In 2020, I spent a few months in Berlin. It was not an ideal time for gyms due to Corona, which may affect some of the information presented in here. But hopefully this can still be useful to you if you’re visiting or moving to Berlin and searching for places to train. This post goes through all the training types I enjoy (calisthenics & aerials) and also touches on some other and general tips.
When I was looking around online for calisthenics group training in Berlin, I did not find much. This could be a language issue – maybe they don’t have English websites, or maybe they call it by a different name (e.g. gymnastic strength training). Some interesting looking results were adidas Runbase and Berlin Strength, but I didn’t end up trying either, and if you’re into handstands you could try these events or look out for acro groups.
You should be able to find some functional training equipment (but not necessarily group classes) in indoor gyms too, such as some evo fitness locations.
This is the main gym I ended up going to, and I was quite happy with it. It’s located in Kreuzberg. They provide bodyweight and weights-based training classes, which had more HIIT or crossfit elements than the ones I used to go in London. They also offer calisthenics skill training classes. Each of those works up to a particular skill, e.g. handstand, skin the cat, muscle up or human flag.
For language, they default to German but are generally happy to do whole the class in English if someone can’t understand it (or alternatively just give you specific corrections in English if you’re a basic German speaker like me).
All the coaches were really nice and had slightly different styles, so I’d recommend trying a variety. In general, in each strength training class you can expect to see pull ups, push up and squat variations, burpees or similar, core drills, some mobility, and more.
Price-wise, it’s most cost effective to get a membership. You can also buy class packs, which I believe were 10 for €150 when I checked. The booking system is a bit unusual – new classes are released every Sunday, and you can on;y book for the coming week. You get a certain number of credits per week if you’re on a membership, and they don’t carry over as far as I know.
When studios and gyms are closed or unavailable, outdoor gyms with pull ups and dip bars can be a great option (if the weather isn’t too terrible).
Here is a pretty thorough list: https://calisthenics-parks.com/regions/1-en-berlin-area
Located in Mitte, in a cool newly renovated airy space under a railway arch (one big room, so no parallel classes). Most classes are €20 (or €25 for the longer ones), and can be cheaper in bulk. They are available on certain tiers of USC too. Their classes are always in English, and they speak that at reception by default too. The instructors were nice, and classes had a solid structure.
The intro classes sometimes felt a bit too big and mixed level (everything from total beginner to practiced aerialists), so you might not get a lot of individual attention. You need approval to go to Level 1 or higher classes, and it’s not 100% clear what is required, although for silks being able to do a crossback straddle was mentioned at some point (plus being comfortable with all the basic climbs, foot & hip locks etc.).
Located in Kreuzberg. Multiple rooms allow for parallel classes, although I found the layout slightly confusing. The space reminded me a bit more of a high school gym, rather than a fancy new studio (not super important but may matter to some people…).
The class I went to default to German, but they could speak English if needed (and receptionist was comfortable in English). I mainly didn’t end up going back here much as Fl’air’s location was more convenient for me, although the class here was smaller and had a friendly vibe (at least between the German speakers…).
Pole dance classes are sometimes offered by aerial studios, such as Iva mentioned above, but I haven’t tried it there.
Boogaloo Dance Studio
Located in Prenzlauer Berg. I went there once, and the class was nice but a bit too beginner/unstructured for my personal taste. The room is not very big, and is situated on ground level on a main street, but the windows are covered so people won’t be staring in. The class was in English, and available on ClassPass (and Urban Sports Club). There are various other payment options, but typically a trial class would be €20 (hint: CP was way cheaper).
Muse Pole Dance
Was on my list of things to try, but unfortunately I didn’t manage it. Is on ClassPass, otherwise 15 € for your first class.
Urban Sports Club (USC)
As far as I can tell, this is the German/Berlin equivalent of ClassPass/MoveGB. Some of the above mentioned studios support it on certain tiers (e.g. Fl’air), some not (e.g. Urban Gladiators). If you aren’t yet sure of what you enjoy, or you really like variety, it might be worth trying out. Different tiers give you different number of classes at a venue per month.
I’ve heard there is a big bouldering/climbing scene in Berlin. Some is available on USC. One place that came up on my search was Boulderklub. I didn’t end up trying out much in this area though.