Excited about Irish Souvenirs? Ireland is steeped in history and legend, a place that people around the world dream of visiting. The Republic of Ireland is also a modern nation infused with an eclectic array of cultures and traditions, so Ireland souvenirs range from ancient symbols, such as Claddagh rings, to pottery and ceramics, created by a diverse group of artists that come from all corners of the globe and now call Ireland home.
This is also a land where the written word is sacred, where Irish authors, such as James Joyce, Oscar Wilde and William Butler Yeats, are national treasures, so discovering a book store for a truly Irish literary souvenir will not be difficult. Other traditional souvenirs from Ireland, ones that cannot be passed over, include Irish whiskey, Aran Islands wool knits and Irish chocolate, to name but a few. And the king of them all, of course, is Guinness, one of the world’s most iconic and beloved beers.
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15 Awesomely Authentic Irish Souvenirs - Contents
The Republic of Ireland is a fairly compact country. For example, it takes only a couple of hours to drive from Dublin across the country to Galway. This means you can take in a large part of the country while collecting Ireland souvenirs specific to each region and county along the way, from Guinness souvenirs in Dublin to Blarney Castle souvenirs in Cork to Claddagh rings in Galway, as well as authentic Aran Islands wool-knit sweaters if you venture further than land’s end.
What better place to get Irish whiskey than Ireland? Ireland distills a number of great whiskies, but the leader of the pack is Jameson. Established in 1780, Jameson is triple distilled and known for its smoothness. In addition to the whiskey, other Jameson souvenirs include master cocktail kits, Jameson tall glasses, jiggers, hip flasks, backpacks, T-shirts, hoodies and baseball caps. Other notable Irish whiskies, any of which would make a great souvenir from Ireland, include Connemara Peated Single Malt Whiskey, Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey and Teeling Single Malt Irish Whiskey.
These traditional Irish rings represent love (heart), loyalty (crown) and friendship (clasped hands), and are touching souvenirs from Ireland perfect for friends, significant others and/or family. Did you know that when worn on the right hand with the tip of the heart pointed towards you it means that you are in a relationship? If pointed outwards it means that you are single and available. If worn on the left hand with the tip of the heart pointed towards you it means that you are married, and pointed outwards means you are engaged. Claddagh rings can be found all over Ireland, but one of the best places to find them is Claddagh Jewellers in Galway. This is “home of the authentic Claddagh ring,” including Claddagh wedding bands and diamond rings.
When one thinks of countries in Europe famous for chocolate, Belgium, Germany and Switzerland inevitably come to mind. But did you know Irish chocolate can give them all a run for their money. Ireland is best known for its milk chocolate, particularly Cadbury’s, which can be found in stores all over the country. This being Ireland, you can also find chocolate bars containing whiskey. According to The Taste, some of the best Irish “chocolate experiences” include Butlers’ Chocolate Experience, Valrhona Melting Chocolate Sphere, Coco Bó, Bean and Goose Winter Bark Chocolate Slab and Skelligs’ Chocolate Factory.
Traditional Irish Jewelry
Traditional jewelry in Ireland doesn’t begin and end with Claddagh rings. Celtic cross jewelry, which can also be found everywhere in Ireland, is just as popular as Claddagh rings. Other traditional Irish/Celtic jewelry includes Irish rings, pendants, earrings and bracelets; Celtic Irish brooches; family shields and more. If visiting Dublin, one of the most popular places to find this uniquely Irish jewelry is the aptly named Irish Jewel. They specialise in handmade Celtic jewelry from Ireland, and if they don’t have the piece of Celtic jewelry you are looking for, they will make it for you.
Irish Flat Caps
Irish flat caps, think “Peaky Blinders,” are as common in Ireland as the Celtic cross and shamrock, and make for stylish souvenirs from Ireland. This classic Irish accessory comes in a cornucopia of colors for men, women and children, and are usually made from tweed or wool. The Irish flat cap has many monikers, such as Scully cap, cabbie, duffer, but whatever you call it you will have no problem finding this quintessential Irish cap in any county in Ireland, including caps with the Guinness logo. One of the best places to find them in the capital city is The Irish Store, which specializes in, you guessed it, Irish goods.
Guinness Storehouse Mementos
Do you love Guinness? If so, you can’t leave Dublin without visiting the brewery and taking a tour. The Guinness Storehouse hosts more than 20 million visitors a year, making it the No. 1 attraction in Ireland. In addition to tasting and touring the multi-floor facility, you can pick up a variety of Guinness souvenirs, including a Stoutie, a “picture-perfect pint” with your selfie on the head of a Guinness black and white stout; Guinness apparel, such as T-shirts, jackets, hats and more; and, naturally, the classic beer itself.
It is well-known that the Irish have the gift of the gab, not just with the tongue but the pen as well. Some of the giants of literature include Irish writers like James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, William Butler Yeats, Samuel Beckett, George Bernard Shaw and Yvonne Carroll, whose “Great Irish Legends for Children” is a great Ireland souvenir for kids. The Irish love the written word, so there is no shortage of quality book stores in Ireland. Some of the most respected book stores in the country include Waterstones in Cork, a haven for local book lovers and visitors alike; Chapters Bookshop in Dublin, Ireland’s largest independent bookstore; Charlie Byrne’s in Galway, which stocks over 100,000 new, bargain and secondhand books; and O’Mahony’s Books in Limerick, which has been going strong since 1902.
