National Aquatics Center (Water Cube)

Located on the west side of Landscape Avenue in the Olympic Green and to the west of National Stadium (Bird's Nest) in Beijing, the National Aquatics Center contains the official 2008 Olympics swimming facility. The construction started on December 24th, 2003 and was finished on January 1st, 2008. It measures 194 yards (177 meters) long, 194 yards wide, and 98 feet (30 meters) high and covers an area of 15.56 acres (6.3 heactares). It has four floors: one at street level, two above, and one below. Its floor space reaches 19.65 acres (7.95 hectares), while the below street level area is no less than 3.7 acres (1.5 hectares). The one below served as the service area during the Olympics. The first floor is for tourists. The auditorium is on the second floor with 6,000 fixed seats (2,000 of which are movable), and 11,000 temporary seats. The third floor is strictly for business.

Design Idea

Beijing National Aquatics Center
National Aquatics Center
The design of National Aquatics Center combines modern technologies with Chinese traditional values. In tradition, Chinese conceptualized a square Earth and a round Heaven, and this formed the design's central theme. Moreover, the cube shape dominates ancient urban buildings. Its design is of traditional style to meet all its functional requirements. 
The Blend of Architecture & Advanced Technology

Designed by Chinese and Australian, the National Aquatics Center is the first building in the world built upon "the soap bubble" theory, and sports a polyhedral steel-framed structure.

The ETFE (the ethylene-tetrafluoroethylene copolymer) membrane insulates it. This advanced membrane structure is formed by 3,065 bubble-like pneumatic cushions of all sizes. It becomes the first large-scale public project coated with the membrane, and it also has set up a new world record for its massive deployment.

The National Aquatics Center looks like a huge blue box, from which it takes its nickname: the Water Cube. It is blue in order to reflect sunlight. It shines in the sunlight like a pearl in water. From the inside, you may discover that the pneumatic cushions of all sizes are just like sea bubbles.

Various high technology and green technology are present in its construction. Popular Science magazine chose it the Best of What's New of 2006.
Swimming Pool
Swimming Pool
Inside Water Cube
Inside Water Cube

Post-Games Uses

During the 2008 Olympic Games, the National Aquatics Center hosted swimming, diving, and synchronized swimming competitions. After the Games, it turns into the international advanced center for swimming, sports, health-building services, and leisure activities.

In 2022, it will be the venue of curling competitions during the Winter Olympic Games.

Functional Zones inside the Water World

Water Cube at Night
Water Cube at Night
You will be charmed by the Water World, where you may wish to make a long pause.

 The Water Cube Water Park
Open on August 8, 2010, this themed indoor water park was open after ten month's renovation. It is in the south part of the aquatics center. There are various places inside the park to have fun: Tornado Rides, Bulletbowl, AquaLoop, Speedslide, Kid's Pool, Ride House, Pipeline, Wave Pool, Spa Pool, Lazy River and Passion for Stage.

 The Waterdrop Theater
It's located on the 4th floor of the south building of the Water Cube, with an area totaling 240 square yards (200 square meters). The well-equipped theater can hold 150 audiences. 3D films and HD laser films are shown here.

 The SPA Zone
The SPA zone is equipped with international advanced SPA facilities and technology. It is a good place to relax.

 Restaurants and Bars
Restaurants and Bars share the characteristics of its design. You can enjoy gourmet meals in water-theme restaurants.

 The Business Section
Wandering in the business section, you can see various souvenirs. You will also know more about it and swimming events in the Olympic Games here, and the latest information about water.

