When it gets hot in Jerusalem and the program calls for a few hours or few days off, then a swimming pool is a great option. Most of the five-star hotels have a pool that is open to the public, although it is advised to check in advance about public access and cost on a given day. The pool at the King David is impressive, set in gardens providing the full colonial ambiance.
Swimming Pools in Jerusalem
In terms of public pools the main possibility in the city is the pool is at 43 Emek Refaim. This is a large popular pool in one of the trendier Jerusalem neighborhoods. It has been threatened with closure, but we are pleased to report that it is open and after a court dispute, it looks likely to stay that way. It has three pools, including an Olympic-size pool and also a children’s pool. It is open-air (with some shaded parts) in the summer and closed over in the winter. There is a varied schedule – including some nights to 9:45 and some starts at 5:30 in the morning; occasionally, it operates separate male/female slots.
The entrance is down the passage next to the mini-market (but just ask a passer-by)
Check out the website Emek Refaim Pool (Hebrew only) or call 02 5632092
Emek Refaim is one of the places to hang out and enjoy yourself.
Another option is Beit Yehuda – this is a hostel and hotel located almost near to the zoo halfway up the hill to the Massua neighborhood. While it is not a massive pool, it seems to have space for everybody. Shallow end is shaded, and occasionally there is a blow up slide that is fun for all. It offers a good multi-entry pass, if you plan a couple of visits.
For details, call 02 6322777.
If you don’t feel like paying anything for a dip, you can check out Ein Lavan, a natural spring only near the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo, lying in the Judean Hills. A rather off-the-beaten track oasis, the spring is surrounded by lush vegetation (mostly fig trees) and the water can be quite icy cold even during springtime.
Pools Outside Jerusalem
There are a few pools located in the hills around Jerusalem that are open to the public.
Neve Ilan is located on a kibbutz and is a fairly big pool with plenty of grassy areas to relax. Neve Ilan is a few kilometers outside Jerusalem just off the main highway (1) to Tel Aviv. For details call 02 5339380
Shoresh will become your instant favorite; a decently sized pool conveniently divided into two sections so you can decide if you are playing or swimming. There is often an inflated obstacle course and slides that is great fun. Large covered paddling pool with slides and squirts; and of course grassy shaded areas. The best thing about Shoresh is that around four the heat disappears, there is a breeze and wow the view; it seems that you are at the highest point in the world. It offers a good multi-entry ticket if you plan more than one visit.
Shoresh is basically on the other side of Highway 1 to Neve Ilan. Both Shoresh & Neve Ilan are easily accessible by car or taxi (arrange what time you need a pick up). You can get to Shoresh Junction by bus (roughly 2Km from the pool – a long walk. More details Shoresh Pool.
Country Club Ramat Rachel
Country Club Ramat Rachel is another popular pool place located in the kibbutz Ramat Rachel, just the southern end of Jerusalem. They have recently renovated their pool complex to accommodate more guests. It now has three large pools (including two indoor pools) and a large kiddie pool with slides and fountains.
Despite the “country club” name in it, you won’t find any golf courses there, although it has a vast expanse of grassy field. This former farming cooperative now has other amenities, such as a tennis court, a snack bar, a sit-down cafe, and a fully-equipped gym. You can check out its website: Ramat Rachel Country Club.