Skiing regardless of season and weather – that is what indoor ski slopes make possible. They are open all year round and offer winter sports enthusiasts piste fun even on hot summer days. SnowTrex has all the information you need about indoor ski centres and lists what Europe has to offer.
Europe’s indoor skiing centres at a glance
|Indoor ski centre
|Total piste length
|LOTTO Thuringia Indoor Ski Centre
|Ski Arena, Leppävirta
|Snow Arena, Druskininkai
|Snow Valley, Peer
|Snozones, Castleford/Milton Keynes
|Snej Krasnogorsk, Moscow
|The Snow Centre, Hemel Hempstead
|Alpincenter Hamburg-Wittenburg, Hamburg
|Snow Dome, Bispingen
|Chill Factore, Manchester
|Montana Snowcenter, Valkenswaard
|De Uithof indoor ski centre, The Hague
What is an indoor ski centre?
A ski centre is characterized by a tube-like, roofed space equipped with lifts and slopes. To create an artificial mountain, the building’s foundation has a slope of between 10 and 35°. In order for the artificial snow to be produced and to last, the indoor temperature is constantly between -2 and -5 °C. Gastronomy with a rustic ski hut ambience and après-ski music is available in almost every snow centre.
You can strengthen your skills in various ski and snowboard courses or gain your first experience in the fun park. If you don’t have your equipment, you can hire all the equipment on site, test it and buy some of it in the shop afterwards. Expert staff will find the right equipment for every need. To make the ski trip an all-round experience, the snow centres offer much more than just downhill fun. Some locations are real fun and adventure parks where you can book everything from children’s birthday parties to corporate events.
1. LOTTO Thuringia Indoor Ski Centre, Oberhof (Germany)
The LOTTO Thuringia Indoor Ski Centre in Oberhof is the only indoor ski centre in Germany where Nordic winter sports can be practised. Even in summer temperatures, recreational as well as top athletes will find the best winter conditions here. On an area of 10,000 m², an almost 2 km long circuit offers enough space to let off steam. In addition, four shooting ranges for small bore and air rifles can be used. Ski courses are offered for inexperienced skiers, and a ski rental shop has the right equipment for everyone.
In a 3D animation, the operators show how much space top athletes and recreational cross-country skiers have in the ski centre in Oberhof:
2. Hiihtotunneli, Vuokatti (Finland)
The ski centre Hiihtotunneli in Vuokatti is an indoor cross-country ski centre and makes training in the snow possible even in summer. The approx. 1.2 km long track is adapted to the natural hills and valleys of nature and is suitable for classic cross-country skiing as well as skating. The operator keeps the temperature at a constant -5° to -9 °C, creating optimal conditions for winter sports all year round.
3. SnowWorld, Landgraaf (Netherlands)
SnowWorld in Landgraaf has no less than five slopes with a total length of 1,120 metres. Located near Aachen, it is one of the largest indoor winter sports areas in the world. There is even a 500-metre-long official FIS racetrack, so that World Cup races can also be held here. In summer, international ski and snowboard teams come to train. In the middle of the main downhill run is a rustic Graubündner Hütte, which invites you to stop for a bite to eat. A little above it is an indoor fun park that offers plenty of space to try out new jumps and stunts. Directly attached to the indoor ski arena is a large outdoor park with a high ropes course, adventure trail, zip line and Alpine Coaster, which runs down into the valley at a speed of 42 km/hr.
4. Ski Arena, Leppävirta (Finland)
Another indoor cross-country ski arena is located in Leppävirta, Finland. The hall, which is carved into rock, is located 30 m below Hotel Vesileppis. The track is about 1.1 km long and specializes in cross-country skiing and biathlon, being suitable for both classic and skating styles. The average temperature in the hall is between -1° and -5 °C, depending on the season.
5. Alpincenter, Bottrop (Germany)
The Alpincenter in Bottrop offers the longest indoor slope in Germany! Here, advanced skiers are challenged on a 640 m long downhill run with a 24% gradient. Freestyle fans get their money’s worth in the fun park, equipment rental and a ski school round off the offer. The resort offers even more sporting variety: a high ropes course, a summer toboggan run, a paintball facility and Germany’s only professional indoor wind tunnel. Take a break in the hotel’s own beer garden, the highest in the Ruhr region. A special highlight are the all-inclusive tickets: admission, use of the slopes, equipment (skis/snowboard, boots, poles), food from the buffet, unlimited soft drinks and three alcoholic drinks (beer/wine) are available at a fixed price.
6. SnowHall, Amnéville (France)
The second-longest indoor slope in the French town of Amnéville, not far from the border to Luxembourg and Germany, is 620 metres long – the only one of its kind in France. The beginners’ hill of the indoor ski world, which opened in 2005, is 100 metres long. Snow bunnies can also try out snowscooting here.
