It’s summer. It’s hot. You don’t want to drive for 45 minutes to an hour to the nearest packed beach. What you do want is to stand submerged from the neck down in a huge vat of cold water, aka a swimming pool, for at least a few hours, and then go about your evening in the city as planned. Thankfully there are plenty of options for doing just that. Here we present five options we enjoy.
On a quiet day, you may even have this small but clean and refreshing pool all to yourself, give or take a few brief appearances by hotel guests. Located just over 10 minutes’ walk from Acropolis metro, this is the most affordable option. Pool use includes a free towel.
Pro: Most affordable option, not as busy as other pools (except in high season), clean.
Cons: No view, limited space in the shade during the hottest hours, doesn’t serve food (and has limited drinks).
7 Mousson, Acropolis, Tel. (+30) 210.923.5151
Cost: €15 on weekdays; €20 on weekends.
This was one of the city’s first concept hotels, and is as dinky as it is creatively colorful in its design and vintage-to-modern decor style. The pool here is not much more than a cool strip, but it’ll do perfectly if you want a place where you can dip in and out while sipping your cold cocktail or coffee and relaxing. The hotel offers a complimentary towel to pool users and sometimes offers yoga classes.
Pro: Central, just a 15 minute-walk from Monastiraki station, funky vibes, clean.
Cons: The rooftop view is a little cramped, as is the pool deck itself.
26 Sofokleous, Monastiraki, Tel. (+30) 210,524.8511.
Cost: €30 Monday-Friday, €40 on weekends.
On the rooftop of the Alexandros Hotel near Mavili Square, this pool is designed to emulate the beach experience in the heart of urbanity. Surrounded by sand, sun loungers, umbrellas and even cabanas, the instagrammable pool and its Cyclades-inspired taverna is definitely the most aesthetically singular in Athens.
Pro: Unique concept, scenic, nice views, luxurious treats (at an added cost).
Cons: No kids allowed, sandy (if you’re looking for a sand-free swim).
8 Timoleondos Vassiou, Ambelokipi, Tel. (+30) 216.200.7699.
Cost for a set of two loungers: €70 Monday-Friday, €90 on weekends (upon appointment only).
There are several other options that include a cabana and even TV. Check the site to reserve.
President Hotel Penthouse 21
You can’t get any higher than this in Athens, as this pool is located on the 21st floor. With lovely open views of the city, this spacious and airy rooftop pool offers a great way to get away from the noise “down there” while being very much connected to the city’s heart. The hotel offers a complimentary towel as part of the pool use price.
Pro: 360 degree views of the capital, nice pool bar that hosts live DJ sets some evenings, fun for kids.
Cons: some furniture is a little dated, can get very busy during high season and weekends.
43 Kifissias Avenue, Ambelokipi, Tel. (+30) 210,698.9000.
Cost: €30 Monday-Friday, €45 on weekends and holidays.
St George Lycabettus
On the rooftop of the St George Lycabettus Hotel you’ll find a pool with some of the prettiest views of the verdant hill above and the city all around. This is a great stop for a day of buzzing around Kolonaki, one of Athens’ best shopping, café and dining districts. The pool offers a complimentary towel as well as a refreshment or coffee included in the price.
Pro: Wonderful views, elegant, clean.
Cons: Limited shade, not much space right in front of the pool.
2 Kleomenous, Kolonaki, Tel. (+30) 210,741.6000.
Cost: €32 Monday-Friday for one person or €48 for two, €36 on weekends for one person or €58 for two.