The best European souvenirs

The best European souvenirs

by Ethan Merrifield
Stripes Europe

Collecting souvenirs is an important part of traveling for most people. But how do you avoid tacky figurines of famous landmarks? I found that the best way to get souvenirs that you actually like is to focus your search on a few themes.

The most universal themes are “Something to Eat,” “Something to Use” or “Something to Wear”. Thankfully, these categories can make the difference between an item that will remind you fondly of your travels and resenting a space-wasting souvenir. Here are a few suggestions for interesting and valued collectibles to keep in mind when traveling in Europe.


Chocolate - Everyone has heard of the quality of Swiss chocolate. Whether it’s Lindt, Toblerone or any of the local chocolate shops, you are sure to enjoy the world-famous sweets.

Swiss Army Knife - These multi-tools have long-held international recognition for their quality and versatility. You can be sure that you will use this tool often and for many situations that may give you a warm remembrance from your trip to Switzerland.

Watches - As the pinnacle of luxury and craftsmanship, Swiss-made watches are a souvenir that could last a lifetime of wear.


“Krówki” (Polish fudge) - A snack with a unique texture, firm on the outside and almost runny on the inside, definitely a novel experience to take home with you.

Ceramic pottery - The quality of this pottery will stand out to guests when you bring out the fine dishware at dinner parties.

Amber jewelry - The warm color of these precious stones will light up your eyes when you remember where you picked them up.


Wine - Bordeaux, Provence, Rhône or Burgundy all are well known for quality and what better wine to break out than French wine to accompany the memories of your trip as you sip it. 

Books or postcards from the bouquinistes in Paris - All along the Seine River you will find little shops selling books, postcards and street art. Pick up something to remember and enjoy.

Beret - Berets are still a fashionable piece of clothing all around the world and it will certainly look chic.


Anything to do with olives - Enjoy the salty and bitter fruits that define the Mediterranean region.

“Tavli” (Greek Backgammon) - This board game is well known in the region around Greece and Turkey. Similar in style to Backgammon, the game would be a hit at board game night.

Leather sandals - With the humidity of Greece, open shoes are essential for your feet and back home, sandals are a summer favorite.


Sausages and bread - These hearty foods will stick in your memory like they will stick to your hips.

Beer stein - What better way to remember your time in Germany than by drinking beers from a stein.

Hugo Boss - Invest in a sleek suit that you can use for many formal events, you’ll look great and Hugo Boss is known for quality all around the world.


“Pálinka” (fruit brandy) - This special alcohol is made purely from fruit exclusive to Hungary.

Rubik’s cube - Believe it or not, this little puzzle fad was created by a Hungarian sculptor and architect.

Porcelain jewelry - Pure and white, these delicate pieces are a lovely accessory.


Guinness or Irish whiskey - Bring home the warm character of Irish people by sharing a drink with your buddies.

Irish music (The Dubliners) - Easily the best kind of music for sharing a sing-along with strangers in the pub.

Claddagh ring - Symbolizing love, loyalty and friendship, this ring is great to give your significant other as it indicates your relationship status depending on how its worn.

Butter cookies - These blue tins won’t have your grandmother’s sewing supplies for once.

Legos - Taking its name from the Danish words “leg godt” meaning “play well,” these little bricks have captured the imagination of kids and kid at heart since 1932.

Big sweaters - Denmark is renowned for the concept of “hygge” which is a feeling of coziness and well-being. Think of sitting around a comfy fire or snuggling up on the couch in your new sweater.

There are far more souvenirs in Europe than what is listed here, but hopefully, these suggestions will help guide your souvenir hunt and ensure that the things you take home with you bring happiness (and not clutter) to your house.


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