One of the first things I seek out when I move to another country is a nice gym to keep up my workouts. Living in Frankfurt, Germany, the options are quite bountiful. There are loads of high quality, and super fancy gyms in Frankfurt for decent prices. Previously, I had written about which gyms are best when living in South Africa, and this is the same version applied to Frankfurt.
Among looking for Frankfurt apartments and traveling around Europe, I spent my first few months exploring and trying out all the different gym options in Frankfurt. There were way more than I thought considering how few people there are in Frankfurt. In short, there are some fantastic options to be had in Frankfurt, most of which are actually quite high end gyms for a reasonable price.
For those planning or thinking of moving to Frankfurt, make sure to also read why I absolutely love living in the financial capital of Germany!
If you are planning or are moving to Germany, make sure to also read about my experiences living in the country. This post is also a part of my guide to living in Frankfurt, Germany where I list out all the things you need to know as an expat in Frankfurt and Germany.
Note that these prices are all as of 2019: Expect rates to go up as years ago on.
What to know about Frankfurt and German Gyms
For the most part, gyms in Frankfurt are really nice. In fact, for how many people there are in the city, there is an disproportionate amount of high end gyms (which is great). If you’re not familiar with German gyms and are coming from say the UK or America, there are a few things to note for German fitness clubs.
No Towels included
Almost all the gyms in Frankfurt do not include free towel service. Even the super nice ones that you would expect to have towels do not have them. However, at almost all the gyms, you can pay some supplemental fee to include towel service as part of your membership dues (usually €10-20 more a month). This can be a bit annoying for people that are used to having towels provided when they workout but I guess Germany is doing their part in reducing excessive water usage.
Fitness clubs like to keep clean in Germany so make sure you bring a towel otherwise people will yell at you for not keeping the machines clean.
Some gyms charge an extra “service” fee per year (or twice a year) to take care of water, cleaning, towels or whatever. To me it seems like a complete bogus fee just to take some more money from customers. It is usually not much, somewhere around €30-50 per six months. I don’t know why they don’t just prorate it into the monthly fee but it is what it is.
Communal showers is not an uncommon thing in the showers at the gyms here. Many of the cheaper gyms go with this model but you can expect the higher end gyms to all have individual showers.
Spas are a big thing in Germany
Germans are really into their spas. Not just a steam room, which I’m used to seeing all over the world but full on spas with pools, multiple steam rooms, and loads of places to lounge. Also where you have to be naked by the way (or with a towel covering but no clothes). Almost all the gym chains like Fitness First, Elements, Meridien etc. have at least a few locations with a very nice spa.
And now onto all the gym options in Frankfurt!
Fit Seven Eleven
Fit Seven Eleven is a big chain in Germany and they have multiple locations in Germany. They have different tiers of gyms: Red, Black, Pink (just for women) and White and each have different pricing. Most of the gyms in Frankfurt are Black Label which is their middle tier and these cost €40 a month or so. Some of the Black Label gyms that I’ve seen (Sachsenhausen and Bornheim) are actually very nice with plenty of equipment and aesthetics. The Black label gym in Westend is very big but gets super crowded during rush hour times as all the finance people have their post work sessions.
The White label gym is their highest end and can be compared to Equinox or Virgin Active gyms in New York / London. As the gym was located right next to my office, I opted to go with the White Label gym. It’s not the biggest gym but it has all the equipment I need and for a very reasonable price after my corporate discount. There is only one White label in Frankfurt and that is in the Taunusturm building.
Black label is their next level down. It is still very nice, especially their new Bornheim location. I’ve been to the Bornheim Fit Seven eleven a few times and it has everything you’d need and more. It’s very spacious and there’s four large Olympic squat racks and a solid crossfit style area to train.
Of the other Black labels, I’ve been to the Zeil location which is multi floor and has lots of equipment, the Nordend location which is very small, and Sachsenhausen which is also nice. They have many other locations throughout the city so it’s a good gym chain to belong to as you’ll always be able to find a gym nearby.
I’ve spent a lot of time in the Bornheim FitSevenEleven and it is consistently packed at almost all times of the day. To be honest, most of the FitSevenElevens are just packed throughout the day. The best time to come here is in the late morning hours before lunch.
Price: €80 for white label, €60 for Black Label
Location: All over Frankfurt with the nicest gyms being in Taunustor, Bornheim, and Sachsenhausen
Primetime is another chain in Frankfurt with 8 locations throughout the city. The one that caught my eye was their gym in the Main tower. The gym is located on the 54th floor and has absolutely stunning panoramic views of the entire city. The gym is the highest gym in Europe, and probably one of the highest gyms in the world. The gym itself is quite small with just a few machines, free weights, two squat racks, and a small circuit area. The locker rooms are also small.
