When you travel in Europe, take in the sights, sounds, food and culture. You often want to take memories of the good times home with you. Even better, buying gifts for friends and loved ones allows you to share your wonderful experience with others. One of the best gifts are items such as clocks, chocolates, wine, towels, bags, household goods and handmade crafts that reflect European culture and traditions. This is what tops the list of best gifts for friends when touring Europe:
- Porcelain: You will find some of the finest china in England. It can be a joy to find the perfect vessel for serving the popular British tea, such as a nice Earl Gray or breakfast tea. Be sure to find a unique teapot to take home. This way you keep the best memories of Europe and your friends can vicariously experience your travel joys during their own “High Tea” session.
- Swiss Watches: Swiss watches are known for their accuracy and beauty. They are sometimes even considered a collector’s item, as Swiss watches can appreciate in value over time. For example, Formex Watches, Patek Philippe and Rolex are some big Swiss brands. Switzerland is the heartbeat of the watchmaking industry, producing timepieces of the highest quality and craftsmanship. Buying a luxury watch for yourself or a loved one is an expensive choice, but a nice idea nonetheless if you enjoy collecting them.
- Birkenstock sandals: Everyone loves comfortable footwear, especially for summer exercise. Birkenstocks have had a resurgence in recent years and comfortable elegance seems to be the theme. The Birkenstock company was founded in Germany in 1774 with the aim of producing perfectly fitting shoes to prevent complaints. Finding a pair of these slippers from their country of origin would be an added touch of thoughtfulness with this practical gift.
- Turkish Coffee: Coffee is part of a morning ritual that many take with them everywhere. Buying a gift that helps keep the tradition (and sometimes the person) alive is heartwarming. Turks take their coffee sweet and strong and are known for creating traditional coffee blends. They serve it in a copper cup and saucer. If you buy the copper cups as a souvenir or gift, you can relive the Turkish experience with your friends and family.
- Italian Leather Goods: When it comes to leather goods, don’t miss the outdoor markets and their goodies in a variety of bags, belts and notebooks. Stroll around Florence, Italy and experience the joy of visiting each stall to see what treasures await.
- Wooden spoons from Romania: You will find the most artistic gifts in Romania. Hand-carved utensils in a range of different designs abound in Romania. Nowadays it is more of a decorative element. In the past it was used for cooking and for handling. Many of the motifs or designs on the spoons are symbols of love, peace or hope.
- Belgian Chocolates: In Belgium, citizens and tourists alike have flocked to sample this supremely melt-in-your-mouth treat. They also make some of the best chocolates although they are nowhere near where cocoa is grown. They source and process the ingredients needed to enable trained chocolatiers to create these jewels of the confectionery world, and we thank them for that. Shop for Belgian chocolate bars, truffles, mendiants (small chocolate circles with beautiful toppings) and pralines to take home as gifts and have something unique and delicious.
- Cheese fondue: This is the most famous Swiss dish and can be found all over Switzerland. From the ski resorts to the boat trips to every home in Switzerland, the love for fondue will never end. Although you can find it in other parts of the world, Swiss fondue is something special. Made with fresh Swiss cheese and a combination of white wine, garlic and brandy, it’s often served with small pieces of crusty bread. Its distinct smell and taste will linger in your taste buds forever. Buy a hand-painted fondue pot and bring it home as a gift for friends.
- Cuckoo Clock: There is nothing like a cuckoo clock to remind you of the time of day. With the high quality of cuckoo clocks found in the German Black Forest, many seek them for their charming, rustic warmth and enchanting harmony. Most cuckoo clocks resemble traditional wooden chalets and are decorated with interesting scenes. You can find them in souvenir shops all over Germany, but especially in places like Triberg, a wonderful day trip spot to pick your favorite cuckoo clock.
Your gift options are endless, and these gifts can be priceless and meaningful to the recipient. Enjoy your trip to Europe and don’t forget to collect as many memories as possible and bring some with you.