26.11.2019 – Culture & Nightlife

Get your skates on!

Ice skating isn’t just for athletes and kids. We put the four largest ice rinks in the city to the test – scoring them on everything from their romantic atmosphere to their location – and crowned a clear winner.

Oerlikon: the family one

13 points

The Oerlikon ice rink is just five minutes away from Zurich’s indoor stadium Hallenstadion. In the entrance hall, girls in glittery dresses are bustling around nervously and teenagers with headphones are running through their choreography one last time – the venue is hosting the Züri Leu Cup ice skating competition. Maybe that’s why the outdoor rink is so empty? Or maybe only a few kids are looking to have fun on the ice so early in the afternoon.

The cloakroom consists of long rows of lockers and large benches for changing your shoes – it gets pretty busy in here at peak times.

Cheery pop music plays through the loudspeakers, which makes skating around the ice all the more fun. It is pretty difficult to get chatting to anyone here though. An after-work trip to the rink is also out of the question because it closes early during the week. There are, however, special ‘Get on the ice for free’ days where admission is free at the rinks in Oerlikon and Heuried. The next event is taking place on 5 January 2020.

Rating
Location: 2/5
Romance factor: 2/5
Sport factor: 5/5
Family friendliness: 4/5
Total: 13 points

Address
Siewerdtstrasse 80, 8050 Zurich
+41 44 413 91 00

You can find the opening hours here. 

Prices for adults
Admission: 8 Swiss francs, skate hire: 6 Swiss francs

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Bellevue: the Christmas one

13 points

The ice rink at the Christmas village on Sechseläutenplatz is open every day from 21 November to 23 December alongside the Christmas market. The atmosphere of the location can’t be beaten: at the end of the market, right in front of the Opera House, the ice rink winds its way around the skate hire chalet, a nostalgic children’s carousel and individual market stalls. There are small ice rinks at the start and end that are connected by corridors of ice. The whole ice rink is beautifully illuminated and the music from the side speakers adds to the ambience.

The ice rink is primarily an attraction for children, who make up the majority of skaters on the ice along with their parents. There is a conveniently placed group of benches on one area of the rink where exhausted parents can watch their little Torvills and Deans. Although the ice rink is only temporary, they have thought of everything: skate hire, lockers and toilets are all available on site.

Rating
Location: 4/5
Romance factor: 3/5
Sport factor: 1/5
Family friendliness: 5/5
Total: 13 points

Address
Sechseläutenplatz, 8001 Zurich

You can find the opening hours here.

Prices for adults
Admission: 6 Swiss francs, skate hire: 9 Swiss francs

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Photo: Andreas Waldschütz

Heuried: the sporty one

14 points

The Heuried ice rink can be found at the tram stop with the same name. It is located in the district’s sports centre, where there is also an open-air swimming pool, which is currently closed for the winter. The large and warm cloakroom makes up for the rather uninspiring view of the neighbourhood.

The outdoor rink is not as busy as it is at the weekend – as well as some children with their parents, there is a skater rehearsing her choreography and a few young people racing. A third of the ice rink is set aside for children’s lessons and this area is used later on for ice hockey training. There’s certainly not a lack of leisure activities here. For working people, Afterwork on Ice from 6:15 pm to 10 pm is definitely worth a visit. The next dates for this event are: 4 December 2019, 8 January, 5 February and 4 March 2020. Admission is free and there is fondue, drinks and snacks.

Rating
Location: 3/5
Romance factor: 2/5
Sport factor: 5/5
Family friendliness: 4/5
Total: 14 points

Address
Wasserschöpfi 71, 8055 Zurich
+41 44 413 95 30

You can find the opening hours here. 

Prices for adults
Admission: 8 Swiss francs, skate hire: 6 Swiss francs

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Dolder: the romantic one

15 points

The Dolder ice rink is right in the middle of the forest and can be accessed via the Dolderbahn from Römerhof. This rink stands out due to its amazing surroundings, which are well worth the rather expensive admission fee.

Visiting on a Saturday afternoon is not recommended because of the busy crowds. Of course, this has been detrimental to this rink’s score for sport: skating backwards without causing an accident or doing elaborate pirouettes is difficult with so many people around. Dolder’s popularity is taken into account when it comes to the service inside the cloakroom: sometimes there are six or more employees in the skate hire area to accommodate all the visitors.

But if you are hoping to meet new people, Saturday is a good option. Alongside the many families and children skating around with the help of the heart-shaped skating aids, there are also groups of friends of all ages on the rink. The easiest and best way to get a conversation started is to ask someone if they would mind taking your picture.

Rating
Location: 5/5
Romance factor: 3/5
Sport factor: 3/5
Family friendliness: 4/5
Total: 15 points

Address
Adlisbergerstrasse 36, 8044 Zurich
+41 44 267 70 80

You can find the opening hours here.

Prices for adults
Admission: 9 Swiss francs, skate hire: 8 Swiss francs

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