Beijing National Aquatics Center (The Water Cube) | 国家游泳中心(水立方)

Beijing, Beijing Province, CHINA (PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF)

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Updated April 14, 2020.

Facility Overview

Facility Name
Beijing National Aquatics Center (The Water Cube) | 国家游泳中心(水立方)
11 Tianchen East Road, Chaoyang District
Beijing, Beijing Province 100021
(010) 8437 8912 for swimming; 8437 0012 for tours.

Adult Admission Price & Policy

CNY 60. [August, 2021]
Note: Admission policies and prices shown in Swimmers Guide listings are believed to be correct as of the date shown in brackets. If not correct now, please click on the "Edit" button and tell us so this listing can be fixed and the information brought current. This site works best when its users take an active role in the maintenance of the data.

Full-Size, Year-Round Pools & Boards

Pool 1
50m x 25m, 10 lanes: 5 lanes 1.5m depth + 5 lanes 2m depth, indoors, 22º - 26ºC (72º - 79ºF).
Pool 2
25m x 30m, 4.5m - 5.5m depth diving and water polo pool, indoors, water temperature not reported.
One 1m and four 3m diving boards; 1m, 5m, 7.5m, and 10m diving platforms.


Beijing Province

Teams That Use This Facility

We have no web links or contact information for teams that train at this facility.

Facility Notes

NOTE: The original, 50m x 25m, 10-lane, 3m depth, competition pool has been converted to a curling rink for use in the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games.
As is common in China, one half of the floor of Pool 1 has been elevated to allow it to be used for water walking. It is separated from the other half, which is two meters deep, by a fence. A deep water test is required to swim on the deep side; it costs 10 yuan for a one-day use certificate or 30 yuan for a permanent certificate, (bring a passport photo for the permanent certificate that can be used for subsequent visits). The test consists of swimming a few laps in the warm-up pool. [September, 2017]
The main competition pool was ozone and chlorine sanitized. This is probably true for the other pools, as well, but we have not been able to confirm the accuracy of our guess.
The facility was significantly modified in 2010 to convert it into a water parkwith slides, rides, a wave pool, and spa. All of the reviews of the facility shown below were received after the pool's reopening as a water park. The pool descriptions above reflect the equipment in place (excluding water park features) post-modification.
In the reviews that follow, references to "Pool 1" refer to the original competition pool, which is no longer available, and references to "Pool 2" now relate to the pool marked as "Pool 1", above. Confusing, isn't it?

Facility Reviews

The pools are open to the public noon to 8 PM. There is a warm up pool and the Olympic pool, both 50 metres. The water quality was good. High hygiene standards are upheld. Remember to take a cap.
[February, 2012]
The locker rooms were disgustingly filthy, so sad to see and smell nasty things just a few years after the Olympics were held there. The cost was over $20, but for one time, it was worth it. And the cost kept it nearly empty.
[January, 2013]
I agree with the previous reviewer, the women's locker room was smelly and grubby looking. Only the warm-up pool was being used for swimming. No mention of a deep water swim test by the staff, so I was relegated to swimming in the shallow lanes. And they weren't kidding; they were maybe two feet deep. The diving well and the normal pool weren't being used by the public. The other half of the facility has been turned into a water park, complete with coffee bar, gift shop and screaming toddlers. I went on a weekend and I didn't have to share my lane; there were only a handful of swimmers there. It's a shame to see this iconic building devolve into such a white elephant.
[April, 2013]
You must take your 20 RMB ticket down to the pool to take the qualifying test. There was no medical examination for a single session patron. They provide a locker with a key, which is included in the fee.

I swam in the fast lane and most swimmers were doing slow breast stroke. It was not terribly satisfying swimming, I was always running into people who wouldn't yield. Slower swimmers didn't wait at the wall but began swimming s-l-o-o-o-o-w-l-y just as I reached the wall. Maybe one of 60 people was swimming free in the whole pool.

The pool was beautiful and it was a thrill to experience the facility. But beware - if you're a fast swimmer and want to knock out a real workout, you can forget it - at least the day I was there.
[June, 2013]
I didn't have a passport photo so they let me do a one-off test for CNY 10, but I did not get the pass at the end so would have to do it again if I went back. It is well worth doing, as the deep lanes, while busy, were OK to swim in, the shallow lanes were packed (possibly because I was there in summer). You need a swim hat as well, but there is a well-equipped Speedo® shop down by the entrance to the changing rooms. I'm not a fantastic swimmer, but I was comfortably the fastest in the pool when I was there. I was in the fast lane but one guy in my lane was so slow I passed him twice on the same lap. There was plenty of room to overtake, though, and people all seemed to stick to the correct side of the lane.
[September, 2015]
My experience was consistent with what others have reported. I had a good time and am glad I went, but it was something of an adventure.

Entering the swimming center costs 30 yuan (about $5) just to look around, and there's not that much to see. Actually swimming costs an additional 30 yuan or 60 yuan total (~$9). The opening times are very confusing and I'm still not sure what they are; no one spoke any English so I was at the mercy of the translation app on my phone to try to decode the signs. (The sign on the door said 9 AM to 9 PM, while the website said 12:30 to 9 PM, and the ticket I bought said 12:30 to 7:30 PM... but people were still swimming at 8 PM). You can buy tickets at the booth right outside (I had to do a lot of gesticulating to indicate that I wanted a swimming ticket as opposed to a visitor ticket). You have to pass through a metal detector to enter the building.

The competition pool (Pool 1) was not open for general swimming, but you could go into the bleachers and take pictures, etc.

The warm up pool (Pool 2) is the one that was open. As others have said, it has been divided lengthwise, with five 50m lanes that are about three to four feet deep, and five 50m lanes that are about six feet deep. You need to pass a swim test (consisting of two minutes of treading water and then 200m of swimming) to use the deep lanes. You can either pay 30 yuan plus bring a passport photo to get a permanent certification, or you can pay 10 yuan ($1.50) to take the test and be allowed in for just one day. (Pay the locker room attendant and then give the receipt to the lifeguard stationed near the deep lanes). Swimming caps are required, but I didn't see any sign of the medical exam that other reviews have mentioned.

Based on the other reviews, I was expecting to have a frustrating swim, but the pool was not too crowded at 6 PM on a weekday -- maybe three to five people per lane. Most were swimming slow breast strokes, but were very courteous and allowed me to pass. I had a really pleasant swim, actually. The water was cold by my standards (white board said 25ºC [77ºF]).

The facility itself is beautiful, especially at night when the outside of the building lights up in colors, which you can see from the inside because the walls and ceiling are translucent. The locker rooms were clean and had an electronic lock system. The bathroom area connected to the locker room, on the other hand, was filthy -- smelly, dirty walls, etc. It didn't make any sense because the rest of the facility seemed so well maintained.
[September, 2017]