Skating at the Hôtel de Ville
Ice-skating enthusiasts could not do better than make a winter trip to Paris. Every year a large ice-rink is created outside the Hôtel de Ville, and the ice skating is absolutely free (hire of skates costs just 5 euros). Skating is available from 12pm-10pm Monday-Thursday; 12pm-12am Friday; 9am-12am Saturday; and 9am-10pm Sunday.
The imposing Hôtel de Ville (city hall) has had a turbulent past. Completed in the early 17th century, it was all but destroyed by extremists during the Paris Commune (1871). Reconstruction lasted from 1873-92. The new Hôtel de Ville was a faithful reconstruction of the Renaissance building, and forms a magnificent backdrop to the ice rink.
Located on the edge of the lively Marais district, you can always enjoy a stroll around the shops and bars, visit the Picasso Museum, or have a restorative drink under the arcades in the beautiful Place des Vosges.
2012/13 dates are provisional.