Ice Skating is a great seasonal activity – especially for couples and families. Skating is one of the oldest and most popular recreational activities and outdoor ice skating in particular offers you a chance to have some fun in the crisp winter air. Here is the best outdoor ice skating rinks in the world specially chosen for their spectacular backdrops and magical atmospheres. Don’t worry about making a fool out of yourself – most outdoor ice skating rinks welcome everyone from beginners to experts!
1. Somerset House, London
Skate in the heart of London in this prestigious skating venue. This 18th century neoclassical home turned popular music/art venue offers an impressive backdrop and is illuminated at night by a 40ft Tiffany Christmas tree.
2. Rockefeller Center, New York
The Rockefeller Center is a world-famous and iconic skating venue featured in many classic movies. Skate New York style underneath towering skyscrapers, hundreds of twinkling lights and a gigantic Christmas tree.
3. Hampton Court, Greater London
Hampton Court Palace is a beautiful and historical tourist attraction and this time of year it’s also home to a romantic outdoor ice skating rink. Skate right outside Henry VIII’s favourite royal hangout and take advantage of the spiced mulled wine on offer.
4. Yosemite National Park, USA
Skate in the shadows of the mighty Half Dome and El Capitan in one of the most beautiful national parks in the world. Ice skating has been a winter tradition in Yosemite since the 1930s and the park offers one of the most beautiful outdoor ice skating rink backgrounds in the world.
5. Berlin, Germany
Berlin‘s important public square Potsdamer Platz is turned into a winter wonderland this time of year. Visitors can choose from a 40m long ice rink, an Alpine ski hut, a 70m ski slope and a wide range of competitions to enter. Another highlight is having the chance to slide down a long slope on a huge rubber tyre.
6. Eiffel Tower, Paris
Enjoy the beautiful views of Paris while skating on this unique small but perfectly formed ice rink. The ice skating rink is located on the first floor observation deck of the famous French landmark – lodged between two of the tower’s massive steel legs. Up to 80 skaters at a time can enjoy this unusual skating experience but vertigo sufferers might want to give this one a miss!
7. Vienna, Austria
This large outdoor ice rink is located right underneath the beautiful illuminated Rathaus (town hall). Make sure you also take advantage of the nearby stalls offering hot drinks and snacks. A great choice if you like your skating venue to be picturesque and atmospheric.
8. Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki offers skaters real snow and very cold temperatures. Ice skating is taken pretty seriously in Finland and the outdoor ice rink in the capital’s main square is spacious and can have a lively atmosphere.
Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto is a popular public gathering place located in front of the City Hall. During the winter here you can also skate on a super-sized rink. Also check out the pretty light display in the evening.
10. Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen, Denmark
Tivoli Gardens is a world famous attraction in the centre of this stylish Danish city. A picturesque ice rink located on a pretty lake opens here for the seasonal holidays. Illuminated trees and fantastic scenery makes for an incredible skating experience.