Tax Free Travel Guide to Sochi airport
Sochi international, one of Russia’s ten busiest airports.
It spent over $300 million (£185 million) getting ready for the Winter Olympics, building a brand new international terminal in 2010, and an additional VIP Terminal. But Sochi airport is currently doing a poor job of telling the outside world what it has to offer.
The shopping offers are getting better, another new store at the airport, the Master of Time shop, which will sell a wide range of both classic and more fashion-driven watches and jewellery. Examples of some of the brands stocked there will include Calvin Klein, Guess, Skagen, Ice Watch, Montblanc, Damiani, Carrera y Carrera, Roberto Coin, Dior, Gucci, Omega, Breitling, Ulysse Nardin, TAG Heuer, Hermes, Longines, Maurice Lacroix, Raymond Weil, Frederique Constant, Rado, Hamilton and Tissot.
Similarly upscale is Atelier, a store dedicated to high-end leather bags and accessories. Inspired by the look and feel of an artisan’s workshop Atelier is dominated by pricy leather goods brands such as Longchamp, Lancel, Furla, Michael Kors, Marc by Marc Jacobs, See by Chloé, MCM and Roeckl.
As the name suggests ‘Sun Catcher’ is a shop focused entirely on eyewear and sunglasses. Travellers will find sporty performance styles from brands such as Oakley and Maui Jim and luxury designer branded sunglasses from famous names such as Bvlgari, Tiffany, Dior, Gucci, Prada and Tom Ford to name but a few. Lower down the price ladder comes a wide range of fashion sunglasses from the likes of Burberry, Emporio Armani, Polo Ralph Lauren, Police, DKNY and many more. Unlike some more old-fashioned sunglasses stores there are plenty of opportunities to try pairs on at the Sun Catcher shop and of course mirrors to ensure you’ve picked the right style for your look.
For the traditional duty-free favourites of liquor, tobacco and fragrances head to the airport’s Riviera Duty Free store. By Western European standards, cigarette prices are exceedingly cheap: just €18 (£15) for a carton of 200 Marlboro Red, while a 200-stick carton of Winston Superslims Blue is even cheaper at only €9 (£7.50). In contrast, liquor is less of a bargain: a 1-litre bottle of Glenfiddich 12 year old single-malt is priced at €35 (£29) while the same-sized bottle of Frapin VSOP Cognac is €39 (£32.50). For a run down of the entire product assortment, please log on to http://www.rivieradutyfree.ru/en/magazin/all/.
If you are on the lookout for a decent souvenir of your trip to Sochi and you want to avoid all those Olympics branded trinkets, stuffed toys and fridge magnets, why not try a more traditional Black Sea souvenir? Our suggestions would be Black Sea tea, the most northerly grown anywhere in the world, cute Russian ‘matryoshka’ nesting dolls, Black Sea shells, bamboo craft wear or decorative Russian glassware.
To sum up, Sochi airport is definitely upping its game and being the venue for the Russian F1 Grand Prix passengers will expect far better offerings.
Sochi International factfile:
Total passengers 2012: 2.4m
Main airlines: Aeroflot, S7, Transaero, Turkish Airlines, Austrian Airlines
Main routes: Moscow, St Petersburg
Duty-free bargains: cigarettes
Suggested souvenirs: Black Sea tea, matryoshka nesting dolls, bamboo craft wear.
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