Located between Heroes’ Square and the Vajdahunyad Castle in Budapest’s famous City Park, the City Park Ice Rink is the largest outdoor ice rink in Europe – and also one of the oldest ice rinks in Europe. First opened on January 29, 1870, by Crown Prince Rudolph, the original “skating hall” was merely a small wooden structure that burned down back in 1874. Architect Ödön Lechner then designed a new building, which was later replaced with a larger neo-Baroque structure in 1893 designed by Imre Francsek.
Both the rink and building have been refurbished and expanded over the years, especially after suffering heavy damage after WWII. Between 2009 and 2011, it was renovated yet again to restore the building back to its beautiful 19th-century look. Visitors today can ice skate or simply enjoy something to eat or drink while watching others on the rink. Today, the interior of the main building is a national monument, while the rink itself features state-of-the-art ice making technology and engineering. During wintertime, the rink measures 12,070 square meters with a 2,040-square-meter hockey rink. In the summer, the water surface of the lake measures 38,000 square meters, and visitors can rent paddle boats, lunch, or simply sit on the terrace or one of the grassy banks and enjoy the views. The rink/lake has also been home to various competitions, exhibits, and events (sporting and otherwise).
The City Park ice rink is open Monday through Friday 9-13 and 17-21 and Saturday/Sunday 10-14 and 16-21, although it closes one hour earlier on Sunday.
Admission tickets can be bought online, and tickets from last winter are valid until December 31, 2019.