If you’re looking for the best gifts from Europe, we have you covered.
Buying gifts for friends and family can be complex and feel almost impossible at times. We get it. We’ve been there, too, but fortunately, we have a few solutions.
As avid travellers, we love giving and receiving travel-related gifts. The joy of searching for these kinds of items is that there’s something for everyone, no matter if they’re avid travellers themselves or not.
Whether you’re looking for Europe souvenirs that you want to give to a Europe-lover, or you need a gift for a traveller to Europe, we have a solution for you. We’ve curated a list of 35 items for you, so we’re sure you’re going to find something that fits.
Keep reading to discover lots of inspiration, from Greek honey to train passes and more.
Best gifts from Europe
Best European gifts for foodies
Whether you want to buy just one high-quality food item or put together a gift basket, Europe can offer you lots of inspiration. The continent is home to lots of different cuisines, and we’re sure there’s something for everyone. And the best part? You can now buy lots of European gifts online, so you can enjoy this food even when you can’t travel.
#1 Squid Ink Pasta
Travel gifts are best if they’re authentic, and the cuttlefish ink pasta that we’ve selected comes directly from Italy. All ingredients are organic, and you won’t find any artificial food colouring here. Instead, the black colour comes purely from cuttlefish ink.
This handmade Italian pasta is not just tasty; its black colour also looks pretty cool on any plate.
Cuttlefish ink pasta is perfect for pairing it with seafood. Serve it with shrimps and scallops or anything else that comes from the sea, or just enjoy it with some grated parmesan on top or Aglio e Olio. Therefore, it is the perfect gift for seafood lovers or lovers of Italian cuisine.
#2 French Country Cooking
The book French Country Cooking helps you do precisely that. It’ll transport you into a kitchen in the French countryside, where Mimi Thorisson shares her favourite recipes with you.
You can find a hundred recipes in the book, helping you make things like roast chicken with chestnuts and cabbage, walnut tarts and lots of other delicious dishes.
At the same time, Mimi shares her journey of moving into an old house in the French countryside. Her husband takes stunning pictures that complement this cookbook and will inspire you to travel to France as soon as possible.
French Country Cooking is the perfect gift for anyone who loves to cook and for lovers of French cuisine.
#3 British tea
When my parents visit our relatives in England, they always bring home enough tea to last for the next few months. Whether it’s Twinings or Yorkshire tea, for me, these brands have always represented surprise gifts from England.
A box of original British tea is the perfect gift for any tea or British culture lovers. We found the ideal gift set, which combines three caddies of high-quality Twinings tea.
Twinings is one of the oldest British tea brands and dates back to 1706. Back then, less than 60 years after the nation discovered tea, Thomas Twining bought Tom’s Coffee House in London and turned it into a tea house.
The business grew quickly, and today, Twinings is one of the most famous British tea brands. Plus, it has the oldest brand logo in continuous use in Great Britain.
The Twinings gift set that we chose combines three classic teas. You’ll get a box of the traditional English Breakfast blend, which is a perfect tea to start the day. The Irish Breakfast is also a blend but much more robust. And finally, there’s the famous Earl Grey tea, which we think is best enjoyed with a piece of cake or a scone in the afternoon.
#4 European snack box
If you’re looking for a gift for a friend but don’t know which European country they love most, why not go for a snack box from Europe? This European snack box offers a collection of snacks and sweets from many different countries.
The content is different each time you order, so you’re guaranteed to get a good surprise when you open your box. Plus, all of the treats are authentic. I recognise some of the snacks from this image (the 7 days bread chips are my favourites), and I can guarantee you that all of them are delicious.
The box includes a minimum of eight treats, from candies to cookies and chips, so everyone’s guaranteed to find something they love in there. Plus, you’re guaranteed to discover new flavours from different countries.
