A favourite wintertime tradition, gliding across the ice at an outdoor rink is one of the most nostalgic experiences we can think of. And all the better if it lies within picturesque surroundings. From New York City to Beijing, here’s where to go ice skating in winter around the world.
Skate at Somerset House, London
Situated on London’s prestigious avenue, The Strand, Somerset House provides a stunning backdrop for one of the capital’s most celebrated ice rinks. Amidst impressive neoclassical surroundings, which are atmospherically lit for the festive season, skaters can glide across the courtyard’s sparkling ice rink before sipping hot chocolate in the rink-side Skate Lounge.
Natural History Museum Ice Rink, London
Across London, in the Royal borough of Kensington and Chelsea, is another of the city’s best winter ice rinks. In collaboration with Swarovski, it’s the Natural History Museum that’s behind the stunning ice rink that lies within the museum’s grounds, bordered by trees adorned with twinkling lights.
The Eiffel Tower Ice Rink, Paris
There aren’t many landmarks that can evoke romance quite like the Eiffel Tower. But this setting becomes even more magical each winter with the arrival of the Eiffel Tower Ice Rink. Spread across the first floor of the tower, the rink sits 57 metres above ground, with a six-metre-high red model of the Eiffel Tower as decoration.
Red Square Rink, Moscow
With the Kremlin and St Basil’s Cathedral on one side and the merchants’ area of Kitay-Gorod on the other, Red Square draws visitors in year-round. In winter, this is also the setting for the city’s famous ice rink, with sparkling lights adorning the square’s landmarks adding to the festive cheer.
Princes Street Gardens Ice Rink, Edinburgh
Perhaps better known as Winter Wonderland, this ice rink in Edinburgh’s Princes Street Gardens returns each winter. An impressive sight, its situated beneath a Big Wheel and the Scott Monument, with Edinburgh Castle as its dramatic backdrop.
The Rink at Rockefeller Center, New York
This winter rink is without doubt one of the most famous worldwide, and high on the list of many visitors to New York at this time. Returning this winter for its 80th year, the Rink at Rockefeller Center provides one of the most iconic experiences people can have in the Big Apple.
Wiener Eistraum, Vienna
Translating to ‘Vienna Ice Dream’, Wiener Eistraum is a captivating sight, spread across the square in front of the City Hall. Illuminated with coloured lights at night, this rink is an idyllic way to take in the Austrian city’s architectural grandeur.
Rideau Canal Skateway, Ottawa
Each winter, a section of Ottawa’s great waterway, the Rideau Canal, freezes over and becomes the world’s largest outdoor skating rink, stretching across 7.8 kilometres. Food and drink vendors line the icy stretch, providing skaters with refreshment when they take a break from the ice.
Shichahai Lake, Beijing
By visiting Beijing in the midst of winter, people can experience local life by joining the city’s residents on this popular outdoor ice rink in the historic area of Shichahai. As the lake freezes over each year, both locals and tourists rent skates as well as ice bicycles and ice chairs.
Wondering where to go ice skating this winter? Travel to any of these destinations on a trip with Trafalgar.
Image credits: Cover photo and top image of Skate at Somerset House © Somerset House. The Natural History Museum Ice Rink © The Natural History Museum. The Eiffel Tower Ice Rink © Flickr / Caravanum. The Red Square Rink in Moscow © iStock / ru3apr. Princes Street Gardens Ice Rink in Edinburgh © iStock / BMPix.The Rink at Rockefeller Center in New York © iStock / shunyufan. Wiener Eistraum Rink in Vienna © Flickr / Kabayanmark Images. Rideau Canal Skateway in Ottawa © iStock / Sisoje. Shichahai Lake Ice Rink in Beijing © iStock / axz66.