Beijing Olympic Park
Today, the Beijing National Stadium—aka the Bird’s Nest—is used mostly for concerts and other high-profile sporting events, while the Water Cube aquatic center has been transformed into a recreational swimming facility open to the public. You can visit the interiors of either for an extra fee, but both are arguably more impressive from the outside, and it doesn’t cost anything to walk the grounds of the Beijing Olympic Park. Most sightseeing tours of Beijing stop at the Beijing Olympic Park for photo ops of the Bird’s Nest and Water Cube, including night tours where you get to see the Olympic facilities illuminated.
Things to Know Before You Go
The Beijing Olympic Park is a must-visit for sports enthusiasts and first-time visitors.
While the Beijing Olympic Park is free to wander, some facilities charge an entrance fee.
Wear comfortable shoes and be prepared to walk; the Beijing Olympic Park covers an area of 2,864 acres (1,159 hectares).
How to Get There
Beijing Olympic Park is easy to get to via public transportation. Ride the Beijing Subway to Lincuiqiao, Senlin Gongyuan Nanmen, Aolin Pike Gongyuan, Aoti Zhongxin, or Beitucheng. Lines 8, 10, and 15 all stop at the park, as do numerous local buses.
When to Get There
If you want to see the Beijing Olympic Park at its most beautiful, plan your visit for the evening hours when both the stadium and the Water Cube are lit up. Avoid visiting on Chinese national holidays, when you’ll be hard-pressed to snap a photo without tons of tourists in it.
China Ethnic Culture Park
The Beijing Olympic Park is home to one of Beijing’s more interesting—if somewhat dated—museums, the China Ethnic Culture Park. The exhibits within tell the story of China’s 56 ethnic groups. A visit here is an excellent way to get a feel for the cultural diversity of China, particularly if Beijing is the first stop on a longer trip.
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