froxen lakeSource: Tõnu Tunnel, Toolbox

The best places to go ice skating in Estonia

Ice skating in Estonia is never boring. Glide over frozen rivers and bog lakes, twirl on urban ice rinks, skate over the sea — options are endless!

Estonia is a paradise for ice skating enthusiasts regardless of your skill level. You can skate either inside in ice halls or when the weather permits, there are loads of places outside to test your skates! That includes more than just prepared ice parks, though! You can also go ice skating on frozen lakes and wetlands. To help you pick where to cut the ice next, here's a selection of some of the most beautiful places to go ice skating in Estonia.

Ice skating in the middle of a frozen wonderland

Skip the artificial ice rinks this winter and opt for the real deal. Frozen bays, lakes, and ponds across Estonia make fantastic natural ice rinks to skate on. What better way to explore Estonia during this beautiful time of the year?

Wetlands and bogs are worth a visit throughout the year, but during the coldest time of the year, you can even explore national parks by skating on the waterways. If you are not sure where to start your trip to a national park, then book a skating tour. Try one of these tours this winter: skating trips to Kõrvemaa, skating adventure on Rubina bog, and hike and skating on bog-pools by Seikle Vabaks . Tours will include all the gear you need to spend a few hours on the ice. For an extra special experience, find a tour that can add on an outdoor snack or even a sauna to help you relax those muscles after a day of skating.


Another way to integrate an hour of skating into your busy itinerary is to look for frozen lakes near your route. If you happen to be driving in south Estonia, then look for  skating tours of Estonia's largest lake Peipsi, also known as Lake Peipus, or skating trip on the ice of Lake Pühajärv.

It might take a bit longer for the sea to freeze over, but once it does, you can easily replace that walk on the beach with skating on a frozen bay. One of the best places to do that is in the Bay of Pärnu where you'll feel transported to a glittering frozen wonderland. If the sea hasn't frozen yet, you can still skate at the Pärnu Ice Rink. Going north, a skating trip in Haapsalu is a great way to explore the quaint historical town adored by Tchaikovsky, and you might even get a glimpse of Europe's longest ice road while there.

If you venture out to ice skate in nature, exercise caution, especially as the temperature creeps toward zero. Check ice conditions before you head out!

Outdoor seasonal ice rinks

Once the weather gets colder, seasonal ice rinks pop up all over Estonia. Tartu's ice rink on their Town Hall Square is delightful during Christmas. You might feel like a character in a Netflix movie as you take a spin on the ice and then wander through the Christmas Village while sipping mulled wine and nibbling on gingerbread cookies. Tallinn's Harju ice rink is a short walk from Old Town's Christmas market; like most seasonal rinks, it's open until late February or early March. You'll also find an ice rink in the heart of Telliskivi with skate rentals on site.

Ice skating is one of Estonia's most popular winter pastimes, so you'll find seasonal ice rinks in most cities. For example, Tallinn has seasonal ice rinks in three of its biggest neighborhoods: Mustamäe, Nõmme, and Lasnamäe. The largest open-air ice rink in Tartu is the skating rink in Tähtvere Park. Viljandi has two natural outdoor rinks, one on Lake Viljandi and the other on Lake Paala. Add in the Viljandi Ice Rink, then you can see why Viljandi is the unofficial ice skating capital of Estonia. Most of these outdoor ice rinks rent ice skates at the ticket office — no need to worry about bringing your own. Sizes usually start small, so grab an ice skating aid for the little ones and take the whole family out for an afternoon on the ice.

Year-round ice skating options

By now, you can probably tell that Estonians love to ice skate. Amateur and professional athletes head to the indoor rinks for ice skating all year. If ice skating is a must during your visit to Estonia, and you happen to get here after the outdoor rinks have closed, head indoors. 

You can go to the Astri Arena ice rink in Tartu any time of year; it's in the middle of a shopping center! Tallinn's Tondiraba Ice Hall is more than just an ice rink. Besides the main hall, three practice fields are used for other indoor sports. You might also have a chance to take in an ice hockey game or an ice skating performance if you don't want to strap on skates yourself.