Paris ice skating rinks
Put on your earmuffs and glide, baby, glide
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.
- Place de l’Hôtel de Ville, 4e
- 18 Dec-3 Mar 2013, 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.
- Village de Noël Champs-Elysées, between the Rond-Point des Champs-Elysées and Place de la Concorde, 8e
- 16 Nov-6 Jan 2013, Mon-Fri 11am-11pm; Sat, Sun 11am-midnight
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.
- 1 rue Edouard Pailleron, 19e
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.
- Bercy - Palais d'Omnisports, Access via Porte 28, 12e