7. Snow Arena, Druskininkai (Lithuania)
The indoor ski arena with a 460-metre-long slope is located in Lithuania’s largest spa town. However, the slope is not the only one on which visitors can enjoy themselves. There is also a beginners’ slope (150 m) and even an outdoor slope. The latter, however, is only open in real winter – but then it offers an additional 640 metres.
8. SnowWorld, Zoetermeer (Netherlands)
The SnowWorld in Zoetermeer offers a unique experience, as it is home to the steepest indoor slope in Europe. With a gradient of 20%, the red slope is a great challenge, even for experienced skiers and snowboarders. Three other slopes, including a “Kid’s World” as well as ten ski lifts and an indoor fun park are part of the versatile offer. The three restaurants entice with Austrian dishes and ambience. If you feel like après-ski afterwards, the Skybar or the Bierstube are the place to be.
9. Snow Valley, Peer (Belgium)
A ski centre that has grown over the years: while there was only one 160-metre-long slope that attracted winter sports enthusiasts to Peer when it opened, today there are three slopes. A large one with a length of 350 metres, a snow park with a length of 85 metres and a beginner’s run of 100 metres. The Belgians are particularly proud of the snow park, which was the first indoor snow park in the world when it opened in 2001, and of the hip snowboard café “Boarders Paradise”.
10. Snozones, Castleford/Milton Keynes (Great Britain)
Snozones makes winter sports possible for all skiing enthusiasts. Regardless of age, fitness, physical, sensory or cognitive impairment, experienced guides teach everyone how to ski using tailored training. The two snowzones are located in Milton Keynes and Castleford and have slopes ranging from 200 to 500 metres in length, as well as various lifts. The Alpine Kitchen serves classic dishes such as burgers, pasta, etc., as well as vegan and vegetarian options.
11. Skidôme, Rucphen (Netherlands)
Lots of fresh snow ensures lots of fun on the slopes at Skidôme Rucphen. Skiers and snowboarders enjoy a green, blue and red ski slope, each 160 m long, and modern lifts. In the fun park, you can try out new tricks on various rails and jumps. Toboggans and tyres for sliding down the slope add to the fun factor. Ice karting, glow golf and an escape room round off the varied offer.
12. Snej Krasnogorsk, Moscow (Russia)
The first indoor ski slope in Russia is located near the capital Moscow and was opened in 2008 with a 400 m long slope. In addition to the sport, the emphasis here is on the feel-good factor: Visitors can choose between 6 restaurants, they have a wellness oasis at their disposal and those who want to ski undisturbed can leave their children to professional supervision.
13. The Snow Centre, Hemel Hempstead (Great Britain)
The longest indoor slope in Great Britain is located in the Snow Centre, which is close to London and therefore in a top location. At 360 metres long and 30 metres wide, the slope is perfect for beginners and advanced skiers alike. The Ringo Slide is great fun for the whole family, with tyres to slide down the slope. If you need a little break, you can warm up in the bar with free tea and coffee. The restaurant also offers a great panoramic view of the slopes and tempts you with traditional alpine dishes.
14. Snowzone, Madrid (Spain)
Spain’s only indoor ski slope is located right next to the popular Xanadú shopping centre. The slope for advanced skiers is 250 m long, the beginners’ slope measures 100 m.
15. Alpincenter Hamburg-Wittenburg, Hamburg (Germany)
The alpincenter Hamburg-Wittenburg is located near Hamburg. Both indoors and outdoors, the facility offers a wide range of leisure activities, foremost skiing on a 330 m long downhill slope. Practice slope, blue and red slopes, snow park – everything is available. The varied gastro programme also includes bowling, bingo, Musikantenstadl, Sunday brunch and mystery dinner evenings.
This video clip offers a look behind the scenes of the operation of the indoor ski slope in Wittenburg:
16. Skidôme, Terneuzen (Netherlands)
Since 2012, the indoor ski centre in Terneuzen has been operating under the name Skidôme. There is a choice of blue, red and black slopes, the longest of which is 220 metres long. The different levels of difficulty are perfect for beginners to practice on, but advanced skiers will also get their money’s worth. In the fun park with rails, jumps and a giant airbag, freeriders can let off steam to their heart’s content. All ski equipment, as well as toboggans and tyres, is available for rent. In addition to the fun on the slopes, there are restaurants and cafés with delicious food and drinks to choose from.
17. SnowPlanet, Velsen (Netherlands)
The SnowPlanet in Velsen is perfect for a day out with the whole family. Courses of all levels can be booked at the ski school to learn or improve your skiing and snowboarding skills. A smaller slope is especially suitable for children, advanced skiers can enjoy themselves on a steep slope. In addition to the two slopes, the SnowPlanet has several restaurants, an après-ski café and two terraces.
18. Alpenpark Neuss (Germany)
Germany’s first indoor ski slope can be found in Neuss, not far from Düsseldorf. With a proud 300 m length and a width of up to 100 m, Alpenpark Neuss is one of the longest indoor ski slopes in Europe. Among the special features are the “real” powder snow produced in a patented process and the cladding of the hall walls by mountain panorama worlds.
