Wiener Eistraum – one of Europe’s most beautiful ice rinks

Every January, we all – being winter sports fans – can’t wait for the Wiener Eistraum, beautiful ice rinks in front of the Vienna’s city hall, to open. The girls are especially excited and can’t seem to stop asking when and how soon and how many more days… So, yes, we simply had to go ice skating on the very first weekend after the Wiener Eistraum was open. And, yes, it was great.

Although the general idea is always quite similar to the one from the previous year, ice rinks and the ice pathways that spread throughout the park are each year different, as well as the gastronomic establishments. So, you sort of know what to expect but are never quite sure what you’ll get, which makes the whole thing even more exciting.

Here are this year’s pics. We’ve come right after lunch and stayed well until the bedtime, so we’ve managed to make photos of a beautiful transition from the daytime into the night.

A view from afar.

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In the park, closer to the building of the University, there is a smaller rink; during the day, it is meant for beginners to use it free of charge. In the evening, however, it is used as curling lanes and has to be booked in advance.

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The whole place is full of posters so that you don’t start thinking that you’re somewhere else.

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One of the two largest ice rinks, freshly glazed, just a moment or two before being open to public again. Beautiful, isn’t it?

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The night is slowly falling, the sky is royal blue and the air is filled with music by Radio Wien’s DJ.

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It is cold, we’re getting tired and we need a break, so we opt for the Kolarik’s Alpine cabin. It is built to look exactly like its mountain counterparts and if you’ve ever been to the Alps skiing, you’ll feel just like at an apres ski party. There’s loud music, people singing and even dancing on the tables, a lot of beer and mulled wine is being drunk and the mood is great. Many people who are in the cabin do not skate at all – they’ve just come for the fun of it.

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So, our break is over and we are going to skate some more! There are beautiful, magical skating pathways branching out through the park on the Parliament’s side. They are wonderfully lit, as well as the trees one passes by. Just like in a fairy tale.

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And this is what it looks like after the night has fallen.

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And now for the practicalities… The tickets are valid for the whole day and it is possible to enter and re-enter the ice rink as many times as you like. So, if you want to go and have lunch at a nearby restaurant and then come back and skate some more, it is entirely possible. Only after you’ve returned your ticket to the info-stand to collect the deposit does it stop to be valid.

The Wiener Eistraum is open until 10th March 2013 and even if you don’t have your own skates you can simply borrow a pair and have fun. Many people do not come to skate, but stand at the side, drink hot drinks and simply have fun. So, it is not only about exercise and healthy living… There’s a whole lot of a social thing going on here; tout Vienna is here on the weekends. So, come and enjoy yourself. You can even get one of those cute gingerbread hearts to remind you of the fun you’ve had.

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For more info, please visit: http://www.wienereistraum.com/en/index.html.

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