Shopping Finds: 2005-2006
Here are some ideas of unique souvenirs and great deals in Europe: flea markets, Italian leather, Venetian glass, Bavarian Christmas ornaments, Turkish carpets... So much shopping; so little time!
Tschibo coffee shops
All over Germany you will see tschibo (sp) coffee shops they have good cheaper cups of coffee , coffee, great prices of a wide variety of goods the kitchen scissors 7$ will be the only thing I bring home from europe this trip.
Seattle, Wa USA Wed 11/22/2006
Union Jack Mugs at a bargain
Now in Britain and I want to take back mugs as gifts with Union Jack flag on them. Luckily I did not buy them out of London area where they are priced from £3 to £4 as I have found them in most souvenir shops just outside Bayswater tube station in London for 99 pence.Also small stuffed bears with union Jack flags on sweathers for £1.99. Great values.
USA Mon 11/06/2006
I took a Baltic countries and St. Petersburg tour in September. If you are a "sweater person", be sure to go to "sweater lane" in Tallinn. It is Katariina Kaiik which if you go down the main street to Old Town, you can't miss. There are a dozen or more kiosks selling handmade "Scandinavian" type sweaters knit in Estonia (maybe not handmade, but beautiful machine work) for sale from 25 euros and up. I got 2 great sweaters, one for 35 euros and the other for 40 euros--both womens's size large. The other bargain I got was a sheepskin coat in St. Petersburg. I got it from a store that was part of the Grand Hotel arcade. My coat was a German brand that also sells coats in the USA, but it was about 1/2 the price of the coats in the USA. Also the new customs tax on excess duty was only $27.00 on the coat($1400.00). It was a wonderful trip--with an extra thumbs up for the the great shopping.
Ft. Collins, CO USA Fri 11/03/2006
you can often find the shield charms at souvenir stores--kiosks in some cities, usually near the city park. there is a store on the main street in oberammergau that sells charms for most of bavaria. it is a souvenir store. just ask. people who sell these charms are unfailingly friendly, i have found.
pacific grove, ca USA Wed 11/01/2006
We bought steins in Germany and a mask in Venice and had them shipped. The mask came UPS no customs fee. The steins came USPS with a $20.75 fee. Perhaps you need to specify UPS.
Eugene, OR USA Fri 10/27/2006
I just returned from Paris where I bought a LV bag. Even with the exchange rate the bag was cheaper in Paris than NYC and with the VAT it will be even cheaper. In NYC we also have an 8 1/4% sales tax so this made the price in Paris even better.
This isn't the case for everything though, so do your research before you go.
NYC, USA Tue 10/24/2006
While in Paris on Rick's 7-day tour, I bought a handbag. I went to the desk in the store and got the forms to take to the airport for my VAT refund. I had done this before in London with no problem, but this time, the terminal we were bus-shuttled to at DeGaulle (Air France) had no DeTax office and just a couple of duty -free shops.
Kittery, ME USA Sun 10/22/2006
at almost any supermarket in France you can get those wonderful French Soaps (Marseille Lait)200g for 1.45 euro is what I paid today in Beauvais. I pay up to 6.00 ea for these in California. get some for gifts and take home to friends and family.
USA Wed 10/18/2006
Find it? Buy it.
During our recent trip to Ireland, we were advised to try the 3 most popular beer brands in Ireland: Guiness, Murphy's, and Smithwicks. Of course we did, and my Dad and I liked Guiness, and the Wives preferred the other two, as they were not as strong. Since our family name is "Murphy" we intended to buy "Murphy" pint glasses to take home to other family members as gifts. Not wanting to carry the glass for 7 more days, we elected to wait till near the end of the trip to purchase them. Wrong decision. "Murphy's" is a regional beer, in the Cork area, and we struck out as we tried to find them from Dingle, to Doolin, and all the way accross to Dublin, with no luck. We should have known better, as our ancestors came from County Cork, and Murphy is the second most common name in County Cork. So if you find something you really want, don't pass up the opportunity! Buy it!
