Last updated: 07:00 PM ET, Mon December 21 2015

7 Superb Ice-Skating Rinks From Around the World

Features & Advice | Will Hatton | December 21, 2015

7 Superb Ice-Skating Rinks From Around the World

PHOTO: New York City's Rockefeller Center rink. (photo via Twitter/rockcenternyc)

Rink season in the northern hemisphere is truly awesome, and is something everyone should get a chance to experience. From cruising around European markets, drinking mulled wine to strolling through Times Square in New York with the decorations fully lit, you can’t help but get sucked into the festive atmosphere.

A huge part of this time of year for me growing up was getting to skate on the frozen pond near the house each winter. Since then, I have accumulated many hours ice-skating in venues around the world. Here are my seven favorites:

Somerset House, London

One of the most popular ice-skating destinations in the U.K., Somerset House is London’s original outdoor rink. Set in an 18th century courtyard filled with Christmas cheer, you can’t help but get pulled into it. Aside from the cheerful vibes, in all honesty, it’s also an awesome place to meet girls.

Medeo - Kazakhstan

Hidden away in the mountains of Kazakhstan at over 5,200 feet above sea level lies Medeo, the highest ice skating rink in the world. If you’re a fan of trying the ice around the world and have a bit of a need for speed, this is the place to hit! A lot of speed skating records were made here, and you can double up with skiing at the nearby resort of Chimbulak.

Rathausplatz - Vienna

A stunning part of Europe, Vienna is home to an absolutely massive rink outside the town hall (Rathausplatz). Locally dubbed Vienna Ice World, even those who aren’t a great fan of ice-skating would still think this is pretty cool while having a drink at the nearby bar!

Rockefeller Center - New York

Who doesn’t love Christmas in New York? We all know there’s something special in the air here, seen either in movies or through firsthand experience. In America, a common rule is “go big or go home,” but in this case the rink is actually quite small, with only enough space for 150 skaters at a time. I guess they’ve taken something from us British?

Rideau Canal Skateway - Ottawa

Photo by Will Hatton

About 125 miles long, this canal connects the cities of Kingston and Ottawa. Built in the 1800s in preparation for a potential war between the U.S. and Canada, now it is just a beautiful water feature connecting two urban areas. But more exciting that that, a five-mile stretch of the canal has been converted to an ice-skating “rink” — not much is cooler than that!

Hampton Court - London

Hampton Court, made famous by Henry the VIII, also is home to another of London’s winter wonderlands. Here you can skate on the spot where some of England’s greatest monarchs have stood — just feel the power!

Fuji-Q Highland - Japan

Christmas in Japan? Why not, when you have three different rinks to choose from at Fuji-Q! Gliding over the ice with Mount Fuji in the background, whilst weaving through a sea of locals is a hilarious way to spend an icy day. The best one in my mind is the Crystal Lagoon rink, so make sure you give it a go.

Winter will be hanging around for a little longer, so there’s still time to visit these icy hotspots. Heck, maybe one is already on your Bucket List.


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