Wintertime in Norway means frozen seas and lakes, which creates great opportunities for ice skating and walking. Especially in Norway’s capital, there are many lakes and fjords that offer that possibility, apart from man-made ice rinks. Check the details for ice skating in Oslo, and safe outdoor ice skating in Norway on frozen fjords and lakes.
It’s this time of year again – winter in Norway. With crispy air, frosty trees, squeaky snow, and temperatures way below zero. These are perfect conditions for fun on the ice.
Ice skating in Oslo and Norway
Since recent years haven’t shown many opportunities for travel abroad (reminds me of a fun-filled 2020), I keep looking for activities to do around the area where I live, which is Oslo. Luckily, apart from many awesome day trips from Oslo and Oslo hiking trails, there are also a lot of fun things to do in Oslo in winter, such as visiting Oslo Christmas Markets or ice skating. But where to ice skate in Oslo and how to do it safely?
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QUICK PLANNING TIPS FOR TRAVEL IN OSLO AND NORWAY
- Save time and money with Oslo Pass
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- Book your accommodation with Booking.com, and find the cheapest and best Oslo hotels here
- Find the best car rental deals on Rentalcars
- Check the best-rated activities in Norway on Get your Guide and Viator
- Read Norway on a budget travel guide
Ice skating in Oslo
Oslo and many other Norwegian cities offer great ice skating opportunities. From prepared ice rinks in the city to wild skating in nature – there’s plenty to choose from.
Ice rinks in OsloOne of the most popular and the best ice rinks in Oslo is the ice rink in Frogner stadion. It’s usually open from mid-November till mid-March and has specific times when the public can access it. You can check it on the Frogner stadion website here. It’s free of charge, you just need your skates. Another popular free ice rink in Oslo is Spikersuppa Ice Skating Rink, located on Karl Johans gate, next to National Theatre. It’s free and open to anyone. It also offers the rental of skates (for a fee), usually from 3 pm-9 pm, but you can check the exact times on their website here. Another option for an ice rink in Oslo is Storo Ice-Skating, and Løren ice rink, but they are often occupied by sports teams, and only occasionally open to the public.
In recent years, many usually popular ice skating rinks in Oslo were closed. As an alternative, the city of Oslo has prepared several skating areas, so residents could skate in their local area. The most recent and popular addition is the ice rink in front of the Deichman library in Bjørvika.
Here are the other ones, that used to be sometimes prepared (it depends on the year). For more information check the Oslo city Facebook page.
- Blåfjell friområde (“Leker’n”)
- Brenna ballplass
- Bråtan grusbane
- Ekeberg grusbane
- Grorud idrettspark
- Grønsund friområde
- Hovseter ballbane
- Lambertseter grus
- Lysaker nord
- Mortensrud kunstgress
- Nordre Åsen
- Rosenholm skole friområde
- Stallerudveien friområde
- St. Hanshaugen
- Tonsenhagen skoleidrettsplass
- Bøler skolebane
Outdoor ice skating on the frozen sea and frozen lakes in Oslo
But what I really like is outdoor ice skating on natural water sources, such as lakes or the sea. It’s riskier and requires more preparation and knowledge, but it is also much more rewarding. Imagine sliding through the steel ice on the lake surrounded by the forest or having kilometers of frozen seawater to skate on the fjord!
Some of the top locations for ice skating in the Oslo area in the wild are (only in safe conditions, see below):
- Fjord water between Sandvika and Fornebu (NOT the whole area)
Outdoor ice skating on the frozen sea and frozen lakes in Norway – safety
Before you step on the frozen lake or sea, you need to take safety precautions. Falling into ice-cold water is surely unpleasant, but can also be health- and life-threatening, so always go prepared.
Disclaimer: I’m not an ice expert, I just share what I know. Do your own research before going on ice.
Check the ice conditions
The first thing is to check suitable ice conditions. Typically, this should be done by experienced people who would drill into the ice and check its thickness. Safe skating conditions are with ice that is at least 10 cm (4 inches) thick.
The thickness and safety of the ice can vary from place to place, so if you are going onto an unknown area, only go with someone experienced.
A good place to get a general understanding of the ice is iskart.no. It’s a map covering the whole of Norway. However, it’s based on public entries and people can be wrong sometimes. And remember that conditions can change quickly.
In the popular ice areas, local authorities normally check the conditions and let the public know. In the past, when the sea between Fornebu and Sandivka froze, the authorities in Baerum marked out the safe skating trail from Sandvika to Fornebu with the Christmas trees on the ice.
Unfortunately, many people ignore safe barriers and end up falling into ice that is thinner on the sides. For more information about the ice conditions on the sea, you can call the information telephone in Baerum: 800 81 818. More info here.
Ice skating safety equipment and clothes
If you decide to venture out onto the frozen water, take safety equipment with you.
- Ice spikes (ispigger) are the minimum – they help you to pull yourself out of the hole since the ice around is slippery.
- A whistle can be useful for calling for help.
- A rescue rope attached to your backpack.
- A backpack fastened to your body with a change of clothes in a waterproof bag.
- For being on the ice, it’s also useful to have helmet and elbow/knee protectors, as well as a skating pole.
Learn the correct routine on the ice
It’s safer to go on the ice with more people. If you spread out, there is less chance that more than one person will fall into the water and then your companions can rescue you quicker.
You also need to learn the correct technique for getting out of the water. The main idea is to stay calm and paddle your feet, instead of trying to pull yourself straight up. Then crawl onto the ice until you can feel it’s stronger. As a general rule, go in the direction you came from since you know the ice there. I made a story highlight on my Instagram showing these techniques. You can check it out here.
Your safety is your responsibility
Remember that your safety is your responsibility and you should always research the area very well before trying risky activities such as ice skating on the frozen lakes or fjords. There is no safe ice, but only a safe ice skater/walker. But when done correctly, it’s so much fun!Published: February 2021, Updated: February 2023
Read more about Norway:
Where to Stay in Oslo – The Best Hotels in Oslo
Ice Church – Magical Ice Cave Near Oslo
The best things to do in Oslo in winter
Rjukan ice climbing and other things to do on a day trip from Oslo
Norway on a budget – locals’ tips for cheap travel in Norway
Have you tried ice skating in Oslo? Have you ever ice skated or walked on frozen seas or lakes? Let me know in the comments!
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2 thoughts on “Ice Skating in Oslo and Norway – Ice Rinks and Outdoors (Fjord & Lakes)”
Thank you so much for this informative and amazing blog post! I’m coming to Oslo but aren’t able to bring my own skates with me – do you know if there is general skate hire (that you can take for the day) available anywhere? Thank you again – amazing, beautiful images!
Yes, Spikersuppa (located near National Theatre) and Frogner Stadium by Vigeland Park have ice skate rentals. Hope that helps! Enjoy Oslo 🙂