World’s Coolest Places to Ice Skate
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Vienna Ice Dream, Vienna
You’ll feel like you’re floating through a fairytale with a spin around the Vienna Ice Dream rink. With the dreamily lit Rathaus (City Hall) as your backdrop, glide over 23,000 square feet of ice illuminated by twinkling holiday lights. Want to try another alpine sport? Curling lanes are open on weeknights. Or watch all the action by the outdoor stalls, selling strudel, beer and hot punch.
National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
Located on the National Mall, Smithsonian’s Sculpture Garden ice rink is surrounded by modern works of art. Enjoy the relatively mild Washington, DC, winter temperatures skating in the open air. On special nights get your groove on while you skate with music from local DJs.
Banff Lake Louise, Canada
Forget the man-made rinks and skate on the natural wonder of Banff's Lake Louise, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Surrounded by the snow-capped Canadian Rockies, take a spin on this mile-long rink on one of Canada’s most scenic lakes.
City Park Ice Rink, Budapest
If you find yourself in Budapest in the winter, you can’t miss a spin around the frozen lake in Varosliget (City Park). With the Vajdahunyad Castle in the background, this is one of Europe’s largest outdoor skating areas and surely most scenic, too.
Rockefeller Center, New York
One of the most well-known ice skating rinks in New York, and possibly America, is at Rockefeller Center, New York. With towing skyscrapers and colorful holiday lights as a backdrop, skating on this iconic rink is a New York winter experience not to be missed.
Dubai Ice Rink, Dubai
Ice skating in the Middle East? Over-the-top Dubai amazes us yet again with their new indoor Olympic-size ice rink. Take a break from the desert heat and chill out in this climate-controlled venue year-round.
Somerset House, London
If you’re in London during winter, you can’t miss a spin around the rink at historic Somerset House, a spectacular neoclassical building in the heart of the city near the River Thames. Enjoy music from London's top DJs and refuel at the rink-side bar Tom's Skate Lounge with mulled wine or hot chocolate.
Winter World, Berlin
Grab your skates and head to Winter World at Potsdamer Platz, the most popular city square in Germany’s capital. Ice skating is just one of the winter sports to try here -- don’t miss a bobsled ride on the 230-foot-long mobile toboggan run, the largest one in Europe.
Hotel del Coronado, San Diego
San Diego, known for its sun, sand and … ice skating? Hotel del Coronado is so passionate about the the holidays they offer their “Skate by the Sea” tradition -- an ice skating rink right under the palm trees on the beach -- every year from Thanksgiving to New Year’s.
Fuji-Q Highland, Japan
You couldn’t dream of a more dramatic background for ice skating than snow-capped Mt. Fuji. While it’s known for its 7 terrifying roller coasters, Japan’s Fuji-Q Highland amusement park offers more than 165,750 square feet of outdoor ice-skating space for winter fun.
While the Dutch love to ride their bikes, they love to lace up their skates in winter, too. For a magical experience in Amsterdam, head to the festively illuminated Museumplein (“Museum Square”) ice rink in front of Rijksmuseum. For the ultimate Dutch experience, refuel at the poffertjes stalls, offering delish miniature pancakes covered with powdered sugar.