Why Is Ice Skating in Zagreb Awesome?
I am going to be honest from the start. Although I love ice skating and although I think it is one of the inevitable experiences in winter in Zagreb, I fear it a bit. Actually, I broke my arm two winters in a row when I was little so I have been extra careful on the ice ever since. My intention is not to scare you off at the very beginning, but to show you how ice skating in Zagreb is such a fulfilling activity that you cannot resist despite your childhood trauma.
Before (and after!) going ice skating, I am sure you have already been exploring Advent's offer all over the city. My favourite spot of the Advent is Gradec plateau because of the astonishing view, the best mulled wine and great live music. There is one more reason why Gradec plateau is awesome - it has a skating rink. Well technically, the skating rink is in Klovićevi dvori (which is on the Gradec plateau). The live music from Gradec can be listened to while skating in the atrium of the gallery so don't be scared to show your dance moves and have an incredible time.
Image Credit: Advent Zagreb, Nina Durdevic
The pride of Advent
The Ice Park on Tomislav Square will blow your mind away. This cult spot is the first thing you’ll see when exiting the central train station and it will leave you in awe. Get your skates on and sway to the rhythm of the music while enjoying the scenery behind Art pavilion. Rest your dancing and skating feet over mulled wine or tea on a terrace (aka Ice viewpoint) looking over the park. The skating rink is about 2000 square meters. There is a romantic fountain in the middle and a stage near the Art Pavilion. I usually go there on Saturday as my friend plays in a delightful band Jam Bucket. They cover well-known vintage songs that are impossible not to dance or sing to.
Ice Park is open daily from 10h to 23h, with musical entertainment every day from 19h. The entrance fee is quite cheap. The admission is 15 kunas (about 2 euros) until 16h, and 20 kunas (about 2,6 euros) after 16h. Of course, you can rent a pair of skates for only 15 kunas.
Aerial view of the Ice Park on Tomislav Square
Image credit: Advent Zagreb, Davor Rostuhar
Old school disco skating rink
All the kids could barely wait to get their ice skates and hit the ice on Šalata. This beloved skating rink is a place where most of Zagrebians learnt how to ice skate. I still remember the smell of the rental skates and the rush when you step on the ice for the first time that year. The first round would always be shaky and shy but pop and disco music blasting from the speakers would pump you up in no time. Just as you reach your full skating potential and set your mind to being a hockey player or a figure skater, the bell goes off. Around 30,000 people visit Šalata skating rink during the season while 2,000 skaters fill the rink at the weekends.
Image credit: Pixabay
A cherry on top after great shopping
Have you always wanted to skate but never had an opportunity to learn how to do it? No problem - take a 5-day or a quick weekend course run by professionals. After a great shopping experience in Arena shopping centre, visit Žuti Mačak skating rink (in English, Yellow Cat) right at the entrance to the mall. It is open Monday to Friday from 14:30h to 21h, and there is ice skating disco session on Saturday from 18h to 22h. Admission fee is 20 kunas (2,60 euros for 90 minutes) and renting a pair of skates is only 10 kunas.
Header Image Credit: Advent Zagreb, Julien Duval
Author: Karla Knezevic