National Stadium (Bird's Nest)

Affectionately known as Bird's Nest, the National Stadium is situated in Olympic Green Village, Chaoyang District of Beijing City. It was designed as the main stadium of 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. The Olympic events of track and field, football, gavelock, weight throw and discus were held there. Since October 2008, after the Olympics ended, it has been opened as a tourist attraction. Now, it's the center of international or domestic sports competition and recreation activities. In 2022, the opening and closing ceremonies of another important sport event, Winter Olympic Games will be held here.

The design of this large stadium was accomplished together by Swiss architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron and Chinese architect Li Xinggang and the others. The designers didn't do any redundant disposals to the look of the stadium. They just exposed the steel structures entirely and let them become the most natural appearance. The form of the stadium looks like a big nest which embraces and nurses human beings. Also it looks rather like a cradle bearing human beings' hope of the future.

The construction of the National Stadium started on December 24, 2003. On July 2004, the project was stopped temporarily due to the amendment of the design. On December 27 of the same year, the construction was resumed and finished in March, 2008. The gross cost of the whole project is 2,267 million Chinese yuan (about 33 million dollars).

National Stadium
National Stadium is like a huge bird's nest.
Inside the National Stadium
Inside Scene

The stadium covers an area of about 63.6 acres (25.8 hectares), which can accommodate 80,000 fixed seats and 11,000 temporary seats. Its appearance was formed by big steel frames. The top surface is saddle-shaped with the major axis of 1,090 feet (332.3 meters) and the stub axis of 972 feet (296.4 meters). The tallest point of the stadium is 225 feet (68.5 meters) above the ground and the lowest point is 140 feet (42.8 meters). The top is covered by semi-transparent air bubble film. This kind of material is waterproof and can make enough sunshine penetrate into the stadium. Owing to that, the lawns in it can grow well.

Olympic Green Map
Olympic Green Map
In the National Stadium, the designs of everything are humanistic. The bowl-like stands zone surrounds the court. The stands can be changed in many ways, which can satisfy the needs of different numbers of spectators in different periods. During the Olympics, the temporary seats were set at the top of the stands zone. Rows of the stands distribute scientifically. No matter where the spectator is seated, the whole game can be seen without any visual obstruction. The stadium adopted the electro-acoustic public-address system. It makes the index of voice definition reaches 0.6. This number assures that all the audience can hear the broadcast very clearly. What's more, there are more than 200 wheelchair seats intended for the disabled. Many architectural experts think that it not only is a symbol building of the 2008 Olympics but also set a very good example to the world's architectural history.

Tip: Besides the National Stadium, you may visit its neighboring attractions such as the National Aquatics Center (Water Cube) and the National Indoor Stadium.

Bird's Nest Happy Snow and Ice Season

As of 2008, a Happy Snow and Ice Festival is held here each year, from December to next February. During this period, the stadium turns into the largest ski resort in urban Beijing. (Tips on Skiing for your reference)

Tourists have opportunities to take part in more than 30 kinds of sports and entertainment activities, such as ski jumping, ice skating, snow tubing, bumper car on the ice and biathlon (cross-country skiing and rifle shooting). Besides, kids can enjoy themselves by joining some indoor activities including canoeing, fencing and equestrianism at the Children's Area. The tickets on regular days are CNY 120, and CNY 160 at weekends and public holidays. Children under 1.2m (3.9 feet) can enter for free.

How to get to the National Stadium

 By Bus:
Take bus 82, 419, 538, or 645 and get off at East National Stadium Station.
 By Subway:
Take Subway Line 8 and get off at Olympic Sports Center Station. Get out from Exit B2 and walk north for about 900 yards (823m).
Beijing Bus / Subway Search
Admission Fee CNY100
Free for children under 1.2m (3.9 feet)
Opening Hours 10:00 - 22:00

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

- Last updated on Jul. 20, 2023 by Gabby Li -
Questions & Answers on Beijing National Stadium
Asked by Seb from FRANCE | May. 07, 2019 21:56Reply
I was told that the access of National Stadium to visitors is closed since April 1st 2019.
When will it re-open?
Answers (1)
Answered by Peter from USA | May. 08, 2019 23:17

The reopen time is still uncertain.
Asked by Arthur from UK | Apr. 06, 2019 08:51Reply
Is there any tour guides at the Beijing National Stadium?
Answers (1)
Answered by Kira from GERMANY | Apr. 08, 2019 01:13

At the following locations: entrance KL on the first floor of the Bird’s Nest, VIP area, and Top Wonder of Bird's Nest, the Beijing National Stadium provides free guided tours. Hope it meets your requirements.
Asked by Derek from UNITED KINGDOM | Mar. 01, 2019 01:28Reply
Is the Beijing National Stadium open Sunday as normal?
We heard there is a big meeting of diplomats in Beijing and the stadium might be closed.
Answers (1)
Answered by Nolan from DENMARK | Mar. 05, 2019 01:29

Yes, it will open on Sundays.
Asked by Shakira from SOUTH AFRICA | Jan. 06, 2019 19:24Reply
National Stadium (Bird's Nest) Ticket

Please would you be so kind to let me know if we can go up the tower to get the birds view with a night ticket too? Or is this only allowed at night?

Answers (1)
Answered by Alberta from SINGAPORE | Jan. 10, 2019 01:29

The valid sightseeing hours are from 18:30-21:30 for night ticket. The allowed sightseeing parts are Golden Hall, VIP Hall and the platform.
Ask a Question
Question Summary (100 characters)
Details (optional) (2,000 characters)