It can seem difficult to stay in shape while you’re on the move, but it doesn’t have to be. Berlin is filled with opportunities to burn those calories and keep up your fitness. Here’s our overview of the top gyms and swimming pools, best places to go running and cycling, and best yoga in the city.
Best spas and gyms
Berlin has a some amazing gyms and spas, often to be found in the international hotels in Mitte and Charlottenburg. These are our three top picks that are open to guests - you don’t need to stay at the hotel or be a member.
The Club Olympus Fitness Centre and Spa
Club Olympus © Facebook
This wonderful gym offers beautiful views over Berlin from its rooftop perch atop the Grand Hyatt in Potsdamer Platz. There’s a gym and swimming pool, and personal trainer sessions are available (to be booked in advance). It also offers a comprehensive spa and wellness service, including a large range of massages and skin and facial treatments, so you can relax after your workout. www.berlin.grand.hyatt.com
The Adlon Spa and Fitness Centre
Adlon Spa and Fitness © Kempinski
This is the perfect place to sweat and burn off calories at the famous Hotel Adlon, next to the Brandenburg Gate on Unter den Linden. The gym contains state-of-the-art cardio equipment, swimming pool, weights room, personal training experts. There’s even a pool bar to enjoy healthy fruit shakes and juices after your workout. The Centre also boasts a 9,000 square foot spa and wellness area, with every imaginable pool and pampering treatment. www.kempinski.com
Spa de Rome
Located in the former vaults of the Dresdener Bank at the elegant Hotel de Rome in Mitte, this spa and fitness centre has everything you need for a day of exercise and relaxation. There’s a fully-equipped Techno-Gym area, swimming pool, and Yogis will appreciate the opportunity to book a private yoga session with one of the resident experts. www.roccofortehotels.com
Running in Berlin
Berlin has many beautiful parks to run through, the best of which is probably Tiergarten, the former royal hunting grounds, which is criss-crossed with footpaths and trails for you to explore as you run. Be sure to take in some of the sights on your way, such as the golden Siegessäule (victory column) in the middle of the park, or the Schloss Bellevue - the German President’s house. www.stadtentwicklung.berlin.de
Another well-recommended location is Treptower Park, in Berlin’s East. Here you can run along the banks of the Spree and past two of the city’s most noted former GDR landmarks: the towering Soviet War Memorial, with its mammoth statue of a Red Army soldier, and the eerie Spreepark, a long-abandoned Eastern Bloc theme park.
Treptower Park © visitBerlin/Philip Koschel
Berlin is generally very flat, but if you want to go the extra mile and include hills in your run then Volkspark Friedrichshain is your best bet, with two rises made from the rubble of WW2 bunkers. The park is also very beautiful, with green fields and an idyllic water fountain.
Where to go cycling
Berlin is a very bike-friendly city, and especially in the summer it seems that half the city are on their bicycles.
It’s not every day that you get to bike around a former airport, so why not take a ride round Templehofer Feld in Berlin’s South? One loop of the old runway is 6km, and you’ll find lots of other cyclists doing speed trials on the same route, along with all manner of kite-surfers, in-line skaters and runners.
Templehofer Feld © visitBerlin, Photographer: Philip Koschel
If you’re feeling more adventurous and want to get out of the city, then a bike trip through Grunewald forest in the South West of the city is the perfect option. One classic route is to take the S-Bahn to Grunewald station (don’t forget to buy an extra ticket for your bike) and then follow the signs through the forest.
The abandoned NSA field station sits atop an artificial hill in the Grunewald forest on the west edge of Berlin © Flickr/Tom Blackwell
Berlin is surrounded by lakes which make for the perfect destination if you’re looking for a more committed bike ride. There are many options here, and one of the longest and most interesting is the Wannsee route, which starts in the centre of Berlin and takes you 28km South West to one of Berlin’s biggest lakes.
If Hot Yoga is your thing, then Bikram Yoga in Mitte, just round the corner from Hackescher Markt, is a convenient option. The room is heated 38 degrees and features a full size mirror - showers are of course provided. The schedule on their website points out which classes are taught in English. www.bikram-berlin.de
If you don’t fancy the heat of Bikram, then Spirit Yoga, also in Mitte, is a great choice. It also serves as one of Berlin’s biggest Yoga training schools, so you can rest assured that you’ll be in experienced hands. These classes are taught primarily in German, but their teachers all speak perfect English and are happy to translate where necessary. Private lessons are also available. www.spirityoga.de