Exercise is not a new concept to the Saigonese but Westerners work out a little differently than the people of Vietnam. However, in recent years more gyms and fun excursions make working out (in anyway that suits you) much easier in this great city!
Finding a good place to work out in Saigon used to be difficult, but over the last few years, this has changed drastically. More and more high-end gyms have opened, modern condos come with fitness rooms, and newly developed housing projects have beautiful parks where you can run, bike, or do a quick HIIT session. For some tips on where to work out, both indoors and outdoors, while you’re in Saigon, read on!
The 10 Best Gyms in Saigon
California Fitness and UFC Gyms
Currently one of Saigon’s most happening gyms, California Fitness has branches all around the city. Here you can work out using the most high-end weight and cardio machines or join classes ranging from kickboxing to spinning. If you need some expert advice, you can book some personal trainer sessions as well.
If you are looking for a real challenge, head for a branch with a UFC gym. There you can practice various kinds of martial arts with trainers who have won their share of fights. Yoga Plus is also part of California Fitness, so if you want to get fit with yoga, these studios have got you covered.
Of course, a gym with such an offering isn’t cheap. But if you plan on staying in Saigon for a while, getting a one-, two-, or even three-year membership is the ticket to amazing discounts.
Address: 12 Quoc Huong Street, Thao Dien, District 2
A popular place in Thao Dien, Body Shape, is a cozy yet complete gym where you can do all your favorite workouts. They offer classic training machines for cardio and strengthening but also have plenty of cool classes you can join to get to know other athletes and get into a regular training routine. Cross-fit-inspired training is available too, so if you want to give that a try, the team will gladly show you the ropes.
Address: 49G Quoc Huong Street, Thao Dien, District 2
With several locations around Saigon, Star Fitness is easy to find no matter where you live or work. Here you get access to all the workout equipment you could possibly want, ranging from classic machines to free weights and things like kettlebells and resistance bands. Personal trainers are always ready to give you advice and can be booked for one-time or regular private sessions to keep you on track and get you the results you want.
Address: The Manor Tower, 91 Nguyen Huu Canh Street, Ward 22, Binh Thanh District
Elite Fitness and Saigon River Club
If you like it fancy, try Elite Fitness or Saigon River Club. They are among Saigon’s top gyms and are both more like luxury health clubs. Apart from being able to work out there, you can enjoy a relaxing afternoon by the pool or take advantage of their steam rooms and saunas. Fresh juices, smoothies, and protein shakes are served up at the bar along with healthy snacks to aid recovery after exercise. If you want to treat yourself to some top-quality gym time and don’t mind the price tag that comes with it, Elite Fitness and Saigon River Club are for you.
Address: Saigon Pearl, 92 Nguyen Huu Canh Street, Binh Thanh District
For ladies looking for a supportive environment and fun classes, the international brand Curves could be worth checking out. Known for their signature workouts and fitness plans, Curves promises a fun community and challenging workouts for every level. If you are new to the city and are looking for other fitness-loving friends, this could be a fun alternative. They have several locations around Saigon, so you’ll easily find one close to you.
Address: 43 – 45 Ho Tung Mau Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1
A bit outside of Saigon’s center, HD Gym Phu Nhuan is the ideal option if you just want to get on a treadmill or elliptical and lift some weights. It’s the perfect example of a no-frills gym where the focus is on getting in, doing the work, and getting back out. Since the offering here is simpler than in most other places on this list, it’s also a good bit cheaper, making it a solid option.
Address: 18A Hoang Dieu Street, Ward 10, Phu Nhuan District
District 3 is home to Maxfit, a gym complete with everything you need for a good workout. Cardio and weight machines, as well as classes including Fight Fit, Core Fit, Zumba, Yoga, and more, make this a workout paradise. If you’re looking for more specialized equipment, you’ll find ropes and kettlebells here as well. For everything they offer, Maxfit also has decent rates, so if you’re in the neighborhood, give this place a try.
Address: 70 Ba Huyen Thanh Quan Street, Ward 7, District 3
In the middle of District 7, Saigon Sports Club is the perfect place for intense full-body workouts. From cross-fit-style classes and functional strength training to yoga and kickboxing, you’ll find everything here, especially if you’re into martial arts. Of course, classic gym equipment like weight and cardio machines are available too. Once you’re all tired out, you can chill out by their pool or relax in the sauna or steam room.
