Frozen lakes and proximity to the Arctic Circle: unusual skating rinks in Russia

Frozen lakes and proximity to the Arctic Circle: unusual skating rinks in Russia

The first snow, illumination and the proximity of the New Year holidays create a special fabulous mood. One of the mandatory attributes of the winter holidays is ice skating rinks. We made a selection of the most unusual from different cities of Russia from Moscow to Kamchatka.

We also remind you that Black Friday is just around the corner, so if you are looking for air tickets at competitive prices, take a look at the special offers from Aeroflot. From November 25 to 27, the airline offers discounts on tickets up to 50%; you can fly from November 28, 2022 to March 25, 2023.


Frozen lakes and proximity to the Arctic Circle: unusual skating rinks in Russia

On November 25, the winter season starts in the capital’s VDNH park and the largest artificial ice skating rink in Russia opens. Its area is about 20,000 square meters (including infrastructure – about 53,000), and can accommodate 4,500 people on the ice at the same time. Ice has been poured here every year for eight years now. At the same time, the skating rink at VDNKh is not just a square platform: ice tracks are laid along the main alley of the park, including around the Friendship of Peoples and Stone Flower fountains. This season there will be master classes in figure skating and hockey, as well as ice excursions for everyone, team games, skating exercises and fun competitions for the little ones. 


The skating rink on Petrovka has existed since the mid-19th century. This place is also known for the fact that in 1812 the headquarters of the Napoleonic army under the leadership of Marshal Berthier was located here. The skating rink has been here since the 1860s: at that time, members of Moscow’s first sports organization, the Imperial River Yacht Club, trained on Petrovka. In 1889, it was on Petrovka that the first speed skating competitions were held, in 1923 the first free figure skating school was opened, and in 1924 the first USSR Championship in this sport was held. Today the skating rink here is small, but cozy and atmospheric, and to visit it it is not necessary to own a yacht or set Olympic records (however, the Winter School of world and European champions Maria Petrova and Alexei Tikhonov trains at Redglass). The opening date of the skating rink is still unknown, but it is usually filled in the second half of December. 

The most famous

Frozen lakes and proximity to the Arctic Circle: unusual skating rinks in Russia

The skating rink, which offers a beautiful view of the lights of GUM and St. Basil’s Cathedral, was also first opened in the century before last, but it was not filled for a long time, and it “returned” only ten years ago. Every year Red Square is decorated in a certain theme: this time the skating rink and the adjacent fair will be decorated in the style of the Russian avant-garde, with references to the works of Marc Chagall and Wassily Kandinsky. On weekends they promise free hockey master classes, led by world champion Alexei Yashin. You can go ice skating here from November 29. 


This year Moscow will be able to boast of the highest skating rink in the country: on December 1 it will be poured on the roof of the Oko tower in the Moscow City business center at a height of 354 meters – on the 86th floor! This sports ground will be located on the summer veranda of the “354” restaurant, and in order to skate with a panoramic view of the capital, you will not have to visit the restaurant itself: you can come just for the ice and skates.

The most musical

This year in the Bauman Garden in Moscow  there will be an unusual sculpture “Ice Organ”, which, in fact, will be a working musical instrument: to produce a sound, you just need to touch one of the pipes with your hand (but for a full-fledged melody you will need several people). The musicality of the place lies not only in this: this is where parties and even discos on ice will be held with the participation of famous metropolitan DJs. Curling master classes are also organized at the skating rink. The opening will take place on November 24. 

Where to stay in Moscow: 

In a three-star CENTERAL Hotel (rating 9.3) – from 3,600 rubles per day*.

In the historical Beijing Hotel (rating 9.3) – from 5,300 rubles per night*. 

In a five-star hotel with a swimming pool “Movenpick Moscow Taganskaya” (score 10) – from 8 000 rubles per day*.

With the most beautiful view of the city

Frozen lakes and proximity to the Arctic Circle: unusual skating rinks in Russia

The skating rink is located on New Holland Island in the center of St. Petersburg. Its area is 2,000 square meters, and 250 visitors can be on the ice at the same time. Along the perimeter there are hearths with real fires, near which it is pleasant to warm up and take photographs. This site has been open since mid-November. Silent Disco sessions are planned here on Friday and Saturday evenings: fans of ice gliding are invited to dance to the music they hear in their headphones. 

Where to stay in St. Petersburg: 

In the capsule hotel “Subculture of St. Petersburg” (rating 9.1) – from 900 rubles per night*.

In a four-star hotel near the Alexander Park “Vvedensky” (score 10) – from 4,500 rubles per night*.

In the famous Angleterre hotel opposite St. Isaac’s Cathedral (score 9.1) – from 9,800 rubles per night*.

With the most beautiful view of nature

Frozen lakes and proximity to the Arctic Circle: unusual skating rinks in Russia

The Mount Volchikha ski complex near Yekaterinburg is located on the slopes of the highest mountain in the Urals, and the Volchikha skating rink is surrounded by snow-covered slopes and forests. In addition to ice skating, you can do other winter sports here: alpine skiing, snowboarding, freestyle skiing, tubing, snowmobiling, and then take a steam bath in a Russian bathhouse. In short, it’s better to come here for the whole day or even a weekend and prepare for a very intensive program. The opening of the season will depend on weather conditions: at the moment the slopes are already covered with snow. 

