One of the things that Kai and I have been trying to keep on top of, though somewhat unsuccessfully while we were travelling the world, was fitness. So when we got to Malta, we expected fitness to be a big thing, especially with the perpetual sunshine on this small island. What we found instead though was one of the largest amount of cars per populous in Europe and everyone driving even to go down to the end of the road. Most people we have encountered in Malta act completely shocked when you don’t have a car, or that you’d choose to walk most places. Add in to that the wonderful gelato, pastizzi shops on every corner and the many wonderful restaurants dotted around the island, it makes it make a lot more sense that health isn’t the prime focus of people here. However, that’s not to say there aren’t a lot of wonderful gyms and health concious people about; it is just knowing where to find them.
Before I get in to the list, I would like to caution anyone looking for gym memberships that if you are unable to pay upfront for 6-12 months, and do not have a bank account in Malta yet that you may pay very high rates. Given the fact that Malta is a tourist destination, almost all gyms will allow a daily, weekly and monthly rate but these are much, much higher than the long term memberships. So beware of the initial sticker shock when you go price shopping for gyms here. The gyms are not like what you’d find in North America or the UK in my experience, in that they won’t publish their rates online (although a select few do) so you may need to go in person to get pricing.
Gyms in St Julian’s/Sliema Area:
Cynergi Health & Fitness – This was the first gym we went into to check out pricing and the one that gave us some pretty big sticker shock for monthly rates. It is an absolutely beautiful gym, located in the heart of the tourist area of Paceville. It has a lot of machines that all look in perfect condition, a swimming pool, a large list of classes, saunas, towel service, lockers, and even massages (in some packages). Update: Because of it’s location, we found that in early March, when we first went it was not overly busy, but moving into the tourist season it got very busy at all hours. They advertise rates as low as .93 a day on their website, but this is only for their 6 and 12 month pre-pay packages. If you are unwilling to sign up for the long term, the monthly as of now is 80 euros a month. If you are willing to sign up longer term you can get a much better deal. It is a wonderful gym, but keep in mind the downsides.
Lord’s Boxing Gym – If you are interested in a more specialized gym, Lord’s Gym may be right up your alley. Like the other gyms mentioned here, they offer discounts for longer term commitments to the gym at 360 euros per 12 months if paid upfront. They also offer a 10% discount for couples. The gym overlooks the ocean in St Julian’s and is easy to find. For me, the biggest deterrent would be the fact that the walls appear to be entirely made of glass, and I can personally be a little shy when working out. The thought of everyone running down the promenade being able to see me sweat it out was a huge deterrent. That being said, the gym is clean and has an amazing vibe in person. It is predominantly males when I’ve visited, so this may be something to keep in mind as well.
Challenger Gym – This gym was hard for us to find, despite the fact it was in the hotel we first stayed, before being moved to La Valette. It is in the basement of the Blue Sea St George’s Hotel. Like the hotel, it has seen its glory days go by and is in need of some updating. It was very convenient though, as it was in the hotel. It isn’t a massive gym, so if you were looking for one with a lot of space and new equipment this isn’t the one for you. However, it is a very cheap gym when compared with the others in the area. When I went in there and asked for a quote, I was told it would be 180 euros per year, and they did offer a couples discount. When attending this gym you do also gain access to the pool in the hotel. If you are a swimmer, this could make it a good deal for you. There are also another two branches in Qormi.
Hilton Hotel Gym – This gym is not massive, but is well maintained and is located in the Hilton Hotel in St Julians. It also has access to a pool and offers couples rates. We didn’t spend much time in the gym as it wasn’t our first pick. I’d love to add more information to this post if anyone has any current rates on offer for the gym. The downside to using this location would be competing with the tourists when the tourist season begins.
Don Ross Training – This is not necessarily what you’d consider a gym, but they are going to be opening up facilities shortly and use other facilities for their training. This is a group of personal trainers who do a lot of different packages customized to the individual. The downside to this would be that, until they have their own facilities this will be more expensive than the other options. However they have great reviews. So if you’re looking for more customizable results maybe give them a look.
This list will continue to be added to as we discover new gyms and locations moving forwards. If you have any others to add to the list or any more current rates we would love to hear from you!