The Best Souvenirs We’ve Ever Bought
Nowadays, it’s quite easy to recall our travel memories. Whenever we miss the feel of a sea breeze, or the sight of an incredible mountaintop view from up high, we can just whip out our smartphones, open up the photo galleries to see all of our photos, neatly arranged in chronological order. Swipe Swipe!
To further conjure up that holiday feeling, our souvenirs can truly keep your travel memories alive – and maybe even take you back to your destination for even just a little while!
In the spirit of feeling nostalgic, we’ve listed some of the best souvenirs we’ve ever brought home from our travels – and hey, they might inspire you to go on a new adventure, give you an excuse for a worldwide shopping spree! (like any of us need an excuse – right!)
The Eiffel Tower… in KEYCHAIN form
Arguably one of the most iconic structures around the world – Paris’ Eiffel Tower evokes a lot of emotions just by seeing it. The romance and grace, elegance and timelessness of this icon of France is just manifest beautifully by the symmetry and form of the tower.
So… take the tower home with you! Keep it in your pocket, perfect to remind you every time you take out your keys for a daily reminisce for the sights and sounds of the City of Lights!
You can buy these at Paris Rendez-Vous at Rue de Rivoli, Souvenir’s Factory at Quai du Marche Neuf, and Bring Home France gift shop at Rue de Birague. Although most street corners and souvenir shops will have them.
Germany’s Christmas Markets for Ornaments
Christmas in Europe, specifically Germany, is a picture-postcard part of many traveller’s holiday bucket list. For the warm glow of Christmas, you can’t beat a snowy German Christmas village. Imagine the romance of falling snowflakes, catching them as they melt on your tongue or sparkling icicles under the eaves of market stalls laden with cheerful decorations, seasonal crafts and goods, and of course, delicious food.
An imposing yet lovely Cologne Cathedral paints the backdrop for the largest Christmas tree in the Rhineland, or head to Munich for Christmas treats from gorgeous nativity figurines and Bavarian forest glassware, to bees-wax candles and tasty homemade gingerbread – you are sure to find the perfect Christmas ornaments to hang on your own tree back home. One of my favourites is a Nutcracker Soldier I grabbed in Nuremburg’s Christkindlesmarkt one frosty November day. I remember the stall all lit up and twinkling bright, it was right next to the Baumkuchen stall and the delicious aroma of the cinnamon-scented cake called to me! Oh, I can smell it… and taste it now.
Folding Fans from Japan
A Japanese folding fan provides style and functionality, giving an air of class and elegance to any outfit. Light, collapsible, and very useful during our warm Australian summers – and when travelling!
Each delicately decorated fan is a reminder of the uniqueness of the Japanese culture and illustrious history. You can grab these from most souvenir shops, and prices will vary depending on quality and materials used. If you are in Tokyo, we recommend Akasuka’s Shibata Yoshinobu Shoten, Shinjuku at Nippon CHACHACHA!, and Shibuya’s Maruara Watanabe, among others, for some awesome souvenir hunting.
Matroyshka Dolls from Russia
You know, the one inside another Russian nesting dolls – Matroyshka dolls. These wooden creations are symbolic of the Russian lifestyle and the importance of family. Their iconic look comes in many shapes and forms these days, from the more traditional Russian costume through to the characters of Star Wars and the latest world leaders! Interesting fact and world record – Youlia Bereznitskaia, an artist, has created a 51-piece Matroyshka doll spanning 3.41 metres, making it the largest in the world. Just a tad large to fit in the overhead compartment!
Matroyshka dolls can be found in most souvenir and specialty stores, although the most popular destination for travellers to purchase that amazing set is in Red Square Market. You’ll easily spot them sold in colourful tents just near the Teatralnaya metro station. Or if you are inclined to go a little farther afield in Moscow, head to Old Arbat for a more local market with a wider variety of gifts and souvenirs (at more reasonable prices).
Venetian Masks from Italy
Discover handcrafted masks that are literally a thing of beauty, worn during the classy masquerade balls and parties of the Carnevale di Venezia in Italy.
Each mask really provides a glimpse into how grandiose the festivities can be, as attending Carnevale can be like a fairy-tale dream come true. Parties, markets, shows, and an incredible night life explode into colour, with the Venetian masks providing an enigmatic identity to each person. As you wander through Venice, from its streets and canals, you’ll find real and souvenir masks for sale in traditional, feathery and futuristic form, along most alleys and squares. Pricing ranges from 10-20 euros through to as much as you want to pay!
Silk Saris from India
One of the most luxurious souvenirs you can take home is a beautiful, colourful, hand-beaded silk sari from India. Representative of India’s centuries of history, tradition and great cultural significance, this delicate material elegantly caresses the body of Indian goddesses and everyday women, to show off their genuine curves in a dignified manner.
Sari’s can be bought throughout India, from simple everyday wear through to jewel-encrusted creations by the latest designers. If you are visiting the bustling, fabulous city of New Delhi, we can suggest a stop by Nalli Saree or Connaugh Place as a lovely cool sanctuary to view and purchase a souvenir sari.
Are you inspired to do some souvenir hunting of your own? Simply login at Accor Vacation Club Travel, click through from the e-lounge to search online, or simply call on AU: 1800 70 80 90 or NZ: 0800 45 19 97.
Written Kevin Montalbo, Edited J Hamilton