We’ve all had it happen to us…someone we know goes on vacation and then they come back with a little gift. Now not all souvenirs have to be corny, but more often than not it’s a trinket that you have no idea where to put. Every country seems to have their souvenir, and you see it absolutely everywhere. Let’s take a look at some of Europe’s most popular travel destinations and their souvenirs, both the cheesy and tasty ones, just in case you know someone going to one of these countries you can warn them to go for the tastier souvenir.
Keep reading to see the top souvenirs, both the cheesiest and the tastiest.
Spain is the country known for it’s traditional dance, flamenco, but if it’s not Halloween, where are we going to wear this dress?
Know someone going to Spain? Why not ask for some olive oil? With hundreds of types to choose from they can’t go wrong with a nice bottle of aceite de oliva virgin extra.
Anyone that has been to England has a picture of them in one of the famous red telephone booths, but what are you supposed to do with a trinket sized booth?
Know someone going to England? Why not ask for some aromatic English breakfast tea? It’s guaranteed to fit in their suitcases without problem and will be sure to be of use in your home, or at least more so than a miniature phone booth.
As Austria is Mozart’s birthplace, wherever you go you can’t escape the Mozart-esque souvenirs. The most popular are the “Mozart balls,” pistachio marzapan covered in dark chocolate.
Not a big chocolate fan? Ask for some Weissbier, a popular beer brewed with a lot of wheat in addition to malted barley.
One of Brussels most visited statues has to be the Mannekin Pis. The popularity of this fountain sculpture has given rise to any and every type of trinket with le Petit Julien. The most popular is the wine corkscrew.
Though this piece is a good conversation starter at a party, we’d rather be gifted some of Belgium’s finest, world famous pralines, more commonly known simply as “belgian chocolates”.
The Czech Republic is famous for their handmade wooden marionettes, and though they are quite cute, unless you have a special place to hang them, they’re wound to end up in a box somewhere with the strings all tangled and tied together.
Why not ask for some Karlovy Vary Spa Wafers (lázeňské oplatky) instead? These thin, sugary wafers may not be the most travel-proof souvenir, but we bet the crumbs will be just as tasty!
Though the Eiffel Tower is located in Paris, anywhere you go in France you’re bound to find a wide array of anything to do with one of the world’s most iconic monuments. If you don’t exactly have a collection of mini monuments, or your key chain already weighs two pounds from the amount of trinkets dangling from it, we suggest some of France’s finest cheese. With camembert being one of the most famous cheeses (not to mention stinkiest) we suggest it’s brought back home in vacuum sealed packaging.
Unless you’re planning on attending a few Oktoberfests in your lifetime, lederhosen or a dirndl aren’t exactly the most practical garbs.
The better souvenir? A lovely German beer of course. From Pilsners to Berliner Kindl Weisses there’s bound to be one that best suits your taste buds.
Though it’s another great Halloween costume option, Halloween only comes once a year, and the rest of the year you need to find a place to store this Grecian Hoplite armor. Unless you have a great place to store the metal breastplate, furry helmet, and not to mention a seven foot tall spear, in the off season we recommend swapping the armor for some delicious olives. Greece’s favorite variety of olives? Kalamata.
Who doesn’t love a good cold Guinness? We personally think it’s better to have the real deal then to just wear a stuffed one on your head. Unfortunately, Guinness is known for being at its best in the factory in Dublin, so why not opt for a drink that travels better and is still as Irish as can be, Jameson Whiskey.
Venice is the most famous place in Europe to celebrate Carnival, but all over Italy you can find souvenir shops full of the sparkling masks. Since Carnival only comes along once a year go for something you can use year-round like the aceto di Modena (balsamic vinegar). It’ll be a perfect pair to that Spanish olive oil you asked for.
These handmade Dutch clogs are quite the work of art, but completely not functional for day to day use. How about an edible memory from the Netherlands instead? Stroopwafels are our top pick. Stroop-what? Think two thin waffles and then add a caramel syrup filling.
The legend of the Rooster of Barcelos, where a dead rooster proved the innocence of a man falsely accused and sentenced to death, is one of the most popular stories in Portugal. Because of the popularity of this legend, the Rooster of Barcelos has made its mark on nearly every type of souvenir imaginable. As much as we like snow globes and tea towels, we’re hoping we get a nice bottle of Porto’s famous Vinho do Porto (Port Wine) instead.
Vienna is renowned for many inventions, one of them being the snowglobe. As pretty as they are, if you’re going to get something Swiss make sure it’s chocolate! With the world chocolate industry bringing in billions of dollars a year it’s only human nature to want to contribute a bit more to this decadent trade.
Have you ever gotten a bad souvenir? We would love to hear about it!