#5 Greek honey
Lovers of the European Mediterranean are going to enjoy receiving a jar of honey as a gift. This Dinas Greek Monastiri honey comes from Crete, an island popular with beekeepers. The unique flora gives the honey a flavour you’re unlikely to find when buying it anywhere else.
On Crete, bees encounter three sources of flowers. The first one is pine, which is also the most popular Greek honey and rich in nutrients. The bees also run into many wildflowers, which produce a fragrant aroma, and finally, thyme.
The mixture of these three types of honey makes for a unique flavour rich in minerals and nutrients that we’re sure your friends and family are going to love.
#6 Hungarian paprika
Then you should consider buying a package of original Hungarian paprika for them. This Pride of Szeged paprika comes from Hungary, so you’re guaranteed to get the original if you purchase it.
It tastes slightly sweet and is the perfect addition when making Goulash or Chicken Paprikash. It’s also an excellent addition for chicken, rice, vegetables or deviled eggs. Basically, it goes well with most foods, which makes it a universal spice.
Getting the original paprika from Hungary guarantees that you’ll get a fragrant spice rich in pepper flavour, one that will leave you more satisfied than the average grocery store brand you can find at home – unless you live in Hungary, of course.
#7 Dutch liquorice
We admit that salty liquorice is one of the stranger flavours you can find in Europe. It’s popular not only in the Netherlands but also in Germany and the Nordic countries. I grew up eating it and love it, but Daniel has never managed to get used to the double salt one.
The ingredient with the strong taste is Sal ammoniac, which was initially used as cough medicine. At one point, someone combined it with liquorice, and it soon became popular.
As we know that it might not be to everyone’s liking, we have chosen a gift set with four different types of liquorice. It’s perfect for giving to someone who wants to try an unusual flavour but isn’t sure if they like it yet.
The double salt liquorice is the strongest one in there, but you also have three more bags of other types. The drops and cats, for example, are both sweet and delicious. Everyone’s guaranteed to find their personal favourite in here.
#8 Beyond Borscht
We think that recreating recipes at home is an excellent way of getting to know international food and therefore love giving cookbooks as gifts. Europe is home to so many different cuisines that there’s a lot to discover.
Fortunately, we have found Beyond Borscht, a book that doesn’t just teach you recipes from one country but covers many regions in Eastern Europe. You’ll learn how to make piroshki, delicious dumplings filled with beef, cheese, mushrooms or braised cabbage, or traditional Russian cake.
Tatyana Nesteruk, the author of this cookbook, shares many traditional family recipes, and everyone’s guaranteed to find their favourite. It’s one of the best European-themed gifts for friends and family who enjoy cooking.
#9 Lavender candies
It turns out they are delicious! Lavender candies have a slight, sweet taste of lavender without being overwhelming at the same time.
Traditionally, they come from Provence and specific areas of Spain, but fortunately, you can now buy lots of international gifts online. These lavender candies from L’Ami Provencal are imported from France, so you’re guaranteed to get the real deal.
They’re the perfect gift for any Europe-lovers with a sweet tooth.
#10 Swiss chocolate
Lindt chocolate is one of my favourites, but it’s not the only traditional Swiss brand. While travelling through the country, you will find many more chocolate shops. Not all of them export to the US, but fortunately, we have found a brand that does.
MilkBoy produces their chocolate in Switzerland, and you can buy their mixed variety pack on Amazon. They only use sustainably farmed cocoa beans and select natural ingredients – and their chocolate honestly tastes fantastic. It melts perfectly in the mouth and will leave you wanting for more.
MilkyBoy chocolate is the perfect gift for anyone who truly appreciates chocolate.
Best handicrafts from Europe
Now that we’ve covered food, we are going to move on to another big category – handicrafts. Many regions in Europe are famous for their handicrafts, and the items you can buy there make for excellent European gifts. They are also amongst the most unique gifts from Europe you can buy, as they usually represent a long tradition that’s specific to a certain region.
