Stockholm’s winter wonderland: A student’s guide to affordable ice skating adventures

Sweden’s got this reputation for seriously cold and dark winters. As a person who witnessed one winter here, I can assure you the rumours about Swedish winter is true. But here’s the deal, just because winter here is a bit hard doesn’t mean we can’t turn it into a student-friendly activity! Today, I’ll be writing about the ultimate winter activity in Stockholm that won’t break the bank which is ice skating ⛸️

Now, before I started living in this winter wonderland, the tiniest thought of ice skating was definitely terrifying for me. But guess what? Ice skating turned out to be not just doable (although I am still learning it) but a super fun activity to do with friends, and the best part? It won’t leave your wallet crying.

Featured image credits: Karl Hörnfeldt on Unsplash.com

Where to buy/rent ice skates?

After some careful consideration, some of my friends and I decided to buy or bring the ice skates rather than rent them. I got a new pair from Decathlon (there are pairs that are budget-friendly). My friends? Some brought their skates from their home country, others went to second-hand shops, and a few decided to rent them out (rents average between 50-100 SEK, depending on the ice skate rink).

Now, I went all in on the ownership, and here’s why: renting might seem like a quick fix, but if you will be ice skating for the whole winter, those rental fees will add up. Before you know it, you’ve paid more for rentals than you would’ve for your very own pair of ice skates. If you’re up for this adventure like I was, make the smart move and get your own pair of skates. Your wallet will be thankful for you later.

After you have your skates, we can move on to the fun part which is finding an ice skate rink!

Where should I go to ice skate?

The great thing about ice skating in Stockholm is that we have soooo many options. Since last winter, I got to try a bunch of different ice skate rinks and there is still a lot missing on my list. Each rink has its own strengths and some caveats, and I will dive into my favourite spots in this blog.

For the full list of ice rinks in Stockholm and opening hour information, you can visit this website.

Kungsträdgården

Image credits: Yagmur Balim Urem

This ice rink is located in the centre of Stockholm and it is easy to reach by metro or bus. It’s got this magical vibe with light shows and music. Plus, there’s a small rental shop right where you can rent ice skates hourly.

But, heads up – it’s not the biggest. It is mostly packed every hour/day. So, if you’re a newbie in ice skating, might want to skip this one until you feel confident. The crowd factor gets real, and it’s not the ideal setup for newbies. However, we have lots of other options so don’t worry.

Zinkensdamm IP

This rink is located in Södermalm (the hippie island of Stockholm) and it is easy to reach via the metro (take the red line to Zinkensdamm station). It is also used for hockey matches or bandy, so this rink is way bigger compared to Kungstradgarden. Now, the catch: opening times can be a bit tricky with all the hockey practices going on, so be sure to check the times beforehand. They also have a small rental shop, and they also sharpen the skates if you need them (you will need Swish, for payment). For newbies, I definitely recommend this place, as you will have space to practice your new skills. Also for pros, there is a lot of space to practice your spins and jumps 🙂

Zinkensdamm IP, Image credits: Yagmur Balim Urem
Bandy match in Zinkensdamm IP, Image credits: Yagmur Balim Urem

Östermalms IP

Similar to Zinkensdam, this rink is also very spacious. Getting there is very easy, just hop on the red line to Stadion and walk for 5 minutes. Need skates? There’s a rental shop right in front where you can rent a pair and even sharpen your blades (you will need Swish, for payment). Plus, the opening times are pretty good compared to Zinkensdam. I’d give this rink a solid 10/10. ⛸️

For adventurers: Hellasgården

If you want to try something new, and uniquely Nordic, give skating on frozen lakes a shot. I tried it once, and it was a genuinely special experience. Hellasgarden, nestled in the Nacka forest, usually freezes up around December-January, depending on how cold the winter is. It is a bit tricky to get there. Depending on where you live, you might need to mix it up with a metro-to-bus combo. But trust me, the journey will be worth it. A quick tip: Safety first! Before you decide to go there, check out their Instagram or go to their website for updates on the ice thickness, and make sure it is safe for ice skating.

Hellasgården lake, Image credits: Yagmur Balim Urem

Winter in Stockholm isn’t just about surviving; it’s about thriving. With these tips, you’re ready to dive into a budget-friendly and super-fun adventure. From city rinks to frozen lakes, Stockholm’s winter wonderland is yours to explore. Good luck in your ice skating Journey in Stockholm, be safe and let the adventure begin. ❄️

See you in the next blog!

Yagmur - Molecular Techniques in Life Science

Yagmur - Molecular Techniques in Life Science

My name is Yağmur, and I am from Turkey. I am a student on the Master’s Programme in Molecular Techniques in Life Science. Living in Sweden and studying at KI started as a dream, yet here I am (my life motto “everything is possible” still holds until further notice). In my free time, I like watching movies and listening to music from all around the world. I enjoy sharing my experiences in life. So, if everyone is ready, welcome to my blog and let’s begin the journey…

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