What do you prefer? A sandy beach, a diving tower, a panoramic view of the Alps, a grassy area to sunbathe, under trees, on the lake, by the river or in the heart of the city? Zurich has the right outdoor bathing facility for every taste.
With so many open-air bathing facilities to choose from, the perfect swimwear is naturally a key consideration. Young and creative Zurich designers, such as Nathalie Schweizer, create beautifully timeless pieces. Those who need the right accessory for urban surfing is sure to find something to their liking at Oy. And for water lovers seeking the ultimate in swimwear, Round Rivers offers sustainable swimwear made from upcycled PET bottles collected along or in the River Limmat.
The Romans laid the foundations for Zurich’s bathing cult by building the first bath at what is now Weinplatz. Traces of this can still be seen at Thermengasse. At the beginning of the 19th century, awareness of the importance of personal hygiene increased. As it was cheaper to build public baths than to provide every household with running water, the first closed bathhouses were erected. For example, in 1837 the “Badehaus für Frauenzimmer” (public bathing house for women) was built near the Bauschänzli. This was replaced in 1888 by the present-day Frauenbad on Stadthausquai. Before long, additional so-called “Kastenbäder” (timber box bathhouses) were built, which used the more pleasant and cleaner water away from the lake shore or in the middle of the river. By 1900, there were a total of 10 such bathing facilities for women and for men.
The growing urban population and the discovery of bathing and swimming as a way of promoting health triggered a veritable building boom of open-air baths in Zurich. The new bathing facilities were generously equipped with sunbathing areas, showers, and changing rooms, and they became more representative in accordance with their cultural significance.