Keep an eye open for them the next time you travel, but if you can’t make it here, don’t worry. These days, Amazon is like a giant European gift shop, and we’ve hunted down the best handcrafted items to give away as gifts.
#11 Portuguese ceramics
A symbol you keep seeing on Portuguese ceramics is the Rooster of Barcelos. The legend goes that a pilgrim was accused of stealing silver and sentenced to hang to death. The man pleaded with the judge, claiming that he was innocent. As proof of his innocence, he said, the rooster on the judge’s plate would stand up and crow at the time of his hanging.
And indeed. When the pilgrim was due to be hanged, the rooster crowed and saved the man.
These days, the rooster has become a symbol of good luck and justice in Portugal. That’s why we love this hand-painted olive dish that features a typical Portuguese rooster. If you’re looking for Europe-themed gifts, you can’t go much more traditional than this.
#12 Ukrainian Easter Eggs
In Ukraine, these eggs are called Pysanky, and they’re perfect if you’re looking for souvenir ideas from Europe. You can buy a set of 6 wooden eggs with different colours and designs that will be perfect for decorating your house for Easter.
With their intricate patterns and designs, they make for an excellent gift for anyone who loves handicrafts.
The tradition of decorating eggs, by the way, probably dates back to Pagan times. Ukrainians, like many other Slavic cultures, worshipped a Sun god. As birds could get much closer to the sun than humans could, they were the sun god’s chosen creation, and people decorated the eggs as an essential part of spring rituals.
#13 Italian olive wood bowl
While the country is most famous for its pasta and pizza, you can also find unique handicrafts. Did you know that olive wood looks fantastic when turned into bowls or cheese boards?
Why not surprise your friends or family with a handcrafted Italian olive wood bowl? It’s perfect for serving small snacks or even salads. Plus, unlike other wooden kitchen items, it’s easy to take care of. All it needs is a light wipe with olive oil after cleaning.
#14 Icewear clothing
If you’re looking for an exquisite item from Iceland, you should check out the Icewear sweaters. This Icewear sweater for men is made 100% from Icelandic wool and features a traditional Icelandic pattern.
The wool is naturally breathable and repellent, which makes it great for any winter adventure. At the same time, it also feels pretty nice when staying indoors.
If you’re searching for a gift for a woman, then Icewear also produces great wool sweaters for women. They might not be cheap, but the wool is of excellent quality, and with good care, these pullovers can last a long time. Plus, this one is hand-knitted. How cool is that?
We think that the Icewear clothing makes for the perfect European Christmas gift, just right for keeping everyone warm in winter.
#15 Manufaktura Beer Cosmetics
Okay, we agree that this one doesn’t fit very well into the “handicrafts” category. However, we love the story behind it and think that if you’re looking for European souvenirs online, you should give Manufaktura a try.
The Czech Republic is famous for its beer, but bringing home a bottle can be difficult. So why not go for cosmetics made with Czech beer?
Manufaktura Beer Shampoo contains original Czech Ferdinand beer, a pale lager produced in the Czech Republic since 1897. The beer is rich in minerals and antioxidants and is, therefore, the perfect ingredient for shampoo.
Plus, it makes for a pretty unusual and fun gift.
European Christmas Gifts
We have you covered if you’re looking for Christmas gifts. Europe is home to many unique Christmas traditions and even Christmas handicrafts, so we have found lots of great gift ideas. Whether it’s handicrafts or a letter from Santa Claus, you’ll discover lots of inspiration ahead.
#16 A letter from Santa Claus
This one is my favourite out of all the Christmas gifts, and it’s especially great if you’re looking for something to give to a child.
When we took the Santa Claus Express to Lapland, we were super excited about meeting Santa Claus in his village. We also stopped by his post office and learned that it’s not just possible to send letters to Santa; it’s also possible to order a letter from him.
Click here to get more information about the Santa Claus Office and the letters he sends. It’s a perfect gift for children, and you can even order it in different languages.
