Picture this: a gorgeous sunny day, green hills, trees, a crystal clear lake and white sandy beaches. Out on the lake there’s a floating island where you can sun yourself before slipping back into the cool water to swim back to shore. Sound like a summer camp in the US, or a lake in Bayern with a view of the mountains? Actually, it’s Vingst Freibad and it’s right here in Cologne.
There are a number of different lakes around Cologne, some with nice sandy beaches, others lined with slimy black mud and ankle brushing pondweed; most with a pricey entrance fee or hefty parking rates. That’s why the freibad in Vingst is so good. You can get there by tram and the entrance fee for adults is only €4.80, for kids just €3.90. If you get there early you can bag a perfect spot right next to the water with a bamboo umbrella and free use of a hammock. You can hire sun loungers and there’s a snack shop for ice cream and cold drinks – as well as pommes and the usual Freibad fried fare.
On a bad day it’s a heaving mass of noisy kids and battling sound systems. On a good day it’s an idyllic oasis of calm just on the edge of the city. Get there early, lay back and enjoy.
Vingst – Linie 9, 153
Ostheim – Linie 9, 151, 152, 157, 191
Kürtenstraße – Linie 153