With the weather finally starting to warm up, Germany’s many public pools and lakes are open for business. Here are a few of the rules and etiquette that can help you make the most of your time cooling off.
Rules for swimming pools in Germany:
1. Look out for signs posted or painted on the ground prohibiting jumping from the side, no food allowed areas, no smoking areas, etc.
2. Bring a picnic, but don’t eat or drink in the pool area. Picnics are permitted in designated areas or on your blanket on the grass.
3. Bring a blanket to lie on and plenty of towels or a robe. Pools will have some loungers right beside the pool, however most people lie on the grass with picnic blankets.
4. The water in most pools will be heated and there will be a food stall selling snacks at most pools.
5. WATCH YOUR KIDS! Pool toys are allowed, but be sure that your older children are careful around the younger ones playing nearby.
6. Most pools do have trees etc for shade, however these spots are quickly taken so feel free to bring a shade umbrella.
7. Always shower at the facilities before you enter the pool.
8. There will be toilets, changing facilities and often lockers on site.
9. Picnic, sweets, drinks, beer, etc. attract insects (bees and wasps) – don’t hit them or they will get aggressive. If you get stung, pull stinger out, cool immediately, and if possible, rinse the wound with plain white vinegar, which can help to reduce the swelling!
10. Lifeguards are on duty at most pools.
Rules for swimming lakes in Germany:
1. Never dive/jump into a lake without knowing the depth of the water first. Many are quite shallow, especially near the shore.
2. Not every lake has shaded areas, bring a sun umbrella or beach shelter, etc. and plenty of sunscreen.
3. Bring swimming shoes, flip flops etc. to avoid stepping in broken glass or other sharp objects that MAY be there.
4. Don’t stay in the water too long. Children sometimes don’t realise how cold they are and lakes are obviously not heated so may remain quite cool, even in summer. Bring plenty of towels to dry off after your swim.
5. Picnic, sweets, drinks, beer, etc. attract insects (bees and wasps) – don’t hit them or they will get aggressive. If you get stung, pull stinger out, cool immediately, and if possible, rinse the wound with plain white vinegar, which can help to reduce the swelling!
6. Some lakes do have currents and undertows – don’t overestimate your ability, stay close to shore if you are not a strong swimmer.
7. Careful with floating mattresses, toys, etc. Water toys do not keep children as safe as watchful eyes!
8. Be careful with your alcohol intake.
10. WATCH YOUR KIDS – many lakes do not have lifeguards patrolling the area. Your kids are your responsibility!
Bring a picnic, some lakes have benches and table, but not all do, so bring a big blanket to sit on. Toilets are often available near the lakes. Food stalls sometimes have ice cream or snacks such as bratwurst with a roll and french fries. Most will allow smoking and alcoholic drinks, check for signs prohibiting.