The Beijing National Stadium
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. 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
Telephone: (0)10 8437 3008
Transport: The entire Olympic park can be accessed via subway line 8.
Opening times: 9am-6pm weekdays; 9am-9:30pm weekends and public holidays
Admission: CNY50 tour and CNY80 skiing on weekdays; CNY140 skiing weekends and public holidays