WA USA Fri 10/13/2006
Re: Disney Pins
There has to be some kinda Disney items in the gift shops @ the Charles De Gualle Airport. Even at LAX they had some kind of Disney object.
USA Tue 09/19/2006
Shopping in Florence, Italy
I managed to drop in to a shop in Florence, Italy called Teresa Cambi on Via Velleoche and definitely recommend it, great selection of high quality items at reasonable prices. Thanks for recommendation on this site!
Vancouver, Canada Mon 09/18/2006
I'm looking for Disney pins in France. Is there a Disney store at the CDG airport or in Paris? I can't make it to Disney Paris to get them.
Danville, CA USA Tue 08/29/2006
Yes, the bags can be cheaper
Bags like LV and Chanel are usually cheaper, and you should be able to get the VAT back.
Atlanta, GA USA Tue 08/22/2006
They are not any cheaper, in fact, once you factor in the exchange rate, they're more. Sorry to say!
USA Tue 08/22/2006
Does anyone know if certian handbags are cheaper in the country they are made or are they just as expensive? IE: Louis Vitton in France and Prada in Italy?
New York, NY USA Mon 08/21/2006
thanks for the discount, rick!
while in rothenburg we saw rick's picture on the door of annaliese's shop. we were making about an $80 purchase when the cashier heard us and asked if we were referred by anyone. we said smiling..yeah, rick steves! with that he gave us a 10% discount and a free map of rothenburg!!!!
chicago, il USA Tue 08/15/2006
leather in La Spezia
While in the Cinque Terre, we happened to take the train to La Spezia one day. We browsed the town and luckily found a great leather goods store- Eredi Oleggini, Di Oleggni M & C, SAS C. SO Cavour 51 phone 0187/734489. We found items that we never saw any where else like large zippered leather key holders and matching wallets and key holders. We shopped later in Florence including the famous School of Leather where my husband bought a gorgeous leather suit coat and I bought a beautiful leather purse/backpack. But, we were delighted that we bought the key holders and wallets when we saw them. Our hint- if you see it and like it, buy it then and there!!
near St Louis, IL USA Sat 08/05/2006
Handbags & Accessories in Florence
My friends and I also discovered Teresa Cambi in Florence for handbags, accessories and straw hats (see posting below for another recommendation). Very high quality and fashionable handbags at affordable prices. The shop is owned by Teresa and her brother Giacomo - they are both delightful and have the most fabulous merchandise!
Seattle, W USA Sat 07/22/2006
Shopping in Italy
There are some GREAT off-the-beaten-track finds in Laura Morelli's book, Made in Italy: A Shopper's Guide to Italy's Best Artisanal Traditions from Murano Glass to Jewelry, Leather Goods, and More. I used it to locate some fabulous craftspeople and shops in Florence, Venice, and Naples.
Atlanta, GA USA Mon 07/10/2006
Tuscan Scene Knit Top
Try www.travelsmith.com. They had blouses a while back that fit this description.
Los Angeles, CA USA Wed 06/28/2006
I know the kind you mean -- I collected a whole bunch of the "shield" type silver charms 20 years ago in Germany/Austria/Switzerland.
Last month while in London, I was pleased to find some that had London or England on them with part of a flag on the sheild. You may not find them at every souvenir shop, but keep searching - maybe they are making a comeback?
Philadelphia, PA USA Wed 06/07/2006
Outlet mall transport from Florence
We went to the "The Mall" outside of Florence via a charter bus - the bus station is minutes from the train station (Firenze SMN). We paid 2.9 Euros each way instead of the 20-25 Euros the tour groups charge. I know there's a bus that leaves 9am and 10am, The Mall opens at 10am, and the return times are noon, 5pm and 7pm.
Austin, TX USA Thu 05/25/2006
straw and leather in florence
Hey, check this out! want good quality leather bags and wallets, not too mention lovely straw hats and bags? but without spending a fortune? me and my girlfriend found a delightful little shop in florence with lots to choose from, it's on Via Delle Oche number 17R.(just behind the duomo!) The shop is called Teresa Cambi Bags and Accessories, i think they are open every day, great for gifts!!
