Wordtravels

Wordtravels

The Beijing National Stadium

Beijing National Stadium © Dora Hon
Beijing National Stadium © Dora Hon

The Beijing National Stadium, also known as The Bird's Nest due to its appearance, was the hub of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games, hosting all of the track and field events as well the opening and closing ceremonies. The unique-looking steel support structures framing the stadium, weigh in at 110, 000 tons (99,790kg), making the stadium the largest steel structure in the world. The colossal structure was created using a web of steel frames converging in a grid formation. The visual effect is unique and impressive and it was designed to symbolise harmony between technology and nature. The stadium has reopened as a tourist attraction, and the public can tour the facilities, or visit the ski resort now housed inside during the Happy Snow season (ticket prices go up during the skiing season). The area surrounding the stadium complex comes alive in the evenings with music, hawkers and vendors. Even if visitors only go to have a look from outside, and decline to do the tour, it is well worth visiting The Bird's Nest. The best time of the day to visit is late afternoon to evening when the lights come on, creating an incredible effect.

Address: Olympic Green, Beijing

Website: www.n-s.cn

Transport: The entire Olympic park can be accessed via subway line 8.

Opening times: April to October 9am - 7pm; November to March 9am - 5.30pm.

Admission: CNY 50 for general admission; CNY 80 for VIP ticket.