You could easily spend a full week running around to see all that the Shanghai World Expo 2010 has to offer. Now by the time you did that you would most likely have been stampeded by a horde of Chinese running from the entrance of the park as it opens. To save you from this untimely demise, we’ve come up with a list of the top places to see and top places to miss at this groundbreaking expo.
Top 10 Places To See At World Expo 2010
1. Walk Through Europe At Night
Far and away the most popular section of the World Expo is European Square. During the day you can be confronted with several hour long queues. Skip the lines and instead visit the pavilions at night when the lights come on. Lines die down as night falls, plus you can visit any of the high quality restaurants most nations brought with them to the fair. Make sure to stop by France, Spain, UK, Italy and Luxembourg at a minimum in this area.
Bonus: Get Belgian Waffles from the Belgian pavilion. Just do it, go there now.
2. Morocco Pavilion
You won’t see Morocco making any headlines, but I thought the interior of this pavilion was one of the most beautiful at the Expo. It mirrors the traditional interior of a Moroccan house, complete with magnificent inlaid marble and wood, a flowing fountain and graceful lighting. Your tour of the pavilion takes you through the construction process, with a bay window dedicated to each craft applied. Definitely a nice visit and you wont find lines too long.
3. Eat at the Czech Restaurant
Visiting the Czech pavilion is a must at the Expo. It was one of our favorite stops. After you take in the sites and rub an actual statue from the Charles bridge, stop by the authentic Czech restaurant. You can try a number of famous Czech beers and recharge your walking batteries with a heart meal. It was a perfect lunch spot for us to rest and cool down during the hot day.
4. Ningbo Pavilion / Water Garden Square
Most people will give the Puxi side of the fair a miss. Don’t miss the series of city cases in the far northern corner though, as they are on par with national pavilion in Pudong. Our favorite here was the Ningbo pavilion, which has a naturally occurring butterfly garden at it’s center. Alsace also has a beer garden on it’s roof with a great view of the rest of the park. You’ll also want to stop by the Osaka case (inside one of the joint pavilions) to watch their 360 degree experience. All these are set around probably the best manicured part of the expo, a wonderful lake with trees and plants.
5. Catch as many performances as you can
There are an unbelievable number of performances to see at the 2010 Expo. Check the schedule on your park map each day to see what you might attend. Two highlights are the soon to open dance show at the USA pavilion, as well as the flag dance in Africa square.
6. See the Shanghai Dream Cube at Night
An architectural stand out among a myriad of worthy competitors is the Shanghai dream cube. If you don’t want to wait in extensive lines, then at least walk by this building at night, you won’t be sorry you did.
7. Get a mango fruit slush in Cambodia.
It gets very, very hot at the Expo if you visit in the day time (and we haven’t even hit the summer months yet). To cool off, why not grab a fresh fruit slush from inside the Cambodia pavilion. On your way through you’re taken through miniature recreations of Cambodia’s famous temples, and the price is fairly competitive.
8. Try a glass of wine or a Pisco Sour in Chile
One area of the Expo currently light on visitors is the Central and South American squares. This is not for the lack of quality of the pavilions. Chile and Mexico both have excellent entries in the Expo. At the end of your trip to Chile, stop at their bar and sample some of Chile’s best wines. Or try their national drink – the Pisco Sour. If you order one of their food items you get a glass of wine thrown in.
9. Have a snack on a high speed train at the Railway Pavilion
For a wonderfully kitschy China experience, stop at the end of China Railway pavilion for a drink. The cafe is a mockup of the insides of one of their high speed trains, complete with fake windows showing rolling countryside while you sip away at some tea.
10. Go on the LED swings in Sweden
Certainly the most playful pavilion at the Expo comes from Sweden. They are definitely the only country to allow guests to change floors via slide and potato sack. After that, go for a swing on their LED attired swings. What do these things have to do with Sweden? I’m not entirely sure, but it was a fun distraction when you’re exhausted at the end of the day.
Next up we have the 10 Things you need to Skip at the Shanghai World Expo 2010.