While Germany has a scintillating outdoor climbing scene, capricious weather often drives the climbing community to the shelter of indoor climbing and bouldering gyms. As the popularity of the sport escalates due to the sighting in the Japan Olympics, so does the demand for indoor climbing spaces, and new gyms are opening up every year across the country, particularly in the areas around already popular outdoor climbing locations.
Some bouldering and climbing gyms in Germany are profiting so much that the owners have established chains, creating some well-known brands in the climbing community. Below are some of our favorite climbing and bouldering gyms in Germany, stretching from Berlin to Munich.
Top 12 Rock Climbing Gyms in Germany
1. Magic Mountain (Berlin)
One of the most popular climbing gyms in Berlin is the Magic Mountain, boasting both indoor and outdoor climbing and bouldering. For those who like to try out all areas of the sport of climbing, Magic Mountain is a one-stop-shop for battling gravity across more than 2500 square meters of space.
While there are routes for both beginners and experts, the majority of routes 8 – Nordwandhalle Betriebsgesellschaft (Hamburg)are between 5 and 7 on the UIAA scale, which is the most commonly used climbing scale across Germany. Routes can be up to 15m high, and 25m long on those difficult overhangs.
There are many courses for both adults and younger climbers looking to improve their climbing. There is also a training area, cafe, and sauna onsite to complete the whole experience.
2. Südbloc Boulderhalle (Berlin)
The Südbloc Boulderhalle is one of the larger climbing gyms in Berlin, spread across 1600 square meters and with a dedicated youth climbing area, and an outdoor climbing area. The naturally lit hall offers a welcoming atmosphere to both beginners and experts through 6 colour-coded difficulties. The friendly team also offers a range of courses, especially for beginners, to make sure that everybody is climbing safely.
3. Cafe Kraft (Nürnberg)
In the Franconian city of Nuremberg and adjacent to the world-famous Frankenjura climbing region is Cafe Kraft. The story of this legendary bouldering gym begins with a meeting point of now-deceased climbers Wolfgang Güllich and Kurt Albert in the Pegnitzal area of the Frankenjura, the name and spirit of which has been embodied by the bouldering gym in Nürnberg today. Inspired by one of Güllich’s most known quotes: “Man geht nicht nach dem Klettern zum Kaffeetrinken, Kaffeetrinken ist integraler Bestandteil des Kletterns” – “One doesn’t go to drink coffee after climbing, coffee is an integral part of the climbing”, Cafe Kraft brings together a fantastic climbing experience and a cosy cafe to accommodate the local climbing community.
The climbing level ranges from easy to difficult via a colour-coded scale labelled in the notoriously difficult local dialect. The hall is iconically themed with limestone-colored walls and bright green crash pads to loosely replicate an outdoor climbing experience. The word “Kraft” means “strength” in English, and you will suitably find a plethora of overhanging walls and steep ascents to test the limits of your upper body, although you will also find a couple of slab-style balance walls throughout the bouldering hall. Cafe Kraft also has an integrated yoga studio and a large training area where you may be lucky enough to spot professionals such as Alexander Megos refining their skills.
Cafe Kraft provides many different classes for climbers of all levels, and you can book private coaching sessions for some individual-specific help. They also do birthday parties for children, community competitions, and the occasional movie night.
Cafe Kraft is a vital part of the local climbing community and its influence spreads throughout the whole of Germany. If you are visiting the Frankenjura and experience some bad weather, consider popping in to have a coffee and meet the community.
4. E4 (Nürnberg)
E4 is one of the biggest bouldering halls in all of Europe, spanning across 3000 square meters of floor space and more than 550 bouldering problems. Located in Nuremberg, like Cafe Kraft, E4 is just a stone’s throw away from the Frankenjura and has attracted a large following from the local climbing community.
E4 makes full use of the space that it has, building routes up to the full legal height of 4.5m and providing a wide range of different styles throughout its two large halls, including a 9m long overhang, precarious balance style slabs with difficult top-outs, and a large competition wall that is often used in professional events. Their motto is suitably “For every solution, there is a problem”, and during every visit, you will find something new that will challenge both your mind and your body.
E4 also contains a yoga studio and two training areas, one of which contains a lattice board and a very long campus board. The staff are super helpful and friendly and make a damn good coffee that you can enjoy in a plant-filled cafe.
5. Climbing Factory (Nuremberg)
While the climbing culture in Nuremberg is strong as it neighbors Frankenjura, this is the first dedicated climbing hall in the city that features on this list. The Climbing Factory features more than 100 routes scaling up impressive 15m walls. Roughly a quarter of the space is a dedicated top-rope and auto-belay climbing section, perfect for beginners to master the moves before learning how to lead climb. There is also an intense roof in the lead climbing section near the top of the wall.
6. Der Steinbock (Konstanz, Passau, Nürnberg, Zirndorf)
Der Steinbock is another chain based in the South of Germany in Bavaria and Baden Württemberg. They opened their fourth bouldering gym in Nuremberg near the beginning of the COVID pandemic in 2020, and have three more locations in the neighboring town of Zirndorf, Passau on the Austrian border, and in the university town of Konstanz on the shores of Lake Constance. Their logo is that of a mountain goat, which is how the name translates.
