World-class shopping at Warsaw Chopin ....
Frédéric (or Fryderyk) Chopin Airport is Warsaw’s international airport, located six miles southwest of the capital. Codenamed WAW, it is Poland’s busiest, handling almost half of the country’s air passenger traffic. In many circles it is still referred to as Okecie Airport, its pre-2001 title and the name of the district in which it’s located.
When it comes to airport layout, Chopin is currently in the midst of a large-scale upgrade, due for completion by 2015. The new Terminal A complex now integrates the former Terminals 1 and 2, and deals with flights from low-cost carriers plus members of the Star, SkyTeam and OneWorld alliances. Popular routes from Warsaw Chopin include London, Frankfurt and Paris, with LOT Polish Airlines, WizzAir and Lufthansa being the dominant carriers.
Terminal A now has five check-in areas (A, B, C, D, E); 45 passenger gates; and 27 air bridges. The Southern Hall now refers to check-in areas A and B (the former Terminal 1), whilst the Northern Hall refers to check-in areas C, D and E (the former Terminal 2).
To compliment these developments, a new rail link to central Warsaw is also underway.
Chopin’s 50+ retail concessions are as impressive as its development plans. This is terrific news for passengers heading to the US and Canada, as check-in is three hours before departure. So whether it’s a prestige watch, a glittering jewellery set or haute-couture fashions and cosmetics, Chopin’s tax and duty-free stores are sure to have the exclusive • or elusive • product you’re looking for.
For new-release and classic fragrances, follow your nose either to the Aelia Duty Free store, the Baltona Bestseller or the Baltona Perfumery outlets. They all stock market leading fragrances such as Estée Lauder, Paris Hilton and Dolce & Gabbana for women, with eau de cologne from Nautica, Davidoff and Giorgio Armani for the men. Their luxurious cosmetic ranges include nail polishes, glosses and exclusive to travel gift and travel sets from YSL, Too Faced, Maybelline, Max Factor and celebrity favourite, MAC. The Aelia Beauty concession in Arrivals also stocks cosmetic from Givenchy, Biotherm, Bvlgari and Clinique.
World of Beauty & Art (alongside Dior and Gucci designer sunglasses and the jewellery of Swarovski and Zimmerman) specialises in natural cosmetics, from renowned brands such as The Body Shop, Biotherm and Dr Irena Eris.
Aelia is also a one-stop shop for celebratory Champagne or duty-free alcohol, from Smokehead Islay Whisky to Absolut Vodka or Jim Beam Kentucky Bourbon. Baltona Classic Duty Free carries similar ranges, alongside confectionary, souvenirs and tobacco products. There is also a Baltona Arrivals store, too, so you can stock up on your favourite liquor, cosmetics and fragrances on arrival in Poland.
If time is of the essence and you need a new designer watch or jewellery set, you’ve come to the right airport. The W. Kruk and Jublier watch shops showcase prestigious timepieces from CK, Frederique Constant, Diesel, Citizen, Casio and QQ, at such great tax-free price you might be persuaded to buy two. Jublier stocks jewellery from Fossil and Armani, too. And the remarkable S.T.A.M.P.S. watches and hand-made Lalo jewellery in the ARTANDDECO.EU store will leave you with yet more decisions. Will it be the colourful earrings, the glass bangle or the pendant?
A second sparkling jewellery concession is within Baltona World of Accessories, boasting limited edition exclusives from Pierre Cardin, Crislu and Pandora. To combat the glare of your tax-free gemstones, pick out some sleek designer sunglasses from Ray Ban, Police, Versace or Prada.
For genuine Polish art and craft souvenirs, explore the creations at Kapela Folk, Keraniss or Discover Warsaw. Their unique products range from traditional lace and embroidery to Polish cuisine, crystal glassware and amber jewellery. And for some last-minute in-flight reading matter or entertainment, pop into Relay, InMedio, Ruch or the Virgin store for books, CDs, journals and magazines.
Chopin Airport’s Facebook page is leading the way in terms of social media, as Europe’s top airport fan page. After your visit to Poland’s busiest airport, you’re sure to do far more than ‘Like’ it, too.