When you want to take some of your favourite British snacks or goods home after a stay in London, duty free shopping at Heathrow is the way to go. If you’re a novice international traveller, it’s important to know the basic about duty free shopping. Basically, anything you purchase in a Heathrow duty free shop is not subject to local taxes, or duties, so you can save a lot of money shopping this way. In addition, when you land in another country you won’t have to declare your duty free purchases against the maximum allowable imports. You also won’t have to take the items through security on your way to your flight. Duty free shops are located within four of Heathrow’s terminals (terminals 1, 3, 4, and 5), always after the security check point, and so you can carry what you buy onto your flight without your packages being opened or scanned.
Duty Free Shopping at Heathrow – Which Shops are there?
The terminal 1 shops are open from 5:30 in the morning until 10pm, offering an impressive 40 retail outlets. In addition to buying food and drinks, terminal 1 also gives you the opportunity to shop for designer clothing and skin care. From international brands to British designers, this terminal’s duty free area looks somewhat like an upscale shopping mall. Other items for sale in terminal 1 duty free at Heathrow include cosmetics, sunglasses, and skin care products.
Terminal 3 opens at 5:15 in the morning and stays open until nearly midnight. If you are traveling to and from the United States, this is your terminal, so listen up. Like terminal 1, this terminal has around 40 retail shops, many of which are high-end stores like Armani and Versace. If you are on a budget, don’t worry, because the World Duty Free shop also occupies a lot of space in terminal 3. This shop has clothing, jewellery, cosmetics, and clothes — and you won’t pay nearly as much for your purchases as you will in a designer store.
Terminal 4 shops are in two parts: the World Duty Free shops and Harrods shops with designer duds. These shops open at 5 in the morning and always remain open until after the final flight of the evening departs. This terminal has the smallest number of shops, but you can still find the standard World Duty Free shop and some clothing retailers.
All terminal 5 shops open at 5:30 in the morning; like terminal 4 retailers, the shops here always stay open until after the last daily flight leaves the gate. This terminal has about 50 retailers that are spread across two different levels. The first European airport store for Tiffany & Co and Coach can be found here, as well as the first PC World airport store. In the World Duty Free store, you will find a full Clinique counter, much like you could expect in a major department store.
Each of the terminals also has a World of Whiskies shop past the security check point. An impressive 350 different whiskies are found at these shops, and you can even pre-order some of your favourite blends so that a bottle is waiting for you on your departure date. Among the whisky available for pre-order is a 50-year-old Glenfiddich and an Abelour.
When you’re shopping duty free before a Heathrow departure, keep your airline’s carry on restrictions in mind. If you buy too much and exceed the number of bags you’re allowed to bring onto the plane, you’ll find yourself scrambling to find a way to check it all!
Duty Free Shopping at Heathrow for Arrivals?
Are you arriving in Heathrow, rather than departing? Don’t worry; the airport does not exclude you from the duty free experience. All of the Heathrow terminals also offer shopping for incoming passengers. You will find duty free shopping at Heathrow in the arrivals area, which includes retailers offering wine, champagne, fragrances, skin care products, and food.