Glasgow, Scotland UK Sat 05/13/2006
Tuscan Scene Knit Top
I just returned from Italy...Florence, Venice, Rome..I so much want a knit top with the tuscan scene on it...I have looked at home here in Ohio and on the internet until I'm very frustrated! I don't want a "t shirt", I want a nice knit top...saw on while in Italy a woman was wearing in blues and reds, so beautiful. Can anyone help?
Medina, Ohio USA Fri 05/12/2006
Goodies from Florence
In Florence, I discovered a little shop that sells Pinocchios--all sizes! It is on the Via Guicciardini. I bought a dozen, at E2.00 each, for friends. They are the perfect size for Christmas tree ornaments.
For glass mosaic earrings, try I.Magnini, on the same street.
Giotto, on the same street, has quality leather goods--jackets, purses, wallets, belts, etc.
Bottega Fiorentina, on Borgo dei Greci, also has quality leather items, and lovely silk scarves. If Gianlucca (sp?) is there, he's the son of the owner, speaks great English and has a great sense of humor.
USA Thu 05/11/2006
If you get the chance to visit Lucerne, Switzerland, defintley make a trip to "The Bucherer". It is a swiss watch/jewelry store with watches in all prices ranges. The best part is that the people treat you warmly if you buy a $200.00 watch or a $200,000.00 watch. Also, there is a clean restroom in the basement that you may use, and they don't mind!
Knoxville, TN USA Sat 04/29/2006
I would bring home something from the Vatican But then again, I am Catholic. There are several markets that have some great artisan stuff. One of my favorite Rome souveniers is a picture of St. Peter's Square in the early morning--just the horse carts getting ready for the tourists.
Renton, WA USA Thu 04/20/2006
Hi there - can some one give me some ideas for unique yet reasonable souvenirs from Rome? We will be staying near the Pantheon and would like to bring some meaningful keepsakes home with us! Thank you for your help.
Denver, CO USA Wed 04/19/2006
Why the Samaritaine is closed
I just returned from a 5 day trip to Paris and on one of our guided tours through the city our guide mentioned some insider info on the beloved department store. He mentioned that the official reason given for the closing was that it was due for renovations and would re-open in 8 years, but that the word on the street was that all of the employees were let go and that the building would re-open some day but as a high-end hotel and resort. The center of Paris lacks these type of resorts so some other buildings around the city center would also be transformed into high-end hotels to bring up revenue. Too bad for our beloved Samaritaine; the department store of the Parisians!
San Diego, CA USA Wed 04/05/2006
to Kristen-travel bracelet
The only place I've seen the shield charms are Germany, but I've collected other types of silver charms at many other places in Europe. Sometimes you have to ask if they have any because not all stores display them.
USA Thu 03/30/2006
Kristin - travel bracelet
My mom started one for me a couple of years ago using the Nomination brand(Italian charms). It's always fun to try to seek out stores that sell the charms in new locations. I found a jewelery store in Bellagio, Italy last year, and I'm looking forward to searching Paris in the fall for an Eiffel Tower charm! I started out wearing the bracelet only when traveling, but I love it so much and it reminds me of all my trips, I now wear it every day. Good luck!!
Edmonds, WA USA Wed 03/29/2006
Kristen, If you can't find the exact charms you are thinking of, you can get really neat charms that are unique to each location. Check out the markets (esp in London and York) and look for older or even antique charms or necklace pendants. I have gotten cool ones as gifts for friends at very reasonable prices.
USA Tue 03/28/2006
I wanted to start a travel bracelet this summer when I go to europe by collecting charms from each country. I know this was popular a few decades ago, but does anyone know if I can still find the kind of charms I'm talking about (shaped like a shield with enamel)? Thanks
Minneapolis, MN USA Tue 03/28/2006
We get a jigsaw puzzle (every town has them) of the area we visit in Europe. Then, we get home and have fun assembling it as a family. It's a great way to relive the trip and it keeps everyone occupied. I hope to frame them and hang them sometime in the future. This started on our first trip -- the scenery was so beautiful along the Mosel that I commented that it looked like the cover of a puzzle box. We found a puzzle with the view and have collected since!
