Utoquai Swimming Area, Lake Zürich
Will Ross, July 12, 2017
Head to the robust “zuerich.com” URL to find the suitably described “Seebad Utoquai – The Historic Swimming Area on the Right Bank of Lake Zurich”. The ambiguity of “Right” is profound given the status of the European Union and Zurich’s cosy position and coveted quality of life. Nevertheless, the Swiss can be forgiven – this is one formidable swimming spot, found on the Eastern bank of Lake Zürich.
Seebad Utoquai is made of a pavilion on stilts, referred to by locals as a wooden “Badepalast” (swimming palace). While you enjoy Mediterranean salads and ice cream in the small cafe, Lake Zürich actually washes beneath you, noticeable through the slats of wood with the kind of azure blue that has people booking tickets to the Maldives.
I dropped through the facility on a roasting day in September 2017, enjoying the diving board (featured image) as well as the pair of pontoons that punctuate the soccerfield-sized swimming area.
It’s worth noting that the floating pontoons aren’t far from the cafe – simply 30m, so you don’t need to be too ambitious to make the crossing from your quinoa bowl to a pair of the most edible tanning spots in the center of Europe. Auxiliary features include a pool for non-swimmers, separate pools for men and women and upper sunbathing decks that area also allocated as male, female and unisex spaces, if you haven’t been able to digest your lunch.
There are other reasons why this palace has survived 120 years of bathing: A book box from Pestalozzi Library provides reading material and when you’re not in the sauna or enjoying a massage, hone your stand-up paddleboarding skills.
Open seven days a week from May until September, from 7am-8pm. Adults (20+) can enter for CHF 8, with 16-19 year olds at CHF 6 and those younger at 4 CHF. Check water latest temperature.