Train stations are usually boring. But what if you had 5 minutes to the nearest cinema when you learn your train is in 4 hours not in 20 minutes, you could choose from numerous coffee shops on your way to the platform or go and buy some books for your trip? Well, Warsaw might be the best example how to combine shopping and travel with its “Golden Terraces” center.
Golden Terraces (or Złote Tarasy in Polish) is a relatively new mall – opened in 2007 was supposed to be something attractive nearby an old and ugly train station. Fortunately Poland and Ukraine co-hoted Euro 2012 football tournament and before that – Poland changed a lot. The Central Station turned into a very convenient shopping spot and it got connected directly to “Golden Terraces” center.
Złote Tarasy is not only a shopping mall, but also a bunch of office buildings that are rising above the shopping center. Yet, most of the people associate the name with the mall and also – in my opinion, this is a shopping spot with the best design of all the similar places in Poland. Here it how it looks like from outside:
Usually, shopping centers are all covered and there is not a lot of natural light. But here – it’s opposite! As the glass you can see above is transparent, there is a lot of natural light going to the building. This allows you to shop in a very natural conditions. The glass roof is safe also during the winter (I have experienced eating some food with the glass covered in snow above my head – and I am still alive ;) ).
Here are a few shots that I took inside the mall, overlooking different sides of the center:
You can also see several buildings outside, including my office building (far left of the first picture). As I mentioned, there is a lot of light inside the center and this allows to have a lot of plants inside. Take a look:
The center itself has 5 floors – the lowest one (-1) is connected with a train station and you can do some basic shopping there. More shops are from the floor 0 to the floor number 2. Floor 3 is covered mostly by the food court (mostly fast foods) but there are also normal restaurants and cinema (Multikino).
One of the most interesting elements of this floor is the combination of useful and fun. Let’s say that you need some electricity. There are some power sockets, but in order to make them work you have to… create the electricity yourself by riding a bicycle. Useful and better than the gym :) Usually there are people, but I managed to picture this charging zone while unused. Here it is:
I also loved the fact that there are a lot of decorations in the places that come up to you as a little bit of surprise. For example: there are some photos attached to the walls (I hope they clean them and change them from inside those glass boxes, not from outside with a giant ladder) that look quite impressive.
What makes the whole mall a success is not only the interesting interior but the fact how convenient it is to most of the people. First of all: it is connected with a central train station so there are a lot of people who want to use a their waiting time for the train to do something. Złote Tarasy are also connected next to one of bus terminals, so there are people who are just stopping by to buy something and then go home or to work. Another group are the people who work around – there are a lot as there are many business centers. So basically – this center is busy from opening to closing and is generally a huge success.
And when we are at the Central Station, it got a balcony opened recently in the main hall. Here is how it looks like after the most recent renovation:
I am very happy I do not have the pictures from few years back – I will be perfectly honest with you: you would not like to see that ;)
There are plenty of malls in Warsaw, but Złote Tarasy are special – it’s very convenient and even though sometimes it is very crowded, it still might be faster to shop there, than to get to some other shopping center during the highest traffic. Nevertheless, I prefer to do my grocery shopping in Fort Wola – which is a “mall fail” – as there is barely no one shopping there :) Well… more space for me I guess!
Have a lovely week ahead!