Best Souvenirs from around the World Worth Buying

This post contains affiliate links. It’s no secret that I am no fan of even the best souvenirs. Not the typical suspects anyway. Give me a typical food item over a key ring any day as a souvenir from your trip. Buy me something silly yet useful, like a mafia apron from Sicily or a Cadbury chocolate from England instead of little attraction miniatures, pencils or snow globes. I have already shown you the alternative guide to holidaying gift giving but this time around, I am taking you across the world for products that you must squeeze into your luggage in select countries, my favourites among the best souvenirs for different countries. So buckle up, empty your suitcase and let’s get shopping.

Awesome Souvenirs from around the World Worth Buying

Japanese Souvenirs

  • Kitchen stuff: knives, chopsticks, rice bowls, sushi mat, porcelain
  • Fan: Anime and Manga, figurines , stationary, cosplay items
  • Useful: latest electronic releases, parasols
  • Sweets: KitKats, matcha cookie and chocolate, shichimis
  • Drinks: sake, green tea, matcha tea, soda cans, mochi
  • Reader recommendations: see-through umbrellas, stationary, towels

German Souvenirs

  • Kitchen stuff: Beer mugs, Christmas market mugs, porcelain kitchenware sets
  • Sweets: chocolate, marzipan, gummy bears, lebkuchen (during Christmas)
  • Drinks: beer, Jägermeister
  • Health: Penaten cream
  • Decoration: wooden and straw Christmas hangers, baubles
  • Reader Recommendations: Kinder surprise (Kinderüberraschung), Kinder chocolates, stainless steel, Birkenstocks

English Souvenirs

  • Kitchen stuff: Tea set, cookie tin box
  • Sweets: Cadbury chocolate, fudge, rock candy, shortbread
  • Drinks: tea, whiskey
  • Clothing: something from Primark
  • Preloved: second-hand clothing and used books

Swedish Souvenirs

  • Kitchen stuff: Glassware, fika cups, cheese slicer
  • Kitchen textiles: towel, aprons, oven gloves
  • Food: Canned game meat (moose, reindeer etc.), knäckebröd, lingonberry jam, tube cheese
  • Drinks: Absolut Vodka, Julmost
  • Design: furniture, decoration

Australian Souvenirs

  • Food: Tasmanian cheese, Vegemite (to prank your friends)
  • Sweets: TimTams, cherry ripe bars
  • Drinks: Shiraz
  • Decoration: aboriginal art or handicraft, wooden handcraft
  • Health: Tea tree or emu oil

Korean Souvenirs

  • Food: kimchi, gim, seafood crisps
  • Drink: vegetable milk, tea
  • Fan: KPop and KDrama articles
  • Shopping: socks, caps, rings, cosmetic products, electronics
  • Kitchen stuff: silverware

Italian Souvenirs

  • Food: olive oil, pasta in different shapes and sizes, cheese, crushed pistachios
  • Drink: wine, grappa, coffee
  • Kitchen stuff: moka coffee pot, ceramics
  • Shopping: leather shoes, designer fashion, lace
  • Culture: Venetian masks, paintings, glass

That’s it for now on the best souvenirs. Of course, there are so many other countries out there and before I just spam you with lots of unique, yummy or decorative things that I recommend stocking up on, I want to know what would YOU recommend.

Tell me: Which souvenirs from your travels are your favourites?

This article has also appeared on Kiss from the World.

Get your free travel planner now from Travel on the Brain

Tags: , , , , ,

Related Posts

It had to happen, after ditching the 9-5 for a prolonged break, Annemarie's wokaholic tendencies led her to start a daily blog about her adventures. Realising how much travel has helped rebuild her confidence and and general #GirlBoss-iness, Travel on the Brain released a book about her adventures in Down Under and New Zealand and creates quirky video series focusing on story telling in destinations around the globe.
Previous Post Next Post


  1. Totally on board with you! I can help you with the Japan one too~ here’s some to add: towels (Japanese towels are awesome), cards/stationary/notebooks/pens (very cute compared to typical US cards), dishes (if you can afford to bring something easy to break/heavy), clear umbrellas, and mochi/sweets. (Also, like you said tea &green tea items).

    1. Hi Rachel,
      ah, I didn’t know about the towels. What is it that’s great about them? I added your suggestions now. Thank you. :)

  2. Reply

    I love this list! Personally, I always get a food/related item as well and the local liquor. I got Turkish coffee cups from Istanbul. Bottle of pisco from Peru.

    1. Hi Aparna, thank you. I think food is always a great go-to souvenir. It’s different every time, unique and who doesn’t like food/drink?!

