Ice skating has been a popular sport for centuries, and there’s no doubt that the world has seen some incredible indoor and outdoor rinks over the years. The ones that we get to enjoy today stand out with magnificent views, astounding aesthetics, and unbeatable history.
You don’t need to be an Olympic figure skater to appreciate the beauty and competitive spirit instilled in some of the world’s most memorable ice skating rinks. Whether they’ve played host to history-making figure skating routines or magnificent outdoor views, you won’t want to miss six of the coolest ice skating rinks out there.
1. Rideau Canal Skateway, Ottawa, Canada
If you’re a history buff, this one’s for you. The Rideau Canal Skateway, located in Ottawa, Canada, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that first opened in 1832. The oldest continuously operated canal system in North America, it becomes the world’s largest naturally frozen ice skating rink in the winter months. And if that isn’t impressive enough, the rink itself spans 5 miles—the equivalent of 90 Olympic-size rinks!
2. Gangneung Ice Arena, Gangneung, South Korea
There’s no doubt that the most recent Olympic Winter Games produced some incredible routines that left many of us with our jaws on the floor. Getting the chance to skate where some of your figure skating idols once skated is a lifelong dream for many, putting Gangneung Ice Arena on our list. Located in Gangneung, South Korea, this arena has a mighty 12,000 person seating capacity. While many Olympic venues are built for the event and never used again, leaving enormous carbon footprints, the Gangneung Ice Arena incorporated an environmentally-friendly ice cooling system and is now used for local recreational purposes.
3. Banff’s Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada
If you’ve ever dreamed of ice skating amongst tall, majestic mountains, this is your chance. Another Canadian rink and UNESCO World Heritage Site, Lake Louise sits inside Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada. When the ice becomes thick enough during the winter, the lake turns into a magical skating rink—complete with a spectacular ice castle created by the team at the Fairmont Chateau Hotel. You won’t want to miss out on skating alongside some of the world’s most beautiful views.
4. Iceberg Skating Palace, Sochi, Russia
If you’re an ice dancer or just love to watch the sport, this next ice skating rink is for you. The Iceberg Skating Palace was built in Sochi, Russia and used for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. This skating arena boasts incredible architecture and modern design, and also incorporates some environmentally conscious aspects. This rink hosted many inspiring skating routines and performers, including world-famous ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White, who brought home gold for the United States in their event.
5. Curry Village Ice Skating Rink, Yosemite National Park, California
You might picture California as exclusively characterized by warm sandy beaches and weather that never goes below 75—but you’d be mistaken. Hidden within the United State’s third oldest national park, Curry Village Ice Skating Rink will not disappoint. Glide your skates across a magnificent, frosty surface beneath Yosemite’s iconic granite Half Dome and Glacier Point. With breathtakingly beautiful and unique views, you won’t want to miss out on testing some of your figure skating skills on this rink.
6. Somerset House, London, England
For that classic historical feel, you’ll want to head across the pond in the winter to the Somerset House ice skating rink. Feel like a royal while you spin, glide, and twirl surrounded by the elegant, 18th-century neoclassical building that houses the rink. Head to the rink around Christmas if you want to catch a glimpse of the glorious 40-foot Christmas tree that dominates the landscape. Plus, what better way to break in those brand new figure skating boots Santa brought for you?
Hit the Ice With Customized Skates from Riedell
Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned veteran, you don’t want to just be a spectator at an incredible ice skating rink—you’ll want to be out on the ice experiencing it for yourself. Of course, when skating at one-of-a-kind rinks, you’ll need ice skates that can live up to the experience and serve you well for years to come.
At Riedell, our master craftsmen can design and build your custom ice skates to exacting specifications, with features like prescription orthotics, high or low arches, heel spurs, toe room, and more. So before you take off on your trip to see some of the world’s best figure skating rinks, head to one of our authorized dealers, or contact us today to get started on building your best figure skate boots.