Address: 514B Huynh Tan Phat Street, Binh Thuan, District 7
K1 Fitness & Fight Factory
A small, independent gym in the heart of District 2, K1 Fitness & Fight Factory is a great place to stop by if you want to try your hand at kickboxing and other martial arts. The trainers are highly qualified, and the groups are small enough for everyone to get regular feedback from the instructor. Training takes place in a shaded area outdoors, so be prepared to sweat in Saigon’s heat! If you’re not sure kickboxing is for you, come for a free trial class to meet the fun team and see how you like it.
Address: 40 Quoc Huong Street, Thao Dien, District 2
Nutrifort Health & Fitness
Another gym in District 2, Nutrifort Health & Fitness, aims to offer a holistic approach to achieving a healthy lifestyle. From classic gym equipment and classes to guided training programs and nutritional counseling, they offer the whole package. If you want to commit to getting in shape, training with Nutrifort’s team in a motivated group could be the way to go for you.
Address: 34 Nguyen Dang Giai, Thao Dien, District 2
The Best Places to Work Out Outdoors in Saigon
If you’re looking for a place to run or generally exercise outdoors, the huge park in the Vinhomes housing development is the perfect place. Come here early in the morning, before the heat gets too crazy and join other sports lovers for a run around this beautiful green space.
Set right on the river, you’ll feel at least somewhat connected to nature even though you’re still in the heart of the city. Bike parking is available for as little as VND 2,000 (USD $0.086) in any of the apartment towers and you can get a post-workout coffee, drink, or snack at one of the many coffee shops or convenience stores nearby.
Out in District 7, surrounding Crescent Mall, you’ll find another beautiful park. Here you can go for a nice run on trails leading through the beautiful greenery and over little bridges crossing the landscaped ponds and streams. In the morning and evening, this place is popular with runners as well as families taking their kids for a walk. Parking is available in the mall’s underground garage for around VND 5,000 (USD $0.22).
Join private workout sessions
If you want to workout outside with a group, Saigon has countless possibilities for you. Many personal trainers have side gigs where they offer informal group classes in the early morning several days a week. Whatever your level and workout preference, there’s a fit for you. From tough HIIT circuits to beginners’ workouts and yoga sessions, everything is out there.
The best place to look is in the various expat groups on Facebook. Trainers often advertise their courses there or you can just ask around and see what suggestions you get. Usually, you’ll be offered a free trial class so you can see if you like it before paying up and committing to joining regularly.
If you want to explore Saigon on your morning run, the trail along Truong Sa road is the one to try. It follows the winding river past countless little restaurants and cafes. This makes it a great place to see local life in Saigon, especially when you run in the morning and watch everything around you come to life.
Along this street, the green strip which separates the running trail from the road is dotted with free exercise machines. Here people from the neighborhood gather for their morning or post-work exercise session, so you will be in good company.
While this is a fun route to run on, know that it’s set along a very busy road. Whether it’s morning or evening, you’ll be right next to countless motorbikes and cars here so it can be noisy and polluted. If you’d rather avoid that, consider running in a park instead.
Never heard of this? Well, it’s about time! If you want to get out of the city to run in the countryside with a fun group of new friends, consider joining the Saigon Hash House Harriers. They meet most Sundays at the Caravelle Hotel in District 1 and take a bus to a beautiful location outside the city (more details are always shared on their website).
A pre-set course which usually takes around 90 minutes to complete will lead you through scenic places you would likely not find on your own. If you think you can’t run for 90 minutes, there is always a walking trail as well.
After the run, everyone gets together for drinks and a meal, so you have plenty of time to make new friends. Note that this is not a competition but rather a fun group of people to join if you want to be social and work out at the same time.
Bike rides with the Saigon Bike Shop
Biking in the city can be a challenge with all the cars and motorbikes around you. For a more scenic ride, join the Saigon Bike Shop for one of their weekend rides in the countryside around Saigon. They organize these day-trips regularly and take care of everything from getting you to and from the destination to choosing a trail in advance. If you don’t have your own bike, don’t worry. They have several bikes they rent out, so just get in touch beforehand and let them know what you need.
With all these options, the excuse that you were traveling and had no access to a gym or place to exercise is no longer valid. We also won’t accept the excuse that working up a sweat in Saigon happens as soon as you step outside during the hot summer months.
Now that you know where to work out in Saigon, which place is at the top of your list?