1. Zurich, Switzerland
    Zurich is serious about swimming: It has 18 official outdoor bathing spots, all offering crystal-clear water in stunning surroundings. The city has a pool that dates back to 1864 only for men. There's a pool only for women, too, it's an art nouveau gem that has views of the old town.
  2. Hong Kong
    The secret to escaping Hong Kong's humidity is in its cool and refreshing pools. At Repulse Bay (don't let its name repulse you), the water laps gently on the sand, making it the perfect place for an easy dip. Or, go to the world's highest swimming pool on the 118th floor in the tallest building in Hong Kong, the Ritz Carlton.
  3. New York, USA
    Fun fact: New York has more than 50 public pools. If Queens, there's a vast 50-meter Olympic-sized pool. Or, head to the McCarren Park pool in Brooklyn -- the hipsters' watery hangout of choice, which opened in 1936. But the pools don't open until June 29, so try to stay patient.
  4. London, England
    Rainy London seems like an unlikely city for swimming, but it has many gems. The vast Tooting Bec Lido, in the southwest of the city, is a colossal 91-meter pool with room for serious swimmers and serial splashers. South London's Brockwell Lido has the added bonus of a classy cafe.
  5. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    Unless you're a pro, Rio's spectacular new Olympic pool is out of bounds until after this summer's games. But it does have Copacabana and Ipanema, two of the world's best beaches. The views from the water to Sugarloaf Mountain are worth wading out for.
  6. Sydney, Australia
    Surf's up! Sydney knows how to swim. Aside from the famous Bondi Beach, there's also Clovelly Bay, which is 350 meters long and just 60 meters wide. For a more secluded paddle, check out the South West Arm Pool.
  7. Berlin, Germany
    Check out Berlin's picture-postcard lakes. There's the classic freshwater beach at Wannsee which has a waterslide. And in town, the uber-hip Badeschiff floats on the River Spree in an old barge, a short footbridge connecting the pool to a bar area where there are hammocks and ice-cold beer.
  8. Vancouver, Canada
    Vancouver is home to lots of wonderful beaches. Go to Stanley Park seawall for calm waters. Best part, visitors can bring their own barbeque. Or check out Trout Lake Beach, which has a dedicated swimming raft. Its lush freshwater is a pleasant alternative to the salty stuff which surrounds the city.