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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » December 30, 2010
On the town
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Winter Sports in Warsaw
December 30, 2010   
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There is no need to leave town and head for the hills to indulge in winter sports. You can burn off the calories skating, playing hockey, skiing, snowboarding and Nordic walking. And there is no shortage of places in the capital to practice winter sports.

You can go skiing and snowboarding on the Szczęśliwice ski slope in Szczęśliwicki Park at 22 Drawska St. This is one of the largest sporting facilities in Europe that is open all year round. It has a platter lift and a chair lift that can take 2,000 people per hour to the top of the 75-meter slope. The slope has a surface of around 10,000 square meters and the observation deck at the bottom is 900 sq m. You can hire skiing and snowboarding equipment on site. The whole skiing enchilada—skis, boots, poles and helmet—will set you back zl.35 for 2 hours and the damage for getting rigged out for snowboarding is about the same.

Szczęśliwice is open Mon.-Fri. from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Entrance is zl.16 for children and zl.28 for adults for two hours. There is a surcharge of zl.8 on weekends.

If it is skating that gets your motor running, then you will be happy to learn that Warsaw has six indoor and 12 outdoor skating rinks spread throughout the city. Some are located at grade schools, so entry is free. Here we might mention the ice skating rinks at 20 Keniga St. in the Ursus district, 28 Gubinowska St. in Wilanów, and the open-air Lodowisko Arena on Defilad Square in front of the Palace of Culture and Science.

Figlowisko at Komisji Edukacji Narodowej Avenue in Ursynów is an indoor ice skating rink that also has a skimboarding track. A 1,100 sq m ice sheet is available round the clock. Entry is zl.9 for an hour with a complimentary second hour.

The Moczydło indoor rink at 69 Górczewska St. in Wola is open every day from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and entry starts at zl.10.

There is a rink at the Złote Tarasy shopping mall at 59 Złota St., so you can go skating either before or after you have done the shopping. The rink is open seven days a week and has the same opening hours as the center. Entry is zl.5 for two hours. You can hire skates at most rinks for between zl.5 and zl.10.

If you are serious about ice skating, you might want to check out the modern Torwar II indoor rink at 6a Łazienkowska St., where the 2007 European Figure Skating Championships were held. In addition to ice hockey and figure skating, you can engage in rarely encountered winter sporting events like short track speed skating and curling, a sport where stones are slid across the ice. The rink, whose sheet measures 30 m x 60 m, is also open to the public on Thursdays from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Saturdays from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Entry costs between zl.8 and zl.12 for 90 minutes. Skates in sizes 25-48 are available for hire for zl.7 if you do not have your own.

Nordic walking, or walking briskly with poles, is highly recommended for those who like getting around on shank’s pony. This is a sport you can try anywhere in town, including Las Kabacki in Kabaty, Skaryszewski Park in Praga Południe, Pole Mokotowskie Park, and Białoł´ka. You need walking or running shoes and, obviously, poles.

You can find all the equipment, accessories and clothing you need in specialist sports stores. A pair of Nordic walking poles starts at zl.99. You can get yourself a good pair of shoes at Hi Mountain on Królewska Street for between zl.249 and zl.649. Decathlon in Targówek has skates from zl.80 to zl.400. You can find skis for around zl.600 at Horyzont on Konstytucji Square and from zl.999 at Go Sport in the Galeria Mokotów shopping center. For a complete list of stores and sports centers, go to www.warsawtour.pl The season lasts until the end of March.

Tomir Mazur
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