Lonely Planet Writer

Swim in the world's largest seawater baths in Denmark

The city of Aarhus in Denmark has had much to celebrate of late. A popular destination for travellers from all over the world, 2017 saw it being named as the European Capital of Culture, as well as being included as the European Region of Gastronomy (along with the larger central Denmark region). And now, Aarhus offers even more, with the opening of the country’s largest harbour bath, which includes a 50-metre long pool, a children’s area, a circular diving pool and two saunas.

An aerial view of the baths.
An aerial view of the baths at Aarhus Docklands. Image by Rasmus Hjortshøj

Located on a large artificial island at Bassin 7 of the Aarhus Docklands, the baths officially opened to the public last week, and will operate daily from 11am – 7pm throughout July and August. Containing four separate basins, they are the largest seawater baths in the world, and can accommodate up to 650 guests. When the facilities have reached their capacity, a red light switches on, and newcomers can wait at some of the pop-up cafés on the site or take a stroll around the larger area. The site offers visitors the option to cool off in the water or sunbathe on a wooden promenade and plateau, which offers stunning views of the harbour and the city.

The baths include a circular diving pool.
The baths include a circular diving pool. Image by Rasmus Hjortshøj

Designed by Bjark Ingels Group, the harbour bath is constructed from sustainable and environmentally-friendly treated Swedish pine. The site has a number of recreational areas for visitors to enjoy, and plans are also in place for beach volleyball courts, bar and cafés to be built in the coming months, while the long term plan is to have a theatre, hotel, restaurants and shops on the site.

The site can accommodate up to 650 people. Image by Rasmus Hjortshøj

“The reception of the Harbour Bath has been overwhelming. Within the first week, more than 25,000 people have visited it. It has become the meeting point we have dreamed of. The bath binds people together, and at the same time, it binds the city with the bay. It is an oasis in the new district, which will create activity and joy for many years to come,”Rabih Azad-Ahmad, Mayor of Sports, Culture and Citizen Services in Aarhus told Lonely Planet Travel News.

A lifeguard watches the baths from a red and white tower in Aarhus. Image by Rasmus Hjortshøj

More information on the Aarhus Harbour Baths are available at the official Visit Aarhus website.