor, for de-stressing, partying, or keeping little kids from being bored (or bothering the grown-ups).
Here are our top five pool picks for whenever the sun remembers what month it is.
Atlant: For Ladies in Need of a Therapy Day
If you can't make it to the seashore but still want the therapeutic benefits of sea water, the Atlant (formerly Korall) indoor pool is the place for you. The mineral water from an artesian well is naturally salty and contains no chlorine or other harmful chemicals. The pool is made for therapy — the atmosphere is quiet and the water and showers are sparkling clean. The price of one visit includes towels and a visit to the sauna. For an additional cost, you may take water aerobics with an instructor, swimming lessons, or have a massage.
Atlant (Former Korall). 28 Ulitsa Talalikhina. Metro Volgogradsky Prospekt. 495-671-7370. mybasseyn.ru. Open daily, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. All day pass: Adults — 1,000 rubles. Children — 500 rubles.
Naturally sourced mineral water gushes into the calm Atlant indoor pool.
Neptune: For Fitness Junkies
Are you a committed fan of fitness or a summer get-in-shape warrior? No matter. If you want a great place to swim laps under the sun and no children hogging the lanes, then try the Neptune pool. Only children older than 16 are allowed in, and everyone needs to have a certificate ("spravka") of good health to gain access. For serious swimmers, there are eight 50-meter-long lanes. For a more relaxed swim, there is a 25-meter six-lane pool. Water polo, a fitness center and diving lessons serve as a nice supplement for those seeking to improve their form for additional cost.
Neptune, Otkryty Kompleks. 30 Ulitsa Ibragimova. Metro Semyonovskaya. 495-369-4803. For more info, see aqua-go.ru. Open Mon. to Sat., 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sun., 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. One session (45 min.) — 300 rubles.
Shore House Yacht Club: For When You Want a Pool Party
Do you want a resort-style pool with water sports, a full bar and restaurant? Are you pining for summery drinks with paper umbrellas? Do you really wish you were at a seaside resort? Except for the sea, the Shore House ticks all the boxes. Guests can enjoy the sun and relax by the pool in maximum comfort, with a bar and a summer kitchen close to hand. You can rent VIP tents and enjoy the dishes of Azerbaijani, Uzbek, European and Japanese cuisine. On the banks of the Moscow River, Shore House provides an opportunity to experience nearly all the delights of a summer vacation without leaving Moscow.
Shore House Yacht Club. 66 km MKAD, Krasnogorsk. Metro Myakinino. 495-727-2481. shore-house.ru. Open daily 12 p.m. to 12 a.m. All-day pass — 500 rubles.
Yunost: For Kids
Yunost (which means "youth") will allow even the youngest of swimmers to enjoy a splash on a hot summer day. Swimming lessons are provided for newborns to children up to 5 years old. Classes are held in water warmed up to a pleasant and safe temperature for children, and the sauna is kept at a mild temperature. Classes for newborns and toddlers include aqua gymnastics, and for preschoolers there is an emphasis on swimming technique.
Yunost. 5 Ulitsa Akademika Bakuleva. Metro Troparyovo. 495-438-8955. For more information, see probasseyn.ru. Open daily, 7 a.m. to 10:45 p.m. One session (45 min., including parent and child) — 1000 rubles.
Divers at the popular, family-friendly Chaika pool in the heart of the city.
Chaika: For the Whole Family
If you want classical style and a family-friendly atmosphere, come to the Chaika, right in the heart of the city. Built way back in 1957, it's the largest outdoor pool in the city and has hosted thousands of Russian and foreign celebrities and political figures. It's still one of the most popular pools for sports and relaxation in the city. Why not? The dressing rooms are big, you can swim directly from shower to pool, and there are lanes for both serious lap swimmers and splashers.
Chaika SK. 3 Turchaninov Pereulok. Metro Park Kultury. 499-246-1344. chayka-sport.ru. Open Mon. to Fri., 7 a.m. to 10:45 p.m. Sun., 8 a.m. to 8:45 p.m. All day pass — 2,000 rubles. Two-hour pass — 1,000 rubles.