Overijse, Overijse BE Sun 03/26/2006
Cat Bottecelli prints in Venice
While in Venice we stepped into a shop that made handmade books. They also carried Bottecelli artprints where the 'people' were replaced with cats! Unfortunately, we were at the end of our trip and did not have enough room to buy one! I have looked all over the internet and not been able to find the store. They were near St. Marks square, away from the water (West side of the square?). Can anyone help me to find little cat 'Bottecelli' prints?
Portland, OR USA Sat 03/18/2006
Italy: Silver designer jewellry
I visited San Gimignano (Italy) and accidentally stepped into a silver jewelry shop. The very nice owner (Gigli Stephano) sold and fitted on the spot for me and my daughter two very original silver rings, at very good price (20 Euro). Those are unique and very original-looking rings, he worked them on the spot, from raw cylindrical silver material. All his bracelets are beautiful and uncommon-looking. He's an artist at affordable prices. For those who love silver, this is a good stop: Gigli Stefano & C Via San Giovanni, 120 53037 San Gimignano - SI
Toronto, Ontario Canada Sat 03/11/2006
Original Boss, Adidas and Puma Outlet Centers
Boss, Adidas and Puma's headquarters are in Germany. Boss has got a great outlet shopping center in Metzingen just outside of Stuttgart, Adidas and Puma are headquartered in Herzogenaurach near Nuremberg. Be careful in Herzogenaurach, too many pseudo-outlet stores are trying to lure business away from the real thing. The genuine Adidas and Puma outlet centers are in Adi-Dassler Street only about 2mins from the company's HQ building!
Frankfurt, Germany Fri 03/10/2006
Rome D Cube
I think the store you are talking about is called D Cube, but it is closer to Ponte Sant Angelo bridge. D Cube Via Della Pace, 38 phone: 06.6861218. I hope this helps! (I always pack bubble wrap for these types of purchases.)
Chatsworth, CA USA Fri 02/24/2006
Shopping Question - Rome
We were in Roma last week and I found some beautiful colored champagne flutes...which were too fragile to get home on the plane. The store had a website and now I can't seem to find it. I think the name is D Cubed. It was in Rome soon after you get back to the east side after walking over the bridge from Trasteverde. Does anyone have the website address for this store or know the correct name? Its a funky shop with all kinds of great stuff for teh home. Thank you!!
Miami, FL USA Tue 02/21/2006
WHERE ARE THE BEST SWEET SHOPS IN LONDON?
I was hoping to find the best old fashioned sweet shops in London, the kind with jars of penny candy, preferably the shops that have been around for more than one hundred years and sell items made from old recipes. Thanks!
LADNER, B.C. CANADA Thu 02/16/2006
The fashion outlet outside Milan
The fashion outlet is in Serravalle between Milan and Genoa. You can find the info here:
San Jose, CA USA Sat 02/04/2006
check out www.outlet-firenze.com
Canada Tue 01/17/2006
The Aldi chain in UK and Germany is amazing. I forgot my swimsuit and found a good substitue for 2 euros, also workout shoes for 4. What they have is what they have, but the one in Garmisch had winter coats for 25 euros, underwear super cheap, and a nice selection of food for those who are in an apartment where they can cook. They do not, however take credit cards or American debit cards.
Pacific Grove, CA USA Tue 01/03/2006
Designer Outlet Mall near Milan?
My niece will be studying in Assolo Italy this summer & I am heading over to join her for a quick trip in June'06. She loves fashion & wants to shop in Milan. She heard there is a designer 'outlet' fashion mall outside of Milan. Does anyone have any information on it?
st louis, MO USA Mon 01/02/2006
Department Stores in Germany & Benelux
I just returned from 3 weeks in Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium & the Netherlands. I have discovered, and am totally in love with, the European department store chains C&A, H&M and M&S. I wanted to buy some hip, fashionable, very European clothes & shoes while I was over there, but didn't want to spend a fortune. I found these stores and went nuts! They have really great fashion items as well as basic items, for really, REALLY great prices. Plus, they have them in every single city I visited...and each store had a somewhat different selection of merchandise! Also, in Amsterdam I liked deBejindorf (sp?) and Peek & Cloppenburg. Happy Shopping!
