Ice Skating in Budapest at Europe's Largest Outdoor Ice Skating RInk

Europe’s Largest Outdoor Skating Rink: Ice Skating in Budapest

When we were in Budapest, Hungary, around the holidays last December, we couldn’t resist strapping on a pair of ice skates and going for a spin on Europe’s largest outdoor skating rink, the City Park Ice Rink. As children, our holiday season was always filled with ice skating on the frozen lakes of Minnesota. So, ice skating in Budapest was the perfect festive add on to all of the Christmas market exploring we were going to do on our trip through Budapest, Bratislava, Vienna and Berlin.

Ice Skating in Budapest at Europe's Largest Outdoor Ice Skating RInk

The City Park Ice Rink is located in front of Vajdahunyad Castle and near Heroes’ Square, so the scenery is top notch, especially when all the lights are lit up in the evening. In addition to being the largest outdoor skating rink in Europe, at a size of 12,000 square meters (130,000 sq ft), the rink is also one of the oldest in Europe. It was inaugurated by Crown-Prince Rudolph on January 20th, 1870—how insane is that?! Over the years, the rink has gone through several renovations and was even rendered unusable after WWII, but thankfully the expansions, rebuilds, and remodels have turned the rink and warming house into a truly spectacular sight. In the summer, the pond is filled up with water and used mainly for boating, so really, it’s a pretty spot to see year-round!

Ice Skating in Budapest at Europe's Largest Outdoor Ice Skating RInk

We visited the rink on a weekday evening in December, and it was busy but not overly packed. You can purchase tickets online in advance if you want to avoid any potential lines at the ticket counter, but we paid upon arrival and didn’t run into any issues. I’m sure a Friday evening would be much more crowded than a weeknight though! If you do purchase tickets online, you just need to show up with your printed confirmation or mobile ticket and they will get you set up and ready to go.

Ice Skating in Budapest at Europe's Largest Outdoor Ice Skating RInk

You can rent skates on site if you don’t have your own, and lockers are included in your admission price. Once you are geared up and ready to go, you are free to head out to the rink and soak up the beautiful atmosphere.

Ice Skating in Budapest at Europe's Largest Outdoor Ice Skating RInk

Ice Skating in Budapest at Europe's Largest Outdoor Ice Skating RInk

Even though I had heard about the size of the rink prior to our visit, I was still shocked by its size! There was an area for hockey, and while no games were going on during our visit we did catch a couple of trick skaters putting on an awesome show. And, if you need to brush up on your skating techniques, there is even a zone where you can take skating lessons.

Ice Skating in Budapest at Europe's Largest Outdoor Ice Skating RInk

Ice Skating in Budapest at Europe's Largest Outdoor Ice Skating RInk

After a spin around the rink, I started to think perhaps I should have signed up for lessons myself, ha! I could not figure out why I was having major issues standing up on my skates and spent most of our skating session clinging onto Micah’s arm. Eventually, I figured out what my problem was—I had rented hockey skates instead of figure skates and I wasn’t used to skating on the different type of blades. No toe-pick really did a number on my skating abilities and it was quite comical! Micah, on the other hand, was just as good of a skater as he always has been. I guess his years as a skating rink/hockey attendant really paid off! Just be aware that they have both types of skates available so be sure to specify which you prefer.

Ice Skating in Budapest at Europe's Largest Outdoor Ice Skating RInk

Ice Skating in Budapest at Europe's Largest Outdoor Ice Skating RInk

Ice Skating in Budapest at Europe's Largest Outdoor Ice Skating RInk

Ice Skating in Budapest at Europe's Largest Outdoor Ice Skating RInk

The City Park Ice Rink is open every year from mid-November to mid-February. It is open for several hours in the morning and several hours in the evening with a few hour break during the late afternoon. The schedule changes based on the time of year, but generally it’s open from 10:00-14:00 and again from 17:00-21:00. Rental skates, skate sharpening, skating lessons and lockers are all offered on site, and the Grand Hall is a beautiful warming house to unthaw in on chilly evenings.

