City guide

City Park Ice Rink now open – let the ice skating begin

City Park Ice Rink now open - let the ice skating begin

Budapest’s skating season has officially begun with the City Park Ice Rink opening its gates. We take you through the services, prices and discounts offered. Plus we look at this historic facility’s history as well.

Ice skating season begins
This weekend the City Park Ice Rink opened its gates meaning the ice skating season has officially begun. The city’s largest and most famous ice rink awaits visitors every day of the week from 9am to 1pm and again from 5pm to 9pm.

Photo: László Balkányi / WLB

No major changes were made with regard to prices and discounts. Monday and Tuesday will continue to be the “cheap” days, while on the other days of the week we can skate for last year’s prices. The prices are as follows: Monday and Tuesday, student tickets cost 800 forints, while adult tickets are 1000 forints; on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, this changes to 1000 forints (students) and 1500 forints (adults) in the morning and 1500 forints (students) and 2000 forints (adults) in the afternoon. The prices remain the same at the weekends: students can skate for 1500 forints, while adults have to pay 2000 forints on Saturday and Sunday. Children under the age of 6 still have free access to the rink.
Photo: László Balkányi / WLB
Those who want to skate a lot this winter, a season ticket is much better of a deal. A 12-occasion ticket for students costs 11 500 forints, the same 12-occasion ticket for adults is 17 500 forints, while for seniors the seasonal ticket costs 8 500 Forints. These seasonal tickets can be used by multiple people, as well. In addition to this, school groups (above 10 students) have a very significant discount, with a 300 HUF/person admission price.
Photo: László Balkányi / WLB
All other services of the Ice Rink – skate sharpening, skate rental and skate training – are available for the same price as last year.
It is important to remember that we need to present the necessary identity cards in order to take advantage of the discounts.
Photo: László Balkányi / WLB
We can rent skates this year too, and the price includes the use of the cloakroom. If we get injured, we can get help in the medical office. The Ice Rink’s services include skate training, as well. Children from age 5 and adults can take part in training sessions from 5.30pm and 6.30pm on weekdays and from 10am, 11am, 12.00pm, 5.30pm and 6.30pm on weekends. One session is 50 minutes long, with a minimum of 5 participants. Each lesson costs 600 forints. For children of age 3-5, lessons are 35 minutes long and cost 600 forints.
There is much to be proud of…
The City Park Ice Rink is the oldest, still functioning ice rink, and the largest outdoor artificial ice surface in Europe.
Photo: László Balkányi / WLB
The history of the Ice Rink dates back to 29 January 1870. Just prior was the foundation of the Pest Skating Club on November 12, 1869, whose members – after a long and persistent campaign – received permission from the city council to establish a skating rink on a small part of City Park Lake every winter. At the time, residents of Pest could skate there free of charge.
Photo: László Balkányi / WLB
The base of the skate rink was initially a wooden booth set up by the lake, but this mysteriously burned down in 1874. Today’s building, designed by Ödön Lechner, was built subsequently, and is still one of the most important spots in City Park.
Photo: László Balkányi / WLB
Only a few people know that Hungary’s first world champion skater, Lilli Kronberger, defended her world title, which she received in Opava in 1908, at the City Park rink in 1910. She was also the first to figure skate to music at the Vienna World Cup in 1911 after following the advice of Hungarian composer Zoltán Kodály.