Columbus, GA USA Mon 12/05/2005
I agree with Jeff. The best souvenirs are those you can use everyday and remind yourself of the wonderful time you had. We've bought everything from egg cups, plastic bag closers (I know... boring), eye glass cases, kitchen tools and food... dried mushrooms, mustard, cheese. They're light and don't take much room in your luggage. The Europeans are very efficient with their kitchen tools, so these also make great souvenirs.
Prince George, BC CAN Sat 12/03/2005
Cheap Souvenirs in Paris!
For cheap stuff, go to the street that leads to Le Sacre Coeur. It is just like Chinatown in NYC!
Also, check out the department store Le Bon Marche. Excellent prices!
If you go to Paris in the last two weeks of June, everything in the clothing stores are on sale! I bought so much stuff at Bennetton for 70% off! Great Italian pants and sweaters! Plus, the boutiques at Le Bon Marche have Dior and Gucci, and Prada bags half off! LAST TWO WEEKS OF JUNE!
Houston, TX USA Sat 11/19/2005
Mailoliche Artistiche Aldo Granocchia. We have been to this wonderful, friendly, and family-run pottery shop in Deruta two summers in a row. Gianluca throws the pottery and brother Eros paints. They are happy to give you a tour of their studio and demonstrate their skills. This past visit we brought our parents. We received a lively demonstration, met the whole family, and stayed for drinks with momma. They have beautiful pottery. Beware that shipping is expensive, not their fault, but it will arrive carefully packed and unbroken. This year bought only what we could carry. Located just off the autostrada on the main street. Eros speaks some English. Website expected shortly. email@example.com Tel. 075.971.13.98 Address Via Tiberina Sud 261-263.
Port Townsend , Wa USA Sun 11/13/2005
We bought most of our souveneirs in Tallin at Trade Winds, just off the main square down a little alley. The owner was very helpful. When we got back we found that the small watercolor painting was not in the cardboard she had taped up for us. I sent her a letter (she speaks some English, I speak NO Estonian)--and she mailed me another one at no cost to me. What a wonderful final memory of Estonia!
Provo, Utah USA Sun 10/23/2005
Samaritaine - Paris
I had wanted to see Samaritaine in Paris, as well as eat at the cafeteria. When we arrived there, we found the entire store closed for rennovations for safety concerns. The receptionist at our hotel said it would be closed for about 4 years.
Rock Hill, SC USA Thu 10/13/2005
We were hanging out in Varenna on Lake Como on a rainy day in March. Only four shops open that day but once we got to il Pozzo it didn't matter. It's a combination jewelry/rock shop. Lots to see; but the real gem was the owner. We spent two hours visiting with him. He is very congenial. When we finally made our purchases and were ready to leave he gave us gifts of jewelry and a fossilized shell to take back home to our kids.
Everett, Washington USA Fri 10/07/2005
SOUVENIRS IN PERU
If you want to buy souvenirs while in Peru, go to the Indian Market in Miraflores(entrance right next to the HIRAOKA Store). It is important that you negotiate prices. No need to buy souvenirs in Cuzco, Arequipa, Puno or other cities for you can find everything in this market at about the same price or even cheaper and avoid the hassle of carrying it around.
Lima, Peru Wed 09/28/2005
A great store is Accessorize. They have them all over England, and in Scotland too. It's a great store with lots of cute jewlery, great earrings and necklaces, as well as cute purses and some shoes. Mango, FCUK, and Next are popular stores and can have good sales. I found the little tourist booths that sold the sweatshirts, t-shirts, etc. to be fun to shop at as well.
