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Let’s Get Physical: Budapest’s best gyms for English speakers
Photo : Life1
Let's Get Physical: Budapest's best gyms for English speakers

How do you like to keep fit? Whether you prefer a group exercise class, getting maximum motivation with a personal trainer, or pumping iron on the gym floor, there’s a fitness center in Budapest that has what you need. Many gyms in Budapest cater to tourists and expats with English-language trainers and instructors, but here we select some of the best. These are gyms with high-quality facilities and a good selection of classes, and all in great locations – some even have added extras like a pool, sauna, yoga or Pilates classes, and other special extras as part of their offering. Now you really have no excuse not to stay fit while you stay in Budapest.

Life1 World Class Holmes Place Oxygen Sun Palace Fitness Bliss and Body

Life1

Photo: Life1

This friendly, bright gym is located at the heart of Corvin Negyed. There’s no doubt that Life1 can get busy in the afternoons and evenings, but there’s a whole floor dedicated to weight machines and another to cardio machines, like treadmills and cross-trainers. The gym features a great group-exercise schedule with classes starting at 6.30am on weekdays. Plenty of classes are available, but it’s necessary to book in advance for the more popular ones; classes are generally offered in Hungarian. although English instructions can be provided, and personal trainers are available too. A 23-meter-long pool and sauna are included here, as well as a wellness center with massages and beauticians available. Finally, just when you thought things couldn’t get better, there’s a “Vitamin Bar” where you can have a coffee with friends or pick up a protein shake between workouts.  Life1 is a fresh, clean gym, and there are plenty of lockers, showers, and dry changing areas to make your visit even nicer.

Classes: The range of classes includes everything from “fat-burning”, Hot Iron, TRX, cross training, and yoga, to Zumba. There’s even a dedicated Spinning room. 

Prices: A daily pass is 1,600 forints, allowing access to either the gym equipment or to take part in a class, while a monthly “all-in” membership costs 21,000 forints, which includes access to the gym, classes, and wellness facilities.

World Class

Photo: World Class
The World Class gym can be found occupying a space at the Marriott Hotel. However, this is not an ordinary hotel gym – it’s open to absolutely everyone, not just hotel guests. This is a great boutique gym with stunning facilities and a warm, friendly feel – and it’s a great place to come if you fancy running on a treadmill with a stunning view over the Danube and Gellért Hill. There are about a dozen weight machines and about a dozen bikes, treadmills, and cross-trainers, and while it can get crowded during the early evenings, with a little patience you can always access the equipment you need. The group exercise instructors can speak English, and because class sizes are relatively small the instructors are likely to remember you, which makes for a more personal experience. It’s necessary to book the day before to attend classes, because popular classes can fill up quickly. Personal trainers are on hand for those who want targeted fitness results. Also on offer are a Jacuzzi and sauna area, as well as massage services. 

Classes: A great range of classes are held here, such as TRX, Pump, Power Yoga, Cycling, and BodyART, but there are fewer classes scheduled than at bigger gyms.

Info: The monthly fee is 19,000 forints, but if you sign up for a longer term there are discounts: for example, if you sign up for 12 months it’s 119,000 forints total (just under 10,000 forints per month). There are also great student prices: a student one-month pass is 15,000 forints.

Holmes Place

Photo: Holmes Place
Holmes Place is a premier health club in the heart of Budapest at Gozsdu Udvar. A huge section of weights and cardio equipment offers plenty of machines, along with a swimming pool and sauna, and a number of group exercise areas. The group exercise timetable is filled with options and classes can be held entirely in English if necessary. There are plenty of early-morning classes as well as great 15-minute mini-sessions that focus on areas like stretching or abs to complement a workout. 

Classes: They include Hot Iron, “fat-burning”, deepWORK, yoga, BodyART, Step, spinning, and more. “Aqua” group exercise classes take place in the pool. The only thing missing at Holmes Place in the normal timetable is TRX, which is a very popular resistance training class that can be found at most other top gyms.

Info: Holmes Place positions itself as a luxury “members only” gym, and charges a registration fee in addition to the monthly charge. The minimum sign-up period is two months, and there isn’t a day-pass option. An annual membership is relatively well priced, but any shorter period works out to be quite expensive per month. Still, the facilities, the English-language trainers, and the excellent location make this gym worth a try – especially if you can sign up for a full year.

Holmes Place Gozsdu Club

Oxygen

Photo: Oxygen Wellness
Oxygen Wellness is a complete fitness establishment with three different locations around Budapest: Fáy (Angyalföld), Újpest, and Naphegy. Plenty of group exercise classes are scheduled in the morning from about 7am until about 1pm, and again in the afternoons from 5pm until 8pm. The timetable is slightly different at each location, but instructors can provide the lessons in English if necessary. Each Oxygen Wellness center is focused on all-round health and well-being. The Naphegy location, for example, is set in the tranquil green parkland behind the Buda Castle district. This location boasts a stunning panorama of the Buda Palace and Gellért Hill, so there’s a great view to enjoy while jogging on the treadmill. It is also much more than just a gym – aside from the fitness facilities, there are more than a dozen saunas, a steam room, an ice cabin, heated stone beds, an infra-sauna, and a glass-walled swimming pool to make sure your other wellness needs are met. Of course, the price reflects the luxurious setting and service that Oxygen Wellness aims to provide. 

Classes: Classes include “figure formation”, Pilates, bodyART, yoga, Hot Iron, and cycling

Info: At the Naphegy location, a one-day pass is 8,000 forints, while a one-month pass is 50,000 forints. The Újpest and Fáy locations are much more reasonably priced, but they are also located further away from the city center.

Sun Palace Fitness

Photo: Sun Palace Fitness
Sun Palace Fitness is located in Buda’s District III opposite from Margaret Island. This gym has everything you could want to achieve a good solid workout: a studio for functional training, another for stationary training, plenty of strength and cardio equipment, group exercise classes, a cycling studio, and even a 25-meter-long pool. There are also personal trainers on hand to help you achieve your personal goals, whether it’s conditioning, building muscle mass, or fat loss.

Bliss and Body

Photo: Bliss and Body
Bliss and Body is centrally located in District VI at Ó Street. The focus here is as much on wellness as it is on fitness. While there are group exercise classes, the timetable and offerings are comparatively limited. There is, however, a great range and number of gym equipment available, as well as personal trainers; one session with a trainer costs 5,000 forints. Bliss and Body really comes into its own with its great selection of quality wellness facilities: a swimming pool, sauna, steam room, and Jacuzzi, amongst other things.

Info: A day pass here costs 1,950 forints, or 2,190 forints if you want to add a group exercise class as well. An “all-in” one-month pass costs 21,990 forints.