Frost, chill, dusk, cold and the heating bill. These are some of the reasons why many people mourn for the summer at the end of August and get depressed in autumn, although this this doesn’t last for a long time. Once you smell the gingery, orangey smell of mulled wine, see the sparkling winter lights and go ice-skating you feel the magic which can only be experienced during the coldest days of winter.
Szeretlekmagyarorszag.hu collected the best places to go skating in Budapest this winter.
The spreading of ice-skating in Hungary wasn’t that easy. In the 1860s, high society didn’t think that it was a sport for women and neither did doctors suggest it. Later, Géza Kresz stopped caring about resistance and established the Ice-Skating Club of Pest. This is when the story of skating in the City Park started.
In the beginning, the circumstances were a bit harsh considering that there wasn’t a place for the parents to warm up while their daughters were skating. This is why the first calefactory was built by Kresz’s team. The pavilion was built after this with a saloon for the grade-dames watching the ethics of young ladies.
With this, the ball season lasted for 4-5 months instead of 2 months which doubled the chances of ladies looking for husbands. This is how ice-skating became more and more popular in the Hungarian capital.
Let’s see the ice-rinks Budapest offers:
City Park Ice Rink:
You must start with the master, the classic, the queen of winter feeling – the City Park Ice Rink. This year it opened on the 25th of November and you will find it sill has its historic glory up to this day. You don’t have to be a professional to visit the rink, because it is all about having fun, plus you can take skating lessons from qualified coaches. Also, it is still a perfect location to pick up with somebody or go on a date.
If you want to impress someone, just tell them how the place used to be a swampy area about 200 years ago. This is where Béla IV had an assembly, King Mathias went hunting and György Dózsa had his quarters. Or just simply invite the person you want to impress for a mug of mulled wine!
It’s open from 9 am to 13 pm and 17-21 pm on weekdays, 10 am-21 pm on Saturdays and 10-20 on Sundays (but it is closed between 14-16 pm on the weekends).
For more information, go to their website: http://www.mujegpalya.hu/en/
Free ice rinks in Budapest:
Óbuda: the ice rink at Csobánka Square is open from 8 am to 20 pm, and another ice rink at Fő Square with a matchless feeling, is open from 8 am to 22 pm.
The ice rink with the most beautiful panorama is offered by the Bálna until the 28th of February.
Újpest: the season has already started at Szent István Square. You can go skating 15-20 pm on weekdays and from 9 am to 20 pm at the weekend.
Open ice rinks with admission charge:
Besides the City Park Ice Rink, you also have to pay at the Jégterasz at Arena Plaza and at the Jégpark in Óbuda.
Roofed ice rinks with admission charge:
At the Ice Center in the 4th district, the charge is 1200 Ft on weekdays and 2000 Ft at the weekend.
The Jégcsarnok at Megyeri Road is usually ruled by the professionals but it is also good fun to just go and watch them.
The ticket costs 1400 Ft at the ice rink of the Széna Square. Since it is a small rink, it’s good to check the setting beforehand.
Skating at the Weöres Sándor Primary School in the 9th district at the weekend only costs 300 Ft.
The rink of Kőbánya is ruled by the hockey players of White Sharks and anybody can learn about the sport from them.
There is also a chance to try ice hockey in Pólus, and there’s an ice party at the rink of Pesterzsébet 19-22 pm.
Lastly, what is football, basketball, handball, tennis or floorball in the spring and summer turns into skating and ice hockey in autumn and winter at Marczibányi Square.
The countryside offers more than 30 ice rinks throughout the country so it is time to end autumn lethargy because winter has officially arrived!
Translated by Alexandra Béni
Copy editor: bm