Beijing National Aquatics Center (The Water Cube) | 国家游泳中心（水立方）
Beijing, Beijing Province, CHINA (PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF)
Swimmers Guide is not connected with any of the facilities listed on this site in any way. We cannot tell you the pools’ opening and closing times or when Senior Aerobics classes are held;
we cannot tell you about the availability or cost of swimming lessons; we cannot get you discounted admission to swim at any of them; and we cannot help you find your children’s lost goggles or bathing suits.
We can and do try to give you reliable information about the pools, their locations, their admission policies, and their single-visit or casual swimming prices. Where possible, we include hypertext links to the pools’ own official websites and Facebook pages, clickable email addresses, and links to the websites of the clubs and teams that swim there. Look to those resources within each listing for more detailed information.
The data in the site is under continual review and is revised whenever the site’s editor becomes aware of a change, but, with more than 20,000 listings, a complete, periodic review of every listing takes about seven years to complete; in many places, prices will change four or five times before we have a chance to check the pool’s official website again.
For that reason, we ask for your help: If any of the information in the listing is incorrect, out of date, or could be improved, please tell us. There is an "Edit" button on just about every line of every listing, click on the edit button to tell us what needs to be changed. (No, it's not a place for you to ask us questions. What we have in each listing is the latest news we have.)
Also, please consider checking the listings of the pools you regularly use at home or when traveling, as your knowledge may be helpful to someone else who is unfamiliar with the area and visiting for the first time. Just go to the Add a Pool section of the site, read the first page, then fill out the questionnaire.
Updated April 14, 2020.
Adult Admission Price & Policy
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.
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.
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.