Lonely Planet Writer

Lace up your skates and take a brief trip through 10 of the most iconic rinks in the world

During winter, frozen rivers and lakes around the world are transformed into ice rinks with locals and visitors taking to the ice on top of mountains, under the stars, and even in the middle of vibrant cities.

A girl ice skates on a frozen lake in Silverton, Colorado.
A girl ice skates on a frozen lake in Silverton, Colorado. Image by Getty Images

We have pulled together a ranking of the most visited and well-rated ice rinks around the world.

Ottawa: Rideau Canal

People Ice Skating On Rideau Canal.
People Ice Skating On Rideau Canal. Image by Getty Images

The largest naturally frozen ice rink in the world is set on the scenic  Rideau Canal  in Ottawa Canada, where every day, around 20,000 visitors skate across the 4.8 mile (7.8km) ice surface.

Moscow: VDNKh

Outdoor ice skating rink at the VDNKh Exhibition Center.
Outdoor ice skating rink at the VDNKh Exhibition Center. Image by Getty Images

This skating rink can at one time accommodate up to 4500 skaters on over 20,000 square meters, making it the largest artificial ice rink in the world.

Alberta: Lake Louise

Lake Louise, Alberta, Canadian Rockies.
Lake Louise, Alberta, Canadian Rockies. Image by Getty Images

Every winter, the turquoise waters of Lake Louise freeze to form The Alberta Ice Rink, giving skaters from all around the world the opportunity to glide across its smooth surface in the heart of the Canadian Rockies. Canada has four ice rinks on the list. As well as the Alberta Rink, it is also home to the Nathan Philips Square in Toronto, Rideau Canal Skateway in Ottawa and Grouse Mountain Ice Skating Pond in Vancouver.

Wollman Rink, New York

New Yorkers ice skating at the Wollman Memorial Rink in Central Park, New York.
New Yorkers ice skating at the Wollman Memorial Rink in Central Park.   Image by Getty Images

This iconic ice-skating rink, featured in numerous Hollywood movies such as Serendipity and August Rush has been open to the public since 1950.

Here’s a  practical guide to these and other rinks, with opening times, prices and details of what the rinks transform into during the warmer months of the year.


Discover ten of the world’s best outdoor ice rinks, where you can skate in the middle of cities, on top of mountains or on frozen rivers.

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