Last Updated on 25th January 2023 by Sophie Nadeau
In 2019, for the first time ever, it was possible to go ice skating at Galeries Lafayette while overlooking the classic zinc rooftops and even the iconic Eiffel Tower. Here’s how to go as well as what to know before you go!
Situated in the 9th arrondissement of Paris, an area of the city best-known for its many covered passages, Bouillon Chartier French Restaurant, and illustrious department stores (known as the Grands Magasins in French), Galeries Lafayette has become a staple in the district since its inauguration in the 1900s.
While Ice Skating was free at Galeries Lafayette in 2019, due to ongoing world events, the event did not take place in 2020. There was no ice skating rink at Galeries Lafayette in 2021 and in 2022. Whether or not there will be ice skating at Galeries Lafayette in 2023 has still not been confirmed.
Of course, you may well already know that during the festive period, Galeries Lafayette is well-known for its glittering Christmas tree, not to mention selection a selection of magical and winter wonderland themed ‘vitrines’ (store windows).
Well, from November 20th until the 21st December 2019, the Galeries Lafayette rooftop terrace offered an extra little festive something for those who are looking for the best Christmas activities in Paris.
Completely free to visit, skate along to views of the Eiffel Tower, Paris Panthéon, and many other iconic French landmarks. Head to the skate rink after dark and the Eiffel Tower will sparkle on the hour, every hour, for five minutes.
In total, the ice skating rink (which is actually a type of cooled plastic so as to conserve energy) covers 160 m² and is open to all ages. However, since the activity is free and open from 10 am- 8 pm each day (weather dependant) in the Flagship Galeries Lafayette store, which is also home to the iconic Galeries Lafayette cupola, the queue can be particularly long to be able to skate, particularly during evening times and over the weekends.
Nearby activities and things to do close to Galeries Lafayette Ice Skating
After braving the windy cold rooftop, the 9th arrondissement and its surrounds offers no shortage of things to do for even the most discerning of travellers. For example, the nearby Opera Palais Garnier opera house was opened to the public in the latter half of the 19th-century and is today widely regarded to be one of the most beautiful buildings in the city.
Possible to visit as part of a show or simply to see the inside of the structure during the daytime, The Phantom of the Opera was actually based on the secret and underground supply of water that dwells beneath the surface of this famous Parisian icon.
And if you’re in search of other Christmas things to do close by, then I highly recommend heading to Place Vendôme where towering trees glitter in the glow of thousands of twinkling Christmas lights. Otherwise, the adjacent Printemps department store has a yearly Christmas display, which in 2019 was unveiled by acclaimed blogger Chiara Ferragni.
Head just a ten-minute walk from Galeries Lafayette in the other direction and you’ll end up at some of the most famous of the covered passages of Paris: Passage des Panoramas and Passage Jouffroy (where the Paris waxwork museum and Hôtel Chopin are to be found).
These passages too are all decked out for the holiday season, while Passage Jouffroy even has its own Christmas-themed shop in the form of La Maison du Roy.
Sophie Nadeau loves dogs, books, travel, pizza, and history. A fan of all things France related, she runs solosophie.com when she’s not chasing after the next sunset shot or consuming something sweet. She lives in London but travels as much as she can. Subscribe to Sophie’s YouTube Channel.