Every traveler who comes to Ireland has a desire to bring home a lot of what is sold here in small shops, what street vendors offer, which is displayed in the windows of large centers. But do not rush: it is better to bring colorful things from Ireland that fully convey the character of the people who inhabit it. We list some of the best souvenirs you can bring from Ireland as a gift to friends and for yourselves.
1. Irish delicacies
Irish cheese – Perhaps it is worth starting with cheese, which almost everyone will enjoy. There are various cheeses in Ireland: smoked and unpasteurized, with a milky and nutty flavor, with and without a crust, very soft and hard. It is believed that the best cheeses in Ireland are cooked on the Beara Peninsula, in the cities of Cork, Wexford and Tipperary.
Superquinn sausages – Perhaps the most original meat products in Ireland are thick, appetizing sausages, which come with various additives: plums, basil, smoked garlic, honey with mustard, and apple. These are only offered at Tesco Finest. And in SuperValu you can buy regular Superquinn Sausages, which differ in no less in their exquisite taste.
Teas – There are two kinds of very good tea in Ireland: Barry and Lyons. We cannot clearly answer which of these drinks is better, which is why tourists are advised to try both. Other types of tea do not need to be taken into account at all.
For people who like sweets, Baileys or Guinness candies are suitable – these are small chocolates with different fillings. Such sweet souvenirs are sold in packages of 100 g for 3 €.
2. Alcoholic drinks
Of course, Irish whiskey comes to mind first, especially as a gift for men. The Irish, known for their cheerful disposition, have achieved great success in its production.
However, their honey wine is excellent too. But wine is more suitable as a souvenir to women and those who do not like strong alcoholic drinks.
You should stock up on honey mead in advance, and whiskey is better to buy in duty free as it will be cheaper.
Irish whiskey is recognized as the oldest alcoholic drink in Europe. Initially, it was used as medicine get rid of a variety of infectious diseases. Now, as experts say, it heals souls. It’s not in vain that in the ancient Celtic language “whiskey” is translated as “water of life”.
In Ireland, 4 types of whiskey are produced (each is aged 8 to 15 years):
- Single malt – prepared using 100% barley malt.
- Single grain whiskey.
- “Pure whiskey”, to give an original flavor, grains of green unbranched barley are added to it.
- Blended, obtained by mixing the three above types.
The most famous and popular brands of whiskey are:
- Bushmills Blended Irish is a soft drink with characteristic flavor notes of pear, apple and vanilla.
- Connemara Peated Single Malt with a pleasant peat flavor and a sweet aroma.
- Powers Gold Label Irish with a touch of wood, vanilla, spices.
- Kilbeggan Blended Irish is suitable for beginners, it is slightly burning, with a slightly sweet taste.
- Michael Collins Single Malt 10 Year is also good for beginners, it has a taste of raisins.
- Teeling Small Batch Irish meets the taste of honey, caramel and malt, and then notes of dark chocolate, vanilla, cloves and cinnamon appear.
- Yellow Spot Single Pot Still Irish has a faint taste of oak, black and allspice, but at first it tastes like honey, cream and peach.
- Tullamore Dew Blended Irish is characterized by a combination of a fragrant green apple and caramel, and over time, a taste of black pepper and spices with a slight hint of chocolate appears.
For a very long time, honey wine remained in Ireland at the peak of popularity, but now it is no longer in great demand. Nevertheless, this wine has a unique exquisite aroma and pleasant taste.
In Ireland, honey wine is sold under the brand name Bunratty Mead, and there are semi-sweet, sweet and dry wines available.
3. Crystal products
The next pride of the Irish is crystal glass. Crystal products by Waterford, Tyrone, Galway and Tipperary are highly sought after by collectors from around the world.
Meanwhile, the Irish are convinced that the highest quality crystal is produced in the city of Waterford. There are several factories there, in which crystal is still hand-made using old technologies, and products with even small defects are immediately smashed. Upscale crystal can be distinguished by a watermark depicting the brand name.
You can be sure of the authenticity of crystal products from Ireland.
In Ireland, things made of woolen fabric, such as tweed, are very popular, and Aran sweaters are known all over the world. Such products are rarely used as a gift for friends or relatives because of their high cost, but you can buy something original for yourself.
Aran sweater made using traditional technique will not only remind you of the time spent in Ireland, but will be a profitable investment. Thanks to the special knitting technique and the high quality of the used wool, they offer a number of advantages:
- they are waterproof
- in cold weather they will keep you warm
- in warm weather they allow you to maintain body temperature, and avoid overheating
Celtic weaving patterns are said to protect the wearer of the clothes. Zigzags, nets, braids – all this can be “read” by those knowing Celtic symbolism.
Aran sweaters cannot be called cheap, which is why few buy and bring them as a souvenir. In Ireland, children’s sweaters for a child of 7-9 years old can be found for an amount from 150 €, whereas sweaters for adults will be more expensive – the price can reach 350 €. For high-quality and beautiful models, you need to go to Aran Sweater Market, The Donegal Shop or the Sweater Shop. Moreover, in these stores you can also buy a variety of accessories: knitted mittens, socks, scarves, etc.
If your budget is limited, you can go to TK Maxx. Of course, it will take a lot of time to search, but if you are lucky, you can choose an Aran sweater at a much more affordable price: discounts up to 70%.
You can also look at catalogs on the sites of Sale or Outlet stores and order your favorite model with delivery to the hotel at any convenient time – this will reduce costs by up to 30%.
Tweed items – this is what you can bring from Ireland both for yourself and as a good gift for someone else. But, since there are so many fakes, you should buy such products at family factories in Donegal. There visitors are allowed into the premises, they are shown old looms and are told about the features of production.
Tweed coats, jackets, hats, scarves are sewn in Ireland. In cold damp weather, you can’t find a better replacement for tweed clothes, so it will always remain a useful gift.
5. Irish lace
A souvenir such as Irish lace is ideal for a woman. In shops with antique goods you can find exquisite old lace, but it costs a lot. Now in Ireland there is a revival of many crafts, and in fashion boutiques they often sell modern lace products made with the old technique. Such things look very original and stylish.
6. Traditional Ireland Souvenirs
An excellent gift from Ireland will be any souvenir with the image of a clover trefoil – you can buy it literally “on every corner”. The Irish claim that a leaf of clover is able to attract happiness and luck, so most tourists try to bring souvenirs with such symbols.
The most famous heroes of Irish folklore are the Lepricons. In almost every outlet there is a huge selection of statuettes of this fabulous character made with a wide variety of materials. You can also buy cookies and other delicacies that look like lepricons, or embroideries, dishes in the form of a leprechaun shoe, soft toys, chests with chocolate candies in a gold wrapper.
The Irish love music very much, so in many souvenir shops you can find cassettes and discs with folk-style recordings. In addition, a good (and expensive) gift for music lovers can be one of the Irish instruments: whistle flutes, bagpipes, borana.
For both men and women in Ireland, you can pick up Celtic jewelry as a gift. The stores have earrings, bracelets, pendants, rings, and offer an assortment of different price categories. If you want to buy more expensive jewelry for yourself, you need to go to Argos – there you can find the famous Claddagh rings at much more affordable prices than other jewelry stores offer.
Pound shops and Dealz chain stores offer an extensive selection of souvenirs. Therefore, if you want to buy souvenirs from Ireland, it is better to go there right away.