Ice skating is a magical way to spend a pre-Christmas break in a new city. Celebrate the festive season in style and go skating while staying in a fabulously festive hostel.
From the wonders of Central Park in New York to the snowy mountains of Oslo, there is no shortage of Christmas ice rinks this winter. Perfect as a Christmas treat with friends, you can do some last minute shopping, eat out and go ice skating underneath the stars.
Here are some of our favourites.
Patinoire de L’Hôtel de Ville
Where: Paris, France
When: 19 December 2014 to 1 March 2015
Why: Paris does Christmas extremely well and there is nowhere better in Europe to do a figure-8 than in the French capital. Situated opposite the nineteenth century City Hall, Patinoire de L’Hôtel de Ville is one of the most popular ice rinks in Paris and now is an essential part of the festive season.
Undeniably grand and a good deal romantic, ice skating in Paris is a wonderful place to hold hands with friends.
Cost: €5 per person (Skate rental)
Stay: Dorms are available from €18 at the Peace & Love Hostel.
Skate at Somerset House
Where: London, England
When: 12 November 2014 to 11 January 2015
Why: Situated inside the eighteenth century courtyard, Skate at Somerset House is a popular choice for Londoners. Celebrate the festive season and enjoy a glass of champagne, creamy fondue or a delicious treat from Fortnum’s Lodge.
Come nightfall, the outdoor ice rink becomes an international club lounge, elevating the London ice skating experience into something altogether more glamorous.
Cost: £8.80 to £14.55
Stay: Dorms are available from €28 at The Dictionary, Shoreditch.
Wiener Eistraum (Vienna Ice Dream)
Where: Vienna, Austria
When: 24 January 2015 to 8 March 2015
Why: The Austrian capital is magically transformed into a 6,000m² ice-skating area as a part of the Wiener Eistraum every winter. From late January, the City Hall Square (Rathausplatz) metamorphoses into a gigantic ice surface, making it perfect for ice skating fans. Attracting visitors from across Europe, the Vienna Ice Dream is a snowy paradise for visitors of all ages.
Cost: €6.50 per person (Skate rental)
Stay: Dorms are available from €13 at A&O Wien Stadthalle.
Wollman Rink at Central Park, New York
Where: New York City, United States
When: November 2014 to March 2015
Why: Ice skating is a New Yorker tradition and one of the highlights of the festive season. With its crisp winter air and romantic skyline, ice-skating in Central Park is like dancing through an urban fire forest.
Get your Christmas skates on and enjoy the music, and take in the breathtaking surroundings of Central Park.
From November through March skating is available in the southern end of the Central Park at Wollman Rink and in the northern end at Lasker Rink.
Cost: $5 to $11.25
Stay: Dorms are available from €43 at Hostelling International New York
Varosligeti Mujegpalya (Budapest Outdoor Ice Rink)
Where: Budapest, Hungary
When: November 2014 – March 2015
Why: Forming part of an enormous ice rink park in Varoliget Park, the Budapest Outdoor Ice Rink is the largest in Europe at 12,000sqm and is open from the end of October until March 2015. Unlike most other big city ice rinks, there are no sessions in Budapest, so you can stay on all day if you like.
Cost: HUF 1,500 on weekdays and HUF 2,000 on weekends.
Stay: Dorms are available from €6 at the Budapest Budget Hostel*
*20% discount for HostelsClub.com Membership Card holders (4 nights minimum) and 20% discount for 20 or more guests (2 nights minimum).
Spikersuppa in Oslo
Where: Oslo, Norway
When: Nov 2014 to March 2015
Why: Ice skating in Oslo might seem like an everyday experience to Norwegians used to bitter, cold winters. But for travellers arriving in Olso it’s a charming experience and one that takes place opposite the National Theatre.
Spikersuppa is free to use by everyone. Bring your own ice skates, or rent a pair from the pavilion next to the rink for NOK 100 per day.
Stay: Dorms are available from €28 at the Anker Hostel.