The numerous ski and snowboard courses on offer make the indoor ski hall in Neuss an ideal place to go for beginners and the curious who want to be introduced to winter sports. Extra courses are also offered for children and advanced skiers who intend to improve their technique.
The indoor winter sports hall can be roughly divided into two areas. On the one hand, there are the slope sections that are more tailored to beginners. They have a gradient of between 10 and 18%, and the steeper upper slope is suitable for more advanced skiers, which leads down into the “valley” with a gradient of up to 28%. On the entire 300 m length of the piste there are several, partly separated areas, which provide some variety. In addition to a beginners’ area, where there is a 12 m-long conveyor belt, there is a 70 m-long toboggan run, where non-skiers can also get their money’s worth.
In addition to the exceptional ski slope, the area in Neuss offers two restaurants and a beer garden to replenish one’s energy reserves. Visitors who are in a party mood can enjoy themselves at motto parties at the weekend, for example. In addition, there is a 4-star superior hotel, an alpine golf course, a fun football facility and a large outdoor offering that includes a climbing park and a giant swing.
19. Snow Dome, Bispingen (Germany)
Alpine skiing in the flat country between Hamburg and Hanover? Since 2006, that’s also possible. The Snow Dome in Bispingen, with its 300 m downhill run and 20% gradient, is ideal for beginners on skis and boards. A special feature of the facility is the beautifully sweeping slope, which is about 60 m wide. In addition to the snow area with three lifts, there is a children’s area, a toboggan slope and a fun park with a dozen obstacles.
20. Chill Factore, Manchester (Great Britain)
The Hiihtotunneli ski centre in Vuokatti is an indoor cross-country centre and makes it possible to train in the snow even during summer. The approx. 1,2 km long track is adapted to the natural hills and valleys in the terrain and is suitable for classic cross-country skiing as well as skating. The temperature is constantly kept at between -5° to -9 °C and thus creates optimal conditions for winter sports throughout the year.
21. SnowPlanet, Spaarnwoude (Netherlands)
In Spaarnwoude near Amsterdam, winter sports enthusiasts ski on 230 m of piste. The hall aims to score points above all with a large range of courses – including a “fear course”.
22. SnowDome, Tamworth (Great Britain)
The SnowDome in Tamworth was opened in 1994 and was the first large indoor ski hall in Great Britain. The longest slope is 170 m long and 30 m wide, and there are also two ski school practice slopes, 30 m and 25 m long. The ski school has a wide range of courses for skiers and snowboarders. In addition, tyres and sledges can be rented. But the leisure centre can also score with other attractions: Ice skating, climbing, swimming and a fitness and spa area offer a whole range of activities for the whole family.
23. Montana Snowcenter, Valkenswaard (Netherlands)
The 7,000 m² “Montana Snowcenter” has a long slope, a mogul slope and a small snow park with rails and jumps. The smaller piste is particularly suitable for children and beginners; this is where the ski and snowboard courses mainly take place. The “Montana Bar” has a large selection of delicious dishes. From here you get a great view of the piste during refreshments and a drink in the après-ski “Rocky Bar” is the perfect end to an eventful day.
24. De Uithof indoor ski centre, The Hague (Netherlands)
The beach is not far away, yet a few metres away you can ski all year round. The indoor ski hall “De Uithof” in The Hague makes it possible. A full 211 m long piste, two ski lifts and two magic carpets are available and create optimal conditions for beginners as well as advanced skiers. Europe’s largest indoor sports centre also offers many other activities, including ice skating, go-karting, laser tag, bungee football, climbing and bouldering. Four cosy cafés invite you to take a break with hot drinks and fortifying snacks.
25. Snowtropolis, Senftenberg (Germany)
The Snowtropolis in Lusatia is somewhat smaller and more cosy. The hall, which opened in 2004, has a 140-metre-long downhill run with a gradient of up to 25 degrees and a small snow park. As you know from the big halls, you can also watch the goings-on in the snow from the après-ski bar with its large glass front. Next door there is a tennis and badminton centre, which is converted into an ice rink in the winter months. With a bowling alley, sauna area and a bathing lake nearby, this hall is also a real world of experience with a large selection of activities. For guests who want to extend their “ski holiday” beyond the day’s visit, the facility offers small holiday homes.
Indoor skiing vs. outdoor skiing
For beginners, indoor ski slopes are a good way to gain their first experience in the snow and to get at least a rudimentary feel for what winter sports in the mountains have to offer. Advanced skiers can test new skis before buying them, get in the mood for winter, or simply bridge the “snow-free” time of the year. However, the atmosphere in a ski hall is always artificially created and the range of slopes is limited. Powder snow, pleasant wintry temperatures and sunshine cannot be produced at the push of a button. Therefore, a visit to the indoor ski centre can in no way replace a ski trip to the mountains. Because skiing is more than just skiing down the slopes. It is a unique experience of nature.