The 2008 Summer Olympics signified China’s return as a global economic power. It’s hard to forget the spectacular opening ceremony. Three years on, the Olympic Park is still there and open to the public. The centerpiece of the park is the Beijing National Stadium, better known as the Bird’s Nest. Its edifice is unmistakable. Though no teams call the Bird’s Nest home, and few concerts or sporting events are held there, it still manages to be profitable thanks to the steady stream of visitors who want to relive Olympic glory.
Across from the stadium is the Beijing National Aquatics Center, or Water Cube. Its bubbly exterior is also unmistakable. It has since been renovated into a water park covering 12,000m² and featuring 13 water slides, a wave pool, and even a spa. Another interesting sight is the Ling Long Pagoda. During the Olympics, this 128m tall tower served as a broadcast center for international networks.
Beijing’s Olympic Park shouldn’t be on the top of your list, but if you have some spare time one afternoon definitely check it out. If nothing else, there are some great photo ops here, and the Water Cube is a good place to cool down on a hot summer day. It’s easily accessible via subway as well.
Metro: Olympic Green (Line 8)
Water cube Water Park
Hours: Open Daily 10:00-21:30