For a fee or free of charge, covered or outdoor, contemporary or in the historical heart of the city – a large number of ice rinks awaits enthusiasts. We briefly present five of our favourites.
There is no doubt that of all the ice rinks in the Hungarian capital the one on the City Park lake is the most popular. The main reason is the wonderful view to enjoy while making your pirouettes. On one side is the eclectic Vajdahunyad Castle and on the other the imposing Heroes Square. Right beside the ice rink is the beautiful and renovated pavilion planned by architect Ödön Lechner, Founded as early as 1869, the City Park Ice Rink is the oldest of its kind in Budapest. However, the enormous interest in this attraction both from tourists and locals has its disadvantages. It is not unusual to queue for more than 90 minutes on weekends and at peak times to enter, and renting ice skates takes extra time. Since this attraction simply cannot be missed, we suggest trying your luck on a Monday morning, when the number of visitors should be lowest.
Address: 5 Olof Palme sétány, District XIV
Entrance fee: HUF 800-2000
Open: until mid-February, Monday to Friday 9am-1pm and 5-9pm, Saturdays 10am-2pm and 4-9pm, Sundays 10am-2pm and 4-8pm
After the long delay opening Bálna (“The Whale”), this is the second year the ice rink on its terrace has been operating, offering a panoramic view of the mighty Danube alongside. The rink is financed by the Municipality of Budapest and is free of charge with no time limit, so you can spend hours on the about 450 square metres of ice. Skate rental for up to three hours starts from HUF 1000.
Address: 11-12 Fővám tér,
Entrance fee: free
Open: until the end of February, Monday to Friday 10am-8pm,
Saturdays and Sundays 10am-10pm
We can congratulate the operator of Jégkert for his innovative ideas: the hall just opposite Mammut shopping mall operates as a beer garden in summer, then at the beginning of winter until about April the surface changes into a well-planned ice rink. Jégkert makes a good training hall for hockey players and it offers heated changing rooms and showers. You can rent ice skates for HUF 700-1100 and hockey sticks for HUF 300-400 both for children and grown-ups. Jégkert will also sharpen the blunt blades on your skates. They offer ice-skating lessons and free ice-hockey lessons for children aged five to eight years.
Address: 2 Bakfark Bálint utca, District II
Entrance fee: HUF 990-1400
Open: until April depending on the weather; opening hours for the public change weekly but can be viewed online
The District Council of Óbuda-Békásmegyer took on financing two public ice rinks this year, with free entry. One is at Fő tér, the central square of Óbuda, which used to be an independent little town before 1873, and the other at Csobánka tér more to the north. Fő tér offers a much more beautiful backdrop, its cobblestone surface surrounded by low buildings with a historical flair. Even with a relatively small surface of only 400 square metres there is rarely a crowd. Adults may appreciate the neighbouring stand selling mulled wine. Both rinks offer skate rental and skating lessons, again for free.
Addresses: Fő tér and Csobánka tér, District III
Entrance fee: free
Open: until January 31, daily 8am-10pm at Fő tér, 8am-8pm at Csobánka tér
See website www.obudasport.hu
At 1200 square metres the Jégterasz (ice terrace) just beside this Pest shopping mall is one of the largest ice surfaces in the capital. Even if the modern ice rink does not have much charm and the operators try to turn some extra profit through the many hidden extra charges, they can be credited for their aid program for disabled people and children living in orphanages. For these people the rink is open free on Mondays and Thursdays for a certain period. Another attractive feature of the Jégterasz is the Jégbár (ice bar) integrated in the rink and offering hot drinks, snacks and even alcoholic spirits for warming up. On Fridays and Saturdays the colourful lights and music of the Jégdiszkó bring a party atmosphere to the ice. An interesting fact: it takes about 70 cubic metres of water to cover the complete surface of the Jégterasz with the sufficient amount of ice.
Address: 9 Kerepesi utca,
Entrance fee: HUF 900-1500
Open: until the end of February, Monday to Thursday 9am-2pm and 3-9pm, Friday to Sunday 9am-noon, 1-5pm and 6-11pm (Sunday the same but only until 9pm)