5 beautiful ice rinks to get you into the festive spirit
Who doesn’t love ice-skating? Effortlessly gliding across the ice, feeling like you're flying and laughing when one of your friends inevitably falls on their bottom, it’s the perfect activity for the holiday season.
A big fan of the much-beloved winter sport, especially around Christmas time, Germany boasts some of the biggest and most beautiful rinks in the whole of Europe (maybe even in the world!). During Advent, these ice rinks are transformed into wonderful spectacles of light, music and Christmas cheer.
Christmas ice skating in Germany
To help save you time figuring out which ice skating rink is worth the visit, we bring you a list of some of the best ice skating rinks in Germany - just in time for the Christmas holidays. Some of these are semi-permanent, some are connected to a Christmas market, but all of them are guaranteed to get you into the holiday spirit.
1. EisArena, Hamburg
The EisArena in Hamburg is located in the gorgeous Planten un Blomen park in the heart of the city. The rink itself is 4.300 square metres, making it the biggest in Germany, as well as one of the biggest in Europe.
The EisArena boasts an entertaining programme of live DJs on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. It also offers curling and, if it gets too cold or you just prefer to watch, there are warm lounges, covered rest areas, a bistro and a café located on-site to cater to your every need.
Video: YouTube / MrJealei
2. Eiswelt at Neptunbrunnen
The Berliner Weihnachtszeit at the Rotes Rathaus offers one of the most stunning ice rinks in Germany. The ice rink is built around the Neptunbrunnen, near Alexanderplatz in Berlin, a monumental fountain with an intricate statue of the Roman god Neptune at the centre. The 600-square-metre rink is located right in the middle of the Berlin Christmas market, making it impossible not to get fully into the festive spirit.
The rink will also host a series of ice-skating shows throughout the Christmas period. You can buy new skates, have your old ones sharpened or - if you've had your fill of skating - keep warm in one of the Glühwein shacks.
3. Münchner Eiszauber
The Münchner Eiszauber, now in its 20th season, has long been a winter highlight in the city of Munich. Set in the heart of the grandiose Karlsplatz, in the Stachus square, the backdrop of the city’s holiday lights gives it an almost unbeatable Christmassy feel.
For all those tired and hungry skaters, the Schmankerl hut is on hand to keep you warm and full of some delicious regional delicacies from Bavaria. Stop by for Schweinswürst with Sauerkraut or Currywurst and Bavaria’s world-famous Glühwein. Be sure to visit the ice magic bar - the climb up the wooden grandstand offers some of the most breathtaking and unique views of the city at Christmas time.
Video: YouTube / Münchenview
4. Ice rink at Taschenbergpalais
How could we make a festive ice rink list without including the one in Dresden? The city is famous for its Striezelmarkt, one of the biggest and oldest Christmas markets in Germany. Simply setting foot in this city during Christmas time may send you into a full-on holiday tizzy - or at the very least, bring out the festive spirit in you!
The ice rink at the Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinksi typifies the excitement that Dresden inspires at Christmas time. With idyllic lighting and a beautiful Christmas tree at its centre, the 500-square-metre rink offers the perfect setting for skating. Curling and a zigzag course can be provided upon request, and for the kids, the rink offers dedicated children's days, coaching and penguin figures with handles, for those who are still a bit shaky on the ice.
5. Heinzels Wintermärchen
The ice rink at the oldest and biggest Christmas market in Cologne is nothing short of spectacular. The ice rink is almost as long as a football field at 110 metres, with the monumental statue of King Friedrich Wilhelm III set in the centre. There are inns where you can stop by mid-run for something to eat or drink, and you can watch the House Elves of Cologne ski on the roof of the Büble Alpe, all the while taking in beautiful historic scenery.
The rink offers curling, with no less than five adjoining curling alleys and a unique view of Cologne’s mesmerising Christmas lights. Of course, if all this fails to make you feel festive, you can take off your skates and walk straight into the Christmas market.
Video: YouTube / NEWS-on-Tour
Christmas events in Germany
There are hundreds of Christmas events all across Germany, from markets to ice rinks to spectacular light displays. Make sure you stay up to date with all that is going on across the country by checking out our events page.