Where to stay in Yekaterinburg: 

In the mini-hotel “Ural” (score 9) – from 2,000 rubles per day*.

In the four-star hotel “Onegin” (rating 9.9) – from 4,800 rubles per night*.

In the five-star Hyatt Regency hotel with panoramic views of the city and a spa center (score 10) – from 18 900 rubles per day*.


Frozen lakes and proximity to the Arctic Circle: unusual skating rinks in Russia

The skating rink on the Kremlin embankment in Kazan is considered the longest not only in Russia, but also in Europe: its length is a whole kilometer. The skating rink is filled every year,  decorated in a certain style (for example, stylized as Soviet cinema) and decorated with festive illumination. Details about the current winter season have not yet been disclosed: the Kremlin skating rink will open in mid-December. The season here lasts until the end of March, and not only the New Year holidays are widely celebrated, but also Epiphany, Valentine’s Day and International Women’s Day. The skating rink has points with hot drinks and fresh pastries, and a separate fenced area has been created for the youngest visitors. 

Where to stay in Kazan: 

In the Rabbit Hole hostel (rating 9.4) – from 1,000 rubles per day*.

In the mini-hotel “Khanuma” (rating 9.6) – from 3,000 rubles per day*.

In the four-star hotel “Ramada Kazan Center” (score 10) – from 7,500 rubles per day*.


Frozen lakes and proximity to the Arctic Circle: unusual skating rinks in Russia

Salekhard is a city located on the Arctic Circle, and in winter the thermometer drops below 40 degrees here. For several years in a row, an open area for public skating has been poured in front of the Polaris entertainment center. Here is the largest and most beautiful Christmas tree in the city and ice slides, as well as a small cafe and a heated locker room. The skating rink and skate rentals are free, and various events are held on weekends. Currently the skating rink is already working, the main thing is to make up your mind. 

Where to stay in Salekhard: 

At the Hotel 89 (rating 8.5) – from 5,100 rubles per night*.

In the three-star hotel Arktika (rating 8.9) – from 6,300 rubles per day*.

In the guest house “Metelitsa” (score 9) – from 6 400 rubles per night*.

The most natural

Frozen lakes and proximity to the Arctic Circle: unusual skating rinks in Russia

Every year, at least a dozen open-air skating rinks appear around Yakutsk, and all of them are made with natural ice, frozen at extremely low northern temperatures. Even professional figure skaters train on lakes Teploy, Beloye, Soldatskoye, Sergely, Talom and Saysarskoye. True, the season here opens at the end of February, when it becomes a little warmer, because in December-February the region literally survives in the harsh minus 40. But you can ride until the end of April!

Where to stay in Yakutsk: 

In the two-star hotel “Lily of the Valley” (rating 9) – from 3,300 rubles per day*.

In the mini-hotel “Sozvezdie” (rating 9.3) – from 5,500 rubles per day*.

At the Alaas Hotel, decorated in national style (rating 8.8) – from 7,100 rubles per night*.

The most thermal

Frozen lakes and proximity to the Arctic Circle: unusual skating rinks in Russia

At the skating rink at the Flamingo health resort, which is a 40-minute drive from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, you can slide on thermal ice: it is filled with water every day from the springs of the Paratunka River valley. This kind of ice is considered to have the best properties: for example, in Kazakhstan, water from springs is used to fill the Medeo skating rink, where Olympic athletes train. But in “Flamingo” everyone can slide on the frozen healing water, and after skiing you can swim in the thermal pool. The skating rink opens with the onset of negative temperatures. 

Where to stay in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky: 

At the Three Skis Hotel (rating 9.2) – from 3,200 rubles per night*.

In the guest house Granin House (rating 9.7) – from 5,000 rubles per night*.

In the three-star hotel “Arsenyev” (rating 9.5) – from 6,300 rubles per day*.

The wildest

Frozen lakes and proximity to the Arctic Circle: unusual skating rinks in Russia

Skating on frozen Baikal and feeling like the main character of the movie “Ice” is a real winter adventure that attracts more and more travelers every year. The lake freezes entirely, while the ice here remains absolutely transparent, and in some areas it is “decorated” with fancy bubbles. In December-January, the Baikal ice is still too thin for skating, but by February its thickness reaches 1 to 2 meters, and this time is considered ideal for skating. It is noteworthy that most of the winter Baikal enjoys clear sunny weather, during which the ice acquires an amazing bright blue hue. For real extreme sports enthusiasts, every winter there is a big race “Ice Storm” along the route Sakhyurta – Malaya Buguldeika – Bolshoye Goloustnoye – Listvyanka, during which participants spend several days on skates and skis, and spend the night in tents and “loaf” cars. & nbsp;

Where to stay on Baikal: 

At the hotel “Constellation of Baikal” (rating 9.2) – from 2,900 rubles per day*.

In modern apartments Baikal Hill Residence (rating 9.9) – from 7,800 rubles per day*.

In the holiday home “Ski-Let” (rating 9.5) – from 10,200 rubles per day*.

*Prices are current at the time of publication.

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