Chicago, IL USA Wed 09/07/2005
Leather in Florence
A leather store in Florence before you get to Santa Croce provided the most fun experience we had. It's called the Leonardo Da Vinci and they not only have great leather but they are fun to "play" with. Ask for Georgio. They are sweet, accomodating and can fix and make anything for you. The prices are great and so are the people.
Boston, Ma. USA Mon 09/05/2005
We are going to be on a cruse this month that stops in Genoa, Italy. One of the shore excursions is to Serravalle Outlet Mall. Has anyone been and is it worthwhile? Thanks.
USA Sun 09/04/2005
BHV -- the tourist's friend in Paris
BHV, (on the Rue de Rivoli in the Marais/Metro: Hotel-de-Ville) was an absolute godsend during a July visit. I was able to pick up picnic essentials including a good-sized knife and a small cutting board for less than 8 Euro. I also picked up a 220v curling iron for around 15 Euro, to replace what we THOUGHT was a multi-voltage one we brought from the States. . .
Portland, OR USA Wed 08/17/2005
Shopping Finds in Prague
We were in Prague in July 2004, and I found some great souvenirs in the houseware dept. of the Kotva Dept. Store. This is just minutes from the Old Town Square, near the Municipal House. Praha cotton dishtowels with the Charles Bridge and the castle for 70 Kc (approx. $2.10). Also, a beautiful plate with the Tyn Church and Old Town Square was very reasonable. They had lots of crystal too. This is a huge dept. store and it is fun to just spend some time browsing.
Maple Grove, MN USA Mon 08/08/2005
RE: Comptoir Sud Pacifique
this is for "ucnati"...i don't know if this is of any help. but there is an excellent perfume/cologne store called Fragronard directly to the right of the Opera in Paris when you're looking at it. They conduct tours and have a huge store as well. I have been to both their shop in Paris and in Nice. If you're interested, you can email for more details as far as location.
MA USA Mon 07/25/2005
UK - - - London
The best souvenir shop in London is the Red Bus across from Waterloo Station about 2 blocks from the Encore Hotel. You will find everything regarding the Tube, red buses, etc plus meet the resident cat. The Edinburgh Woolen Mill stores throughout the UK are great and if you use your credit card, the currency conversion is automatically done and your bank won't charge you a fee for conversion. Whiskey cream fudge is not good but English toffee is wonderful. Stock up on Cadbury's. . . they are better in the UK than the Hershey ones in the US. Also buy Yorkie candy bars . . . the heavy duty candy bars. They are wonderful!
Keizer, OR USA Wed 07/20/2005
Comptoir Sud Pacifique
I am going to Paris within the next year and would love to stock up on my fav. scents from comptoir sud pacifique. Can anyone tell me where in Paris to find the stores or stores that stock these glorious fragrances? The price difference is huge! 50 euros for 3+ oz compared to $49 for 1.6 oz here in the USA. Thanks in advance!!
cincinnati, OH USA Sun 07/10/2005
Careful Corey! Bringing back Cubans to the US is a no-no!
Aubrey, TX USA Fri 07/01/2005
Shot glasses and Cigars
Not a fancy souvenir, but a practical, useful, clever souvenir is the shot glass. everywhere in the world you can buy shot glasses with "Bonjour de Paris" or "Hola de Espana" on them. They are cheap and make fun gifts.
Also, when in Paris, there is a fantastic cigar shop near the Louvre. When facing the Louvre, walk left, two streets back, superb cigar shop. An entire room that is temperature controlled just for Cubans. Any kind you could possibly imagine. Cubans in souvenir tubes also make fun gifts. Email for more specific directions.
Dudley, MA USA Thu 06/30/2005
To Maria of FLorida We found some nice Cameos in Sorrento Italy. However you need to have shopped around to verify prices. Alot of similiar run of the mill cameos are out there. But we found most of the jewelers in Sorrento to be honest about there product. I do not have store name anymore.
Ca USA Wed 06/29/2005
CT park shops
When in Cinque Terre, Italy, you can help support the park by shopping at their stores at the train stations. They have great t-shirts and totes in many colors and styles and little magnets that are perfect for your co-workers. We found the staff to be very helpful and patient.
