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Top 10 best outdoor ice skating rinks in the world

Rathaus in Vienna, Austria ice skating on GlobalGrasshopper.com

Ice Skating is a great seasonal activity, especially for couples and families. One of the oldest and most popular recreational activities, outdoor skating gives you a chance to have some fun in the crisp winter air. Here is our Top 10 of 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

Somerset House ice skating on GlobalGrasshopper.com 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.

  • Ice Rink opens from November to January
  • For more information about ice skating at Somerset House

2. Rockefeller Center, New York

Rockefeller Center ice skating on GlobalGrasshopper.comPhoto: Bob Jagendorf

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.

  • Ice Rink opens from October – April
  • For more information on ice skating at the Rockefeller Center

3. Hampton Court, Greater London

Hampton Court Palace ice skating on GlobalGrasshopper.com

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

Yosemite valley ice skating on GlobalGrasshopper.comPhoto: satosphere

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.

  • Ice skating rink is open from mid-November until early March
  • For more information on ice skating in Yosemite National Park

5. Berlin, Germany

Potsdamer Platz, Berlin on GlobalGrasshopper.comPhoto: ljcybergal

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.

  • Opens from early October to January
  • For more information on ice skating in Winter Welt Berlin

6. Eiffel Tower, Paris

Tour Eiffel Ice Rink on GlobalGrasshopper.com

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!

  • Opens from December to February
  • For more information on skating at the Eiffel Tower

7. Vienna, Austria

Rathaus in Vienna, Austria ice skating on GlobalGrasshopper.comPhoto: Olivier Bruchez

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.

  • Opens from end of January to early March
  • For more information on ice skating in Vienna

8. Helsinki, Finland

Helsinki ice skating on GlobalGrasshopper.comPhoto: Andy Crowe

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.

  • The ice rink is open from November to mid March
  • For more information on ice skating in Helsinki

9. Toronto, Canada

Nathan Phillips Square, Toronto ice skating on GlobalGrasshopper.comPhoto: wvs

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.

  • The ice rink is open from end November to mid March
  • For more information on skating in Toronto

10. Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen, Denmark

Tivoli-Gardens-ice-skating on GlobalGrasshopper.comPhoto

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.

  • Open from November to December
  • For more information on ice skating on Tivoli Gardens

If you have enjoyed Top 10 best outdoor ice skating rinks in the World 2011 & 2012 we also have lots of other seasonal posts

Born in England, with a few family roots from Bavaria, and a heart in Scandinavia I’ve always been a bit of a restless soul. My first true adventure began as a six month voyage around South East Asia as a fresh faced backpacker and ever since I’ve lived a semi nomadic existence, clocking up over 40 countries on trips and living in Dublin, South East Asia and Australia. I’m a lover of US Road Trips, deserted beaches bathed in warm glow of a sunset, Cuban mojitos, easy-on-the-eye travel destinations far away from the tourist crowds and all things Scandinavian – from cloudberry liquors to Scandi Noirs. When not wandering the world, you’ll find me walking my rescue dog in leafy South West London, strolling around the Brighton Laines on random day trips, hunting for photogenic landscapes or daydreaming about returning to my all time favourite places in the world; Havana, Copenhagen, Italy, Thailand and the frozen landscapes of a wintry Iceland. Follow Becky on Twitter and Google+.


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