8 of the best ice rinks in the Netherlands
Skating season is upon us! If (like many Dutch people) you don’t want to have to wait until the canals freeze over before you can take to the ice, then take a look at our pick of some of the best ice rinks in the Netherlands!
Our top 8 Dutch ice skating rinks
In no particular order, these are our picks for the top eight ice skating rinks in the Netherlands.
Ice skating in Amsterdam
Looking for somewhere to don your skates and take to the ice in the Dutch capital? Well, there are plenty of options!
Jaap Eden Ijsbaan
The Jaap Eden Ijsbaan is located in the east of Amsterdam, in the Watergraafsmeer area. It gets its name from the famous Dutch athlete Jaap Eden, who is the only male athlete to win world championships in both speed skating and cycling.
At this ice rink, you have the choice of skating outdoors or indoors. After you’ve finished skating, warm yourself up with a drink and hot meal and sit by the fire at Café JAAP. The café also has a great collection of Jaap Eden’s things, such as the skates he used when he became world champion in 1893.
Venue opening times differ daily, so it’s best to check the website for accurate and up-to-date info. Don’t have your own skates? Don’t worry, you can rent a pair at the rink.
Ice Amsterdam is certainly one of the most Christmassy ice rinks that can be found in the Netherlands, but did you know that it stays open even once the holidays are over? Located right in the heart of Amsterdam, surrounded by some of the most famous museums in the Netherlands on the iconic Museumplein, Ice Amsterdam is extremely popular with tourists and locals alike.
Here, you can either join in the fun on the rink, or watch from the rink-side cafe as your warm yourself with a nice cup of hot chocolate or some tasty snacks. There’s also a bridge that goes over the rink, providing a perfect opportunity for photos.
Ice Amsterdam is open from Sunday through to Thursday from 10am till 10pm, and stays open until 11 on Fridays and Saturdays. The rink also offers skate rental to anyone who doesn’t own their own.
De Uithof - The Hague
The history of De Uithof stretches back almost 50 years, and this rink in The Hague is where a number of Dutch skating champions made their start. It’s located to the south of the city centre, meaning it’s also only a short drive from Scheveningen.
At De Uithof, you’ll find a 400-metre indoor track, as well as an ice hockey rink and funrink, which is small (only 30 metres by 60 metres) and is the perfect place for more casual skaters and beginners to put their skills to the test. Bored of ice skating? There are also plenty of other activities - such as go-karting and laser gaming - to be found on-location at De Uithof.
You can rent skates if you don’t have your own, and there are also lockers and changing rooms available for use.
De Vechtsebanen - Utrecht
De Vechtsebanen is open to people of all ages and abilities, as the skating complex features a semi-covered 400-metre track and an indoor rink, which is also used to host ice hockey games and speed skating and figure skating competitions.
At this ice rink on the outskirts of the city of Utrecht, skaters can not only rent skates, but also buy a pair or have their own pair sharpened and made ready for use. Plus, there’s a restaurant where you can sit back and relax with a drink and some food after a long afternoon of physical activity.
Thialf - Heerenveen
If you are a fan of speed skating, you will have probably heard of the Thialf. After all, it is pretty much the most important ice stadium for skating athletes in the country. In 1855, the Thialf outdoor natural ice rink was constructed, becoming one of the first ice clubs in the Netherlands. From 1890, international competitions were organised on the outdoor rink.
In 1967, the ice stadium was opened and in 1986, it got a roof and became the second roofed ice stadium in the world. Annually, it hosts two Speed Skating World Cup events. Impressed? Want to skate there? Well, you can! Opening times differ per date, so it’s a good idea to check their website (in Dutch) to see when the rinks are open.
All skated out? Café Het Klunplak is right next to the rink, so pop on over to warm up your fingers and stomach, or head on over to Brasserie de Butenbocht for something homemade and locally sourced.
Schaatsbaan Rotterdam - Rotterdam
Head on over to Schaatsbaan Rotterdam if you are a fan of ice-skating and rainbow lights. At the 400-metre rink in Rotterdam, you can glide over the ice and enjoy the overhead rainbow lighting from Friday to Sunday at 4pm till 10pm. The rink has pretty long opening hours; open from 9am to 10pm every day, apart from on Fridays and Sundays, when the rink is open until 11pm. Want to try something different? The rink also holds several events, such us silent discos and a themed night for Valentine's Day.
While you can rent skates at this rink, it's worth mentioning that the venue is completely cashless, so order your tickets and reserve your skates online or bring your bank card with you.
IceFun Sportiom - Den Bosch
Located at Victorialaan 10 in Den Bosch, IceFun Sportiom is a recreational skaters' paradise - but it also has so much more. Hear here if you'd like to combine your afternoon of ice skating with bowling, minigolf, or swimming!
Opening times differ throughout the week, so it’s best to check on the website (in Dutch) before planning your trip. IceFun Sportiom also offers skate rental, making it a great spot for all skaters.
De Scheg - Deventer
Want to experience some ice fun? Visit De Scheg to combine track skating and recreational skating, with ice playgrounds your kids are sure to love. If you are looking for a more serious skate, take to the 400-metre track, but don’t worry if you want a break from speeding across the ice, there are plenty of places to stop for a snack, including Snackholm, which is located right at the centre of the ice rink.
Honourable ice rink mentions
As ice skating is so popular in the Netherlands, it’s hard to pick just a few rinks; so many are exceptional. A couple of other rinks worth mentioning are:
- Ijsbaan Haarlem (Haarlem)
- IJssportcentrum Eindhoven (Eindhoven)
- Kardinge (Groningen)
- Laco Geleen (near Maastricht)
- Ireen Wüst IJsbaan (Tilburg)
- Schaatshal Leiden (Leiden)
- Triavium (Nijmegen)
Got any others to add? Share them in the comments below!
Ice skating shoes: Rent your skates, or bring your own!
You might not necessarily expect it, but quite a few Dutch people own their own pairs of skates. It may seem like a bit of a waste, but considering how much people in the Netherlands love skating, it gives them the freedom to take to the ice whenever and wherever they want.
If you’re interested in buying your own pair too, or if you own a pair of skates but aren’t sure where you can go to get the blade sharpened and ready for the winter season, there are plenty of places across the Netherlands that can help you out.
Alternatively, if you’re a more casual skater, then don’t worry; as mentioned above, many ice rinks also offer options to rent a pair of skates, so you’ll still be able to join in the fun!
Ice skating on the canals
Every once in a while, the weather in the Netherlands gets cold enough for the canals in major Dutch cities to freeze over, allowing for members of the public to skate and walk on the ice. In some cities, like Groningen, for example, this happens more frequently than, say, in Amsterdam, where the temperatures and boat traffic mean it’s a rather rare occurrence.
Get your Dutch ice skates on!
Has all this talk of ice got you in the mood to skate? Well then, what are you waiting for - get your skates on and have some fun this winter!
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