Most of us just stumble round and round on ice skates like a herd of clumsy sheep, as we hold on to anything we can to try not to fall. Yet we still go mad for the ice. If you're looking to scrape around in your own ice show in Barcelona, look no further. We've compiled a list of ice rinks in the city where you can perfect your figures of eight or just see who can remain upright for the longest.
If you're up for ice skating in Barcelona, now's your chance with the annual ice rink BarGelona ('gel' is Catalan for 'ice', see what they did there?), once again this year in La Farga in L'Hospitalet, with a surface of 4,000 m2, and room for 350 skaters on the rink (in addition to the kids' rink equipped with trained helpers), making it the biggest ice rink in Europe. It's free to get in to the stands to watch if you're not up for a skate. There's a big café, a recreation area for teens and kids, sporty games like street curling and hockey, live music and exhibitions. For the second year in a row, you can have the option of going down a 50m ice slide as well. And that's not all: they've also got a storytelling Christmas tree, an inflatable rock-climbing wall and a go-kart track. What else could any kid (big or small) ask for?
Dates: Dec 2, 2016 – Jan 8, 2017
Times: Mon-Thu 11am-9pm; Fri, Sat 11am-10pm: Sun 11am-9pm. Exceptions: Dec 25, 11am-2pm 5pm-9pm; Dec 31. 11am-7pm; Jan 1, noon-9pm
Prices: 1/2 hour skate: €7, 1 hour skate: €10; 3 goes on the slide: €5, 8 goes: €10; 1/2 hour skate + 3 goes on the slide: €10, 1 hour skate + 3 goes on the slide: €12
Though smaller than some of the other ice rinks in town, the one located at the back of the Pedralbes Centre has plenty of charm, and it’s ideal for kids. The rink is a pioneer in Barcelona, having first opened in 1999 at this shopping centre in the Les Corts neighbourhood.
Dates: Nov 26, 2016 – Jan 8, 2017
Times: The timetables change depending on the day
Prices: €8 (reduced, €4)
At La Maquinista shopping centre, for 18 of the days their ice rink is open (from November 24 to January 8), you can skate for only €3! The rest of the time you’ll spend €6 for 30 minutes, skates included. The shopping centre is decorated with traditional Christmas lights, and the outdoor rink is located in Plaça del Rellotge, surrounded by shops and cafés. The set-up is similar to that of the Pedralbes Centre rink – cosy and with the advantage of combining your shopping with a nice ice-skating break (or vice versa).
Dates: Nov 24, 2016 – Jan 8, 2017
Times: Mon-Fri 5pm-9pm; Sat, Sun, holidays, and Dec 21 to Jan 8 11am-2.30pm, 4pm-9.30pm; Dec 24 and 31, and Jan 5 11am-2pm, 4pm-8pm; Dec 25 and Jan 1 5pm-9.30pm
Prices: €3 days: Nov 24, 27-30; Dec 1, 12-15, 19-21, 25 and 26; Jan 1 and 6. (Otherwise €6.)
This indoor year-round rink is a sure thing for having a great time on blades. Any day of the year you can try out your fresh moves for about €15, skates included. Be sure to check their website for discounts and deals for solo skating or for you and three of your friends. And if you have kids, it's a great place to throw a birthday party for them.
Dates: Year round
Times: Mon-Fri 10.30am-2pm, 4.30pm-8.30pm; Sat 10.30am-2pm, 4.30pm-9pm; Sun, holidays 10.30am-2pm, 4.30pm-8.30pm
You've likely heard of this place before... The Barça ice rink is one of the most emblematic in the city, where a blue-and-red heart beats. Near Camp Nou and the Palau Blaugrana, the FC Barcelona ice rink hosts training sessions and competitions of figure skating and hockey, and the rink is open to the public every day of the week. With prices similar to Skating Club (above), you get skates and turns on the ice for €13.40 (Barça members get a discount).
Dates: Year round
Times: Mon, Tue 10am-6pm; Wed 10am-2pm; Thu 10am-6pm; Fri 10am-2pm, 5pm-8pm; Sat, Sun, holidays 11am-2pm, 5pm-8.30pm
Prices: €13.40 (Barça members get a discount)
Ice skating schools
Finding a place to ice skate in Barcelona is easy enough. You can take to the rink practically whenever you want at Skating Club or the Barça installation. But learning how to do pirouettes, figures of eight and other fancy moves is not so simple. If you’ve always had dreams of swirling with grace around the ice, know that these same two places also offer classes for all ages and levels, so you have no excuse not to try it out. The courses are quarterly, and you’ll invest about €200 in your lessons. Barça’s are one hour per week, and at Skating Club they’re an hour and a quarter per week.
Get your own pair of skates
If it's clear that you were born to ice skate and you're tired of wasting all that money on ill-fitting rental skates, it just might be time for you to buy a pair of your own. At L’Estel Skates (Canigó, 3) they offer a variety of figure skates, hockey skates and roller skates; in fact, they're the official suppliers of the Spanish Federation of ice skating and roller skating. In addition to kitting out your feet, you can find great clothing and accessories like skirts, thermal tights, backpacks and much more than you can possibly imagine.