A Tour of the World’s Most Spectacular Ice Skating Rinks
Last updated on 23 Dec 2016
By Miruna Corneanu
Put your skates on and glide your way around the world’s most unique and spectacular ice skating rinks.
Situated in fabulous locations throughout the world, these frozen getaways invite you to combine a twirl on the ice with dazzling sightseeing, scrumptious food, crafty Christmas shopping, and a blast of festive winter fun.
Vienna Ice Dream
No less than 8,000 m² of ice area are available for skating in front of the beautifully illuminated Vienna City Hall during the winter holidays. Wiener Eistraum (Vienna Ice Dream) is surrounded by stands selling warming drinks and traditional Austrian foods to visitors.
Somerset House Ice Rink, London
Every year, the majestic 18th-century courtyard of Somerset House turns into a spectacular outdoor rink, where guests can enjoy champagne and truffles while gliding on the ice with the cultural center’s stately Neoclassical facade as a backdrop. Often regarded as one of London’s most beautiful places to skate, Somerset House Ice Rink becomes a lively dance floor once the night falls, hosting DJs, parties, and festivals.
GUM Skating Rink, Moscow
Set up in the heart of the Red Square, right in front of the GUM department store, this 2,700-sqm playground allows you to skate near the walls of the Kremlin and the iconic St. Basil’s Cathedral. GUM Skating Rink is Moscow’s most famous and impressive outdoor rink.
Featured in movies such as Serendipity, Love Story, and Home Alone 2, Wollman Skating Rink is a symbol of New York City’s winter magic. It is situated in the southern part of Central Park and provides stunning views of Manhattan’s soaring skyscrapers.
The Rink at Rockefeller Center, NYC
Ice skating below the iconic Christmas tree, in the heart of Rockefeller Center, is a favorite tradition for both New Yorkers and tourists during the festive season. With a capacity of 150 skaters at a time, The Rink at Rockefeller Center can get pretty crowded, so the best time to visit is early in the morning.
City Park Ice Rink, Budapest
Every winter, the lake in Budapest’s City Park is converted into the largest ice skating rink in Europe. Locally known as Városligeti Műjégpálya, the City Park Ice Rink sits in the shadow of the impressive Vajdahunyad Castle, and is one of the oldest on the continent.
McCormick Tribune Ice Rink, Chicago
Installed in Millennium Park, Chicago’s McCormick Tribune Ice Rink comes with free access and striking vistas of the downtown skyline.
Rideau Canal Skateway, Ottawa
Stretching over 7 kilometers through central Ottawa and past Canada’s parliament buildings, Rideau Canal Skateway is the largest skating rink in the world. Skaters will have the opportunity to enjoy plenty of sightseeing and rest areas with hot drinks and snacks along the way. Among the many events and activities organized here is the city’s annual Winterlude festival.
Skating on Lake Louise, Banff
Surrounded by the snowy Canadian Rockies and Victoria Glacier, this spectacular ice skating rink outside the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise in Banff National Park allows visitors the one-of-a-kind opportunity to take a spin on Lake Louise. A wonderful hand-carved ice castle is built each year in the middle of the skating venue.
Maggie Daley Park Ice Ribbon, Chicago
Combining state-of-the-art architecture with dazzling skyline views, the Maggie Daley Park Ice Ribbon makes for a totally unique ice skating experience. Unlike conventional ice rinks, this undulating quarter-mile circuit offers various changes in elevation.
Royal Pavilion Ice Rink, Brighton
Set against Brighton’s Indian-style Regency pleasure palace, the Royal Pavilion Ice Rink is certainly one of the most spectacular places to skate in the UK. Nearby, there’s a sprawling bar and restaurant serving everything from seasonal snacks and drinks to festive dinners, in beautiful, exotic surroundings.
Swarovski Ice Rink at Natural History Museum, London
The magnificent buildings of London’s Natural History Museum and a 40-foot tall Christmas tree decked out in sparkling Swarovski crystals provide an enchanting backdrop for this glistening skating area in the heart of Kensington. The Swarovski Ice Rink features a cafe bar, where visitors can indulge in hot drinks and tasty festive treats.
Ice Rink Canary Wharf, London
One of London’s most impressive winter attractions, Ice Rink Canary Wharf prides itself with a one-of-a-kind skate path lined with fairy-lit trees. Fringed by the high-rise towers of the capital’s business district, this is a striking location to take a spin on the ice, savor delicious food and drink, and take in the beautiful views from the heated outdoor terrace.
Located in the village of Biddinghuizen, Flevonice is Netherland’s longest artificial ice rink. With its fun twists and turns, nice restaurant, and family-friendly facilities, the impressive three-kilometer skating track offers something for everyone.
Ice Skating Rink at Nathan Phillips Square, Toronto
London is brimming with outdoor ice skating opportunities, but if gliding in regal surroundings is what you’re looking for, the Hampton Court Palace Ice Rink is the place to go. Facing Henry VIII’s stately Tudor palace, the 900-square-meter rink is home to an Ice Bar & Café, where guests can warm up with a mulled wine and a delicious mince pie.
Ice* Amsterdam Skating Rink
Part of Ice* Amsterdam, the skating rink on Museumplein offers visitors the chance to skate with the gorgeous Rijksmuseum as a backdrop. The rinkside bar and restaurant offers a great selection of mouthwatering Dutch and international specialties.
Icepark Skating Rink, Helsinki
Situated right in the city center, in the Railway Square, Helsinki Icepark skating rink is a great way to brave the Finnish winter and get in the holiday spirit.
A convenient location in central Stockholm along with nice music, colorful lighting, and a small Christmas Market nearby make this seasonal rink at Kungstradgarden one of the city’s favorite locations for ice skating.
The Ice Rink at The Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas
Las Vegas’ most unique winter attraction, The Ice Rink at The Cosmopolitan has everything you could hope for, from glamorous cocktails and fire pits to snow showers and dazzling views of The Strip.
The Ice Rink at Alexanderplatz, Berlin
Smack dab in the heart of one of Berlin’s busiest Christmas Markets, the circular ice rink at the Neptune Fountain on Alexanderplatz is complemented by Europe’s largest Christmas pyramid, a variety of fun rides, as well as traditional stalls selling handicrafts and local fare.
St Andrew Square Ice Rink, Edinburgh
Revolving around Edinburgh’s iconic Melville Monument, St Andrew Square Ice Rink comes complete with tons of festive entertainment, including shows, rides, traditional market stalls, and an impressive Ferris wheel with stunning views of the city.