Ice Skating in Budapest at Europe's Largest Outdoor Ice Skating RInk

We had a blast skating in Budapest through such a pretty atmosphere and it was a great way to kick off another evening of wandering around holiday markets!

Ice Skating in Budapest at Europe's Largest Outdoor Ice Skating RInk

Are you a fan of ice skating? Have you ever been ice skating in Budapest?

Ice Skating in Budapest, Hungary, at Europe's Largest Outdoor Skating Rink
10 Comments
  • Mags Nixon
    Posted at 01:57h, 23 December Reply

    Wow this looks amazing! I had no idea about this – what a fantastic thing to do in Budapest over Christmas! My girls would love this. We’ve always wanted to visit some of the Christmas markets in Europe so maybe we’ll do this next year. I can’t believe it’s so HUGE! Merry Christmas!

  • Fiona Maclean
    Twitter:
    Posted at 05:30h, 23 December Reply

    I am totally useless on ice – regardless of the hockey skates you seemed to be doing pretty well to me. And I can only imagine the atmosphere, what a stunning place to skate!
    Fiona Maclean recently posted…Provence Rosé Wine – Recipes for ChristmasMy Profile

  • Anu
    Posted at 08:49h, 23 December Reply

    I wish I could skate on the ice rinks. I tried once in Houston and fell badly. I got so scared that I never tried it again in life. It is such fun to watch other people skating. I visited Budapest in summers so I missed this side of the city – I am sure the snow all around makes it look very different.

  • Lydia Smith
    Posted at 14:23h, 24 December Reply

    Didn’t know about iceskating in Budapest. But it really looks fun. I watched people skate in Iceland and felt so bad for myself that I can’t just find my way around it. I’ll try it when I visit Budapest but not after I enroll for the class.

  • Kirstie
    Posted at 23:11h, 24 December Reply

    Ice skating is a really cute way to bond. It’s fun, it’s exercise, it will keep you preoccupied. You can also have an excuse to publicly show affection! Haha! Merry christmas!
    Kirstie recently posted…Christmas is around the cornerMy Profile

  • Megan Jerrard
    Twitter:
    Posted at 19:09h, 25 December Reply

    I had no idea that this was Europe’s largest outdoor skating rink – how cool! How fabulous too to be located right in front of Vajdahunyad Castle – definite fairytale jealousy right now!! Clever tip to have gone on a weekday for less crowds 🙂 I totally wouldn’t have known the difference between hockey skates and figure skates either so definitely noted to be aware of that in future – the ice rink really does look just massive! What a fun trip!

  • Nisha
    Twitter:
    Posted at 20:52h, 25 December Reply

    12000SqM of Skating rink. We were in the vicinity this summer but could never imagine that the place looks so awesome in winter. What better than do skating and then get on to one of the thermal baths out there in Budapest!

  • Sandy N Vyjay
    Posted at 07:57h, 26 December Reply

    The Ice Skating rink in Budapest looks spectacular. It looks so huge and the best part is the backdrop of the Vajdahunyad Castle, this makes the place totally stunning. Skating in such lovely environs at night must have been an unforgettable experience indeed.

  • lia garcia
    Posted at 13:37h, 26 December Reply

    OMG, that rink is ENORMOUS! I am a klutz in skates (even when I have the proper type!) and not having something to hold onto would freak me out 😮 but my husband would live it! Maybe my husband and yours can skate together and we can chill on the side with some hot chocolate, hehe

  • Cathy
    Posted at 23:54h, 26 December Reply

    Yay! Rented hockey skates instead of figure skates! Haha that’s cute tho! You look so adorable trying to stand up and figure skating! I can see from your pictures that the place is mighty huge and so pure white. I actually haven’t done any of these two activities and eyeing to do it in Germany next year, I could already feel the thrill since I’m from a tropical country! This place too is fully equipped as they provide anything that you need for you, including lockers which is very helpful to store your valuables!

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