Expo 2000 - Hanover, Germany - A Visitor's Guide

Expo Roof - Lit at Night

Expo 2000 is truly a massive exhibition, encompassing hundreds of exhibits including various countries and companies. The site is so large that it is divided into two areas the larger of the two encompasing the Pavillions East and the Central Pavillions and the other area containing Pavillions West. Connecting the two areas is a massive walkway over a busy motorway (or you can take the easy, and high, route on the Skyliner gondola).

Inside the Cyclebowl - One of the Most Popular Pavilions

It is difficult to get specific english maps prior to actually arriving at the site where they are sold at all souvenier stands INSIDE the gate (be careful - once in you CANNOT leave and come back in). If you understand a bit of German I would advise grabbing a German map and at least familiarize yourself with the general layout (regardless of language) – you have a LOT to see and planning is a real necessity.

Inside the German Pavilion

Public transport to the site is relatively painless with fast, clean and effective high speed train service available from most major German cities. Most train services also offer you the ability to purchase your Expo entrance ticket along with your train ticket. Transportation within Hanover is extremely easy though the distance is almost possible to walk (or bike – bike stands are available at all gates).

Estland (Estonia) Pavilion - Bizarre Architecture

Food is available just about everywhere (with Coke machines to be found on just about every corner) though the quality is about par with any other large exhibition - passable but nothing to write home about (or a home page about either!). It is suggested that you look for those stalls selling food of a bit more ethnic variety than bratwurst and hamburgers – sushi, Mexican, middle-east and Caribbean food stalls were spotted in the Pavilions East area (all you can eat sushi? yep!) though finding such stalls in the Pavilions West area is a bit more difficult.

The Western Pavilions

Be sure to see what events are playing on the day you visit as there is ALWAYS something going on, inside and outside. An event that you cannot miss is the nightly fireworks and acrobatic display in the Expo Lake/Roof area, held every night at 11:00pm (last train to Berlin leaves at just after 11 so I missed this show myself, though I saw some from the train station as we pulled out).

Most pavilions close at about 9:30 at night leaving an hour and a bit to make your way to the fireworks show and, if you are lucky, something to eat.

Souvenirs are mostly extremely tacky affairs but if you MUST have something that proves to the world that you made it and, better still, survived, I would suggest going for a good quality t-shirt (some actually even look good – but don't get too excited).

P.S. It ain't cheap!

  • Best View - From the top of the Post Box (Deutche Post Pavilion). The trip up is by elevator though you have to walk down the stairs but the view is FREE and great of the Pavilions West area and, if you squint, the Pavilions East and Central Pavilions area. The gondola has good views as well but REALLY hard to take pictures, Post Box is MUCH higher.
  • Best Place to Relax - Austria Pavilion (Halls 14-17). You can lie about on the spongy, carpetted floor and miscellaneous shapes. Relaxing music too. Quite a shock if you are not expecting to see bodies draped hither and yon…
  • Best Pavilion - Yeah, right. Many pavillions are worth visiting. I would suggest Japan, Cyclebowl (be sure to see the show at the top of every hour - WOW!), Germany, Brazil…Can't think of any others right now, but those are definitely worth seeing – either very informative or very…interesting.
  • Worst Pavilion - Unfortunately, there are a few pavilions that are little more than propaganda machines for one or more state industries of country they pro-port to represent. I would definitely stay clear of Singapore as falling well within this classification.

Further Information

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