As if the city of Beijing, China didn’t have enough cool things to do, the waterpark nestled right in the historic Olympic Park really is an experience like nothing else. If you’ll be traveling or volunteering in China soon, you’ve gotta check it out.
Plan on staying very very busy when you’re headed to Beijing. Even if you’ll be there in cold weather, there is still tons to do — try your hand at ice biking in Beijing if you’re not a fan of ice skating! Seriously, between all the famous sites in Beijing (like the Great Wall, the Pearl Market, Tiananmen Square, The Temple of Heaven … just to name a few) you are going to be hustling to get it all done.
Pst — want to see more of China than you would in a short trip? Come volunteer there with ILP! Get a glimpse of what life looks like while living in China for a semester, right here.
But if you’re a fan of the Olympics at all, and happened to watch swimmer Michael Phelps win eight gold medals in a single Olympics (!!), the Beijing Olympic Park is the place for you.
- What Is The Olympic Park?
- What Can I Do There?
- Do I Go At Night Or During The Day?
- How Do I Get There? (And Another Tip)
What Is The Olympic Park?
This is the hub of where the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games took place — the iconic “Bird Nest” building stands as an impressive piece of history and architecture as does that whimsical “Water Cube” — (who wouldn’t love a building that looks like huge bubble wrap?), and we’re sorta loving the idea of taking tons and tons of pictures in front of these iconic buildings.
Since it’s not used for the Olympics anymore, the country has turned it into a huge park with meandering paths that are neat to check out for yourself and make for stellar people watching.
What Can I Do There?
Besides taking lots of pictures (be sure to follow @ilpadventure and use #ilpadventure for a possible repost!) you’ll probably see groups of people just hanging out — especially on the weekends, you’ll see people dancing, singing and strolling. In China, people are also fond of a game sorta like hacky-sack, so feel free to join in.
But if you’re dying to cool off from the Beijing heat, come take a swim in the actual Water Cube! A swim will cost you around $9 USD, but if you want to get a ticket for the huge water park housed inside, plan on paying around $30 — but honestly, can you beat the bragging rights of saying you spent an afternoon splashing in the famous cube? If you just want to go inside and not swim, you can also do that.
Do I Go At Night Or During The Day?
It’s obviously up to you, but I’m partial to the nighttime view, just because all the buildings light up and it’s quite breathtaking. There’s also a huge tower that lights up, alternating with the colors of the Olympic Rings. But the daytime option gives you the chance to hang out in the water cube, and the grounds do make for a great picnic spot if you only have a space for a daytime visit in your itinerary. It’s really up to you!
How Do I Get There? (And Another Tip)
Bless the Beijing Metro — it makes getting around the city a total breeze. Get off at the Olympic Sports Center station (it’s on Subway line 8) if you want to get a picture of the Bird Nest and the Water Cube together. Luckily, you can also use the Beijing metro for these famous sites.
And a head’s up — when I visited, there were only a couple shops open right in the park and we wish we would’ve brought snacks. Although I did get the chance to try corn flavored ice cream, so that’s a bucket list adventure I can now say I’ve tried.
Sure, you could go to China on your own or through the USU China Program if you’re a student at Utah State … but going with International Language Programs means paying one affordable program free for your airfare, housing, visa, 3 meals a day, plus culture classes for the entire semester! You’ll get weekends and vacation time (plus time outside of the class when you aren’t teaching English to a class of cuties) to see places like Beijing and dozens of other sites. Sounds awesome, right?
If you need more China info in your life, just click right here and get the details about the ILP China program!