One of the most popular posts on this site is one I wrote about a year ago – Unique Irish Gifts To Give Your Loved Ones. You’ll find some good suggestions in the article, and some in the comments section too, for things you can bring back with you from Ireland. However, with such a high demand for information like that, I figured having even more ideas can only be a good thing.
So I asked for your feedback. Give us some Irish souvenir ideas! Here are some of your suggestions…
Your Irish Souvenir Ideas
As to be expected a lot of people responded that they took numerous wonderful photos in Ireland, which obviously make for great keepsakes and memories of the trip. A few people mentioned that they used these photos to send postcards to friends and family back home, and some even sent a few to themselves. If printing is a concern while in Ireland, you could wait until you get home and send some postcards out then, with a little description of your trip, or as an invitation to your next party, or St. Patrick’s Day event.
Jewelry was a common theme among the responses. Buying nice jewelry as souvenirs or gifts won’t fit everybody’s budget, but you’d be surprised at what you might find at local markets. A lot of it is handmade, just ask, and it’s probably made from Irish materials too. Perfect for a loved one back home, or as a special treat for yourself.
Clothing, hats, etc
Many people mentioned that they purchased some clothing in Ireland, but weren’t too specific as to the exact nature of the items. I’m guessing Aran Sweaters, tweed caps and maybe some leather goods were popular. I see a lot of tourists doling out quite a bit of money for clothes in some of the more ‘touristy’ locations, but if you ask around wherever you’re staying, you’ll probably find other places that sell similar items at lower prices. If you’re only looking for clothes that are made in Ireland, be sure to check the labels.
Irish Sports Equipment
A couple of people said they brought home hurleys and sliotars from their trip. These were on my previous list of Irish souvenir/gift ideas, and are certainly very Irish, and very unique. You won’t find these too commonly outside of Ireland (although you could shop online), but if they’ll fit in your luggage, then I say go for it! They look great mounted on a living room wall or as a talking point when your friends come over to visit.
Crystal and Pottery
Crystal! Again, maybe not in everyone’s budget, but Ireland is quite famous for producing some of the very best crystal there is. For something a little lesser known, try Kinsale, Galway and Leitrim Crystal.
Almost in the same category of goods, some people responded with suggestions for Irish pottery, stone carvings from Dingle, and hand-carved wood. I’m not too sure where you’d find hand-carved Irish wood, I’m guessing fairs and markets etc would be a good starting point. I did a quick search online though, and there’s certainly some around. I’d love a recommendation if you have one.
Irish Turf and burner
One I love…Irish turf, and a turf burner. You’ll relive your Ireland experience through your senses every time you light it up. I recently found out you can actually buy authentic Irish Peat Briquettes on Amazon.com now. They’re pretty heavy, so I guess buying them online will help you stay within the airline luggage weight allowance.
Of course you can buy all the Irish music you want via online music stores these days, but if you have a great night out in a pub, and loved the band playing, find out if they’re selling a CD. Music is a wonderful souvenir to take home. If it’s a small local band that you fell in love with, you may not find the music online afterwards, and you’ll probably even forget the band’s name, so if you want it, get it there and then.
Irish musical instruments
You won’t just hear great music while in Ireland, you’ll most likely see plenty of it played live too. Whether it is a busker on the street, or a group of old guys playing for fun at the local, Irish music will make up a good part of your trip. You’ll see plenty of instruments that make up that distinctive Irish sound – tin whistles, bodhran’s, musical spoons, fiddles and more. These all make for great souvenir items.
Brochures/Maps and more
Save those brochures and guides that you get when you go into various museums, heritage sites etc. They’re great to look back on when you get home, and if you have young kids/nieces/nephews waiting for you, they’ll love flicking through them, reading about the places, and cutting out the pictures. The same goes for any maps or Irish tour books you had on your trip.
Food and drinks
One of my favorite things to receive as a gift – food or drink from the place that was visited. Don’t you just love tasting something a little exotic, or new, that you probably wouldn’t have otherwise.
Some suggestions – meats and cheeses (if you can figure out the refrigeration, and if it’s ok to bring it wherever you’re headed), Irish whiskey (too many to name), Ballymaloe relish (always in stock at my house!), Barry’s Tea, and for the sweet-toothed, some Irish chocolate/hard candy.
No, we’re not talking about Irish Spring 🙂 There are some cool little places (online and in store) that sell 100% Irish and handmade Soaps, lotions, shower gels, shaving goods, candles and more. You’ll have the nicest smelling luggage on the way home.
Back over to you!
There must be more, right? Of course there is. So chime in with a comment below, and tell us what else you brought back with you from your trip.