FL USA Sun 06/05/2005
CAMEOS in Italy
Anyone had the opportunity to find a CAMEO at a good prize somewhere in Italy. If you know of such place, please provide info. Is really appreciated.
Miami, Fl USA Sat 06/04/2005
Shop at the local grocery stores for great prices on wine, pesto, limoncello, etc. I found the prices to be a third of what the souvenir shops charge.
Austin, Tx USA Thu 06/02/2005
There is an El Corte Ingles department store in Lisbon!!The Saint Sebastian Station on the Metro leaves you at the door.
Verona, NJ USA Wed 06/01/2005
The Best Sovenirs
The best souvenirs are now sadly dissapearing. Before so many countries started swtiching to the Euro I would save some pocket change and a few dollar bills from each country I visited. As I type this I am gazing upon a Turkish "Bir Million" note. I like to take comfort in the fact that I was a multimillionaire for a brief period in time.
Lake Villa, IL USA Thu 05/12/2005
Volendam, Holland- Cheap souvenirs
I just came back from a Viking River cruise through Holland and Belgium and found the cheapest and largest variety of souvenirs to be in a small seaside town called Volendam. It is very touristy, but by far had the cheapest souvenirs. Lots of nice treasures to bring home! The town itself is adorable as well.
Ellicott City, Md USA Wed 05/04/2005
For lightweight, inexpensive, genuinely French souvenirs I go to the housewares dept. at Monoprix stores. I usually take home several of the checkered dish towels and stainless steel tableware. I sometimes buy novelty ankle sox or a scarf. The museum gift shops have interesting small things that make nice keepsakes or gifts: books, pictures, postcard pictures of some of the art, bookmarks, etc.
USA Thu 04/28/2005
Chocolate gifts for home
While in Zurich and after stopping in several chocolate shops, we decided to go to the Coop (grocery store)and pick up all our chocolates. We found some great Lindt ones with each chocolate wrapped with a small photo of a Swiss building. Great souvenir for everyone at home and great chocolate. Since we bought them at the grocery store, it was so much cheaper than at a specialty shop and just as good.
USA Thu 04/28/2005
I know that one can get great buys on Polish pottery in Poland. However, taking a cab 50 km east of Gorlitz didn't fit our agenda. I bought some nice pottery in Gorlitz, but I also found great pottery in the market on museum island in Berlin.
Austin, MN USA Wed 03/02/2005
The BEST Souvenir
I went into Sephora Paris last September and bought a bottle of Dior's newest release, Pure Poison. My husband got a sample box of 5 Parisian colognes. Since the sense of smell is a powerful memory trigger, every time I spritz it on, I am IMMEDIATELY transported to the Champs Elysees, looking at an Alsatian restaurant we thought about having lunch at. Not necessarily the most unique souvenir, or the best deal, but when I'm feeling blue, a quick spritz of Pure Poison transports me to Paris, and one of the happiest times of my life...
Portland, OR USA Thu 02/24/2005
Shopping Tips - Britain
BRITISH CHARITY SHOPS!Totally agree with Debby from Charlotte on the great values found in Charity Shops located up and down the High Streets of Britain - and you are contributing to a good cause while getting a bargain. The quality is unbelievably high, I know a few trendy young Brits who buy their suits fromOxfam! Good as new fleece jackets sell for about $7-8. Look also for very cheap secondhand books, rarely over 50p, and search among chin& glass "odds and ends", I have bought many a Royal Family souvenir as gifts or to display.Upscale towns like York, Salisbury, Bath,etc. tend to receive donations from well-to-do folks, and you can benefit - plus, it's fun! The other major source of small, package items issupermarkets:teas,small jams & mustards,chocs,European/Asian sauces in packets,small marmalades make nice gifts.(Put them in your ziploc bags.)5" calendars with local scenes are popular gifts too.Street markets are fun to poke in, justavoid the usual plastic trash that hascrept in. I buy unusual wrapping paper,very cheap in markets. Keyrings are a small gift easily packed.
