Winter Sports in Russia

Details about popular winter sports in Russia, including ice hockey, skiing, snowboarding and ice skating...

Ice Hockey

One of the world’s strongest ice-hockey nations, Russia has both natural and artificial ice to practice and play hockey on, either at indoor stadiums or at special open-air rinks in the winter. Normally every district has at least one multi-purpose stadium for playing football in the summer and hockey in the winter. This is usually a good option for non-professional players. Advanced or semi-professional players are better off contacting the local (municipal) department of the Russian National Hockey League.

Ice Skating

All Russian cities and towns operate at least one public ice rink offering admission for a fee and skates for rental. Free rinks are available in some districts, but own skates must be brought. Figure skating is one of the sports into which Russian children tend to go at an early age. Skating tournaments, both national and international, are incredibly popular.

Skiing and Snowboarding

There are opportunities to ski or snowboard in any season. Cross country skiing and snowshoeing are reserved for those who enjoy their exercise in snowy conditions, but they can be done practically everywhere, including public stadiums or open areas in the cities. Clothing, safety and equipment requirements are minimal, and skis can be rented in parks.

Downhill skiing requires proper clothing and equipment, as well as some good slopes. Traditional regions to visit are the Caucasus and Ural Mountains. However, suitable mountains and resorts can be found closer to home too. A handy map on the mSKI website lists skiing and snowboarding facilities in the Moscow area, easily reached by the Moscow Metro.