Kids at the Palais Omnisports, MarseilleThe Palais Omnisports is a very large indoor ice-skating and skateboarding sports facility in Marseille's eastern suburbs. It hosts major league matches but is also open to kids and total beginners of all ages.

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Sometimes known as the Palais de la Glace et de la Glisse (which very loosely translates as the Palace of Ice and Sliding Sports), the 15,000 square metre / 160,000 square feet Palais Omnisports consists of two areas.

The "espace glace" houses two ice rinks: an Olympic-standard 1,800 square metre / 19,000 square foot rink with terraced seats for up to 5,600 spectators and a circular 1,250 square metre / 13,5000 square foot ice rink for the general public.

The "espace glisse" is a 3,500 square metre / 37,500 square foot skate park divided into four different zones aimed at a range of usages and levels of skill. It includes a half-pipe 20 metres long by 4 metres high / 65.5 by 13 feet, as well as ramps and a "street" with steps, rails, small walls, etc.

The skate park can be used by skateboards, roller-skates and BMX bikes (pictured) - beginners as well as aficionados are welcome - and is the largest indoor one of its kind in Europe.

BMX biking at the Palais Omnisports, MarseilleCombined with the open-air skate parks at the Parc Balnéaire du Prado and La Friche la Belle de Mai in the north of the city, it makes Marseille something of a Mecca for skateboarders.

The Palais Omnisports also hosts birthday parties and offers courses and training. Every Wednesday afternoon during school term-time, there are free skating activities for children.

Once a month themed evenings are organised, for example an ice disco or go-karting on ice. Check the Palais Omnisports website for the programme of activities.

 

 

Visitors must wear gloves and socks in order to use the skating rink and a helmet for the skate park. Ice skates, roller skates, skateboards, scooters, BMX bikes, helmets and other protective clothing may all be hired on the spot.

Ice hockey at the Palais Omnisports, MarseilleThe Palais Omnisports is open seven days a week. The exact opening hours are complex and vary depending on the time of year. Check the Palais Omnisports website for the current details.

Other amenities include parking for 1,200 cars, a cafeteria serving drinks, snacks and light meals and a shop.

Where: Palais Omnisports, 2 boulevard Fernand Bonnefoy, 13010 Marseille. Tel : (+33) 4 91 16 52 70. Website for the Palais Omnisports

How to get to the Palais Omnisports: The Palais Omnisports is about five km / three miles east of the Old Port in central Marseille and a ten minute drive.

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By metro, take line 1, stop La Timone, or line 2, stop Sainte Marguerite Dromel or Rond Point du Prado.

Note that the Palais Omnisports is a good 15-20 minute walk from all three of these metro stops.

However you can take bus 72 from either Sainte Marguerite Dromel or Rond Point du Prado right to the Palais itself, or alternatively bus 18 from Castellane metro.

Click here for a guide to how to get around Marseille by public transport, with links to bus and metro maps.

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