#17 German incense smoker
When you visit a Christmas market in Germany, you’ll come across many stalls selling incense smokers. Traditionally, these are wooden men holding a pipe, with the smoke from the incense coming out of their mouth.
These days, you can find lots of different designs, including chefs with bowls of food that “steam” and other creative ideas. We still love the traditional wooden man, which you can buy here.
It comes directly from the Ore Mountains in Germany, an area famous for its Christmas crafts.
To make the incense smoker work, don’t forget to also buy incense cones. The combination of both items is the perfect gift for anyone who loves handicrafts and Christmas.
If you want to learn more about German Christmas traditions and especially German Christmas cookies, we have a post dedicated to Christmas sweets for you!
It’s similar to nougat and contains honey, sugar and egg white, combined with nuts. In Spain, you can find two varieties, the hard turron and the soft turron. Both taste different, but both are delicious.
Fortunately, you can buy original Spanish turron online. The one we found on Amazon is the hard variety and contains more than 60% almonds. It’s crunchy, brittle and tastes precisely like Christmas to us.
If you travel to Madrid, by the way, you can buy this Christmas sweet all year long. It’s one of the best things to buy in Europe and bring home to friends and family. And it also makes for a perfect Christmas gift to buy online and give to anyone with a sweet tooth.
#19 Scandinavian Christmas gnome
In the Nordic countries, these creatures are called Nisse or Tomte. According to legends, they live in people’s houses and protect family and animals. Unfortunately, they are easily insulted and will start playing pranks on the house owners if they get upset.
Today, Nisse are strongly associated with Christmas. With their white beard and their knit cap, these adorable gnomes make for a great Christmas decoration. This cute gnome here is the perfect gift for anyone who loves Scandinavian legends and decorations.
However, these defecating figurines, called Caganer, are traditionally part of Catalonian nativity scenes. Nobody knows where the tradition comes from, but it likely started at the end of the 17th or beginning of the 18th century.
These days, most Catalonian nativity scenes include a Caganer. As the scene often encompasses not just the stable but the whole city around it, it’s a popular game for children to try and find the hidden guy with his pants down.
If you’re looking for a funny European Christmas gift, then you should get your own Caganer now.
#21 Swedish Christmas traditions
If you have a friend or family member who loves to travel and would love to get to know Sweden better, then we have the perfect gift for you. The book Swedish Christmas Traditions contains lots of information, not just about Swedish traditions. You can also find recipes and ideas for crafts here.
The author, Ernst Kirchsteiger, is a Swedish TV moderator who does a Christmas show every year. In his book, he hasn’t just collected old traditions from Sweden, but he also gives you an insight into Christmas in modern-day Sweden.
Gifts that will inspire you to travel to Europe
Next, we’re going to take a look at the best gifts for European travel inspiration. If you know someone who’s been thinking about going to Europe but hasn’t made it so far, then you’re guaranteed to find something in this category. We have books, games and even a scratch map for you to choose from.
#22 Where to go when – Europe
Lonely Planet has published lots of excellent books that will inspire you to travel. For Europe, we love their “Where to go when“-book.
No matter which month you’re travelling, the authors have the perfect suggestion for you. They consider the weather, seasonal events and even how crowded an area gets at specific times of the year.
At the beginning of each month, you have an overview where you can look up the best destinations according to your interests. Whether you want to watch wildlife (Eastern Poland is the perfect place in January) or escape the crowds in Cinque de Terre in Italy, you’re guaranteed to find something you love.
If you want to inspire anyone for their next trip, this is one of the best books on Europe.
#23 Girl with a Pearl Earring
I read Girl with a Pearl Earring long before someone turned the novel into a movie and loved it. The book is about Griet, a Dutch girl who finds employment in the Vermeer household and ends up as the girl displayed in Vermeer’s famous painting.
