Paris ice skating rinks

Put on your earmuffs and glide, baby, glide

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Oliver Knight

What's more Christmassy than strapping on a pair of ice skates and doing figure-8s under the stars? Tumbling onto the ice with flailing arms while 80s rock blares from the loudspeakers, of course. Besides the two skating rinks that are accessible year round, a number of venues are specially open around the city for winter (wonderland) games. Put on your earmuffs and glide, baby, glide.

Christmas ice skating in Paris

Patinoire de L’Hôtel de Ville

The most popular seasonal ice skating venue in town (and with the queues to prove it), this huge open-air rink in front of the city hall has become a symbol of Christmas in Paris. It’s especially grand after sundown, when the handsome 19th-century building is lit up against the chilly sky. New to the ice? Fear not: the 1,365-square-metre rink includes a smaller area for children and beginners. Trained instructors will also be available to help with your skating technique. Anyone up for a double Axel? Price: Free entry, €5 for skate rental. For more info click here.

  1. Place de l’Hôtel de Ville, 4e
  2. 21 Dec - 2 Mar 2014, Mon-Fri noon-10pm; Sat, Sun 9am-10pm

Patinoire des Cinq Continents, Champs-Elysées

Surrounded by the marvel and over-the-top revelry of the Champs-Elysées’s annual Christmas village, this skating rink takes the world’s five continents as its theme, with some 300 animated pandas, deer, wolves, polar bears and assorted other animals populating an ice garden. A 60-metre-long ice path winds through the rink, which also includes areas for speed skating and games, and an artificial ice surface for small children. For more info, click here.

  1. Village de Noël Champs-Elysées, between the Rond-Point des Champs-Elysées and Place de la Concorde, 8e
  2. 15 Nov - 5 Jan 2014, Sun-Thu 10.30am-midnight; Fri-Sat 10.30am-1am

Patinoire Pailleron

Reopened in 2006, this rink is part of a renovated art deco sports complex. Skaters can sign up for hockey and dance lessons on the ice.

For more info, click here.

  1. 1 rue Edouard Pailleron, 19e
More info

Patinoire Sonja Henie

Paris’ ice-rink is named after pre-war Norwegian ice-skating champion Sonja Heinie, credited with the invention of certain performance styles in figure skating. On Wednesdays, Fridays and weekends, don your leotards and leg-warmers and show Paris just how graceful you can be. During the weekend night sessions (which run until 12.30am), the music cranks up a notch and coloured lights ripple over the ice in psychedelic splashes. When the skating’s over, Bercy Village, home to bars, restaurants and the UGC multiscreen cinema complex, is just a ten-minute walk away. Skates and pads are available for hire. Access to Patinoire Sonja Heinie is via Porte 28.

  1. Bercy - Palais d'Omnisports, Access via Porte 28, 12e
More info

Trocadéro

Try some snowshoes or cross country skiing in addition to ice skating at this Alpine resort across from the Eiffel Tower. Free entry, rentals for €5.

For more info, click here.

  1. Esplanade des Droits de l'Homme, 16e
  2. Dec 13 - Jan 6, Daily 11am-8pm

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