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Top 10 of the most beautiful outdoor ice rinks in Europe

Top 10 the best outdoor ice skating rinks

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 are 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 – one of the most popular outdoor ice skating in the UK

Somerset House ice skating

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

2. Rockefeller Center, New York – one of the most iconic outdoor ice skating rinks in the world

Rockefeller Center ice skating

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 ice skating

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 ice skating

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

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.

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 outdoor 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

Vienna ice skating

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

8. Helsinki, Finland

Ice Skating in Helsinki

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

9. Toronto, Canada

Ice skating in Toronto

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.com

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.

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Born in England, with a few family roots from Bavaria, and a special fondness for 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 visits to over 40 countries. I'm a lover of US Road Trips, deserted beaches bathed in warm glow of a sunset, Cuban mojitos, travel destinations far away from the tourist crowds and all things Scandinavian - from cloudberry liquors to Nordic 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 favourite places; Havana, Copenhagen, Italy, Thailand and the frozen landscapes of a wintry Iceland.


  • Beth

    21 May, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    Skating on at outdoor rink with no sides to hold onto is very different. But I still love Helsinki. Skating under the stars is quite exciting. The Icepark is located in the heart of Helsinki. Next to the central railwaystation. This outdoor ice rink is open daily from the beginning of November until the end of March, and offers locals and visitors alike the opportunity to skate surrounded by some of Helsinki’s most beautiful buildings.

  • Leigh

    4 December, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    You’ve got some beautiful rinks in there but in my humble opinion I would take Ottawa’s Rideau Canal – a UNESCO site – over downtown Toronto. I have written a similar post but on Canadian only outdoor skating rinks.

    Of the others I’d love to skate at the Rockefeller Center.

  • Jenny

    9 December, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    I’ve been to the Hampton Court and it’s a great venue for an outdoor ice rink – it has a real Christmassy vibe. I definitely recommended it.

  • Aaron Schubert

    3 January, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    That looks like awesome fun! Particularly like the Yosemite picture. It’s a pity we don’t have snow here in Western Australia!


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