National Aquatics Center
Just opposite the Bird’s Nest is the dreamlike or space age Water Cube (aka National Aquatics Center). For RMB 30 you can take a tour of where Michael Phelps made history but the real show is outside. During the Olympics the venue held 17,000 people in its 79,532sqm plot. Designed by Sydney-based PTW Architects, the bubbles of the façade are meant to represent water while its rectangular shape symbolizes earth in Chinese tradition and the circle of the Bird’s Nest represents heaven. There are plans to open the Olympic pool to the public for swimming and the ballet Swan Lake was recently performed there.