Dublin Airport

Aerfort Bhaile Atha Cliath

  • See our 2012 guide to Dublin T2 Terminal 2 Shopping
  • Shops: 36
  • Restaurants, bars, cafes: 17
  • Walk from shops to gates: Up to 10 minutes (except Pier D, up to 20 minutes)
  • What to look for: Fashion, Irish chocolates, Guinness memorabilia.
  • Interesting shops: Wrights of Howth, House of Ireland, Guinness Shop, Superdry, Boggi Milano.
  • Special offers: Regular promotions can be found at the airport website http://www.airportshopping.ie
  • Terminals: 2
  • Passenger traffic 2011: 18.7m

Dublin airport feels remarkably cosy. That’s in part because it is smaller than it should be, and over recent years Dublin Airport Authority has invested in several ambitious expansion plans – including an extension to T1 that opened in 2009 and a brand new T2 that opened in November 2010 • that have addressed its capacity needs. But it’s also because the airport is well designed and easy to use; unless you travel through the far-flung pier D, serving low-cost carriers, gates are within comfortable walking time from the main retail area.

The shopping precinct is also well designed and well stocked. The core duty free range of liquor, tobacco, confectionery and beauty takes centre stage, in the middle of The Loop (which, as the name fails to suggest, is a long, relatively straight shopping parade). Run in-house by the airport, the product range here is excellent across the board. The Loop hosts a packed agenda of promotions to liven up the area and offer further incentives for passengers to spend. And, unlike so many airports, these promotions and product prices are readily available before travelling through the airport’s website, so do check before travelling.

For Irish delicacies try Wrights of Howth, which has three outlets at the airport. As well as many products long associated with Ireland • wild smoked salmon, cheeses, pork and bacon • you will also find a wide selection of Irish chocolates. Over the past few years several small, high-quality Irish chocolatiers have risen to prominence, and Wrights offers a choice of the best • others can be found in the confectionery section of the main duty free store.

House of Ireland is the airport representation of a long-established Dublin retailer that has been sourcing and selling the best of Irish gifts, homeware and jewellery since 1975. Its airport presence is relatively new, but it is a welcome addition • the retailer’s knowledge and passion for Irish crafts is evident in a well-chosen range that includes famous Galway Crystal, Louise Kennedy glassware and Newbridge jewellery.If you’ve been smitten by ‘the black stuff’ during your visit, you can pay non-alcoholic homage to Ireland’s most famous export at The Guinness Store. It’s worth a visit just to marvel at the marketing ingenuity of Guinness • the branded merchandise ranges from tasteful items celebrating iconic and historic Guinness advertising campaigns, through to the dreaded floppy St Patrick’s Day top hats that are designed to help you spot drunken stag parties in a crowd. In between you’ll find plenty of interesting, humorous and ironically tacky paraphernalia.

Somewhat unexpectedly, Dublin airport is also becoming a bit of a fashion destination. Since early 2009 it has opened a range of shops run by brands that are very rarely found at airports. These include some very interesting names; Fat Face, Boggi Milano, LK Bennett, Calvin Klein Underwear and Superdry. More importantly, the shops are a consistently high quality, offer a good range of the brand offer • not just a token selection • and are priced comparably to the high street.

The entire offer is covered under The Loop’s price guarantee, offering to refund passengers double the difference if they find the same product cheaper elsewhere in Ireland • albeit it must be ‘a comparable outlet’, which leaves some room for debate. But without getting bogged down in semantics, it’s a promise that should reassure passengers and go some way to dispelling the ‘airport rip-off’ perception.Already being heralded as a great shopping destination, with over 40 shops and an even greater focus on fashion. Fingers crossed it remains true to the feel at the existing terminal; cosy, comfortable and interesting.

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