There's something about a skating rink that makes you believe you can defy physics and feel more powerful than your mortal self. The vast expanse of frozen white ground that propels you to build a momentum and glide towards a near flight experience, it's something that really has no equivalent.
Of course, there are those moments when you are jolted back to reality, especially when you have a fall and get a chance to get your face in direct contact with the ice, but that's just part of one of the most exhilarating winter experiences. Skate, fall, get up, and skate again – this is the childhood experience you will never want to outlive.
Here we go on a quick international sweep of the best skating rinks on the planet that will definitely take that experience to the next level.
Rockefeller Center, New York City, USA
New York City is one of the places you just have to be in the winter at some point in your life. The city embraces the season like no other. One of the spots that truly define New York City winter experience is the Rockefeller Center skating rink. The bright lights, the theatrical feel against the backdrop of one of the most happening cities in the world all make the experience of a lifetime. Only 150 skaters are permitted in the rink at any given time, so if patience is really not your virtue, the skating experience would be dampened by the long wait in line. You can work around it by making a reservation via the Vip Skate or First Skate deal they offer.
Depot Ice Rink, Minneapolis, USA
An old train depot doesn’t really sound like an exciting ice skating experience. However, the reality is that this site now houses one of the most popular indoor skating rinks in the country. You have the beautiful snow Minneapolis skyline in all its snow clad glory framed through the wall to ceiling glass walls as you glide along the ice in glee. What makes it really cool is the fact that it's heated so you can take your mind of suppressing your shivers while you focus on having a purely thrilling skating experience.
Rideau Canal Skateway, Ottawa, Canada
Worried about confined spaces? Think your local ice rink is too crowded for you to make your moves? Escape to Canada and land on the world's largest naturally formed ice rink at the Rideau Canal Skateway. We're talking about a 4.8-mile stretch of pristine ice. The skateway has all the provisions you would expect from any standard skating rink in the world. From bathrooms, changing rooms, skate rentals, and regularly maintained ice, there's really nothing you will find wanting here. The best part is that it's absolutely free; however, they do accept donations for the upkeep. Find freedom in 1.8 million square feet of free ice.
Vienna Ice Dream, Vienna, Austria
Europe definitely has its charms and when it comes to ice skating, few rinks around the world can give you the experience of skating at the Vienna Ice Dream in Austria. The 64,000 square foot square that lies in front of the city hall transforms into a fantastic rink during the winter. The amazing light arrangement makes skating at night nothing short of surreal.
Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
Yes, you can actually skate on the Eiffel Tower. The first floor of the tower houses a 2000 square foot skating rink that sits almost 200 feet above the ground and gives you unbelievably amazing views of Paris. The downside is that you can't don your own skates and the upside? No skate rentals. Wearing gloves is compulsory.
Somerset House, London, UK
Care for some colonial style skating? Picture this – you're flying on the ice on your skates. Suddenly you feel a bit chilly and decide to indulge yourself in some high tea. You can have it. Later on, you find yourself swirling champagne glasses and munching on truffles. Of course, you can't imagine not having a grand dinner before you decide to hang up your skates and head home. All of this comes with the special Skate Extras package at the skating rink at the Somerset House.
City Park, Budapest, Hungary
Your European ice skating tour wouldn’t be complete without visiting the largest outdoor skating rink in Europe. Vajdahunyad Castle's lake transforms into one of the most amazing skating rinks on the planet. If you're a true blood skater, you have to come here at least once in your lifetime for the experience.