The New Wroclaw Airport – Opened!

Yesterday I got on a flight from Wroclaw back to London. There is nothing impressive in the flight itself. The usual, bog standard budget airline, two hour hop. Except for one thing.

Oh yes, it was opening day at the Wroclaw’s new terminal. The airport is in the same place, but the new terminal is about a mile further down the road. So on Thursday, I shuffled through the cold and draughty old terminal building, while on Sunday I (still) shuffled through a warm and brand new glass and steel building. Hey, it has been a long time coming. Since Wroclaw was chosen as the host of Euro 2012, renovation and renewal has been the key. Along with being the European Capital of Culture in 2016, Wroclaw aims to put itself on the map as much as possible. And there is cash in the city, enough to build this new terminal at the airport. So while the train station in the centre of town is no more than a pre-fab shed, at least the airport will be swimmingly big enough to allow people to enter and exit the city to watch lots of football.

And opening day, the airport was busy! No, not because there was suddenly thousands more people travelling to far flung destinations. But simply as there were a ton of people gawping at the new airport.

Similar to Porto airport, the terminal is light and breezy. Steel and glass supported by large columns. It feels like Stansted airport all over again! However, unlike Porto airport, this is firmly stuck in the 1980’s with regards to transport. Yep, that means it is still the same, lousy and slow (but at least cheap) airport bus that trundles every twenty minutes to and from the city centre. And it is so behind on transport that cars take centre stage at the airport, while anyone on public transport has to lug their luggage from the periphery of the concourse to the bus stop at the edge, located as if it was an embarrassment to the airport authorities.

Yeah, as someone that has almost always used public transport to get to and from this airport, the lack of any real rail or tram link to the city centre is a pain. Wroclaw is not a big city, yet 40 minutes is a long time. Mostly as the bus stops and serves every other place on the way to the city centre. Plus, there are some awkward traffic moments towards the city. There is no motorway linking the airport to the centre of Wroclaw, so we all know that in a few years time, transport to and from the airport is going to become a real pain. The lack of foresight with regards to the surrounding infrastructure is shocking…

Still, once inside, the airport is shockingly well polished. The opening ceremony went smoothly and there were no major muck ups on opening day when I went through. A little understaffed, but even the security was surprisingly friendly. I think everyone was on their best behaviour as management was sculling around the terminal like a bundle of rotting fish. Some of the shops were still yet to open. For some bizarre reason there was a Virgin Record store there – I have not seen one of those in ages! The next time I pass through here (and that could be a long time in the future) everything would have settled down. The hustle and bustle would have replaced the prstine sheen. But you know what, if felt kind of nice to pass through Wroclaw’s new terminal on opening day…

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3 Comments

Filed under places, travel

3 responses to “The New Wroclaw Airport – Opened!

  1. Nice, fresh and new. How’s the coffee and tea?

  2. Nice to have inaugurated an airport terminal in a foreign country. Hope the security people don’t lose their friendliness though.

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