      • Jhader
      • 20/04/2016

      Pisco from Peru good choise !!

  3. Haa, something from Primark! As a Brit you don’t know how funny that is! It’s interesting really what others want to take away from your country. I love the Japanese stuff, we bought so much manga/ toys over there!!

    1. Hi Nic! What do you mean? Brits love shopping at Primark, too. At least they did like crazy when I lived in Preston. Did you buy manga in Japanese? I was super tempted but wouldn have been able to read it, so I decided against it. But toys I bought loads, too^^

  4. Reply

    Yes! I love your list! These are much better than little Taj or Eiffel tower minatures (if the food and drink items make it home haha) And VEGEMITE TASTE SO GOOD!!!! How can that delicious salty flavour be a prank? Non-Australians don’t know good taste! Hahahahahaha! <3 Great post! :D

    1. Hi Bettina, I agree. I am never quite sure what I am supposed to do with miniatures. And zou like vegemite?! I can only eat it with crackers and cheese or eggs benedict. But that’s good. Have you ever tried marmite?

  5. Reply

    Now I have to go and buy a cherry ripe.

    1. Haha, buy one for me, too.

  6. Reply

    Love this list! I hate “souvenirs” as well, and would much rather have food or items i’ll actually use over little trinkets.

    1. Hi Dani, glad we share the same sentiment regarding “souvenirs”. What has been your favourite souvenir so far.

  7. Reply

    Ooo what a great idea! And such good suggestions for souvenirs.
    I’m off to Morocco soon and planning to get some things to furnish my home with, whether thats a rug or a nice lattern!

    1. Oh, Morocco, I am so jealous! There must be some good and colourful souvenir over there. I’d love to take pillows with me but rug and lantern are also great ideas! I widh you lots of fun.

  8. In USA, the best place to go for souvenirs seems to be Walmart. Brownie mixes (nowadays available also back home, but outrageously expensive), local magazines (there’s so MANY about everything you could imagine), and Walmart also always seems to have some kitchy USA-flag-bikinis/shirts in stock. :D

    1. Hi Jenni. Walmart? Do you think I should go there? What has been your favourite Walmart steal?

  9. Reply

    I may add for Germany – Birkenstocks if you are a fan as they will be a lot cheaper here than elsewhere! Also stainless steel things like certain knifes and scissors – may not make a romantic gift but I have used my German cuticle scissors a friend got me for Christmas in New York ones for years.
    Also Kinderschokolade and überraschungseier – surprise eggs as they are different here than anywhere else (less plastic, but two chocolate halves!)

    1. Reply

      Hi Annika, ah those Birkenstocks. I guess they would be cheaper. And yes, we have good stainless steel with different designs (I like the rounded simple ones). And with the chocolate you are absolutely right. German chocolates are amazing! Are you from Germany? Thanks for your tips. :)

  10. Pingback: The Perfect Gifts for a Traveller - Ideas to Get the Next Birthdays Sorted

    • Kim watts
    • 28/09/2016

    In Paris I went to the various drug stores and bought lots of skin care items that I can’t get here in the U.S and I also went to the small grocery stores and brought back food items.
    Getting ready to go to London….looking forward to buying tea, teacups and Cadbury chocolate. I know this is an old post, but Walmart? I avoid that store like crazy !!! I prefer shopping at Target . But hey, I live here.

    1. Reply

      Hey Kim, what Parisian skin care items do you recommend? I am such a rookie when it comes to proper skin care. I should start looking into that more. And yeah, I now think Target is way better than Walmart, too. Need to change that.

  11. Reply

    Good suggestions! I always have problems when it comes to souvenirs… you want something to remind you of a certain day or town, but a lot of what is on sale isn’t practical, well-made or something that would work in your home. So the ceramics suggestions you made are a good idea – you can use mugs and bowls for ages. I have also found pretty (and useful) notebooks and a mousepad with the Underground map on in London (at the Science Museum gift shop). I try to get the same type of item (like magnets or postcards) from every place I visit, so they work as a collection – so I have a mini postcard gallery wall in my office, and a magnet collection on my fridge.

    1. Reply

      Hey, Lauren! I’m happy you like the ceramics suggestions. I have way too many now from my trip to Japan and am still marvelling over how they survived the trip in my backpack and the harsh handling at the airport. The London Underground merch sounds pretty neat, too! And the mini postcard wall is what I’m aspiring to as well. Keep up the good work!

  12. Pingback: 10 Unique Ways to Experience Autumn in Germany

  13. Pingback: Travel Souvenirs Actually Worth Squeezing into Your Suitcase

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *