Hamburg International: 100 years young and still going strong …
Hamburg airport lays claim to being the oldest airport in the world still operating at its original location. When Germany’s fifth busiest airport first opened its doors back in 1911, airships rather than airplanes were the main mode of aerial transport. Aviation technology has certainly moved on from those pioneering days. In fact, Hamburg is now all ready to handle flights from the giant A380 superjumbo, unquestionably the most cutting-edge passenger plane in the skies today.And for a centenarian, Hamburg airport is in rather sprightly shape. The airport handled nearly 13 million passengers last year, a healthy 6% increase on the year before. Sixty airlines operate from the airport, linking Germany’s second largest city to 115 destinations around the globe. What’s more, frequent flyers rave about the airport’s bright, airy design; its above-average selection of shops and restaurants (more of them later); its friendly, efficient staff, and speedy train link downtown (it takes just 25 minutes).
As for the airport’s layout, it is logical and fairly easy to navigate.There are only two terminals: Terminal 1 and 2. Terminal 2 is allocated to Lufthansa and its Star Alliance partners, while Terminal 1 is the newest of the terminals, having only been refurbished in 2005. A recently expanded and refurbished Central Plaza, which houses the central security and immigration area, is sandwiched in the middle, connecting the two terminals.
Hamburg international is the home airport of Germany’s largest airport retailer Gebr. Heinemann. This family-owned company started out way back in 1879 as a ship chandler, and is still proud of its maritime roots, proudly displaying a sailboat as a key part its shop logo.
Now Heinemann may be an old company, but there is nothing old-fashioned about its main 1,350 square-metre anchor store at the airport, which is located on Level 1 of the Airport Plaza. Open less than three years, this modern, well laid out shop stocks a wide range of fragrances, cosmetics, skincare, liquor, wine and cigarettes. It is open early from 4.30 each morning to 21.30 at night, seven days a week. With the exception of tobacco products, every product has a single price no matter where you are travelling.Heinemann operates a helpful English (and German) website for this store, http://www.heinemann-dutyfree.com/hamburg_en, which is well worth browsing before you travel as it offers a handy pre-order service and has details of special offers and competition. Deals as of August 2011 included a 1-litre bottle of Hennessy VS cognac for €21.90 (@19.25), a 1-litre bottle of Tanqueray gin for €13.90 (£12.20), a 100ml Davidoff Cool Woman eau de toilette for €37.80 (£33.20), and a 50ml Cacherel Noa eau de toilette for €29 (£25.50).Before we leave Gebr. Heinemann, we should also like to draw the attention of malt whisky collectors to a limited-edition vintage Glenfiddich expression, which was released earlier this year by brand owner William Grant & Sons to mark the airport’s 100th birthday. Priced at €495 (£435), Glenfiddich 1982 Vintage Limited Edition is only available at Hamburg airport and only 100 bottles were released. There are still some bottles left, but not for long we wager.
On the gifting front, Destination Hamburg is a great store to pick up a souvenir or gift to remind you of your stay in this historic German city (Terminal 2, Level 1). It sells clothing, including strips branded to local football teams such as HSV, as well as home ware and humble local northern German gastronomic specialities such as eel soup and labskaus, a one-dish meal of mashed potato, corned beef and beetroot.
If you have more of a sweet tooth, check out Boutique du Chocolat (Pier, Level 1), which stocks both local chocolate varieties and a classic selection of Belgian pralines. Alternatively, if you are after something a little healthier, head to Level 2 of the Airport Plaza and seek out the sleek, minimalist eatery Gosch Sylt, which serves up superb lobsters, oysters, prawns and salmon, alongside a great range of wines and Champagnes.
Centenarians aren’t particularly renowned for their fashion sense, but Hamburg international is the exception to the rule. The roll call of fashion names trading at the airport is undeniably impressive for an airport of middling size, and certainly testament to the spending power of the local Hamburgers. Designer fashion names include the likes of Hermes, Hugo Boss, Gant, Picard and Marco O’Polo.
Fashionistas should also be aware there are some multi-brand fashion outlets too such as menswear fashion concept SØR and Attitude, which stocks both men’s and women’s lines from high-end brands such as Escada, MCM, René Lezard and Bally (both outlets are located in Pier, Level 1). In the same location and for more affordable youth fashion and casual styles Tom Tailor, a popular Hamburg-based fashion brand, could be worth a look. See http://www.tom-tailor.com/index.php?page=TomTailor&lang=English for more details.
Mycell (Terminal 2, Level 0) is the place for all things Apple-related (iphones, ipads and associated accessories), as well as cameras and notepads from other brands. Over in the Pier, the Sound & Vision outlet is one of the newest shops to open at Hamburg International and features dedicated Sony and Apple areas, as well as other consumer electronics, including digital cameras and videos.
Shopping can be an exhausting business so if you are in need of a little R&R before your flight, can we suggest the Akurpressurmassage outlet in the Pier next to Gate B20 and Gate C15 (Level 1)? Combining elements of traditional Chinese and Western massage, the treatments are claimed to be great for those with a fear of flying. Prices start for as little as €1 (£0.88) per minute.
Official Hamburg airport shopping site
Tax Free Travel Airport Shopping Guides …..
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