Thursday and Friday best for ice skating in the Netherlands

Thursday and Friday best for ice skating in the Netherlands

If you have spent at least one winter in the Netherlands, you will likely be aware of the Dutch fascination with frozen water and sliding around on it as much as possible.

We reported earlier in January that they don’t even wait for rivers and lakes to freeze over before they strap on those ice skates.

Thanks to the freezing temperatures of late, it is now safe to start skating on bodies of water in some parts of the country.

The first marathon on natural ice is already a fact and was held this week in Haaksbergen.

Ice skating on real ice

According to the Dutch weather service Weerplaza, Thursday and Friday are the best days for going ice skating on natural ice as the weather is expected to get warmer soon.

On Friday, the northeast of the Netherlands is expected to have 8 cm thick ice on ditches up to one metre deep.

In the east and centre of the country the expected thickness is 5 cm. Skating on lakes and ditches remains dangerous here.

However, grassland covered by ice and skating rinks should be fine, preferably under the watchful eye of the local ice skating association.

Ice thickness

A minimum thickness of 8 cm is the general rule of thumb for natural ice.

The first Dutch marathon on natural ice in 2016. Copyright: RTV Oost

For the KNSB (Dutch Royal Skating Association) ice skating competitions the minimum is 12 cm, while the famous Elfstedentocht requires at least 16 cm of ice.

You should always bring company, exercise caution and, above all, use common sense when entering a frozen body of water.

Thomas Lundberg


Thomas Lundberg

Born as a Swede in the Netherlands, this life-long expat has spent his time in Belgium, the United States and Amsterdam. He began his professional career as a regional news...

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