It’s perfect for anyone interested in history who would like to learn more about life in the Netherlands in the 1600s. The author, Tracy Chevalier, beautifully combines historical accuracy with fiction and creates a fascinating story.
We highly recommend giving Girl with a Pearl Earring to any Europe enthusiasts who love a good read. And who knows? Maybe it’s even going to inspire them to visit the Netherlands on their next trip.
#24 Europe Scratch Map
Daniel and I both own one, and it’s incredibly satisfying to come home from a trip and scratch off a new country. While we have world maps, we think that it’s much better for Europe enthusiasts to receive a Europe scratch map as a gift.
Whenever your friend visits a new country in Europe, they can scratch it off after their trip. The map is incredibly detailed, so it’s easy to mark smaller countries like Slovenia or even Luxembourg. And it looks pretty cool on a wall.
Sounds like a great present, doesn’t it?
#25 A Year in Provence
The book A Year in Provence starts in January and follows the author for a whole year as he settles into life in France. He learns to endure the harsh winter winds (without central heating), gets to know his new neighbours and, of course, acquires a taste for the delicious French cuisine.
Throughout the book, Mayle tells his story with humour as he goes from one misfortune to another. A Year in Provence is a hilarious read and one of the best books about Europe. Give it as a gift, but make sure to also buy a copy for yourself.
#26 London Memory Game
If you’re looking for a fun and easy travel-related game, then you should check out this London Memory Game.
Everyone knows how to play memory, so it’s an easy game to enjoy even with children, and it’s one of the best gifts from London. England is represented through typical symbols on the cards, and it will want to make you go there as soon as you can.
The memory game is a fun gift for younger travellers and adults who enjoy board games.
#27 Complete National Parks of Europe
National Geographic’s book about the National Parks of Europe is one of the best gifts for travelling to Europe.
In it, you can learn about all 460 National Parks in Europe. We love exploring Europe’s nature and writing about it (check out the Hike to Lake Schrecksee if you want to see one of our favourite places in the Alps), and we found this book fantastic.
National Geographic’s book is perfect for any nature lovers. It will inspire them to leave the cities behind and set out into the wilderness, and it’s also great for discovering a few lesser-known national parks in Europe.
#28 Coloring Europe: Magical Greece
That is until we discovered Coloring Europe: Magical Greece. In this stunning book, the author Il-Sun Lee has created beautiful scenes of Greece that you can bring to life with coloured pencils.
Coloring Europe: Magical Greece includes a lot of variety, from the windmills of Santorini to plates filled with delicious Greek food. It’s the perfect gift for anyone who likes to be creative or for anyone who wants a new hobby that will help them relax and fall in love with Europe.
Gifts for someone travelling to Europe
Maybe you’re looking for travel gifts for Europe because you know someone who has planned a trip here. We have researched the best gifts for someone travelling to Europe, which are both inspiring and practical. From rail passes to phrasebooks, these items are sure to please your friends and family.
#29 Europe Phrasebook
We know it’s hard to believe, but there really is a phrasebook for all of Europe. It covers 15 different languages and therefore prepares travellers for a wide range of countries.
For every language, you can find a pronunciation guide, which is helpful when trying to speak. Afterwards, the words and phrases included are sorted by category. If you want to buy train tickets in Bulgaria, you can skip to the chapter and read out the phrase there.
Or, if you’re unsure about your pronunciation, you can show the book to the person you’re trying to communicate with. We used a phrasebook in Japan and found it very useful. It saved us in restaurants, at the train station and in shops, in situations where we would otherwise have been unable to talk.
If you’re wondering what to bring to Europe, it’s this phrasebook. Therefore, it makes for the perfect gift for someone going to Europe.
#30 Eurail pass
Europe is the perfect continent if you want to travel by train. It’s no surprise, therefore, that among the best gifts for European travel is a Eurail pass.
