Swimming Pool Etiquette – Swimwear For Holidays Abroad


Different countries, different swimming pool etiquette to follow while choosing your swimwear, if holidaying abroad. If you thought that you could just slip on a swimsuit and jump into the pool then you need to think again.

Swimming Pool Etiquette in France

Did you know that there are strict regulations about what kind of bathing suit you need to wear in the public pools here?

They have one simple rule of what is acceptable in the pools. Whatever you wear in the pools shouldn’t be something that you would wear outside of it. That means, no trunks, no bermuda shorts or t-shirts in other words swimsuits must be form fitting especially where men are concerned. The reason is that most often than not trunks, baggy shorts are worn by men to relax while outside the pool (or for sightseeing) and the French fear that the dirt and sweat accumulated in them might pollute the waters. The French are more relaxed when it comes to women and allow them to wear regular swimsuits or Bikinis (not surprising since it was invented by them!) because they reckon that women wouldn’t wear them for sightseeing.

Swimming Pool Etiquette in Spain

If you are traveling to Spain, here are a few pointers that might help. The Spanish are not as quirky as the French about what to wear but they are strict about certain things. For one thing, you can’t saunter around in your bikini or swim shorts on the roads here (in some parts of Spain) and what’s more, going bare-chested is also banned for men!

Swimming Pool Etiquette in Italy

In Italy, where things are always trendy, people do insist on wearing hairnets or swimming caps while in the pool irrespective of how much hair you really have (being bald is not an excuse here). That apart, tourists often manage to irritate even friendly Italians when they do not wear cover-ups over swimsuits!  If you are planning to visit Lerici, on the Italian Riviera, then you might want to drop the idea of walking on the streets in a swimsuit, as it is illegal. The same goes for Naples as well and you can’t even wear any noisy footwear on these streets either. Yet another quirky public swimming pool law that is practiced in Italy is that one needs to wear footwear around the waters at all times. That’s probably why you would spot many ladies wearing high heels and stilettoes before entering the pool. Well, if you have to wear some footwear, it might be something fashionable and stunning right?

Swimming Pool Etiquette in Denmark

Denmark, in comparison, has a few sensible rules. You can wear your swimsuits or bikinis at the pools but you must be clean before you enter the water. Taking a shower before you enter is a must and it must be taken in the nude and not with your bathing suit on.

Swimming Pool Etiquette in Iceland

Ok… Iceland might not an automatic choice for a beach holiday but this Nordic Island nation is supposedly a place where fire and ice literally coexist. Volcanoes, hot springs, geysers, lava fields along with massive glaciers make the place a song of ice and fire. The public swimming pools and geothermal spas of Iceland are the most popular tourist attraction in the country, which brings us to the subject matter in hand.

The natural swimming pools of Iceland have no chemicals or chlorine, therefore, it is mandatory to shower before you enter the pool. This isn’t a quick shower wearing your bathing suit. Instead, you will need to shower in the nude, scrub yourself nice and well and wash your hair as well, before you enter the pool. The Icelanders are so strict about this rule that, they have shower guards who watch out for those who are trying to give the shower a miss. And though Iceland is pretty relaxed about nudity, it is, however, mandatory to wear a swimsuit before you enter the public pools.

Swimming Pool Etiquette in Asia

Let’s move to Asia. Take Taiwan for instance. At the public swimming pools here, one must wear a swim cap and goggles and you must remove your footwear before entering the locker room and you need to shower before you enter the pool for hygiene reasons

Swimming Pool Etiquette in the Middle East

Alright! Let’s move to the Middle East (Qatar or Saudi Arabia) now. Yes… you are allowed to swim here (especially women) but no you can’t put on that favorite bikini here not unless you wish to tempt fate. Shorts and tops are acceptable attire here though some hotels do allow their patrons to wear a bikini. Like they say when in Rome be a Roman… you could also try out a Burkini (if you want) a swimwear designed keeping the Islamic traditions of modesty in mind.

Dubai is more relaxed with swimwear etiquette. In private beaches, women can wear bikinis or swimsuits but nudity is not allowed. On public beaches, a Burkini might be the ideal swimwear unless you want to invite unwanted attention.

Swimming Pool Etiquette in Australia

After the Middle East, Australia might be shocking especially in Victoria where it is illegal for women to wear a bikini that is more than six square inches. Seriously this might just be the perfect place to toss that Burkini in the bin. Australia has no quirky rules except for a few normal ones. They do insist that you wear bathers or board shorts while swimming and no transparent t-shirts for women or young girls unless you have a bathing suit underneath. Other than this, there are no stringent rules about footwear, shower or anything else here. Local swimming pools are in fact popular places for kids’ birthday parties in Australia with awesome pool toys and games. So enjoy!

Different countries have different rules and while traveling, it is important that we adhere to the host country’s rules and regulations. Research is not only essential but also vital when you are visiting a foreign country so that there are no nasty surprises or shocks in store for you.

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