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Skating in Moscow: where to go?
January 19, 2010 01:56

After a few warm almost snowless winters we are finally having one looking like winter. It means that skiing and skating is possible again. Skating is one of the traditional Russian winter outdoor activities. The rinks appear again in the yards for skating and playing hockey. These are like for the private use of the people living in neighboring houses. There are also public open rinks in the centre of Moscow, where there are rental stores, check-room and related services like skates grinding. The most famous ones are rinks in Sokolniki, Gorky Park, on the Red Square, in the Hermitage garden (it is beside the point of the Hermitage in St. Petersburg), in Luzhniki next to the Moscow State University and many others. Certainly, visiting them is not free. I tell you about some of them.

1. Sokolniki
This rink in the culture and leisure park of Soloknki is very popular and crowded, maybe because of its moderate prices. It is situated near the metro station Sokolniki, on the north of Moscow. The entry price is 80 rubles. It is not actually for the rink, but for visiting a park. The students enjoy discount and pay a symbolic price of 20 rubles. If you have your own skates, you put them on and go skating. Your shoes and maybe other things can be left in the check room. There is a little problem here, because the check-room is introduced with a long line of the people planning to leave their bags and boots in the check-room. Have I said this rink was very popular? After you come in, you are getting acquainted with the "unostentatious Soviet service". It means that the stuff can be not very polite. If you do not know, that it is a service, you could think it was rough stuff.


The check-room costs 50 rubles. If you want to hire skates (but I advice you to buy your own ones, they are not very expensive), it will cost you 150 rubles pro hour. 1000 rubles and document of identification should be pledged.

The ice in the park is rather good, but the snow is not shoveled away from the ice so often as it would be glorious to do. There are some cafes and kiosks with tea, coffee and mulled wine.


The park with big old trees and fairy lights is really very beautiful, and it corrects all the defects of this rink. I dare say, almost all the problems finish when you finally begin skating. I like this place.
Tel. +7(499) 268-60-11

2. Gorky Park
This rink in the culture and leisure park is also extremely popular, not to say even more popular than Solokniki. The prices for all the services are the same like in Sokolniki. It is situated near the metro stations of Park Kultury and Octyabrskaya, almost in the centre of Moscow of the bank of Moscow River. The rink is very crowded in the evenings, and the popularity affects the quality of the ice. Of course, the ice is being upgraded regularly, and if you want to enjoy skating, visit it before 5 o’clock and not on the weekend. One of the advantages of this rink is that the ice surface is larger and has more complicated form, as the ring Sokolniki. You also can go for a spin on the reindeer team in the Gorky Park. Moreover, the rink functions also in the night.

Tel. +7 (495) 237-12-66

3. Red Square The rink in the heart of Moscow, on the Red Square is the most central among the rinks in the centre of Moscow. And the most expensive one. Maybe the considerable part of its prices composes the fact that it is The Red Square. The prices don’t scare the visitors off, so the best time for skating there is also weekdays, Ante Meridiem. The nearest metro stations are Okhotny Ryad and Teatralnaya. If we go to facts, the skating time is paid for each session (a session is 1 hour and 20 minutes) and the prices look like the following: Entrance on the weekdays: 250 rubles from 10. 00 till 16.00 and 350 rubles from 16.00 till 23.00. Entrance on the weekends: 350 rubles from 10. 00 till 16.00 and 500 rubles from 16.00 till 23.00. Entrance for the preschool children is free. Renting skates costs 250 rubles. The pledge is 2000 rubles and passport or driving license. The rink on the Red Square is opened from 10.00 till 23.00. The people have very different opinions towards this rink, I dare say, they are as wide as the poles apart. Some of them find it awesome, others – terrible: the ice is awful, the prices as well. By the way: all the students are welcome to this rink on the January, 25, 2010. It will be free for all the students (take your Student’s ID card), because this day, January, 25, is the Student’s day in Russia. Tel. +7 (495) 788-4343

4. Hermitage Garden

Perhaps the most fashionable Moscow rink of this winter and probably the most romantic one. The rink Hermitage Garden is more than 3000 square (according to other sources, even 7000) metres ice, with paths, alleys, old-world garden seats under lanterns. It is situated on the Karetny Ryad Street, 3. Actually, this rink consists of tree ones: the alleys in the parterre part of the park, on the left hand of the restaurant Parizhskaya Zhizn (Paris life); so-called Shadow-rink, beyond the theatres Hermitage and Sphere. It functions on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. There is also a VIP rink on the place of the Diaghilev club, with VIP rent of VIP skates. It is a glaciaria functioning regardless to the weather.

The rink provides such services as heated check-room, renting skates, grinding skates, café, restaurant and a separate rink for children.

The prices are lower than on the Red square and look like this:
Entrance on the weekdays costs 150 rubles for adults, pre-school children – free.

Entrance on the weekends costs 200 rubles for adults, pre-school children – free.

Renting skates costs 200 rubles pro hour, renting stick for hockey – 50 rubles pro hour. The pledge is 1000 rubles or passport or driving license.

Grinding skates would cost you 200 rubles.

Check-room is not free as well and costs 50 rubles.

The rink is open on the weekdays from 12.00 till 23.00 and on the weekends from 10.00 till 23.00.

Tel. +7 (495) 299-04-43

5. Luzhniki

This rink is very big. It is as big as a football field. Actually it is an Olympic athletic field. Tradition to turn it into a skating rink begun in 1956 in the winter. The people like it for the beautiful sights, for example, of the Moscow State University. The nearest metro stations are Sportivnaya and Vorobyovy Gory. On the weekdays the rink functions non-stop, on the weekends there are sessions. So the schedule looks like this:
Mondays: the rink is closed.

On the weekdays, except Mondays the rink is opened 17.00 – 22.00.

On the weekends and public holidays there are following skating sessions: 10:00-13:00; 15:00-18:00; 20:00-23:00.

The entrance on weekdays is: adults – 150 rubles, students – 100 rubles, children – 60 rubles. The entrance on the weekends and public holidays is: adults – 200 rubles, students – 150 rubles, children – 80 rubles.

Renting skates costs 150 rubles, the pledge is 1500 rubles.

Grinding skates costs 150 rubles.

Tel: +7 (495) 637-02-18

There are even not all the main Moscow rinks. They say there are minimum 80 skating rinks in Moscow.

All in all, if you happen to visit Moscow in winter, skating on the big public rink is maybe the best way to become acquainted with the color of the winter Moscow.

Yulia Buzykina


Tags: skating rinks Russian winter Moscow   

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