The best souvenirs you’ve picked up from your holidays

Published on: Wednesday, May 23, 2018
The best souvenirs you’ve picked up from your holidays - Are you good at buying souvenir?


World Travel Guide invited our readers to share the best souvenirs they had picked up from their holidays

The 7-inch by 7-inch piece of lens cleaning cloth was given to one of our writers by her friend in Osaka in the summer of 1994. Many decades later, she still uses it to clean her glasses daily and that provides a daily reminder of those happy days.

Souvenirs can be gimmicky, like a plastic swan sitting on a pearly-white seashell sold by a street vendor, or it can be something that symbolises a destination remarkably well, like Riga’s black balsam (Vodka with herbs) from Latvia or Turkish coffee from Istanbul.

Souvenirs can be useful too. Travellers to Italy often pick up a leather bag or a leather belt which they can wear for years to come, while those who spend days lounging on the beaches in Thailand are likely to come back with loose cotton shirts or sarongs that keep them cool each summer.

Recently we invited our readers to comment on our Facebook page with some of the best souvenirs they had acquired. We’d quite a range of comments, ranging from acquiring a new love interest to a new child (nine months later, we should add). Also included were statues, candles and artwork, as well as humorous quips – a bag of coal, mosquito bites, and someone even mentioned laundry which saw our colleagues nodding in agreement.

After a week, we chose a random name and Linda Brawn from Toronto, Canada, won the £50 Amazon voucher. Her best souvenir is a beautiful doll given to her by her uncle who visited the far east some six decades ago. The uncle has passed on, but the doll is still with her – what a beautiful souvenir and reminder of a loved one.

Top souvenirs

  • Our Auckland shopping guide says Maori and Polynesian traditional crafts such as items made from pounamu (beautiful greenstone), surf wear or outdoor wear, a kauri wood carving and All Blacks memorabilia make excellent souvenirs.
  • Lima specialises in arpilleras: colourful hand-sewn fabric, according to our Lima shopping guide. The markets in Lima also sell art and craft from other destinations in Peru such as alpaca rugs.
  • What’s the best gift from Toronto? Inuit art, Hudson’s Bay point blankets, maple syrup products are popular souvenirs as recommended by our Toronto shopping guide.
  • If you’re in Amsterdam, pick up anything that’s emblazoned with the XXX symbol. The symbol is made of three vertical St Andrew’s crosses and is the city’s coat of arms for the past 500 years. This Amsterdam shopping guide also recommends other souvenirs including Delftware pottery
  • In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, travellers love to get electronic goods and gadgets. The Central Market is also an excellent place for handicrafts. See the Kuala Lumpur shopping guide for more information.