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The best places to try winter sports in Sweden's two biggest cities

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The best places to try winter sports in Sweden's two biggest cities
Wether you like to ski or you like icy baths – There is a place for every taste. Photo: Lars Pehrson/SvD/SCANPIX
06:59 CET+01:00
Thought winter in Sweden meant sitting inside all day, going into an artificial hibernation? Wrong. The colder months open new possibilities of sports and outdoor activities, from skiing to skating to curling. Here are some places in Sweden's biggest cities that will help you see the good sides of winter.

Stockholm

Hammarbybacken

The ski venue Hammarbybacken is located on a hill in southern Stockholm and offers five ski runs with different difficulties during the winter. The area also has a separate part for children, which features a particularly easy slope and a snow park for anyone who doesn't want to ski, but still feels like playing in the snow. To fight the post-skiing hunger, there's a barbecue area and a restaurant that offers hot food and snacks.

Prices: 245 kronor for a whole day ski pass, or you can try out a shorter period (from one hour) or longer depending on what suits you. Equipment can be rented at the site too.

How to get there: Bus or tunnelbana: Sickla kaj


A view from the skiing hill. Photo: Kalle Hägglund/SkiStar

Hellasgården

Skiing, ice-skating, sledding and ice hole bathing are all on offer at Hellasgården, a large nature park within easy reach of the city centre. When the large lake freezes over, you can skate across it, and after snowfall there are slopes for sledding. And why not try out cross-country skiing through the scenic park? For the brave, you can try out ice-hole bathing (you might want to visit the sauna after) and for the most adventurous, on February 2nd there will even be a 'winter swimming' event.

Make sure to check online before you visit as all activities are seasonal and weather dependent.

Prices: It's free to enter the park and equipment can be rented for a fee (160 kronor for a pair of skates for one hour and 120 kronor for cross-country ski equipment for 90 minutes). Adult entry to the sauna is 65 kronor. Check the website for more details.

How to get there: The best route on public transport is the bus 401 from Slussen to Hellasgården


A couple enjoying the frozen lake at Hellasgården. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

No.1 Curling Danderyd

This curling centre is one of Europe's biggest accommodations and can hold up to 80 players at the same time. This venue enables even first-time players to try out he popular sport, events can be booked as well.

Prices: 300 kr, including instructor and equipment (there are ther fees for groups and businesses)

How to get there: Take the tunnelbana to Mörby Cenrum, then the 602 bus to Danderyds gymnasium

City ice rinks

You'll see skaters on many of Stockholm's frozen lakes, but it's wise not to try this unless you're very confident and have researched how to skate safely (always avoid areas labelled 'svag is' or 'weak ice'). One great option is the lake Trekanten in Liljeholmen, where local authorities clear a route for both walking and skating when it freezes over. But there are also plenty of artificial options.

A popular rink at central Kungsträdgården is free to use, with skate rental costing only 70 kronor for adults and 30 kronor for children. If you have your own equipment, you can find rinks at Medborgarplatsen in Södermalm and Vasaparken in the centre too.


Ice-skating at Kungsträdgården. Photo: Leif R Jansson/SCANPIX/TT

Gothenburg

Skidome

One of Sweden's two indoor ski-domes provides tracks for cross-country skiing, as well as downhill. It is open all year round (with a break over Christmas) as the snow is produced artificially. The course inside is about 1.1 kilometres long and slightly hilly, but there are ski paths for experienced skiers as well as for beginners, and the option to buy private lessons.

Prices: 100 kronor for one hour or 300 kronor for a day, with discounts for students, children and seniors, and a range of time periods available  

How to get there: Take the tram to Kviberg

Brudarebacken

With a length of 270 metres and a height of 42 m, Brudarebacken offers ski slopes of different difficulties and is especially suitable for families. It is Gothenburg's only outside location for winter activities and is opened when snowfall allows -- check the website before your visit.

Prices: A day pass for the lift is 150 kronor for adults, with discounts for children and the possibility to rent equipment for a fee

How to get there: Take the bus to Spåntorget

Göteborg Curling

Gothenburg's curling hall offers the chance to try out this Nordic sport in groups: if you have more than eight people, you can book on any weekday or Saturday, whilst smaller groups can also visit on Saturdays. 

Prices: 299 kronor for mornings and 399 kronor for afternoons or Saturdays, for a 1hr 45 game including instruction and equipment

How to get there: Take the bus to Pumpgatan


The Swedish team at the Men's World Curling Championship. Photo: John Locher/AP Photo/TT

City ice rinks

As in Stockholm (and indeed most Swedish locations), there's plenty of choice for ice-skating. When it comes to open lakes, the Rådasjön is very popular but make sure to take precautions and never go out alone. Alternatively, try the Heden arena in the centre, or any of the 13 other spots that offer the possibility to skate on an artificial rink for 30 kronor per adult. See the full list here


Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

 

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