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 mid-June to the end of September and costs 200rmb to get in for the day. No ID or health check needed, but 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.
ADDRESS: 778 Dongfang Lu,
near Zhangyang Lu
Oasis Riviera Garden [Members Only]
Members only. And to become a member, you need to live in the Oasis Riviera compound. They used to be a bit more relaxed, but they've really tightened things up. We were immediately asked to present our membership card on arrival and couldn’t get past the compound gate. You can try and finesse the situation if you are really desperate but don’t blame us if you get turfed out. If you are one of the lucky few, the pool will be open sometime after June 8 and can be used from 9am-9pm.
ADDRESS: 883 Shuicheng Lu,
near Tianshan Lu
New World Shanghai Hotel (Changning)
A decent sized and well-situated option, but a little pricey at 200rmb on weekdays and 320rmb on weekends. A half year membership is 6,000rmb. It’s open every day between the hours of 7am to 9pm, from early May to October and no health checks, swimming caps or ID are needed. They don’t care what state you’re in - as long as you can put up the cold hard cash, you’re fine.
ADDRESS: 1555 Dingxi Lu,
near Changning Lu
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 are open year-round, but the outdoor pool is open from mid-June (they haven’t decided on a specific date yet). The entry fee of 118rmb, up from 98rmb last year, gets you access to everything in the noticeably sanitary complex all day. There is an onsite health check that will cost you 6rmb and swim caps are compulsory, but you won’t need your ID. Both locations are popular weekend spots and can get crowded, but the size is pretty good, particularly at the Pudong location. Towels provided.
ADDRESS: 288 Dongxiu Lu,
near Meihua Lu
JW Marriott Tomorrow Square (People's Square)
A fantastic location to neck some Pina Coladas poolside on a rooftop, but the 280rmb entry fee makes it a little on the steep side for what it actually is – shallow and small. The pool is open from 6am-11pm and will close at the end of October. No need for swimming cap, health check, or ID. You can pay an extra 100rmb to use the hotel gym too, all of which is free for hotel guests.
ADDRESS: 399 Nanjing Xi Lu,
near Huangpi Bei Lu
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, 100rmb will get you in, rent you a towel, gives you access to the sauna (which was broken at the start of June) and the jacuzzi. The price goes up to 150rmb on the weekend and is 50rmb 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-9pm. Nice and simple, we like it.
ADDRESS: 568 Julu Lu,
near Shaanxi Nan Lu
Mandarin City Pool (Hongqiao)
The go-to option at the weekend for a lot of laowai who are looking to kick back and sink a few Asahi’s in the sun whilst listening to their favorite Martin Garrix mix. If you’re not about that life, a weekday will be far more relaxed. It opened June 6 and will close on September 30, letting people enjoy the pool between the hours of 9am and 7pm for 130rmb. No towels for rent but you can buy them, and there’s no need for a swimming cap here. Passport and health check are also not necessary.
ADDRESS: Mandarin City
Rear of Club House,
1129 Guyang Lu, near Shuicheng Nan Lu
Shimao Riviera Garden (Pudong)
Buuuuuusy at weekends. Maybe it’s the trees, rocks, sand and other holiday vibe-inducing features dotted about the place that both Chinese and non-Chinese flock to when they aren’t in the office. It could also be the poolside bar dishing out mojitos like nobody’s business. Entry is 200rmb and the complex is huge – there’s loads of space for loungers, the outdoor pool is massive, and they have an indoor pool too. Weather permitting, it’s open every day starting May 28 from 10am-7pm until the end of September. Cap needed but no ID or health check.
ADDRESS: 1 & 2 Weifang Lu,
near Pucheng Lu
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, no ID needed, and no health check. Towels provided.
ADDRESS: W Shanghai – The Bund
4/F, 66 Lvshun Lu,
near Dongchangzhi Lu
Dino Beach (Minhang)
Due to its slides, wave pools and lazy river, Dino Beach flirts with the concept of a waterpark. It has a pool too though and the fact that it’s close enough to downtown has led to its inclusion in this list, so if you don’t mind swathes of screaming kids and heavily chlorinated water (for your own protection), this one might be for you. Prices range from 120-220rmb depending if you go at peak hours or at the weekend. It’s open from June 22 to August 19 at 9am-10pm. No need for swim cap and no need to show ID but they may require you to do a brief health check. Towels provided.
ADDRESS: 78 Xinzhen Lu,
near Gudai Lu
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 the facilities for a one-time fee of 150rmb, otherwise it’s 7000rmb for a year-long membership. 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 are provided and you may be asked a couple of questions about your health but it’s pretty chill and costs nothing, no need for ID. The outdoor pool opened May 15th and closes at the end of September.
ADDRESS: 1500 Huaihai Zhong Lu,
near Wulumuqi Lu