The Heinzelmännchen, the House Elves of Cologne, simply love skating. That is the only way to explain why they have built Germany’s most spectacular outdoor ice rink on Heumarkt in Cologne. As the reward for all their nocturnal efforts, they can do their skating runs on an ice track with a length of almost 110 metres, do pirouettes to their heart’s content, and generally relax from their hard work.
On the spectacular Ice Rink, which is almost as long as a football field, skaters can do long runs and loops around the historic equestrian statue of King Friedrich Wilhelm III. Along the way, you skate under a bridge and also flit by a Drive Inn or call in for something to eat or drink to renew your energy. You then continue past the Büble Alpe, where you can watch the Heinzelmännchen skiing on the roof. At the end of a circuit, you can briefly catch your breath and take a rest on the benches around the monument, before setting off on the next round. Here, skating becomes a magical experience.
Anyone unsure about venturing onto the ice on blades can try out a game of ice stock curling instead. There are no fewer than five ice stock curling alleys directly adjoining the skating rink.