The best gifts to bring home from Europe
Bringing little gifts home from a trip is such a fun way to give loved ones a taste of where you’ve been.
I love finding gifts throughout Europe, since it is so packed with culture and unique from place to place.
You want to bring home the right kind of gift instead of a tacky touristy one. As we’ve gathered a few gems
here and there, I’ve been thinking of the best kind of gifts to bring home from different places in Europe.
Here are some ideas!
Italy: Olive oil. Though you can’t bring home hot pizza or pasta or gelato, you can bring a high quality olive oil that will allow your loved ones to cook with a true taste of Italy at home. Find the good stuff at a real Italian market, or even better: visit an olive oil farm in Tuscany to pick some up!
Portugal: Tiles…buying one of those beautiful blue tiles that decorate the cities are a perfect item to bring home. You can just buy one as a decor item for someone you love!
Belgium: Chocolate. This is a simple one, but since waffles & frites don’t travel well…bring home the other Belgian staple: chocolate! There are chocolate shops on almost every corner in Belgian cities, so this is an easy one…you can even count sampling a few different shops as “research” for your purchase :)
Norway: Cheese slicer. I never knew this, but the common slicer we all know and use was invented here! You’ll see really good slicers in almost every boutique, because they are proud of this. If you want the official first one, get a Bjørklund brand. Even better if you can buy some Brunost – “brown cheese” to go with it. (And get a little fairy or troll figurine for the little one at home … these creatures live in Norway, after all! :)
Sweden: Design & home items. The Swedes (and Nordics in general) are so unique with their kitchenware, decorative objects, furniture and lighting. Everything has a cool modern feel like Ikea, but fancier. Go wander through one of their home boutiques, the options are endless.
Slovenia: Salt! I had no idea until we visited Slovenia that they produce some of the best salt on earth. Visit Piranske Soline, a local salt shop with products produced right in Piran where the salt pans are some of the rarest in the world since they still use the old-fashioned process, making the salt absolutely incredible. Try the salt flower and bring that home for a gift! We toured a salt field and learned all about it…which you can see here!
Turkey: Turkish delight. You can find lokum, as it’s known in Turkey, almost EVERYWHERE. It’s fun to pick up some different flavors at the Spice Bazaar and get it wrapped up for a loved one! I am usually not a huge fan of this sugary candy-like treat, but it is so unique and pretty that it’s fun to bring home. Also, I actually sampled some pomegranate flavored Turkish Delight in the market that I LOVED!
Hungary: Hungarian paprika. I didn’t realize until after visiting that the secret ingredient in most Hungarian food is paprika! It is grown and produced there, and a staple in Goulash and most other basic dishes. When buying a tin at the Great Market Hall, go for the brightest colors and be sure to check that it is locally produced in Hungary…like in Hodi or Molnar!
London: Hats! There are plenty of fun items to bring home from the UK, but a great hat is a fun & personal one. (I know you’ve seen the past royal weddings and the hats people wore to them! :) The British definitely know how to wear their hats, whether it is to tea time or out to a match of polo. You can find hat shops with all kinds of styles in the city, from wide-brimmed, pillbox, houndstooth, straw, lace, and more. If you want to bring home a hat with history, check out what is said to be the oldest hat shop in the world: Lock & Co.
Netherlands: Tulip bulbs, clogs, stroopwafels, and cheese! (I can’t pick just one since we lived there and I brought lots of fun gifts home for family :) If you get tulip bulbs make sure they have a certificate to come back into the U.S. or where you live. Clogs are all over to buy, and you can buy wooden or glass versions…I like the smaller decorative ones like I picked up for our baby girl’s future nursery! Definitely pick up a tin of stroopwafels (all of our friends and family LOVED these when we brought them back) and you can also get Dutch cheese because they pack it so it doesn’t need to be refrigerated on the way home. Perfect!
Spain: Football jersey! A European football (soccer) jersey is a great gift from many places, but one from the iconic Real Madrid dynasty may be the most exciting to your loved one back in the States.
Paris: Silk scarf. For some reason Parisian silk scarves are always my go-to gift coming home from Paris. They are just a chic and simple gift from a chic city, and you can get them on almost any street corner. If you have a particularly bold loved one, maybe add in a beret ;)… with a little painting from Montmartre!
Prague: Wooden toys. I love all of the shops with darling handmade wooden toys in Prague! They are really traditional and beautiful from slingshots to train sets to puppets. Perfect for the little one in your life!
Scotland: Shortbread // tartan plaid. If your loved one has Scottish ancestry or a name connected to a tartan plaid, pick up a sweater in the pattern. If not, go with some Walker’s shortbread cookies. You can find them everywhere and they are AMAZING. We brought home so many boxes when we visited!
Iceland: Wool blanket. You’ll be popular if you pick one of these up for a loved one. The blankets here are made out of Icelandic wool making them durable, lightweight, breathable and warm.
Switzerland: There are lots of options to bring home from this classy country, but an easy option is Toblerone. Pick up a few flavors of this luxury chocolate and bring it home … with a Swiss Army Knife if you’re really feeling generous!
Russia: A traditional wooden stackable Matryoshka doll is the clear choice for a gift from Russia. There are endless sizes and designs, so be sure to peruse plenty before picking one!
Greece: Olives. Keep it simple and get a jar of Kalamata or local olives from Greece. They are just one taste from this delicious and beautiful country to make your friends want to visit themselves!
Ireland: Gaelic music: pick up some fun and unique music for your friends & family to enjoy (and do a little jig to) once you’re back!
Denmark: Knit sweater: bring home a Scandinavian sweater to keep a friend or family member warm! For kids, bring home Legos since they were invented here!
Happy travels, and happy gifting!