As most of you know I work online all day, that’s a dangerous thing for someone who lives in Lisbon where food is delicious (and cheap). Lucky for me, before settling here I got to try tons of gyms. I’ll leave the best for last (the one I picked for my membership), but I’ll give you a breakdown of the best gyms in Lisbon so you can stay healthy and in shape (and still enjoy all of Lisbon’s delicious food).
Best Gyms in Lisbon
The Good: This is your budget gym. Memberships run at €7 per week. It’s a fine gym if you aren’t looking for any amenities. At the premier membership, you can go to any of the clubs within the chain and there are plenty (almost 20 in the Lisbon area). This is one of the best gyms in Lisbon when it comes to value.
The Bad: They require that you have a Portuguese or European bank account (no US credit cards or cash are accepted). Customer service varies by location and really leaves a lot to be desired.
The Verdict: Go if you want to save money, but don’t expect much. This is your no-frills convenient gym.
Locations: Alfragide, Almirante Reis, Amadora, Amoreiras, Arco do Cego, Benfica, Parque das Nacoes, Picoas, Santos.
The Good: This is one of the best gyms in Lisbon because of its great price and everything it has to offer. It’s got all your regular gym stuff and more. There is a pool (of course), but there are also programs like fencing, golf, tennis, and more.
The Bad: They are too damn far from my house for me to join. There are also two hidden fees, a join fee of €50 and an annual member quota that varies according to your membership. These are on top of your monthly dues, but still comes out to be quite affordable when you consider all the gym has to offer.
The Verdict: This is a local favorite, it is priced well and if you feel like a gerbil on a ball when you get on a treadmill, all the amenities here are probably great for you.
Holmes Place $$$
The Good: Because this is a premium sports club, the equipment and amenities are fantastic. Most locations (there are 6 in Lisbon) have pools. There are tons of classes and they even have an app to help you reserve a spot in the classes.
The Bad: This club comes with a premium price tag and it is quite popular. There are always tons of people there and classes fill up fast. The staff there is a bit pushy on sales.
The Verdict: Great machines, great amenities, great classes. Very expensive (for Portugal) and too many people (which may be good if you’re new in town and looking to meet people).
Locations: 5 de Octubre, Alvalade, Amoreiras, Avenida da Liberdade, Avenida Defensores Chaves, Parque das Nacoes.
Club VII $$$$
The Good: This is more of a country club – sports club combination. It’s the Chi-chiest of the gyms and offers an indoor-outdoor pool, plenty of tennis courts, a sunning area, and incredible equipment. It is also located in Parque Eduardo VII, so the location is fabulous. Lisbon’s elite goes here, so if you are looking to rub elbows, this is the place.
The Bad: Membership comes at a cost, and that ain’t pretty. Memberships are yearly and you can cancel as long as you give 3 months notice. Cost per person is either €93/111 (with or without tennis). There is also only one location, so unlike the other clubs when you travel you won’t have clubs to visit.
The Verdict: If you have the money, join up. This place is gorgeous and has great amenities.
Locations: Parque Eduardo VII
The Good: This is one of my faves, and I would have joined if it was not so far from my new place in the Avenidas Novas neighborhood. This club is not pretentious at all. The price is quite fair on a monthly basis, the equipment is fantastic and there are plenty of classes (take the Samba class – it’s awesome). People here are fit (seriously fit) which is quite inspirational when you are about to give up.
The Bad: It’s kinda hard to get to. Since it’s on the water, you have to cross a major street and then go over a bridge. The location is great if you are in Santos, but not if you are in other places in Lisbon. There are 4 clubs in total, but only 1 in Lisbon proper.
The Verdict: If you are in the Santos/Cais do Sodre area, this should be your choice.
Virgin Active (Now part of Holmes Place) $$$
The Good: This was Richard Branson’s gym and it is definitely one of the Best Gyms in Lisbon. The equipment is some of the best in town (some has even been updated after the Holmes Place acquisition) and if you are looking for a particular machine, they will have it. They have a pool, spa and you can get a fitness evaluation and training regimen free every month.
The gym is huge and because it has a higher price tag (and an ultra-secret location), it’s never packed. I’ve never had to wait for a machine. The staff is not overly salesy. You can also pay with American credit cards – a big plus for me. It costs €134 for two of us.
The Bad: That after you read this you will come and it may get more crowded. In all seriousness, there’s only one Lisbon location, so unless you live near Marques de Pombal, it’s probably not convenient for you.
The Verdict: I go here. Needless to say, I love it.
Locations: Palacio SottoMaior
***On 10/3/2017 Virgin Active PT announced that it was purchased by Holmes Place. I’ve updated this piece to show how it has changed with the aquisition…which is for the better 🙂
Got other gyms in Lisbon I should check out? Have questions about a particular club? Ask in the comments.