With its lake and the River Limmat, Zurich offers plenty of grand opportunities for a swim. Yes, the water in both is cleaner than in most European cities and fine for swimming. Besides the possibility of just jumping into the lake anywhere (watch out for ships and boats), the city has 11 official outdoor swimming baths on the lake and the river, many with facilities such as cloakrooms, toilets, kiosks, etc. In 2018 they are open from May 10 until September 10/16. For many of them an entrance fee is charged (8Sfr adults, 6Sfr from 16 - 20 years, 4Sfr kids), but the ones on the river are usually free. In the morning (07:00/09:00 - 11:00) they are usually open regardless of weather conditions.
If it’s sunny closing time is usually 20:00. After that many of the baths turn into lively open-air bars. We list our favourite places by the water below.
Remember swimming in the lake and especially the river is only for good swimmers. Bear in mind that there is not necessarily a lifeguard present even at official swimming facilities. If you’re swimming in the lake it’s advisable to wear a coloured bathing cap so ships can see you better. Swimming in the River Limmat between the lake and the river swimming baths at Oberer Letten (close to the main station) is forbidden, as there is busy boat and ship traffic there.