The gym is very exclusive however, especially with the prices they charge. I went in the afternoon and it was never crowded, even at the 6-7pm rush hour. At max, there was 15-20 people in the gym and it felt very private. The machines are all state of the art with features I’ve never seen before.
The views here are quite special, especially as the sun sets right in front of the gym. The Main tower in fact is a tourist attraction with a viewing deck that people have to pay 8 euros for. Think of it as you’re getting 8 euros of view every time you visit!
I haven’t visited the other locations so can’t comment on their quality.
Price: €105 a month for the Main tower, €75 for other locations
Location: All over Frankfurt
Meridian Spa is located in the new Skyline Plaza of the Gallusviertel district. It is the ultimate in luxury and relaxation as far as any gym I’ve seen. I’m not sure I can even call this place a gym. It consists of multiple floors of saunas, pools, and lounge areas. There are 8 different steam rooms offering different types of treatments, as well as numerous pools including a huge indoor circular pool. Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a circular pool before, especially one that is 30m in diameter. If that isn’t enough, there is also a rooftop terrace that features a circular pool with multiple lounge chairs open in the summer.
As far as the actual gym goes, you may forget about that part after relaxing in the sauna for so long. There is a huge state of the art fitness club here with every machine, weight, and class you can think of. You could easily spend the whole day at the Meridian, especially in the summer time while enjoying the views.
Note that this was the only gym that wouldn’t give me a guest pass to try out the gym. I had to pay €21 to use it even once which I found very annoying. I did not end up joining this gym because of how inconvenient the location is. However, if you work or live by the Gallusviertel, this is definitely the best option!
Price: €105 a month
Location: Europa Allee 4, in the Skyline Plaza
Elements is another high end, super well designed gym with two locations: one in the Innenstadt, and one in Sachsenhausen. Their location in Sachsenhausen at the Henninger Turm has a rooftop pool with views of the city but is a bit far out of the way to access unless you are living in the area.
I only visited the one at the Eschenheimer Turm in the Innenstadt. The gym itself is super nice and has some of the most innovative equipment I’ve ever seen. They have brand new X-Force machines that specialize in negative weight training. I’ve never seen any machines like this before but they really make a difference like I’ve not seen before. The rooftop pool at Henninger Tur Elements[/caption]
They also have a really nice spa with multiple steam rooms in both locations. I’m not a spa connoisseur but clearly loads of people are so expect to have a nice spa with pools, multiple steam rooms, and just a lot of area to lounge and relax in.
All in all, Elements if probably one of the nicest fitness brands in Frankfurt, and their Sachsenhausen location is the larger of the two. The gym in the Henninger Tur in Sachsenhausen is probably the nicest gym I’ve seen in Frankfurt. It’s incredibly modern, huge space for everything, a beautiful spa, and of course the rooftop pool. Here are some pictures:
Price: €105 a month
Location: One in Innenstadt by Eschenheimer Tor, One in Sachsenhausen by the Henniger Tor
Fitness first is one of the nicest gym chains in the city. They have numerous locations in and around the Innenstadt, Westend, etc. Their location in the Zeil is one of the nicer gyms because of their fantastic rooftop with panoramic views of the city. Their location in the Hilton hotel has a large pool and a rooftop pool with views. Their opera house location has a large pool but with a rock climbing wall as well.
There are also numerous Fitness First locations throughout Germany so if you plan on traveling a lot within the country, this membership will come in handy.
Price: €85/mo with 24 month commitment, €95 with 12 month commitment
Location: All over the city with most locations around the Innenstadt
I suppose if there is a budget gym in the city, McFit would be it. They are located all around Germany, with a big prescence in Berlin. There is only one Frankfurt location in the Innenstadt. I never went to his gym but for those looking for the best deal, this would definitely be it.
Price: €20-25 a month
Location: All over the city
The best gym in Frankfurt
I may have forgotten a gym or two in my post but the list above should encompass most of the main gyms in Frankfurt. Personally, I think many of the gyms are of high quality and “nice” but each has its positives and negatives.
I think if you’re looking for the ultra premium spa-like luxury gym feel, I would say Elements and Meridian Spa are the best options. These are also the most expensive gyms in the city. The next tier of gym I would include Fit Seven Eleven, Primetime fitness, and Fitness First. These gyms are still very nice, especially with the Fitseveneleven White label but perhaps are not as over the top as Elements. They are also generally cheaper as I pay just €50 a month for my Fitseveneleven white label gym with my corporate discount.