This tip is offered with tongue in cheek...but when I visit another country I have to make a stop in the grocery store to see what things I can bring home for my kitchen. Maybe you do the same...
Rhubarb, yes they have it in the Spring, and we brought some home to Italy as Italians don't have a clue as to what rhubarb is. Rubabaro...
Chedder Cheese, can't find yellow cheese in Italy, either.
Another kind of paprika for the shelf, whole wheat flour, spices.
What to buy: It doesn't have to be from Ireland, just unusual to where you live.
Whever you go in the world the dreaded plague of Souvenirs raises it's ugly head. They all seem to be made in China anyway. I often wonder what a Chinese worker in some fleapit factory thinks about producing thousands of damned plastic lepichauns. Why do people by this crap anyway?
The worst excesses of a 'disneyfied idea of Ireland' or fake 'Oirishness' can be found in the chain of Carrolls Irish gift shops. Their list of establishments are listed below :
Upper and Lower O'Connell street
St Stephen's green shopping centre
PS they do sell some Guinness emblazoned clothing and other more sensible stuff as well.
You can find all measure of Irish goods over here at reasonable prices. Fridge magnets, t-shirts, pens, baubles, cds etc. Carrolls are all over Dublin almost every street corner but they stock a great variety of items
This chain has many shops in the city, and you may even get to see their own van driving around, as I did!
Nice selection of souvenirs of various kinds, you're bound to find something(s) that tickles your fancy :)
The shops are big, with things laid out and displayed very neatly.
What to buy: A cool leprechaun magnet was my favourite (holding the tricolour!), but I'm sure you will like many other things.
What to pay: The sky is the limit ;)
No really, their prices are VERY good, probably the most competitive around. You can even buy online :)
Whether I am traveling for business or pleasure I always bring my grandson (Leo) a gift. I will usually try to pick up a plush teddy bear with t-shirt of the country's emblem, or any stuffed animal that would be associated with the country.
During my first visit to Dublin I stumbled upon Carroll's Irish Gifts here on O'Connell Street. This is one of those souvenir shops that has everything "Irish" you can think of. The store is quite large with many different items whether tacky or not, to take back home to your loved one, or for your own pleasure.
Prices are reasonable and what I really liked about this store is they have a very large selection of rugby and soccer items as well as assortments of chocolate, jewelry, house goods and of course those little leprechuns.
What to buy: I purchased some chocolate, a fridge magnet, cut polo shirt for Leo and a small snow globe. I didn't find a bear I liked at this store though.
What to pay: Very reasonable
Carroll's is a gift store located on almost every corner of Dublin City Centre, it sells quality Irish and Celtic Gifts. Carrol's offer a variety of Irish and Celtic gifts, which include jewlery, music cd's, candy, clothing and many others. Basicially whatever you can think of, they have it.
It is not cheap, but nothing in Dublin is, so just have a bit of fun and spend your share on Irish craft!
What to buy: CD's with Ireland best folk music, Irish Whisky Fudge chocolates, keyrings, hoodies etc.
Carroll's Irish Gift Stores is a chain of souvenir shops that we discovered in Dublin. The largest store is probably the one on O'Connell Street.
We managed to buy all our souvenirs and special Irish gifts for our friends at Carroll's. The t-shirts were a great deal but we also found Irish heritage mugs/keychains/plaques with our family names which were fantastic presents.
What to buy: The store on O'Connell Street sells traditional Irish wool fisherman sweaters, something different from the other stores. They also have a huge assortment of Guinness souvenirs compared to the other smaller shops.
You can also find Irish t-shirts with humorous slogans or famous Irish brands like Guinness beer. Many of the t-shirts are sold 3 for 20 Euros so you can easily pick up shirts for your friends back home!
What to pay: If you spend more than 100 Euros, you will get a free Irish music CD as a gift. Unfortunately it's there is only one CD so don't expect any variety if you spend more!
Also, the stores wouldn't take anything over 50 Euro notes due to counterfeits so if you plan on doing some shopping, try to bring smaller bills.
Irish chocolate is amazing.
There's is the basic Cadbury's stuff sold in newsagents (you can only buy it in Ireland and the Uk because it has too much sugar and not enough cocoa to classify as chocolate in the EU or other parts of the world).
But then we also have luxury chocolates. Lily O'Brien and Butlers are the main players here. Lily O'Briens can be purchased in some supermarkets and also in gift stores. Butlers have some of their own shops in Dublin (at the Junction of Exchequer Street and South William Street in Dublin 2; Henry Street, Dublin 1 and on Nassau Street, Dublin 2) and also sell from some supermarkets and tourist shops like Kilkenny on Nassau Street.
What to buy: Buy Mint Crisp or Golden Crisp or just plain old dairy milk in Cadburys. if you're feeling more adventurous Moros , Crunchies (with honeycomb and choclate), eclairs (toffee with chocolate on the inside) or Bourneville (dark chocolate)
Treat yourself to a selection in Butlers or Lily O'Briens or one of their smaller bars (very rich but delicious and an ideal quick gift)
Fry's Pepperment Cream or Spearmint cream are minty Irish favourites, available from most
What to pay: The cheaper bars start at about 80 cents.
With Lily O'Briens and Butlers expect to pay 1 euro fifity for a small bar, and about 6 euro for a very small selection
Why not nab yourself a piece of Irish art if you can afford it?
Francis Street in Dublin's south city centre is fast establishing itself as the place to buy art. It was once known for antiques but now its being taken over by art studios. Espeically notable are The Bad Art Gallery and Kevin Sharkey's studio.
The top floor of Saint Stephen's Green Shopping Centre has a selection of Irish art, as well as cheaper prints.
Finally "This is Not a Shop" on Benburd Street, just up from Middle Abbey Street, is a quirky gallery cum apartment. You can go in, browse the art, perhaps even drop in on on eof their parties.
What to buy: if you have the money go for Kevin Sharkey (one of ireland's best known contemporary artists) or Graham Knuttel.
What to pay: Pieces at this is not a shop start at 50 euro, Kevin Sharkey from 100 euro and Graham Knuttel from about 300 euro. Stephen's Green gallery has prints for fifteen euro and paintings starting at 50 euro.
Any vending machine in any station or airport will sell these delightful, and delicious crisps for 80c. They are the nations favourite. I chose cheese and onion.
"3 out of 4 people prefer Tayto" - (That's what it claims on the packet) I wonder what the fourth one prefers??
What to buy: Soft drinks/crisps/chocolates/sweets
What to pay: Up to a couple of Euros
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