Winter Sports in the Netherlands
As winter approaches, it is the perfect time to grab your friends and go skating! Here are a few winter sports you can try out in the Netherlands this year.
Ice-skating is by far one of the most common winter sports in the Netherlands. From a young age, Dutch kids are placed on skates and go gliding down frozen canals (if the weather is cold enough, of course). Because I am half Dutch, my family and I have spent our Christmas holidays each year in the Netherlands. There was not single year that went by without my sister and I rushing to the closest skating rink and spending an afternoon gliding across the ice and warming up with mugs of hot chocolate and cups of hearty erwtensoep (Dutch pea soup).
Because almost every town in the Netherlands opens up its own outdoor rink during winter, it is very easy to find a place to go skating. The best part is that these locations also offer visitors the option of renting skates by the hour. Since I live in The Hague, I was really excited to hear that they recently opened an ice-skating rink near Centraal Station! The rink will be open until 11 November, so make sure to check it out soon!
Another favorite place of mine to go skating, is on the 400-meter ice rink in Rotterdam. If you want to make a workout out of your skating, I highly recommend you try out this place. Unlike the smaller rinks, this race course will allow you to really practice your skating skills without much disruptions. During winter time, the rink is also decorated with Christmas trees and colorful lighting; it's a great place to set the mood for the upcoming holidays. So don't forget to visit this rink and discover Rotterdam on Ice!
Skiing... in the Netherlands... is that even possible? Well yes, it is! Although the Netherlands has no natural mountains for skiing, it does have several indoor parks with artificial slopes. Compared to the Alps, these slopes might not sound very appealing. However, as a skier myself, I find them to be great places to practice skills and spend a fun day out with my friends.
So where can you go skiing in the Netherlands? Here are a few places:
- SnowWorld Landgraaf (1.5 km of slopes): Located in Limburg, this ski resort offers different difficulty-levels of slopes. Open year-round, the day pass for adults amounts to EUR 45.
- SnowWorld Zoetermeer (0.7 km of slopes): Situated in the Province of South Holland and in the West of the Netherlands, this ski park has three "runs" that are connected to one another. Relative to the one in Landgraaf, this SnowWorld does not include the hardest-level slopes. It is thus more convenient if you are trying to learn how to ski or are simply brushing up on skills. The day pass for adults is also EUR 45.
- De Uithof Den Haag (0.3 km of slopes): This ski resort is situated in The Hague. It offers a 211m slope, as well as a practice area. It is also possible to book ski and snowboard lessons at the ski school. At De Uithof, you can also go ice-skating, rock climbing and go-carting. The day pass for adults is EUR 27.50.
Grab Your Skates and Get Going!
The Netherlands is lined with skating rinks during winter. As one of the most important experiences of Dutch winters, ice-skating is definitely something you should try out. If you're a skier, you can also check out one of the many snow parks throughout the country. So, grab your friends and get going!