Hallenbad und Sauna Amraser Straße

I went to Baggersee (literal translation: digger lake) a few days ago. It’s a fantastic swimming lake on the eastern edge of Innsbruck. I didn’t go into the water, it’s March after all – who goes swimming outside in the Alps in March? Well, a few people it turns out. But if you’re one of those sensible souls who’s not much into chattering teeth and frostbite being part of their swimming experience, then luckily Innsbruck and the surrounding area is well served by several excellent indoor (well, mainly indoor!) swimming facilities. This is a little guide the ones me and my sons (currently aged ten and four) favour.

Hallenbad Amraser Straße, Innsbruck

This elegant facility is very close to the centre of the city, just up from the Sillpark shopping centre and behind the main train station. There is nothing fancy about it but it is very stylish, with its classic art deco design. There are two pools; the small children’s pool is delightful – deep enough for adults to swim around in, just the right temperature for children to enjoy an extended stay. There are no bells and whistles, it’s just a pool, albeit a very nice one. The light is great, thanks to the large windows. These windows back onto the Sill, a tributary of the river Inn, so you don’t have people walking past all the time peering in.

Perhaps the main reason I like going there is that it’s usually fairly quiet which makes it a much more relaxing experience than some of the bigger pools. It was always a nice place to take the boys when they were babies. The large main pool is for lane swimming, so not so family-friendly.

Overall, I would say the Hallenbad Amraser Straße is best for those seeking a relaxed experience with your babies/toddlers and who would prefer not to travel outside the centre of the city.

Note that the Hallenbad Amraser Straße is closed on Wednesdays. It’s open 9am to 9pm Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays, 8am to 9pm on Thursdays, 9am to 8pm on Saturdays and 10am to 8pm on Sundays.

Hallenbad Olympisches Dorf, Innsbruck

Out on the south-eastern side of town, close to Baggersee, you’ll find the Olympisches Dorf (Olympic village), or ‘O-Dorf’ as it’s often referred to by locals.

This swimming facility is a large family favourite – fun and varied. Two slides – red (steep) and blue (more suitable for young children) – provide the excitement. An Australia/jungle-themed shallow pool is the place to take babies. The children’s pool has a small slide. The large main pool is family friendly (no lane swimming here!) with a bubbly corner that my oldest son refers to as ‘the volcano’. They absolutely LOVE it!

My favourite section is the outdoor pool, which also has a bubbly area. The water temperature is pleasant all year round, and in winter, the way the steam rises into the cold air makes for an atmospheric experience. But don’t stay out there too long with wet hair if it’s freezing (health advice bit over!).

Alongside the main pool there’s a large cafe/dining area (we often bring our own snacks).

The Hallenbad Olympisches Dorf can get very busy, but no matter how many people are there, my sons always have a great time when we visit.

It’s open from 11am to 9pm Monday–Friday, 10am to 9pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Freizeitzentrum Axams

This is in a large village (or is it small town? I’m never quite sure) called Axams, situated about seven miles out of Innsbruck but it’s well worth a visit.

When an English friend came over a few years back to work on the TV show ‘The Jump’, he brought his wife and baby son along for the week and we took them here. They loved it so much they came back for a second visit a few days later.

If you’re reliant on public transport, the number 4162 bus departs from Innsbruck every 15 minutes. It takes 22 minutes from main bus station (Hauptbahnhof – next to the main train station) and stops right outside the Freizeitzentrum (leisure centre).

The main pool is half indoor, half outdoors. The outdoor section has a whirlpool; ‘very fun, like a really fast stream!’ says my ten year old. The warm children’s pool with bubbles is very popular. The baby and toddler area has two shallow pools and a section with three short but fast slides, which is always a highlight for my four year old.

It’s open daily from 9am until 10pm. Last entry is 8:30pm, swimming is until 9:30.

Telfer Bad, Telfs

As this is a bit further out, we recently took our first ever trip out here. It’s a 25 minute, 20 mile drive along the A12 Autobahn from Innsbruck. The train takes roughly the same time.

Like the Freizeitzentrum Axams, the Telfer Bad has a half indoor/half outdoor section, which is the main area for families (the largest pool is for lane swimming). The views onto the mountains from the outdoor section are truly magnificent.

It also has a shallow baby-friendly area. One of the highlights of our trip was the flume … ‘It’s like a disco!’ said my ten year old, ‘with it’s flashing lights! And it’s really fast!’ You can see exactly how fast you are because each run is timed and displayed on a board at the end. I think mine was about 15 seconds, way off the fastest time of the day (around ten seconds). Which is way off the all time record of just over three seconds! (I’m really not sure how this is possible … perhaps it was an Olympic luger on a day off from training?)

The cafe/dining area is quiet and pleasant. We brought our own snacks but bought some drinks.

Our first visit certainly won’t be our last. As a famous Austrian once (nearly) said, ‘we’ll be back!’

Open daily from 10am to 10pm.

Header: © IKB

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