When the weather heats up, there's no better way to cool off - especially in an air-conditioning free zone - than with a day at an outdoor pool. Fortunately, it's pretty easy to find a place to swim no matter where you are in the country.
The highest concentration of swimming spots is in the capital, where a string of seven locations - Dolné Krčace, Krasňany, Lamač, Rača, Tehelné Pole, Delfin, and the lake at Zlaté piesky - are all managed by a single organization. The lake, which has three waterslides, kayak, waterbike, and canoe rentals as well as volleyball and tennis courts, is the only exception to the rules governing the six pools, all of which consist of a pool, cafe, and ice cream stand. For more variety there is Istra Matador in Petržalka, with a 50 meter pool, 25 meter pool, and two kiddie pools, as well as plenty of grassy space for volleyball or other games.
Heading west, Kúpalisko Slňava in Piešťany is a prime swimming spot, with four pools and a capacity of 2,500 people. Even better, they have laid down sand for the closest you can get to "beach" volleyball in a landlocked country. Plus, there's minigolf! Nitra's Letné kúpalisko, with four pools and a toboggan, is even bigger, with a capacity of 3,000 people. The outdoor pool in Martin boasts a basketball court along with a sand playground, swings, and room for volleyball. Near Žilina, the Stražany pool 6 km from the center is the only option.
Banská Bystrica's Plážove Kúpalisko is the place to swim in Central Slovakia, with five pools, 20 food stands, volleyball, badminton, tennis, kayaking, canoeing, a waterslide and a large lake. Or, if you dare, check out the 90 meter-long "Kamikaze" water slide at the pool in Kovačová, a spa town between Zvolen and Banská Bystrica. They also have beach volleyball, minigolf, table tennis, and autocamping.
Vrbov, near Poprad, is the king of the eastern pools, with seven pools all of different temperatures of thermal water, including a soaking pool at 34 degrees Celsius (users must be over 20 years old and have no heart problems). This is the one place that charges a special price for foreigners, with a day costing 60 Sk for foreign adults (30 Sk for Slovaks) and 40 Sk for foreign kids (20 Sk for Slovaks). In Poprad Proper, there is an adult and kiddie pool on Športová ul.
3. Jul 1996 at 0:00 | Hannah Wolfson