We’re probably not telling you anything you don’t already know when we tell you that “going to the airport” isn’t exactly on everyone’s bucket list. But just like every destination is different, so is every airport. And just as navigating a new city is challenging in and of itself, so is navigating a new airport. How do I get from one terminal to the next? What are the best airport restaurants? Is there anything to do if I have a long layover?
If you’re anything like us, then these are probably the types of questions you have that perhaps you don’t get push notifications for. But never fear, because we have answers to your airport questions with our series of guides to the world’s top airports. Today we bring you the TripIt airport guide to Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI).
About BWI Airport
The busiest airport in the Baltimore-Washington metro area, BWI is located 10 miles southwest of downtown Baltimore and 30 miles northeast of Washington, D.C. BWI is one of the top-25 busiest airports in America, and one of the largest airports for Southwest Airlines. It features one main terminal with five concourses; concourses A and B are exclusively for Southwest, and Concourse E serves international flights. The airport is about a 45-minute to hour-long drive from Washington, D.C., or a 15-minute to 30-minute drive from Baltimore. A rental car center located just off the airport is served by a complimentary shuttle. A number of modes of public transportation, including MARC, Amtrak, and Light Rail train, travel to and from the airport, as well.
Feeling hungry but not sure where to eat at BWI airport? Start at DuClaw Brewing Company, a Baltimore brewery with a location near Concourse B that features gastropub fare. Other local spots include BGR – The Burger Joint and the Silver Diner, an old-school diner with a modern twist—both are located in Concourse B. Also in Concourse B is Obrycki's Restaurant & Bar, a longtime Baltimore seafood restaurant that specializes in crab. Elsewhere, there’s Gachi House of Sushi (Concourse A), one of the better-regarded airport sushi restaurants, Vino Volo (Concourse A), Kraze Burger (Concourse C), La Carnita (Concourse D), Urban Bar-B-Que (Concourse C), and The Firkin and Flyer (Concourse C), a British pub. You have a number of franchise restaurants, too, such as Potbelly (Concourse A & C), Quizno’s (Concourse D), Leeann Chin (Concourse A/B), and Chipotle (Concourse A).
Travelers have plenty of options for grabbing a drink at Baltimore-Washington International Airport. DuClaw Brewing Company—which has been ranked among the best airport beer bars—isn’t your everyday airport brewpub. Its beers are brewed locally, and feature interesting styles, such as the Sweet Baby Jesus chocolate peanut butter porter. The Firkin and Flyer has a list of domestic beers, as well as a few local craft beers, including Heavy Seas, a local microbrewery.
Wine lovers have Vino Volo, which is a great wine bar found at many U.S. airports where you can order wine by the flight, glass, and bottle, and even pick up a bottle to take home with you. While there’s Obrycki's Restaurant and Bar that has a full bar, there’s also Obrycki's A-Bar, which is more bar and less restaurant, featuring a menu of craft beer, wine and classic cocktails. Order their signature Bloody Mary, which comes garnished with a crab claw.
BWI airport has many of the usual suspects for shopping, including Sunglass Hut, Pandora, Kiehl's, Johnston & Murphy, and Tumi. In Concourse C and D is Be Relax, which offers massages, manicures, pedicures, and other spa treatments. The airport's most unique amenity is ROAM Fitness, a 1,175 square foot ADA accessible gym located after D/E security. ROAM has everything you'd need to do a full workout, and will even rent you workout clothes if you don't have your own. Additionally, the BWI Cardio Trail features two designated American Heart Association walking loops around the airport. Needless to say, Baltimore-Washington International Airport takes wellness seriously.
Finally, the BWI Observation Gallery, located on the second floor, features an art gallery, children’s play area, charging station, and aviation exhibits. While Baltimore proper is a little further afield, Maryland’s largest mall, Arundel Mills, is just a few miles away.
While Baltimore-Washington International Airport doesn’t have your typical airline lounges, it does have its own airport lounge, The Club, located in Concourse D. Here you have many of the same amenities and features of airline lounges, but for a nominal day fee, which can be bought there at the lounge or online. Amenities include complimentary alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, snacks, Wi-Fi, and comfortable seating.
Good news for TripIt Pro members: you can apply your $25 LoungeBuddy credit to either The Club or ROAM Fitness.
Note: TripIt Pro’s LoungeBuddy perk will end on April 15, 2019. If you have redeemed your $25 credit, you will need to use it through the LoungeBuddy app. For information about when the credit expires and how to use it, please contact LoungeBuddy customer support.
Use TripIt’s interactive airport maps in the app to discover shop, restaurant, and bar locations. You’ll also have everything you need to navigate your way with estimated walk times and step-by-step directions.
Spencer is a seasoned food, drink, and travel writer who has written for publications from Outside Magazine to Travel + Leisure and Los Angeles Times. When he's not traveling, he's perfecting his favorite cocktails in his home bar. He chronicles his adventures (and cocktails) on his travel site, Whiskey Tango Globetrot.