Last updated: August 2018
You won’t struggle to find a souvenir shop in Ireland, but often what you find in these shops is poorly-produced and not that practical anyway. A much better idea is to pick up something that you’ll actually use and treasure, like an item of clothing or something for the house. So, give the tea-towels with Celtic blessings and the leprechaun-tat a miss. Look out for a few of these items instead.
One of Ireland’s most famous exports is Waterford Crystal, the high-quality glassware company that dates back to the 18th Century. Waterford Crystal produce a wide range of products that includes decanters, wine glasses, whiskey glasses, chandeliers, lamps, vases, and more. So, regardless of who you’re buying for, there’s bound to be something that’s perfect for them.
Irish whiskey may not carry with it the same weight and prestige that Scotch does, but Ireland produces some great whiskies nonetheless. Part of this has to do with the power of the American market: in the US, Scottish whisky is preferred over Irish whiskey and this has significantly affected Irish whiskey sales and the perception of both Irish and Scottish whisky.
Despite that, Ireland is still the fourth largest whiskey-producing country in the world: Scotland is the first, followed by the USA, then Japan, and finally Ireland. A trip to Ireland gives you a chance to try popular Irish brands like Tullamore Dew, Bushmills, and Connemara, as well as hunt down some less-easy-to-find labels like Barr an Uisce, Burke’s, The Quiet Man, Yellow Spot, and Celtic Cask.
Tip: Irish whiskey contains an ‘e’ in the word whiskey whereas Scottish whisky doesn’t.
Not quite as famous as Waterford Crystal, at least outside of Ireland, Newbridge Silverware produces high-quality cutlery, jewellery, and homeware.
A silverwear collection is an essential item in any home or, alternatively, it could be the perfect wedding present for some newlyweds.
Like whisky, Irish clothing is often overlooked by Scottish clothing. Ireland produces some great knitwear, though, especially Aran island jumpers.
Finding a good-quality, thick and chunky jumper for the winter can be tough but Aran Island jumpers are designed to keep you warm through even the harshest of winters. They were initially designed for fishermen fishing of the West Coast of Ireland, which says something about how effective they are.
Soda bread can be made at home, yes, but this is such a convenient gift it had to be included. While soda bread is often normally difficult to find, you’ll find it at most supermarkets across Ireland like Supervalu, Tesco, and Dunnes Stores as well as at any Irish baker.
Soft yet firm, store-bought soda bread travels extremely well and will usually keep for several days.
Did you pick up anything while you were in Ireland? Let us, and other shoppers, know about your finds by leaving a comment below.