Consisting of the iconic Birds Nest Stadium, Water Cube and Ling Long Tower, the Olympic Park is not to be missed for fans of sports or modern architecture.
Enjoy wandering along the wide walkway, admiring the architecture or pay for entry into the stadium buildings themselves.
Birds Nest Stadium
The home of the 2008 Olympics opening and closing ceremonies, track and field events, the National Stadium is known as the Birds Nest due to its iconic architecture. It is still used for domestic sports competitions today, and will see Olympic action again in the 2022 Winter Olympic Games.
Opt for a birds-eye ticket for access to the roof of the building and its spectacular views over Beijing.
In the winter, you can participate in fun snow activities – including skiing, ice skating and sledging.
Tickets: 50 RMB (standard), 80 RMB (VIP or birds-eye)
Opening hours: 9:00 – 19:00 (summer), 9:00 – 17:30 (winter)
The National Aquatics Centre, known as the Water Cube due to its unusual design, is now a popular leisure centre complex and conference centre. There is everything from a kids water park to the luxury spa zone.
Tickets: 30 RMB (visit only), 60 RMB (swim), 200/260 RMB (water park)
Opening hours: 9:00 – 20:00 (summer), 9:00 – 18:00 (winter)
Ling Long Tower
Not just any boring TV tower, the Ling Long tower was built as an architectural statement in its own right. Lit up at night in vibrant colours, it holds its own against the more famous stadiums around it.
Olympic Forest Park
Located to the north of the more famous Olympic sights, the Olympic Forest Park covers a massive 6.8 square kilometres and is a lovely spot for an afternoon stroll. It also contains many local sports facilities and a great jogging track.
Particularly popular scenic spots include the Aohai Sea (a large lake to the south of the park with a fascinating musical fountain performance), Yangshan mountain (a large hill with fantastic views over the whole Olympic Park area), an artificial wetland (with underground viewing corridor) and the many flower gardens.
Opening hours: 6:00 – 21:00 (summer), 7:00 – 19:00 (winter)
Tickets: free (park area)
Opening hours: 9:00 – 21:00.
Recommended visit: 1 hour.
Transport: take metro line 8 or 15 to Olympic Park (奥林匹克公园), walk South from exit D.
Top tip: the Olympic Park is best visited in the evening, when the area really comes to life and the buildings are lit in beautiful colours