We sped across the ice, 187 feet above Paris. We took in breathtaking views of the city skyline while sipping warm hot chocolate on the ice. We braved the bitter chill to carve out figure eights high above the rooftops of the French capital, illuminated by the twinkling lights of the tower above us.
It was almost as if we were skating on air; but no. We were skating between two immense latticed steel legs. We were skating inside the Eiffel tower!
Every winter, ice-skating rinks are set up around Paris for locals and tourists alike, however you would never expect that one of these rinks would be located within one of the world’s most famous landmarks! Refreshment stands; yes. Souvenir shops and fancy restaurants; also expected. But an ice skating rink in the sky?!
The ice skating rink atop the Eiffel tower is probably the most impractical addition the tower has seen in it’s 124 years of existence, but also the coolest! It is a completely new way to view the city, and as if Paris wasn’t romantic enough, the intimacy of the rink makes for an incredibly magical experience…and also a cheap one!
Entry is free for Eiffel Tower visitors and skates are loaned. €3 was money well spent for hot chocolate and mulled wine from the frozen open air bar, and our lift entrance ticket to the top cost only €14,50.
For those not heading to the top, access to first and second floor will only cost €9,00. Combined with reasonable accommodation in Paris at this time of year, it’s a surprisingly budget friendly experience!
The original idea behind the installation of the rink back in 2004 was to boost interest in Paris’ candidacy for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. Open each year during December and January, the rink saw 1,000 visitors each day throw on skates and brave the winter chill.
Closed this year (2013) due to renovations on the first floor, the rink will be re-opened December 2014.
In Paris now? These rinks offer equally breathtaking views of the city and just as much fun!
2013-2014 Paris Ice Skating Rinks:
- Hotel de Ville (Metro Hotel de Ville): Open Mon – Fri 12pm – 10pm from December 21st, 2013 through to March 2nd, 2014. Saturday, Sunday and bank holidays: 9am-10pm.
- Rink at Santa’s Village, Avenue des Champs-Elysées: Open until January 5th, 2014. Take in some ice skating and then head through the famous Avenue des Champs-Elysees. Metro: Charles de Gaulle Etoile, Franklin D. Roosevelt
- Ice Rink at Trocadero: Open until January 5th 2014, this giant ice rink might not be inside the tower, but does offer spectacular views of it. There is also a snow park with sledding for kids and cross-country skiing. Location: Place de la Trocadero, Metro Trocadero