Ice Skating is an activity that has become synonymous with the festive season across the world. Budapest is no different, with outdoor ice skating rinks popping up across the city, offering endless opportunities to lace up the skates and slide along. With the help of our local insiders, in this guide, we’ve rounded up the very best outdoor ice skating rinks in Budapest where you should head to get your skate on.
Müpa Open Air Winter Ice Rink
Formerly known, the Palace of Arts, the Müpa building is a spiritual home for Hungary’s cultural arts scene in Budapest. However, in the festive season, it is a favourite place for locals, with their annual Winter Open Air series event. This will see a superb selection of awesome events taking place throughout December. One of the iconic features of Winter Open Air is the Müpa ice rink. No matter if you’re a novice or a pro, here you’ll be able to skate along to your heart’s desire to the sounds of soothing music. You can also wet the whistle with some festive fine wine, food and a selection of Christmas- themed activities. Entrance to the ice skating is completely free, but only if you have a valid ticket to an event also taking place at the venue.
Where: Müpa| When: Until 2nd February 2020 | Entry Fee: Free
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri: 2pm – 8pm | Sat-Sun: 10am – 8pm
The buildings that line the banks of the Danube have a rather historical architecture. Balna, or the “Whale” as it’s known in English, is a modern glass structure that stands out like a sore thumb. The versatile venue offers shopping, food and drink. However, for Christmas, it is transformed, with the much-anticipated return of one of the best outdoor Ice-Skating Rinks in Budapest. Here you can skate into the night whilst enjoying a breath-taking panoramic view across the Danube. Featuring iconic sites like the Liberty Bridge, Gellert Hill and more. If you don’t fancy falling flat on your arse, don’t fret, there will be plenty more going on to keep you entertained. From stalls selling mulled wine and fun activities to keep you people of all ages entertained. Oh, and if you do head down to Balna, be sure to sample some craft beer at Jonas Craft Beer House
Where: Balna | When: Sunday 1st December – February 2020| Entry Fee: Free
Opening Hours: Sun-Thu: 10am – 8pm | Fri-Sat: 10am -10pm
City Park Ice Rink
When it comes to ice skating, no place offers an experience like the City Park Ice Rink. Located a stones-throw away from Hero Square, this rink has a rich history, with people descending here to skate since 1869. Making it not only one of the oldest and biggest ice skating rinks in Budapest, but also in Europe. When it all began, the ice rinks clubhouse was a wooden cabin. Fast forward 150 years, and you have a beautiful building where you can rent your skates and enter this magnificent arena of ice. Ice skating here has become a bonafide winter tradition in Budapest. Perfect for all levels, a place where you’ll see pro’s pirouetting, and beginners looking like Bambi on ice.
Where: City Park | When: Open till February 2020 | Entry Fee: 1500 – 2000 FT
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri: 9am – 1pm & 5pm – 9pm | Sat-Sun: 10am -2pm & 4pm – 9pm
Csepel Ice Corridor
Although one of the largest islands in the Hungarian section of the Danube, Csepel is a place few have even heard of, let alone visited. However, with the start of the festive season, the visitor numbers are bumped up as the Csepel Ice Corridor makes a return. It has to be one of the most unique outdoor ice skating rinks in Budapest. Featuring an open skating section, but also an ice corridor that winds, bends and weaves around. It’s ideal if your just a beginner, but also pretty sweet if you’re skating skills are on point. Ice aside, there are also live music and stalls housed in wooden cabins where you can get some festive food and drink.
Where: Csepel jégpálya| When: Open till February 2020 | Entry Fee: 800 Ft
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri: 2pm – 9pm | Fri-Sat: 8am – 9pm
Intermezzo Terrace Ice Rink
If a little bit of ice skating on an outdoor rink doesn’t entice you, then a bit of rooftop ice skating will most definately tickle you fancy. If that’s what you’re seeking, then get down to the Intermezzo Terrace Ice Rink at Hotel President. Here you’ll be able to skate away to the sounds of beats scratched by local DJ’s. All whilst taking in majestic views of iconic Budapest Landmarks like Buda Castle and the Basilica. Included in the ticket price will be entry, skate rental, and a complimentary glass of mulled wine. However, they also have a bar where you can buy other types of dutch courage before hitting the ice. One thing to be aware of is that the rink is actually plastic, not made from ice. So if you’re planning on taking some skates, then a heads up that the team will have to resharpen them to suit the surface. Every Sunday in the run-up to Christmas they will also be hosting parties on ice, so keep your eyes peeled.
Where: Hotel President | When: Open till 13th January 2020 | Entry Fee: 2500 Ft
Opening Hours: Monday- Friday: 4pm – 9pm | Saturday – Sunday: 2pm – 9pm
If you’re a fan of ice skating and are were planning a trip to Budapest over the festive period, then hopefully this guide will give you the insight you need. If ice skating isn’t what you seek, then stay tuned. We have some more tips and recommendations about celebrating Christmas in Budapest coming very soon. In the meanwhile, be sure to download the Like Locals app to uncover the unique sights and stories of this magnificent city. Available now on both iOS and Android devices.