Top 3 ice sculpting festivals to discover this winter

Christmas ice slide at the Manege Square Moscow

With winter fast approaching, artists throughout the northern hemisphere are sharpening their tools and getting ready to work with one of the world’s most interesting materials – ice.

Whether it’s the way that ice catches the light on a clear winter day, or the knowledge that ice sculptures are the most temporary works, there is something truly special about the art form. Experience some of the very best ice art in the world by checking out these three very (verryyyy) cool ice sculpting events.

1. Ice Sculpture Festival, Bruges

We start with one of the earliest festivals in the ice art season; a fantastic celebration of frozen sculpture in one of Europe’s most picturesque cities.

The Ice Sculpture Festival in Bruges will run from November 25th  through to the January 7th in the New Year. Throughout the duration of the festival, the medieval Belgian city of Bruges will play host to a team of 30 professional ice artists using their remarkable skills to mould 300 tons of ice into a spectacular fairytale scenery. This year's unique festival celebrates the 25th Anniversary of Disneyland® Paris.

Ice Festival in Bruges

This event is perfect for a weekend city break for the whole family. A full cast of carved ice sculptures, as well as an impressive icy castle, will all be on display for visitors. And the grounds of the event are within easy walking distance of the enchanting Bruges Christmas Market which is packed full of delicious Belgian chocolates and warming mulled wine – the perfect way to round off a day exploring the chilly attractions.

Bruges is located only a one-hour train ride from our hotel in Antwerp and Brussels, and is definitely a must-see while visiting Belgium.

2. London Ice Sculpting Festival

Enjoying a short break in London can be an attractive prospect at any time; the city isn’t one of the most popular in the world for nothing. However, each January the London Ice Sculpting Festival transforms Canary Wharf from a high-class business district into a wintry wonderland packed with games, displays and of course, exceptional ice art.

In addition to an international competition, the weekend-long events gives visitors the opportunity to roll up their sleeves and try their hand at ice sculpting. Budding ice artists can take up a mallet and chisel either during master classes or by having a go on the onsite graffiti wall. Meanwhile, those with a more tactical mind have the chance to play chess on a giant icy chess set.

View of Natural History Museum London, include Ice Rink

Ice Sculpture, Natural History Museum, London

© Christine Matthews / Wikimedia Commons

Thanks to the central location of the ice sculpting festival in London, it’s easy to get to from across the city. Our hotel, the Radisson Blu Portman Hotel, London is a great choice if you’re looking for comfortable rooms and a convenient location for your trip. The ice sculpting festival in London provides world class exhibits, and you know that with Radisson Blu you can rely on a cozy place to warm up after a day of exploring in the cold!

3. Moscow Ice Festival

Ice Moscow is a traditional New Year festival held at Poklonnaya Hill. Artists carve miniature copies of some of Moscow's attractions, creating a wonderland made of ice. The festival has a different theme each year. This year's Ice Festival is dedicated to the FIFA World Cup that will be held in Russia in 2018 and is called "Football of the five continents". Symbols of participating countries in the FIFA World Cup, as well as the 11 Russian host cities, are among the things that will be featured.

Ice town in Victory Park

From mid-December to mid-January the annual event, Moscow's Russian Winter Festival, is also running. The festival is celebrating Russian culture and is a must if you are visiting the city this time a year. Shop Russian Christmas gifts in the Christmas Village at Revolution Square and enjoy winter activities such as ice skating at Gorky Park. The festival usually also displays incredible ice sculptures.

Christmas ice slide at the Manege Square Moscow

Stay at one of our stylish hotels in Moscow and enjoy a magical city trip to the Russian capital!

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