It’s that time of year when Beijing’s lakes and rivers are frozen over, the perfect time to get your skates on. Here are four suggestions for outdoor ice skating in Beijing.
Note that a couple of these venues are currently closed due to COVID-19 restrictions. But with any luck, they’ll be open again sometime soon.
1. Shichahai 什刹海
Image via Xinhua
Located in the heart of Beijing nearby the Forbidden City, Shichahai has a long history of ice skating. Ever since the reign of Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty, the lake has played host to those who skate competitively or those who just want to have some fun.
Price: RMB30 for a weekday ticket and RMB40 for a weekend or public holiday ticket
Opening hours: Monday-Sunday 9am-5:30pm
How to get there: Take subway line 8 to Shichahai station (什刹海) and walk towards Shichahai park (什刹海公园) from exit A2 or take subway line 6 to Beihaibei station (北海北) and walk towards Shichahai park from exit B.
2. New Summer Palace 颐和园 (Note: ice rink currently closed due to COVID-19 restrictions)
Image via Wikimedia
Unfortunately this is one ice rink which has closed indefinitely due to COVID-19 restrictions. But once it re-opens, you will have the chance to skate on the Kunming Lake amidst breath-taking scenery. Glide across the ice as the Palace Pagoda towers over you.
Price: RMB84 per person
Opening hours: Monday-Sunday 8am-5pm (ice rink currently closed due to COVID-19 restrictions)
How to get there: Take subway line 4 to Beigongmen station (北宫门) or the West Suburban line (西郊线) to Yiheyuan Ximen station (颐和园西门). Follow directions to New Summer Palace.
3. Taoranting Park 陶然亭公园 (Note: ice rink currently closed due to COVID-19 restrictions)
Image via Beijing Visitor
Another ice rink which has unfortunately become the victim of COVID-19 restrictions. But once it opens up, you’ll find it is a great place for families, especially those with young children. Alongside the regular ice rink lies a snowy playground with everything from snow slides to carousels.
Price: RMB50 per person or RMB20 for a five-minute ride on an ice bumper car
Opening hours: Monday-Sunday 9am-5pm (ice rink currently closed due to COVID-19 restrictions)
How to get there: Take subway line 4 to Taoranting station (陶然亭). Head towards Taoranting Park (陶然亭公园) from exit C.
4. Wangfu Zhonghuan Ice Skating World 王府中环滑冰世界
Image via Alistair Baker-Brian
A very small ice rink but an outdoor ice rink nonetheless. It is also a great place for families to skate together. As well leisurely ice skating, children (or indeed parents) can pay for skating classes.
Price: RMB299 for family ticket (up to five people); RMB100 for individual ticket (90 minutes); RMB200 for one-to-one skating class (30 minutes); RMB300 (two people) for one-to-two skating class (30 minutes)
Opening hours: Monday-Sunday 10am-9:30pm
How to get there: Take line 1 to Wangfujing station (王府井). From exit A, head towards the west building of Wangfu Zhonghuan (王府中环西座).
Look hard enough and you will find many more outdoor ice rinks scattered across Beijing. If venturing out into the cold is not for you, you can always skate on an indoor rink, many of which can be found inside the city’s shopping malls.
[Cover image via Sina]