GORKY PARK - RED SQUARE - VDNKH - HERMITAGE GARDEN - SOKOLNIKI - PATRIARCHY POND
Moscow winters are perfect for ice skating. There are many beautiful ice skating rinks (or "katok") in the city. Don't let the cold stop you, because even when it's cold, you can dress for it and the skating will keep you warm. Most places have a skate rental facility (прокат), so you don't need to have your own skates. It's a perfect way to enjoy the winter atmosphere and Russian culture. You'll be impressed by the skills of the Russians who take this sport very seriously. We like to try out new skating rinks with a group of friends every other week and combine it with a nice warm lunch afterwards. Even if you're not an experienced skater, now is the time to learn!
Open from 27th of November! The ice rink at Gorky park has it all: great atmosphere, nice music, beautiful scenery, good size and food&drink stalls. What we really enjoy is the creative layout of the rink and the food stalls. Have a few beers on the rink and then go for dinner with your skates on in one of the attached restaurants that are completely transformed to "skate-proof dining". It can get really crowded here, so make sure you buy tickets online up front and if you can, try to avoid the peak times.
Open: Tue - Sun 10.00-12.00, 13.00 - 15.00 &17.00-20.00, 21.00 - 23.00. Monday is a day-off. Tickets are sold only online.
https://park-gorkogo.com/places/234 Click on one of the "павильон" blocks on the right side of the page to buy tickets. The number of павильон is the number of the building where you can enter, rent skates and change.
Open from Nov, 29th. Red square lacks a bit of originality with its straightforward rink, but in the evening, in dusk, the background - light strings, lit up GUM, St Basil's, Kremlin tower - look fantastic. In the morning, until 13.30, entrance is free on weekdays. Check the time slots online, so you avoid waiting for cleaning or a next session -
Open: daily from 09.00- 23.30, check the time slots on the website
Open from 26th of November! The VDNKH ice rink is the largest artificial skating rink of Europe. They also have a separate children rink for young learners. For our taste it is a bit too much "Disney style", but if you like a bit of a spectacle you should check it out. It will be quite an experience with the colorful lights, the music, the fountain and the impressive VDNH architecture. Tickets are sold online only, and be careful about the number of pavilion you buy a ticket to and through which you will have to enter. Choose an entry time (like 10.00 - 10.30).
Open: Tue-Sun 10.00-15.00 & 17.00-23.00
Open from Nov, 27th! Hermitage Garden has two ice rinks: one with natural ice and one with artificial ice. If you have young children we especially recommend it as the most child-friendly one. And we always love the peaceful atmosphere in this downtown park. Tickets are sold only online, but you can do by simply scanning the QR-code at the gates.
Open: daily: 10.00-12.00, 13.00-15.00, 17.00-20.00, 21.00-23.00
Location: Karetniy ryad 3
Open from Nov 23rd! Sokolniki park also has two rinks: one with artificial ice - it is called Лёд / Lyod - and another one is just alleys of the park covered in naturals ice (refreshed every night). "Лёд" is quite large, with warm changing rooms and the rental already is included to the price. It makes this rink the most budget option: 300-400 rubles.
Open: daily 10.00 - 12.00, 13.00 - 15.00, 16.00 - 18.00, 19.00 - 21.00, 22.00 - 00.00
When the ice is thick enough they will prepare the pond for ice skating. Although this is definitely not the best quality "rink", it's one of our favorites in terms of atmosphere. We love to go here in the morning with some friends and enjoy the beautiful Patriarchy scenery. There is a small coffee stand and we like to combine it with a nice lunch in one of the many nearby restaurants. The access is free but there is no skate rental here, so bring your own (very cheap at Sportmaster)!
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