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11 of the world's best outdoor ice skating rinks | Insight Guides Blog

11 of the world's best outdoor ice skating rinks

Somerset house ice rink in London
Somerset house ice rink in London. Photo: Ivica Drusany/Shutterstock

With the chilly weather whipping through the air and the holidays fast approaching, many are venturing outdoors to give their favourite winter sports a go. What better way to celebrate the season than by ice skating under the stars? We've rounded up some of the world's most enchanting outdoor ice skating rinks.

Rideau Canal Skateway (Ottawa)

Known throughout Canada and beyond, the Rideau Canal attracts skaters by the thousands when it freezes over each year. Coasting on the ice is the perfect way to take in the many glittering wintertime sights in Ottawa, especially during Winterlude—the city's annual winter celebration.

Rideau Canal Skateway (Ottawa). Photo: Clive Watkins/Shutterstock

The Rink at Rockefeller Center (New York City)

Nothing epitomizes the holiday spirit like the iconic skating rink at Rockefeller Center. This charming tourist attraction may not be the largest rink in the city, but skating beneath the dazzling lights of the Rock Center Christmas tree is nothing short of magical.

The Rink at Rockefeller Center (New York City). Photo: Marcio Jose Bastos Silva/Shutterstock

Somerset House (London)

One of the most popular outdoor rinks in London, Somerset House instantly charms visitors with its lovely eighteenth-century courtyard. With twinkling snowflake lights reflecting across the ice, nighttime skating and winter fun are taken to new heights.

The Nordana Skating Rink (Sweden)

When the chill of winter sets in, Nordana's small ponds freeze over to create one of the most stunning outdoor ice skating locales. The biggest draw, by far, is the ability to zip along the ice while the Northern Lights dance across the sky overhead.

McCormick Tribune Ice Rink (Chicago)

This wintery wonderland is a staple of Chicago's Millennium Park. Skaters can experience the magic of the Windy City by being surrounded by some of the most stunning views the city has to offer.

McCormick Tribune Ice Rink (Chicago). Photo: Radoslaw Lecyk/Shutterstock

Zizhuyuan Park Skating Rink (Beijing)

Boasting a thrill-inducing slide that extends over 17 meters, the skating rink at Zizhuyuan Park is also one of Beijing's biggest ice courses. Lovers of winter will also enjoy the wide array of frosty activities—from ice ships to ice bicycles.

Wollman Skating Rink (New York City)

When it comes to ringing in the holiday season, New York City is hard to beat. Wollman Skating Rink is nestled in the heart of Central Park, sandwiched between the towering midtown skyscrapers that make up the city's famous skyline.

Wollman Skating Rink (New York City). Photo: Kris Yeager/Shutterstock

Westchester Lagoon Family Skate (Anchorage)

When winter has us in its grip, skating on Westchester Lagoon makes every indoor rink pale in comparison. The natural rink is set against incredible snow-dipped mountaintops and towering trees all around.

Helsinki Icepark (Helsinki)

Located in the pulsating metropolis of Helsinki, the Icepark boasts impressive views of spectacular Finnish architecture. Skaters can also warm up with live music and a hot cup of coffee.

Helsinki Icepark (Helsinki). Photo: Radoslaw Lecyk/Shutterstock

Potsdamer Platz (Berlin)

Every year, Potsdamer Platz sparkles with holiday magic when it kicks off its annual Winter World. The skating rink is front and center, providing an adventure break for holiday shoppers. Skaters can also take toboggan runs in between.

VDNKh Skating Rink (Moscow)

This rink holds the title of biggest artificial ice rink in Europe. Neon lights line the rink, which cast a mystical glow over the strapping buildings of Moscow.

VDNKh Skating Rink (Moscow). Photo: Kekyalyaynen/Shutterstock

Read more: Top 5 ice skating rinks in London