Tourist Tip #19 / Outdoor Gyms

By beach or by park, Israel offers plenty of spaces to work up a sweat without coughing up a dime.

Some folks are content to laze by a pool for hours with a cold drink in hand and a good book to read. For others, the idea of lying around for long stretches of time is inconceivable. If you’re a sporty, outdoorsy type who loves to sweat but hates to do it within the confines of a stuffy gym, you'll be pleased to know that Israel has taken the workout to the outdoors. There are several free gyms under the open sky to provide you with your regular endorphin boost.

Municipalities across the country have installed outdoor fitness centers in public parks, community centers and beaches. These small public gyms offer a variety of weather-resistant machines available for the public’s use, and cost absolutely nothing. Typically, you’ll be able to find rowing, cycling, step and weights machines, although some gyms have a wider selection. As there are no restrictions on opening hours, you can work out wherever and whenever you fancy. It’s worth noting however, that as these machines are designed for the wider public you won’t necessarily be able to tailor them to your own specific use.

Due to the success of this initiative, new locations are opening up all the time. Popular spots in Tel Aviv include the beachfront promenade, at the Tel Aviv Port, and in the Gan Meir park in the city center and Hayarkon park in the north of the city. Some places you can work up a sweat in Jerusalem are Sacher Park and the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah.