Olympic Park picture
shunli zhao/Getty Images

Key Info

Chaoyang Qu

Price & Hours

Free

Details

Monuments and Memorials, Parks and Gardens, Free, Neighborhood/Area Type
Less than 1 hour Time to Spend
3.6scorecard
  • 5.0Value
  • 3.5Food Scene
  • 4.0Atmosphere

Deemed China's coming-out party, the 2008 Summer Olympics placed Beijing in the world spotlight. Beijing carved out huge tracts of land to construct this international stage. The excitement has since passed, and the park and some of its facilities have been repurposed for public use. The surviving structures include the National Stadium (or the "Bird's Nest"), the National Aquatics Center (or the "Water Cube") and the Olympic Forest Park. New buildings, like the China National Convention Center, have changed the park's landscape.

The majority of past travelers still enjoyed making the pilgrimage to Olympic Park and recent visitors expressed their amazement at its architecture, especially at night when some of the structures are illuminated. During the day, you'll frequently find locals flying kites. However, some reviewers were underwhelmed with the complex and advise against making a special trip to see it.

Most travelers take subway line 8 to either the Olympic Green or Olympic Sports Center stops. You can stroll through the park for free, but admission to the buildings will cost you. Each facility operates on its own schedule and charges different entry fees. Consult each venue's website for additional information.

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The Great Wall of China1 of 15
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Time to Spend
#1 The Great Wall of China

Just north of Beijing, you'll find one of the most famous monuments in the world: the Great Wall of China. Although it's unlikely you'll see the whole thing, you should aim to experience a portion of it. That begs the question: Which section?

Only an hour's drive northwest of Beijing, the Badaling section is convenient, hosts a large souvenir market, and has a gondola to whisk visitors up and down the wall. Sounds perfect, right? Well, and that's why thousands of tourists decide to venture here. This can create mob-like scenes that can spoil the trip, but it's unpredictable. Plenty of visitors rave about this section of the wall and say a visit is a must. Entrance to the Badaling section of wall (not including the gondola ride) costs 40 yuan (about $6) in the winter and spring and 45 yuan (about $6.60 ) in the summer and fall. You can start hiking the Badaling portion at 6:40 a.m., and you must be down by 6:30 p.m. every day.

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