5 beautiful ice rinks to get you into the festive spirit
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.
Due to the exceptional circumstances brought around by the coronavirus pandemic, a number of the following ice rinks are either closed or operating at a reduced capacity this festive season. You can find more information regarding the individual ice rinks' accessibility and any safety / hygiene measures in place to help combat the spread of coronavirus.
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 Hamburg. 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.
- Date: November - March
- Time: 10am – 10pm
- Location: Holstenwall 30, 20355 Hamburg
- Price: 7.00 euros - adult ticket
This year, due to coronavirus, the season starts later and will commence on Tuesday, December 1. A number of measures will be put in place to help ensure the safety of visitors.
Visitors must adhere to social distancing regulations and keep a 1,5-metre distance from anyone outside your household. Masks must be worn throughout the site and can only be removed on the ice. Anyone exhibiting cold and flu symptoms will be refused entry. Visitor numbers will be limited and the site has been reorganised to allow people to keep a safe distance from one another.
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.
- Date: November 25 – January 6
- Time: Weekdays: 12pm – 10pm; weekends: 11am – 10pm
- Location: Rathausstraße 1, 10178 Berlin
- Price: Free
Due to the pandemic, all Christmas markets in Berlin must remain closed until November 30. Unfortunately, this includes the Berliner Weihnachtszeit and the ice rink at the Neptunbrunnen. The federal government will reassess the situation mid-November and, if coronavirus infections have dropped significantly, potentially allow a smaller market to take place in December.
3. Münchner Eiszauber
The Münchner Eiszauber, now in its 19th 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 of Bavaria’s delicious regional delicacies. 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 breath-taking and unique views of the city at Christmas time.
- Date: November 22 – January 12
- Time: 10.30am – 10pm
- Location: Stachus (Karlsplatz), 80335 Munich
- Price: 6 to 9 euros - adult ticket
The Münchner Eiszauber has not yet announced its 20th season which was meant to take place this year over the festive period. The ice rink remains open, however it is unclear whether they will put on a special Christmas event as usual.
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 the 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.
- Date: November 23 – February 1
- Time: Weekdays: 3pm – 11pm; Weekends: 11am – 11pm
- Location: Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski, 01067 Dresden
- Price: 7 euros – adult ticket
The Hotel Taschenbergpalais has closed its doors until November 30, due to the new measures put in place to contain the second coronavirus wave. The hotel has thus decided to cancel the ice rink season this year.
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.
- Date: November 25 – January 5
- Time: 11am – 10pm; after December 26: 11am – 9pm
- Location: Heumarkt 55, 50667 Cologne
- Price: 7 euros – adult
The Heinzels Wintermärchen has been cancelled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic; both the market and the ice rink will not be available this year.
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 across the country on by checking out our events page.