Tag Archives: swimming pools

Aquapulco – Die Piratenwelt

Aquapulco (aka, Pirate World) is part of the Eurothermen Resort in Bad Schallerbach, about 2 1/2 hours away from Vienna. The resort does have more typical resort offerings such as a spa, but our four year-old son wanted nothing more than a pirate adventure for his birthday this year. And visiting Pirate World certainly is an adventure!

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The resort complex seems dauntingly large when you first drive in, but rest assured that even if you have to park in the furthest lot available (as we did), it is only a five minute walk to the entrance of Aquapulco. We opted for the family day pass so we would not be rushed to get the kids in and out of the pool, which cost EUR 60.  This proved wise because our children, who normally tire after an hour of swimming, ended up swimming for over three hours.

After you pay the cashier, you turn to the right and enter a locker room that is utilized by all three attractions located in the building. (I mention this because it was not immediately obvious.) Despite being the only locker room for the building, there were only five changing cabins. This leads to my first warning: be prepared for nudity. The entrances to the shower/WC area and Pirate World were clearly marked throughout the locker room and there was no further confusion on where to go.

Pirate World itself is a child’s wonderland: it’s an indoor swimming complex slightly larger than Dianabad with a pirate theme. There is a large pirate ship for the kids to climb on, water cannons to shoot, wave tunnels that lead to buried pirate treasure (for the observant), and several water slides in varying degrees of scariness. Every hour there is some sort of show: we witnessed a light and music show, a smoke show, and a slightly disturbing show that involved a staff member dressed as a monkey and dancing to a German-language pirate shanty.

Most exciting for our entire family was the option to follow one of the wave tunnels to an outdoor pool. Despite it being February with snow and ice on the ground, the outdoor pool boasted steaming bath-like water. I think the pool was fed from a thermal spring, but I could be mistaken. My children spent a large amount of time at the outside pool, happily climbing out and jumping back in because there were no staff members to yell about it. This leads to my second warning: this pool proved to be, uh, irresistibly romantic to the teenagers once the sun went down.

My kids swam up quite the appetite, and luckily Aquapulco has a large self service restaurant. There were children’s meal boxes with food such as hot dogs and chicken nuggets, as well as a grill with “adult food.” The cafeteria also had a large pasta buffet, salad buffet, ice cream stand, dessert bar, and all manner of drinks, including beer on tap. All you had to do to pay was swipe the arm band that you used to lock your locker, so there was no need to carry cash around the pool. One last warning: you are supposed to wear a bath robe or towel when you sit in the restaurant, so don’t leave the pool area without one of these.

You can stay overnight at the resort, but the price tag (ca. EUR 250, which includes breakfast and admission to Pirate World) was a bit steep for us. We opted to stay instead at Hotel Gösser Bräu located in Wels, a 15-minute drive from the resort. The hotel itself was quite nice — clean room, dogs allowed, great breakfast — but it was located on a busy street, and only our worn out children were able to get a good night’s rest. If we were to do this again, we’d likely look for a room in Greiskirchen. It is also only about 15 minutes from the resort, but it looked like a much quieter village.

for more information:

  • Visit Aquapulco’s website.
  • Visit Eurothermen Resort Bad Schallerbach’s website.
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Hütteldorfer Hallenbad

Hütteldorfer Hallenbad is an indoor/outdoor swimming pool located on Linzerstrasse 376 in the 14th district. It’s accessible via the 49 tram and the 43B, 47A, 52A, and 52B bus lines. It’s an easy drive for those located in the 19th district (about 15 minutes from AIS), and there is a sizeable parking garage less than half a block away (Euro 1, 30 per hour; credit card or bankomat payment only).

The walk from the parking garage to the pool involves a somewhat steep stair case and path up a hill. There is a lift that allows those with strollers and wheelchairs to bypass the stairs and the walk is less than five minutes in total. If you have a lot of pool gear, it would be a good idea to pack it in one of those wheeled shopping carts.

The garderobe was large and clean, with lots of lockers, changing cabins, at least two handicap-accessible changing rooms, and several baby change stations. There are two sets of showers: one on the way to the pool, and one poolside. There are bathrooms when you first enter the facility, on the way to the pool, and in the pool area. All the bathrooms were very clean (I have two small kids and thus had the joy of visiting every bathroom).

When I first walked into the building I thought it seemed a little sketchy. The first thing I smelled was smoke, and the way leading to the pool seemed worn compared to some other pools we’ve been to. The pool itself, however, was one of the nicest indoor pools that we’ve been to and we had a great time. The pool is going to be closed for renovations 16 September – 6 October, and this will likely resolve the “worn” issue.

The indoor pool hall has floor to ceiling windows, and the domed ceiling is also all glass. This allows for some great views of the surrounding green space and woods, and I bet it’d be beautiful in the winter when there’s snow outside. There were lots of lounge chairs surrounding the pool, and ample space to lay down your things while you’re in the pool. There were six life guards on duty while we were there and they were quite attentive.

The main pool was all one depth (about chest deep) and filled with mostly school children and their parents. There is a sizeable water slide and a couple fountains that are turned on alternately. There is a smaller outdoor pool that was accessible from the main pool via what my kids called a “doggie door”: it had a rolladen above it, which is presumably closed during the winter months as this pool is open year round.

