Blog image

Animal-Free and Fitness-Focused in Berlin

May 2014

By A.L. Kruse, Berlin

If you like training in a fitness studio, keeping fit in Berlin is easier than ever. Ten years ago, there were only a few gyms in town. Now there are chains to suit any budget, from discounters like McFit, to the more mainstream Fitness First and Jopp & Jopp, to the premium Holmes Place.

Micro-fitness studios, like Body Street, are popular at the moment. These studios offer targeted EMS (Electronic Muscle Stimulation) training for a time-starved (and cash-rich) clientele. However, if you like a bit of wellness and fun with your training, consider Zumba, or Hard Candy, Berlin’s newest fitness chain.

Started by Madonna, the Hard Candy franchise has recently opened a several outlets in Berlin. Besides the extensive course program and strong focus on lifestyle and wellness, members can book additional services, like towels, isotonic drinks, powerplate usage or tanning bed use as a monthly flat-rate.  While the notoriety of Madonna’s name acts as an effective marketing tool based on her lifetime of dance-fueled fitness, Berliner’s are also somewhat weary of getting behind the lack of humility of the messaging, not to mention how much images of her face are splashed all over the establishments.

Berliners are definitely focused on health, and it’s not surprising considering the city’s strong alternative and organic vibe. Berlin is Germany’s vegetarian and vegan capital. Europe’s first vegan supermarket chain, Veganz, opened its first store here in 2011. The second outlet followed last year, and today the chain has eight stores across Europe, with more to follow. For a less commercial approach to vegan shopping, Dr. Pogo, in Neukölln, is Berlin’s first vegan supermarket operated as a collective.

Vegan restaurants include La Mano Verde, in Charlottenburg, Kopps, in Prenzlauer Berg, and Cookies Cream, in Mitte . There are even vegan fast food joints here, such as the infamous vegan döner kebab outfit Vöner, and Kreuzberg’s vegan burger mecca, Yellow Sunshine. There are local food manufacturers, like Soy Rebels, which specializes in organic, natural and smoked tofu, or Sprossenmanufaktur, who sells different types of fresh sprouts.

The vegan lifestyle also extends to using animal-friendly cosmetics products. Germany has Europe’s biggest organic beauty market. Since veganism is a major trend in the organic cosmetics industry, more and more organic brands make sure their products are vegan– like Berlin-based organic beauty company i+m Naturkosmetik, whose entire product portfolio is certified vegan.

Beauty & Cosmetics
Health & Fitness
Services card at Madonna's Hard Candy gym in Berlin
The first location in the Veganz Berlin empire in Friedrichshain
i+m Naturkosmetik: vegan and cruetly free beauty and cosmetics from Berlin

Subscribe Form