When I was asked to write about airports with the best shopping I thought it would be easy. A) Shopping is one of my favourite hobbies (I’m VERY good at it!) and B) I get to travel an awful lot with my work – so should be easy – right?
With over 1,200 international airports spanning the globe and facilities ranging from the obvious duty-free shops right up to rooftop pools you could quite easily make like Tom Hanks in the ‘Terminal’ and live quite a comfortable life in one (although we wouldn’t recommend it!) But whilst facilities such as movie theatres and casinos make for a more entertaining wait I feel an airport is only as good as the amount of money you can spend in it and with so many to choose from, here are my top five:
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is the largest airport in Holland, and one of the biggest in Europe. You can quite literally shop until you drop here with shops ranging from H&M to Hermès catering to every shoppers requirements, 7 days a week.
Ever fancied going ice skating after checking in your baggage? Or perfecting your swing before boarding your flight? Well look no further than Incheon International Airport. And with airport authorities claiming that average departure and arrival only takes 19 minutes (compared to the 60 minute world-wide industry average) this means even more time to enjoy the fantastic duty-free shopping.
Think tax-free mecca – think Dubai International Airport! This whopping glass and steel designed airport is a haven for designer fashion, wine and gold – all at great discount prices. Lucky spenders may also leave with up to $2 million or a pricey sports car, thanks to the airport's famous monthly drawings and giveaways. But try not to be distracted by the Zen Gardens and Snoozecube options while you’re there – this may seriously obstruct any potential shopping time!
Winning high marks for security, immigration processing, cleanliness and leisure options (an outdoor pool, movie theatres, butterfly garden, four-storey slide), Singapore’s Changi Airport is actually a place you wouldn’t overly mind having a long layover – and this is even before hitting the shops. Showcasing luxury brands such as Gucci, Prada and Bvlgari, fashion brands like Chloe (my all time favourite!!) and Miu Miu, and homegrown Singapore outlets like Charles & Keith this really is the crème de la crème of airports!
Last but by no means least we celebrate the third busiest airport in the world – London Heathrow. With over 48,000 square metres of retail space spanning five terminals and seeing some 67 million passengers a year this airport has a lot of people to satisfy – and satisfy it does. Rolling Oxford Street, Bond Street and Knightsbridge all under one roof there is no denying Terminal 5 has set a high in departure shopping standards.
For even more useful (!) information on shopping hotspots and travel tips give us a call on +44 1993 899 430 - we'd love to chat to you!