Where to find a gym or health club in Barcelona
Want to go swimming, work out, or take up Pilates or aerobics class? Explorer Publishing shows you where to find these health club facilities.
Gyms in Barcelona are of a high standard but membership is usually required for most health clubs and country clubs. Municipal sports centres (known as polideportivos/poliesportius or centros deportivos/centres esportius) often offer a ‘pay and play’ system as well as formal memberships.
Gyms in Barcelona tend to have swimming pools and saunas, and in some cases spa facilities, which means that there is a crossover of sports centres and health clubs. ‘Pure gyms,’ that concentrate wholly on cardiovascular training, free weights and fitness classes are not as common as gyms with swimming pools, due to the hot weather.
Do note that when summer arrives, gyms become significantly less busy, as members flock to the beach or nearby mountain areas such as Montserrat. However, outdoor pools and solarium areas are often packed in the pre-holiday months of June and July.
Sant Oleguer, 10
93 441 75 26
Can Ricart is an open-plan gym with a range of fitness classes. There’s a large free weight and resistance area downstairs, with cardiovascular machines and exercise mats upstairs. There is a 25m indoor swimming pool, which can get very crowded in the evenings, and a small outdoor solarium with about 10 sunbeds.
A spa pool with water jets and Jacuzzi is open to all. However you have to pay a supplementary membership for the spa area and sauna
Standard membership costs EUR 33 per month for use of the facilities at anytime. There is also a half-day tariff of EUR 24 per month, which allows use of the facilities until 14:00 every day. One-off entry to the pool costs EUR 10 per person.
90 210 19 79
This Catalan-owned fitness chain has gyms dotted all over the city. The most impressive of DiR’s 13 branches is DiR Diagonal. The 12,600sq m centre has one large fitness room with cardiovascular equipment, three other rooms used for the many daily classes and one spinning room. The best feature is the 50m swimming pool which is half-indoor and half-outdoor during the summer, and surrounded by a grassy area where gym-goers relax on sun beds.
Membership costs vary between centres, depending on the facilities, but average between EUR 42 and EUR 48 per month. Day membership is available and there are special promotions from time to time for members to invite one guest free of charge.
C/ de Sardenya, 333
93 476 13 90
This gym and sports centre in Gràcia has a number of activities for children and families; basketball, judo, aerobics and dance classes are aimed at children from primary school age to 16 years old. Swimming classes are also available for children aged three and above.
Facilities include fitness rooms, a spinning room, space for judo and taekwondo classes, a weights room and a cardiovascular area with running, rowing and bike machines.
Monthly membership costs EUR 29.80 for adults and EUR 16.40 for under 16s. Morning, midday or evening membership costs between EUR 21.30 and EUR 23.20.
93 272 20 00
This reputable British chain has two centres in Barcelona: Balmes, 44-46 and Ausiàs Marc, 9-11. There are three different exercise rooms in each; one used for aerobic classes, one for spinning and one for relaxation (yoga and tai chi).
Around 150 classes are given each week, so there is no need to pre-book as you will find something at any time of day. The 20m swimming pool is restricting if you want to train or are a serious swimmer.
On the whole, the atmosphere is adult focused, and there are few family activities. Membership costs between EUR 70 and EUR 80, depending on whether you sign up for the membership that allows you to use the facilities at all times or at restricted times.
Pilates was first developed in 1945. Based on eastern traditions, European training methods and Greek and Roman exercises, it is an invigorating workout designed to strengthen body and mind. It is essentially a more rigorous form of yoga, centring on similar principles of flexibility, posture and strength, but the movements in Pilates are quite different.
Pilates is beneficial for helping patients to prepare for and recover from surgery or pregnancy and is particularly popular with athletes because it helps to prevent injury. Many health clubs and gyms now offer Pilates classes.
C/ Laforja, 101
93 209 10 63
This centre uses Pilates equipment for individual and group classes (maximum four people). You can do allegro, fitball, bosu, elastic resistance or work with multi-sized balls. Each room is dedicated to a different Pilates method.
One group class costs between EUR 30 and EUR 36 (depending on the chosen method) and the monthly fee is EUR 105 to EUR 130 for one-55-minute class per week. Located in the Zona Alta area, classes are attended by professionals and well-to-do residents of the district.
Centre Pilates Barcelona
C/ Girona, 15
93 301 08 46
Centre Pilates was first opened in 2003 by French former professional ballet dancer Fabien Menegon.
The peculiarity of this centre is that all classes are on a one-to-one basis. Each pupil will have a specially-tailored class by his or her qualified Pilates instructor who used to be professional dancers.
With classes being one-on-one, the level is more intense and the prices higher. One class costs EUR 46 and a ticket valid for five classes costs EUR 220. The centre is open from Monday to Friday, 08:00 to 20:00 (Saturdays 10:00-14:00).
93 544 16 94
The name ‘Pilates powerhouse’ may evoke images of sweaty gyms and bulging muscles, but this is at odds with the centre itself although it does focus on the physically challenging aspect of Pilates. A wide range of equipment is used during the classes, including resistance ropes, large inflatable balls, bars and a number of contraptions designed to increase flexibility, strength and toning.
Aerobics & Fitness Classes
Aerobics is excellent for improving circulation, burning fat, reducing cellulite and feeling healthy.
Most gyms offer a wide range of aerobics classes that can range from spin classes to glutis, abdominals i cames (bums, legs and tums). Usually, you will need to be a member of a gym, health club or swimming pool before you can attend classes. Spinning classes are hugely popular, so make sure you book in advance.
The clubs such as BonaSport , Club Femini Iradier , DiR and Holmes Place offer aerobic and aqua aerobic classes, including aquafit, aquapower, aquarelax, aqua-tó (aqua toning) and aqua aerobics.
The same goes for the reasonably-priced municipal gyms, such as Can Ricart in the Raval. The city’s main swimming pools and clubs also tend to have offer aqua aerobics. For more classes, check the city council directory (www.bcn.es).