Naturally, each location offers something a little different. The hall in Nuremberg is by far the most modern bouldering hall in the area, boasting a huge spacious layout, a cozy modern cafe, a Bluetooth enabled Kilter Board, and bouldering up to the legal 4.5m. When fully opened, it will also include a sauna and a large area specifically designed for children to boulder in too. There is also an 11m roof that connects the downstairs bouldering area to the upstairs area for those who want to feel the burn in their shoulders and arms.
Their Zirndorf gym has an outdoor area which is very popular in the summer months as all of the local gyms can heat up in the long dry summer, complete with slacklines and a large area to relax and watch your friends from.
While the gym in Passau is a little smaller, it does feature a sheltered outdoor area and is plenty large enough considering the population of the town. The gym in Konstanz has a large open layout that is flooded with natural light.
With so many locations and opportunities for different styles of climbing, there is something for both beginners and experts at all four locations. Some of the route setters are particularly fond of the climbing in Fontainbleu and often the style of bouldering reflects this, making use of some of the sloping walls to replicate some difficult top-outs. The Kilter Board set up in Nuremberg ensures that there are literally endless routes for those looking for something a little different.
7. Boulderwelt (Regensberg, Munich x2)
Boulderwelt is a chain of bouldering spots, with 1 location in the historical UNESCO town of Regensburg and 2 climbing gyms in Munich. The company has quickly built a strong reputation in the South of Germany since its humble beginnings in 2010, with their iconic circular logo being regularly spotted at many outdoor crags across the country. They even have their own athlete team.
Each location has a spherical, climbable map of the world, reflective of their name (“Boulderwelt” means “Bouldering World”). Their location in Regensberg is very large and open, providing lots of space for climbing and safe falling. You can expect a lot of slab and balance climbing, but also a fair amount of steep overhangs and dynamic routes.
Whereas many climbing gyms in Munich are compressed into small spaces, the two Boulderwelt locations remain fairly open and spacious in comparison. Their East Munich location has recently been refurbished and modernized, complete with entirely suspended bouldering blocks in a contemporary space flooded with natural light.
8. Einstein (Ulm, Munich)
Einstein is yet another bouldering gym chain set up in the South of Germany, named after the German physicist, although “Stein” is the German word for “stone” so it is also a play of words. They have two locations, one in Munich, and one in Ulm.
Their two halls are easily identified by their ironic purple crashpads and limestone colored walls. While not the largest of bouldering halls in Germany, they have a solid reputation in the climbing community, particularly for hard, technical boulders. That being said, they design a plethora of routes to be enjoyed by climbers of all abilities.
As well as bouldering, Einstein also provides spaces for CrossFit, yoga, and even parkour. In Ulm, they also have an outdoor beach volleyball court.
Location: Rest of Germany
9. DAV Kletterzentrum (Würzburg)
While the DAV has many climbing gyms across the country, arguably the most impressive center is in the town of Würzburg, on the river Main. The center’s iconic 14m bright orange walls draw an impressive crowd across the whole region for some top-rated climbing.
The DAV Kletterzentrum is primarily a climbing gym, however, there are also bouldering areas. It is a popular place to visit in summer as there is a large outdoor climbing area as well as a small bouldering block.
The center is a great place for beginners as there are plenty of easy routes as well as a top-rope section for those who are yet to gain confidence or expertise in the art of lead climbing. As well as easier routes, more experienced climbers will find routes graded up to 10 on the UIAA scale. They have also established a speed-climbing wall, accurate to the official regulations.
The DAV is a very active club that aims to make alpinism and climbing safer and more accessible to everybody involved. The club holds many courses at the center for members, teaching everything from rope safety to climbing techniques, although often exclusively for members.
10. XXL Kletterhalle (Dresden)
Just a short trip from trad climbing paradise, the Sächsische Schweiz, is a 3200 square meter climbing paradise called the XXL Kletterhalle. This huge climbing area features a climbing hall, a bouldering hall, and even an outdoor climbing area, with routes aimed at beginners and up to 10+ on the UIAA climbing scale. The climbing hall also features a large competition wall which is regularly used for professional events.
11. Urban Apes (Hamburg)
The Urban Apes gym in Hamburg is a brightly lit bouldering gym spread across 1500 square meters in two connecting halls. Their modern and cozy cafe directly overlooks a large portion of the 250 routes which makes for fantastic entertainment as you enjoy the mandatory after-climbing coffee/beer. Regulars at the climbing hall can also enjoy discounted access to the MeridianSpa to loosen up their tense muscles. There is climbing suitable for all levels, and a diverse range of different climbing styles, from steep overhangs to sketchy slab balance pieces.
12. Stuntwerk (Cologne)
The Stuntwerk in Cologne is a popular bouldering hall with a prominent overhanging block taking center stage. It has a unique training area that gravitates towards parkour specific exercises. This is also evident in the route setting, as dynamic moves are often forced, reflecting the modern trend in climbing styles.
Here concludes the top 12 rock climbing and bouldering gyms in Germany. Is there any I have missed out?