Looking for a fun and easy winter activity? Try ice skating in Stockholm. Going for a twirl on the ice is easy in the Swedish capital, thanks to the sheer number of rinks and waterways dotted across the city. And if you have your own skates, it can be completely free.
Generally speaking, the manmade ice rinks in Stockholm are open from the autumn holidays (late October) until early March. The natural lakes and waterways are open for skating as long as it stays cold enough. Here are some of the best ice-skating rinks – both artificial and natural – in the Stockholm area!
The most popular ice-skating rink in the city, Kungsträdgården is located in the downtown area, just across the water from Gamla Stan. Not only is it one of the more accessible ice rinks, but it also makes for a lively day out, especially in the run up to Christmas, when you can expect to see twinkling lights and Christmas stands serving up hot glögg (spiced wine).
Each weekend, the whole rink also brightens up with a disco and figure-skating performance. Beginners and pros alike are welcome as soon as the rink opens for the season, usually in early November. You can rent skates for around 70 SEK per hour for adults and 30 SEK per hour for children. To really save on the bucks, bring your own – you can get them sharpened at the rink for just 60 SEK.
Jussi Björling allé 5, Stockholm
Mon–Fri 10am-9pm, Sat & Sun 11am-9pm
Tel: 08-555 100 90
A quieter and more spacious alternative to Kungsträdgården is Vasaparken, which sits between Odenplan and Sankt Eriksplan on the northern edge of central Stockholm. The popular artificial rink here is open between November and March.
The rink is actually three times larger than the one in Kungsträdgården, measuring around 60 x 43m. Since it’s manmade, it’s usually a more reliable bet than the natural rinks, but it does close periodically throughout the day for resurfacing (usually 6.30am–8am, noon–1pm and 5pm–6pm). Just be sure to bring your own skates!
Dalagatan 11C, Stockholm
Mon–Fri 8am–9pm, Sat & Sun 10am–9pm
Tel: 08-508 090 00
Artificially frozen, the Zinkensdamm ice rink is made primarily for ice hockey. If it isn’t booked up by local players, however, you can bring your own skates and spend as long as you want skating here on the west side of Södermalm. The times for public skating can vary week to week – be sure to call ahead.
Tel: 073-921 90 56
Want to join an ice-skating tour?
If you’d rather not skate on a rink and like the idea of trying something more exciting, consider joining an ice-skating tour. This guided, one-day trip takes you out onto the frozen lakes (or sea!) around Stockholm, with the chance to learn at your own pace and enjoy some amazing nature. Sometimes the ice on this tour is so clear that you can see fish swimming beneath your skates!
The artificial rink at Östermalm opens on December 1 each year and boasts a long oval area where you can try out your Lutz and Axel figure skating jumps. You can either rent skates here or bring your own. This particular rink also keeps a couple of outdoor grills, so you can make a day of it with your family and bring your food, coals and matches to barbecue after a healthy skating session.
Mon & Fri 5pm–8pm, Tues–Thurs 7pm–9pm, Sat & Sun 11am–4pm
Tel: 08-508 283 54
The Medborgarplatsen ice rink, located conveniently in the middle of Södermalm, tends to be popular among children and beginners. Well-illuminated by lights, it’s easy to reach using the metro and has several amenities nearby, including restaurants, a cinema and the Söderhallarna Saluhall (food hall). For kids there’s a also a fun playground right across the street.
Call for opening times
Tel: 08-508 265 52
TOURS AND ACTIVITIES IN STOCKHOLMMORE TOURS
Stora Mossen Ice Hall
Stora Mossen Ice Hall is a small skating area in the Bromma district, just west of Alvik. Bring your own skates and helmets to hit the ice for some fun toe jumps and loops. Though it’s usually reserved for sports games and athletic groups, during select hours this rink is open for the public to enjoy.
Mon–Fri 6.30am–11pm, Sat 6.30am–9pm, Sun 8am–11pm
Tel: 08-253 527, 070-771 85 95
If you’re looking to get out of the city, stop at the Hellasgården recreation area. This lovely outdoor ice skating rink is also a good option if you want to try some ice hockey.
It takes 20 minutes to get to Hellasgården from downtown Stockholm; hop on bus 401 from Slussen to the Hellasgården stop in Älta, or you can also take Subway line 17 to Skarpnäck and get off at Hammarbyhöjden, Björkhöjden, or Bagarmossen. Follow the signs from the station to the nature area of Hellasgården and its frozen lake. After skating, you can relax your muscles in the sauna or take a plunge into a hole cut through the ice. Brrr!
Mon–Fri 10am–9pm weekdays, Sat & Sun 10am–6pm
Tel: 08-716 39 61
Natural ice skating on Stockholm’s waterways
If man-made facilities and urban sprawl make you feel claustrophobic, don’t worry! Stockholm offers hundreds of lakes that are perfect for ice skating. You can book with a guide or if you’re confident enough, you can go out on your own to any of these lakes to test your mettle.
Just be sure to check the weather and temperature, especially when spring is approaches and you could quite literally be skating on thin ice (we don’t recommend it).
Earlier in the year, skating out on natural ice is a favourite pastime for many Swedes – as a good guide, it’s usually safe if you see lots of local families gathering on the ice. If you’re in any doubt, ask locals or air on the side of caution.
Need a recommendation? There are some excellent wild lakes just west of Stockholm in the area known as Södermanland. On a clear day, you’ll likely see many fellow skaters, teenagers playing ice hockey, and families walking across the ice with their little kids. If you’re not comfortable heading out onto the ice alone, this guided tour is a nice alternative (campfire lunch included!).
See also: 100 free things to do in Stockholm