Sundhöllin – Reykjavik’s oldest swimming pool opens again today!
HURRAY! Finally, after almost 6 months of renovations, Sundhöll Reykjavíkur – The oldest swimming pool in ICELAND opens their doors again!
I don’t know how or why this love for swimming pools began in Iceland but one thing is for sure, we love our pools. In total there are over 170 pools & bathing spots scattered all around Iceland and even the smallest of towns make sure they are not any different from the rest and pride themselves of their own public pool.
Visiting the pools (or just the hot tubs & saunas) is extremely popular among locals and is an essential aspect of Icelandic culture. Many visit to exercise but even more just to relax in the hot tubs & meet other people.
… or the Swimming Palace as it would be directly translated to English is the oldest pool in Iceland and was built in 1937 & proudly designed by Guðjón Samúelson, state architect. “Sundhöllin” is located right in the heart of Reykjavik, only a few minutes walk from Hallgrímskirkja church.
“Sundhöllin” has for the past 80 years only been an indoor thermal pool, offering hot tubs and a sauna on the balcony and my personal favourite – two separate balconies for tanning/sun-bed facilities where people lie in the sun naked, one for men and other for women.
However, Sundhöllin has been closed since early June 2017 for BIG renovations. And today, on December 3rd. 2017 a new outdoor area has opened up with it’s very own outdoor pool, several new hot tubs and following recent trends in Iceland … an ICE bath!
I made sure to visit the pool yesterday before it opened up and snap some photos – To share all of this with you. Because if you’d ask me, you should definitely visit Sundhöllin!
Sundhöllin is located on Barónsstígur 45a
The opening hours are as follows:
Monday – Friday 06.30-22.00
Saturday – Sunday 08.00-22.00
The entrance fee to every swimming pool in Reykjavik is:
0-5 years FREE
6-17 years 150 ISK
Adults 950 ISK
I recommend you bring your own swimwear & towels
but you can rent swimwear 850 ISK or towel 570 ISK.
Fun Facts about Sundhöllin
Sundhöll Reykjavíkur opened up in 1937, the same year as the famous Hot Dog stand in Reykjavik. Therefore, this is maybe the most important year in Icelandic history?
Guðjón Samúelson, the architect for the swimming pool also designed Hallgrímskirkja church, the University of Iceland, the National theatre, the church of Akureyri, Hotel Borg, the large building for Apotek resturant and so many more. It’s actually almost funny to speak of it but he was the first Icelander to get a degree in architecture … so he kind of designed it all!
In the original blueprints for Sundhöll Reykjavíkur – There was always a plan for an outdoor pool & hot tubs. It just took 80 years to finish!
For many locals and specially children, the funnest part about Sundhöll Reykjavikur is the 2,7m high springboard where you can test your scare of heights or jump into the pool.
About Swimming pools in Iceland
As mentioned above, there is a really unique swimming culture in Iceland. And visiting all these pools is almost more of a social thing than anything else. The idea is that while everybody is half-naked, everyone is equal and the hot tubs are the perfect platform to discuss any heated topic in the community. Wether it’s politics or the weather.
All our pools, In Reykjavik and around the country are filled with warm geothermal water. The swimming pools are therefore warmer than many tourists expect (around 30°C) and the hot tubs normally range from 36°C to 45°C.
It is also very much worth mentioning that everybody washes naked in the showers before entering the pool, making sure to keep everything clean. Please note that this is mandatory in every pool.
Final words …
If you want to test your Icelandic, then I also wrote about the pool in Icelandic here.
I hope from the bottom of my heart that you enjoyed the read & found it helpful! I personally live next doors to the beautiful Sundhöllin pool & visit a few times every week. Maybe I’ll see you there!