Pensacola, FL USA Wed 02/16/2005
Do it in Krakow
I am the typical male shopper - don't. However, I had a ball in the flea market in the old Cloth Hall square in Krakow. There are great buys for amber jewelery as well as all sorts of goodies - even locals shop there. I was there in late October, so the summer tourists were gone and the Christmas items were just coming on. The vendors were pleasant and usually willing to bargain.
San Diego, CA USA Tue 02/08/2005
Affordable souvenirs in Ireland
The least expensive souvenirs and the largest selection can be found at Carrolls in Dublin. They have so many affordable souvenirs to bring home for friends and family.
Ellicott City, MD USA Thu 02/03/2005
Everyday stuff... but different
Having spent a lot of time in France, including a 7-week house-sitting "job" in Burgundy, I'd like to recommend a trip to a grocery store. A 6-pack of 1 1/2 litre bottles for .60 euro. About 10 cents a bottle. A true bargain! Go to any stationary or book store and buy what the local students use for notebooks: a lined page alternating with a blank page. It's used for sketching, note-taking, graphing, etc. Can't find anything like it in the U.S. Go to a bookstore to buy the dictionary of, say, Italian/French, or French/German. Again, can't find it in the U.S. And, as someone else mentioned, mustard in tubes. And sea salt. The focus is on everyday things that are not available in this country.
Seattle, WA USA Mon 01/31/2005
Mustard makes great cheap gift it is in tubes so besides looking and tasting different, more or less unbreakable and less than 50cents US at any of the many discount grocery stories IE aldi but not so light so get at end of trip
Bellevue, Wa USA Mon 01/17/2005
If you want to find a cute shop where the environment is nice and the people are friendly, you need to stop by Too Much on rue Cler in Paris. It is a new store, and stuff is really cool. They have jewelry, scarves, even little magnets. Also, it is on the cutest street in Paris!! What's not to like about this place? It is really the kind of store that you are drawn to, and you keep coming back!! Take it from me, I ended up going there almost every night we were in Paris(when I couldn't I was devistated)!! If you're ever in Paris, I really recommend that you visit Too Much!!
USA Sun 01/16/2005
Hard Rock Cafe Shirts
Not very original or unique, but something we started years ago has become the easiest souvenir to bring home from our travels. We started bringing home HRC shirts for our kids about 8 years ago, and now they have quite a collection from all over Europe and the US. We just stop in the HRC gift shop for a few minutes and everybody's happy. They are easy to find, easy to pack and then we can spend time looking at the things WE want to see and not spend time shopping for souvenirs. The kids get them when they come with us on trips, too, and they're disappointed when we don't bring them one. The best part is seeing how they've grown.....youngest was a preschooler when we started, so his first one from Rome is tiny!
And to think it all started because my husband has never liked pasta, and after 6 days in Italy, he was hungry for nachos, so we ended up at Hard Rock Cafe.....and the rest is history.
USA Fri 01/07/2005
I went looking for nice souvenirs and found a wonderful street for shopping on the Ile St. Louis on Rue St. Louis en l'Ile (can't miss it -- goes right up the center of the island). Upscale but affordable boutiques, things you won't find in standard sovenir shops. A delightful shop called Pylones (there are several in Paris) selling fanciful gifts, very similar to Occtopus in London. There was also a toy store that had the best postcards -- very creative! Elsewhere, I searched for nice gifts and found rich-colored Jacquard tea towels at the Printemps department store (I'm sure they sell them in the other stores). They had the Eiffel tower in the background but didn't look too "souvenir-y". When I said it was a gift, the clerk wrapped it in a Jacquard paper sleeve handed it to me in a bright pink Jacquard shopping bag. Wish I had bought more! The Galeries Lafayette has a large bookstore in the basetment. For my Disney-crazed friends I bought Disney books in French, and for me I got Dr. Seuss's "La Chat Chapeaute" (The Cat in the Hat).
Philadelphia, PA USA Wed 01/05/2005