There is also a smaller pool for little kids. It is a tiered pool: the top level was about knee deep and there is a small slide down to the bottom level, which is only ankle deep. The water was warmer than that in the main pool (though that water was fairly warm as well), and this pool was primarily occupied by the two and under set. The poolside bathrooms are located very close to this pool.

The swimming hall also had a restaurant and massage services. We did not utilize either amenity so I cannot report on those.

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Lists of Pools with Reviews

* NOTE: This is a living document, and we will add pools to this list as we visit and review them. I apologize that some of my reviews do not include pictures, but often I am at the pool solo with my two- and three-year old children.

Badeschiff (1st district; NOT GOOD FOR KIDS)
Danube Island Water Playground (10th district; not exactly a pool, but watery fun)
Dianabad (2nd district)
Döblinger Bad (19th district)
Hugo Wolf Bad (19th district)
Hütteldorfer Hallenbad (14th district)
Schafbergbad (18th district)
Stadionbad (2nd district)
Strandbad Alte Donau (22nd district)
Work Out Swim Pool (17th district)
Währinger Park (18th district)

Schafbergbad

Schafbergbad is a large park/pool complex located in the 18th district on Josef-Redl-Gasse. It is accessible by the 42A bus and 43 tram. There is also a large, inexpensive parking lot for pool guests; we paid Euro 4,90 for three hours. This is a great park for both people with and without children, and it’d be very easy to spend an entire day here.

There are an abundance of cabins, lockers, showers, and toilets. There is also a huge green space that runs throughout the park that is great for sunbathing and picnicking. There are many lounge chairs and picnic tables available to use, and the park is surrounded by trees and has trees throughout so you can be as shaded (or not) as you wish.

There are five swimming pools in the complex. First is the main pool:

Main swimming pool

Main swimming pool

The pool is split in two sections (literally, with a chain): swimmers and non-swimmers. The non-swimmer’s section is chest-deep and small enough that a lone parent could keep an eye on multiple children. There are a few platforms in this section: I think they are meant for sunbathing, but my children had a blast climbing onto them and jumping off. The swimmer section has two diving boards and a large water slide, which cannot be used by children under six years of age.

There are three small pools located in three tiered decks to the right of the main pool. Each are small (maybe half again the size of Hugo Wolf Bad) and chest deep, and the water is significantly warmer than in the main pool. There are ledges at the edge of the pool, but be prepared for the lifeguard to blow his whistle at you if you dare sit or climb on them.

Lastly is the little kids’ pool:

Little kids' pool

Little kids’ pool

You can pretty much see the extent of this pool in the picture. Outside the pool is a shower that looks like a bear and sprays you with very warm water. I don’t recommend using it, though, because though the water in this pool is only mid-calf deep, it is freezing. Using the warm shower will just make the cold entry into this pool more painful.

If you visit this pool with children and they get tired of swimming, there are two more options for entertaining them: trampolines and a small playground.

Playground

Playground

This playground is not good for smaller children: my two year-0ld could not climb up any of the ladders. I think my three year-old would have been able to, though. There are also a couple of those ride-on animals on springs, a play Jeep on springs, and a large, partially-covered sand box.

The park has a large self-service cafeteria in the back of the park, as well as a smaller stand/café in the front of the park that sells mainly coffee drinks and ice cream treats. It looked like there was also a store that sold bathing clothes and accessories (pool toys, etc.) but I didn’t see the store itself so I can’t confirm that.

All in all, a great way to spend a hot summer day.

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Döblinger Bad

Döblinger Bad is a large indoor/outdoor pool located on Geweygasse in the 19th district, accessible by the 37 tram (stop “Döblinger Bad”). There is also a parking lot for the pool, which was not too big and only had a couple free spots on a week day morning. The street in front of the pool was narrow (the tram runs down it) and did not look like there would be too much room to park.

The indoor pool has a large, clean changing room with lockers, a couple changing cabins, and separate men’s and women’s showers and toilets. There was also a sizeable baby change area with four thick, soft changing pads and a pack and play crib so the parents can get changed without juggling a baby. There were two additional showers by the pool, as well as another baby changing station with a pack and play.

There were three indoor pools: a large (I think 25-meter) pool for swimmers with two lanes roped off for lap swimming. There was a smaller pool with chest-deep water for non-swimmers, and a small “bath tub” pool with mid-calf deep water. The mid-sized (non-swimmer) pool also had a chair lift to help handicapped people get into and out of the pool.  The water in all three pools was warm, and the pool area itself was quite warm.

Döblinger Bad also has three outdoor pools. One is small, shallow, and warm, and is ideal for one parent with multiple children and/or non-swimmers who are starting to get used to the water. The main pool gets progressively deeper and has a water slide. I didn’t get a good look at the third because, in this instance, I was the solo parent wrangling two non-swimmers.

The outdoor pool had changing cabins, a tabak traffic that looked like it sold snacks, and a café/restaurant. There was also an indoor restaurant with outdoor patio seating. The indoor pool is open throughout the winter and offers swimming classes for small children.

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