How to get to the Water Cube

 By Bus:
1. Take bus 81, 82, 510, 607 or Sightseeing Bus 3 and get off at Beichen Xiqiao Bei Station.
2. Take bus 81, 82, 86, 510, 607, or Special Line 13 or 15 and get off at Guojia Tiyuguan (National Stadium) Station.
3. Take bus 386, 407, 490, 645, 658, 660, 740, 983, or Fast Transit Line 7, or Yuntong 113 and get off at Beichenqiao Xi Station.
 By Subway:
Take Subway line 8 and get off at Aoti Zhongxin (Olympic Sports Center) Station. Get out from Exit B1 and walk north for about 1,000 yards (900m).
Beijing Bus / Subway Search

Ticket Information

 a. For visit only
Ticket Price CNY 30
CNY 15 for children between 1.2-1.4m (3.9-4.6 feet)
Free for children under 3.9 feet
Opening Hours 9:00 - 21:00

 b. For swimming & visit
Ticket Price CNY 60 for two hours
Opening Hours Jun. 15-Sep. 14: 09:00-21:00
Sep. 15-Jun.14: 12:30-21:00 from Monday to Friday; 09:00-21:00 at weekends

 c. Ticket for the Water Park
Items Dates Ticket Fare (CNY) Notes for use
Full price ticket Jun. 21 - Aug. 31 260 For adults and children ≥ 1.5m (4.9ft)
Apr. 27 - Jun. 20 & Sep. 1 - Oct. 7 200
Saver ticket Jun. 21 - Aug. 31 220 For children between 1.2m (3.9ft) and 1.5m
Apr. 27 - Jun. 20 180
Night ticket Jun. 21 - Aug. 31 200 For adults and children above 1.2m
Free ticket Apr. 27 - Oct. 7 Free For children ≤ 1.2m
Opening Hours 10:00-22:00

Night Ticket Hours: 17:00-22:00

 d. Waterdrop Theater
Film Ticket CNY 20
Opening Hours 09:30-16:45 from Tuesday to Sunday

Recommended Nearby Attractions:
 Beijing Olympic Forest Park
China Science and Technology Museum
Chinese Ethnic Culture Park (China Ethnic Museum)

Further Reading:
12 Popular Beijing Activities to Beat the Summer Heat
Travel to Beijing with Kids - 11 Things to Do

- Last updated on Aug. 08, 2023 by Catherine He -
Questions & Answers on China National Aquatics Center
Asked by baigaltuya from MONGOLIA | Aug. 08, 2023 00:40Reply
how to get water park ticket ?
we have 4 people. want to ticket for water park / national aquatic centre /
Answers (1)
Answered by Alex | Aug. 08, 2023 19:59

You can buy it on its offcial WeChat account (Chinese only) or on the spot upon arrival.
Asked by john Tait from AUSTRALIA | Sep. 12, 2019 00:22Reply
I heard that the water cube was undergoing renovations for the winter olympics.
which parts are closed?
Answers (3)
Answered by Ethan from AUSTRALIA | Sep. 15, 2019 20:15

The competition hall will be transformed into a standard curling arena with 4 ice lanes.
Answered by Bob from USA | Dec. 11, 2019 12:54

Do you know if the Water Cube / competition pool will reopen for lap swimming by June 2020?
Answered by Tina from CANADA | Dec. 11, 2019 19:25

There is official website of water cube. And It shows that swimming pool opens from 12:30 to 21:00 during Monday to Friday, 9:00-21:00 in the weekend.
Asked by Dominic from NEW ZEALAND | Aug. 30, 2019 17:46Reply
Is the Beijing Water Cube and pool open during December? if so what hours?
Answers (1)
Answered by Winston from USA | Sep. 02, 2019 20:17

It opens all year round. And it operates from 9:00-18:00 during November to April.
Asked by Sandy from SINGAPORE | Jul. 26, 2019 16:53Reply
Lap pool swimming at Beijing National Aquatics Center (Water Cube)
Hi, can anyone tell me if the lap pool is open for swimming on 9th August and what time? Is it suitable for swim training for teenagers? Thanks
Answers (1)
Answered by Alec from USA | Jul. 31, 2019 18:27

Yes, you can go there at that time. From Monday to Friday, it starts from 12:30 to 21:00. In Saturday and Sunday, it starts from 9:00 to 21:00. It is suitable for teenagers swimming.
Asked by Novita from INDONESIA | Apr. 06, 2019 19:51Reply
Hello, is there any facilities to borrow a towel for Beijing water cube waterpark?
Answers (1)
Answered by James from USA | Apr. 09, 2019 02:47

You cannot borrow but you can buy one.
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