Paris CDG Terminal 2: the airport within an airport ….
Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) Terminal 2 (T2) is big. It is so big in fact that it would be more accurate to classify it as an airport in its own right. Originally built exclusively for Air France and opened in 1982, T2 has now expanded to contain seven small terminals, 2A to 2G, which are housed in separate buildings with their own security and immigration. Given that T2 is so gargantuan, walking from one terminal to another can be quite an ordeal. In fact, one of the newer terminals, 2G, actually requires travellers to board a transfer bus.
“What about the shopping?” we hear you cry. Well, with so many terminals comes a lot of duplication, perhaps too much. Each terminal, for instance, has its own well-stocked multi-category Buy Paris Duty Free outlet, and smaller outlets dedicated to liquor and tobacco (Pure & Rare), and fragrances and cosmetics (Beauty Unlimited). Any traveller looking for reading material won’t be disappointed either as each terminal features its own Relay newsagent, while Virgin is the replicated store for CDs, DVDs, mp3 players and other digital gizmos.
The cigar selection in the Buy Paris Duty Free shop in 2E is particularly impressive and a must visit for any cigar-loving traveller. They will find a temperature-controlled humidor packed with a good selection not only of all the famous Cuban brands, but also cigars from the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and Honduras, as well a range of quality cigar accessories.
High fashion is understandably a high point of the retail scene at T2. We are only a short hop from Paris, the epicentre of the global fashion industry, after all. So look out for the concept store Attitude (2A, 2B, 2D, 2F and 2G) for international cutting-edge brands with a youthful appeal such as Kipling, Thomas Sabo, Swarovski, Lacoste, Guess, Sonia Rykiel, Diesel and Wolford. The fashion scene in 2C and 2E is more classic and very high-end with the likes of Cartier, Celine, Hermes and Lancel all having boutiques in 2C, while Armani, Hugo Boss and Longchamp operate outlets in 2E.
Luxury watches are another important component of the shopping line up at T2. If you need to update your timepiece, make a beeline for Hour Passion (2A, 2C), a generic watches concept where you find classic Swiss brands such as Longines, Tissot and Omega, which are much favoured by Chinese travellers, as well as more fashion-oriented makes such as Flik-Flak and Calvin Klein. Alternatively, colourful and funky fashion watch brand Swatch runs a small store in 2A.
Children are usually short changed in terms of airport shopping and T2 is nothing special in this respect, but do keep an eye out for the quirky Quand La Chat N’est Pas La stores in 2D, 2E and 2F, which have an old-fashioned nursery design and stock traditional toys such as music boxes, dolls and board games. A cheaper option might be to let kids loose on the free Playstation areas, which are to be found in all seven of T2’s terminals (see http://www.aeroportsdeparis.fr/ADP/en-GB/Passagers/shops-services/relaxation/play-while-waiting-for-your-flight/playstation-area/).
What is the top-selling gift item across all three of Paris CDG’s terminals? Why, miniature Eiffel Towers, of course, the airport gift stores sell over 500,000 of them every year! If you want to buy a more imaginative souvenir of your stay in the French capital, can we suggest that you opt for a gastronomic gift from the likes of Hediard (2E), where you can buy wonderfully packaged gourmet teas, jams, coffees and candied fruits?Alternatively, purchase some exquisite dark chocolate truffles from La Maison du Chocolat (2E and 2F). You won’t be disappointed: the quality of confectionery sold at this famous French chocolatier puts some well-known Belgian brands to shame. We also love Maison Ladurée (2E) for their irresistible, brightly coloured macaroons, which are a taste of Paris in a single bite.
Add a nice bottle of Bordeaux wine and the latest designer fragrance to that cute box of macaroons and we are sure any loved one will welcome you back home from your trip to Paris with open arms. Bon voyage.
See our general airport shopping guide to …
- Paris Charles de Gualle Airport
- and our 2012 guide to Paris CDG Terminal 1 Shopping
- Airport Lounges Paris CDG Airport
Also check our airport shopping guide to ..