The Eurail pass allows train travel throughout Europe on a chosen number of days. You pay for the pass, and you select a duration, the number of travel days and the region. The most flexible option is to go with a global pass, which allows travel all throughout Europe, but you can also get a one-country pass.
The travel days are the days on which you can take a train. So if you choose a duration of 2 months and 10 travel days, you can take trains on 10 days within a period of 2 months. This gives you a chance to see lots of different corners of Europe.
As a gift for a Europe trip, we think the global pass is the best option – unless you’re giving the pass to someone who loves one specific European country. But if you’re unsure, go with the global one. You can’t do much wrong there.
#31 Travel game
We just mentioned a rail pass because we honestly think that taking a train is one of the best ways of moving around Europe. Sometimes, though, train rides can get long and then it’s good to have something fun to do.
That’s where travel games come in, which are great gifts for people travelling to Europe.
Most card games work well as travel games, as they pack very small and are easy to carry around. We love playing Phase 10, which is a card game played in rounds. Each player has an objective they need to pursue. If they meet their goal, they move on to the next round. If they don’t, they have to work on it again in the next round.
Another great game to play is Monopoly Deal. It’s a card game that puts an exciting twist on Monopoly. And unlike the board game, a round only takes about 15 minutes, making it the perfect game for a train ride.
If you can’t choose between the two, you are in luck. Both games are amongst the best for travelling to Europe, and we have found a combination pack for you!
#32 Europe on a budget
If you’re looking for gifts for backpacking in Europe, we have the perfect solution for you. The book “Europe on a budget” by James Feess covers everything that backpackers need to know for their next trip.
The author includes lots of helpful advice for travellers who want to visit Europe but are afraid that they can’t afford the trip. From planning your budget to tricks that will help you cut your costs, you’re going to find all the information you need.
It’s the perfect gift for anyone who’s going backpacking in Europe or who’s always wanted to travel there but is afraid that it’s too expensive.
#33 36 Hours Europe
In the book 36 hours Europe, the New York Times gives out 130 itineraries for Europe that are perfect for anyone travelling across the continent. 36 hours are short enough for a weekend trip (so this is also amongst the best gifts for someone moving to Europe), but they’re also an ideal length for anyone spending a week or two in Europe.
If you have two weeks or less, you have limited time in each destination. 36 hours is perfect for getting to know a place, and this book will help you discover all of the highlights.
Plus, it offers lots of great travel inspiration. I love looking through my copy from time to time, even when I’m not planning a trip.
#34 Travel journal
Then you should give them a Europe travel journal. The journal we picked has lots of space for taking notes and writing down important information, like details about trains, planes and hotels.
At the same time, it also offers lots of space to write down the highlights of the day, record memories and draw a few sketches. Amongst all of the things to bring to Europe, this is the one that you will look at years later and fondly remember your trip.
#35 Walking Berlin
When Daniel and I go on holidays in Europe, we love strolling through a new city. We seek out pedestrian zones and only take public transport if necessary (and avoid cars entirely if we can).
Therefore, it seems only fitting that we put a walking guide on this gift list. Walking Berlin by National Geographic is the perfect guidebook for travellers to Berlin. You can find a total of 15 walks in this book that will take you through different neighbourhoods of the city.
The maps will help you navigate, and the book includes lots of tips on highlights that most travellers miss. It’s the perfect gift for anyone who wants to explore a place in more depth than most tourists.
With 35 gifts to choose from, we are sure that you’ve found something that you enjoy. Please let us know in the comments which one is your favourite and which one you’d love to add to this list.
Also, while you’re here, we recommend that you check out our resources about travel to Europe. We have lots of valuable guides and posts that will inspire you for your next trip:
- Going to Europe in winter? Then check out the best European winter destinations!
- Which ones are the best Christmas markets in Europe?
- Find out how to visit Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany’s fairytale castle
- Did you know you can see the Northern Lights in Europe? Find out how!
Until your next adventure!
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