Trinity College Trinkets
Trinity College, founded in 1592, is a Dublin institution, as well as Ireland’s oldest surviving and most prestigious university. Trinity is also a treasure trove of Ireland souvenirs. The Trinity Gift Shop sells Trinity hoodies, sweaters, T-shirts, baseball caps, knit hats, rugby balls, candles, coasters, books and Book of Kells gifts, as Ireland’s greatest cultural treasure and the world’s most famous medieval manuscript, the Book of Kells, is housed in the Library of Trinity College.
Easter Rising Memorabilia
The Easter Rising in 1916 was one of the most significant moments in Irish history. The rebellion was launched by Irish republicans to end British rule. It was the spark that eventually led to Irish independence. If visiting Dublin, you can even take a 1916 Rebellion Walking Tour, and buy a book entitled “The Easter Rising - A Guide to Dublin in 1916,” which makes for a great souvenir of Ireland. Today, the Easter Rising is still a monumental point of Irish pride, and is memorialized in a plethora of ways, including through memorabilia and souvenirs. You can display your Irish pride in a number of ways, even on a T-shirt or coffee mug that spells out “Easter Rising.” In fact, the 1916 rebellion is celebrated on just about anything, such as refrigerator magnets, Irish volunteer and proclamation road signs, framed Easter Rising 1916 newspaper reproductions, bronze plaques, tea towels, posters, postcards, books and even shower curtains.
Two of the top crystal companies in the world are located in Ireland: Galway Crystal and Waterford Crystal, the latter being a household name in homes around the globe. Waterford Crystal products include ornate chandeliers, bowls, drinkware, lamps and much more. Not to be outshined, Galway Crystal also manufactures brilliant crystal products, which make for classy souvenirs from Ireland. Galway Crystal makes dazzling crystal candlesticks, vases, salt and pepper shakers, trays, drinkware, picture frames, ornaments and jewelry.
The Irish are obsessive anglers, and prefer to real in their catch with fly rods. Ireland is a world-class destination for pike, salmon and wild brown trout, and some of the best spots to catch them include the River Nire in the Comeragh Mountains, Lough Currane in County Kerry and the Royal Canal in Kilcock, County Kildare. These spots, and countless others, are perfect for trying out your new fly rod. Other fly-fishing souvenirs from Ireland include fly reels, fly lines, flies, waders, clothing, vests, packs and all manner of fly-fishing accessories.
Aran Wool-Knit Sweaters
The Aran Islands, located off the coast of Galway, where Gaelic is still widely spoken is perhaps the most traditional part of Ireland, and one of the islands’ most enduring traditions is making wool-knit sweaters. Wool-knit sweaters can be found throughout Ireland, but the most authentic are from the Aran Islands. They are made for men, women and children of all shapes and sizes, and are typically cable-patterned. If you want an authentic Aran wool-knit sweater for an Ireland souvenir look no further than Aran Sweater Market, which grew from being a cornerstone of Inishmore, the largest of the Aran Islands, to one of the biggest suppliers of authentic Aran knitwear. If you can’t make it to the Aran Islands fret not, as Aran Sweater Market has stores in Killarney, Galway and Dublin.
Visit Blarney Castle
The Blarney Castle, home of the world-famous Blarney Stone, is one of Ireland’s most visited sites, and the ideal place for a souvenir from Ireland. After kissing the Blarney Stone, stop off at the Blarney Castle shop where you will find a memorable souvenir to commemorate your visit, such as a Blarney luck stone, Blarney Castle snowglobe, Blarney Castle Christmas bauble, Blarney Castle model, Blarney Castle magnet, Blarney Castle certificate, Blarney Castle T-shirt, Tartan scarf, mug, souvenir coin, bookmark, crystal shot glass or Blarney Castle gold-plated souvenir coin.
Connemara marble is a unique form of marble found in the Connemara region in County Galway, which adheres to traditional Irish culture. In fact, Connemara marble is one of the rarest forms of marble in the world, with deposits dating back 600 million years. Today, Connemara Marble is immensely popular in Celtic jewelry design, so great Connemara Marble souvenirs abound, such as Connemara Marble Celtic crosses, Claddagh rings, pendants, rings, brooches and more. You can also find many other products made out of Connemara Marble, any of which would make an extraordinary souvenir from Ireland, including coasters, keychains, wishing stones, worry stones, luck stones, Irish lucky pennies or just a piece of the marble itself.
Irish Ceramics and Pottery
Hand-crafted pottery, an Irish speciality, and ceramics made by a wide range of artists can be found in villages and towns throughout Ireland. According to the New York Times, there is a “buzz about Irish ceramics,” which are not only collected but put to practical use. Souvenir pieces include cups, mugs, teapots, bowls, plates, platters, plaques, Christmas ornaments, bird feeders and so much more. The prince of Irish pottery is Louis Mulcahy, whose workshop is located in Dingle. Mulcahy is the first Irish craftsman to receive an honorary degree from the National University of Ireland in recognition of his artistry and the prosperity it has brought to his community. Mulcahy is renowned for his durable handmade pottery, widely recognised for their long life and resistance to abuse.