Staying Fit in Berlin

Where to stay fit in Berlin?

If you want a traditional gym membership, they come in two varieties: the Cheapos (like Mcfit) and all the Posh ones.

McFit  (and John Reed Fitness) is cheap (about €25 /month!). Ignore the name and bright yellow advertising. The machines aren’t bad; it’s very clean; there’s a huge amount of eye candy and there’s very little attitude (at least at the location in Prenzlauer Berg). Note McFit can get very busy after work.

Crossfit is very popular in Berlin: count on 110-170 EUR/month depending on how often you work out (drop-ins are about 20 EUR depending on location).

An example of a more expensive gym (about 90-100 Euros a month) is Holmes Place with a more ‘upscale’ clientele and good machines and a sauna. But Fitness First seems to be giving them a run for their money.

Many Berliners now use the Urban Sports Club App, which allows you to use different gyms, swimming pools, yoga studios, etc.,  all over the city for a monthly flat rate. You check in by app on your phone. There are small to big packages from 33 to 149 EUR/month.

Berlin has lots of beautiful public swimming pools. The Neukölln monumental pool and the Mitte Bauhaus pool are two fantastic examples. There’s also a large ‘Europa Park’ Olympic-style complex.  Many of the pools have sauna complex. The pools usually use a mix of Ozone with a small amount of added chlorine.

In the summer, the Badeschiff, an outdoor pool, floats in the Spree river. It has a great cocktail bar.  They even have parties.

Berlin is made for long-distance runners and cyclists. The central park or Tiergarten is a great place to run, as are the banks up and down the Spree river, or the canal in Kreuzberg.

My personal favourite outdoor activity in Berlin is going to a lake and swimming (see photo above). You can take the S-bahn to Schlachtensee (25 minutes from Friedrichstraße on the S-1 inside the city limits) where there is a restaurant and beer garden. The lake is great. I usually take my running shoes, run around it (about 4 km) and then go swimming. You can also take the train with your bike to Fürstenberg (1 hour) and bike (30 minutes) to Stechlinsee, a lake with remarkably pristine water.


Here’s the index to the Moving to Berlin Guide, click on what you want to read next!

-Introduction to the Guide

-Why Berlin?


-Looking for an Apartment

-Property Prices and Rents

-Monthly Costs


-Setting-up Checklist

-Getting Around Berlin

-Where to Learn German?

-Staying Fit

-Media, Films, and Books about Berlin

This is an independent guide to Berlin, with no ghostwritten content and no sponsored links or tips, from The Needle

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For a history and portrait of Berlin, do check out my book!

(the author asserts his right to copyright, revised 07/2023)