If you’re wondering what to buy in Ireland, you’re in the right place. Ireland is such an old country, filled with a rich history and strong culture. As a result, there are lots of meaningful souvenirs that capture the beauty of this country.
There are so many unique things you can only buy in Ireland, from traditional Irish jewellery to the best butter in the world. If you’re looking for something a little more special than a fridge magnet, you’ll find it here.
I just recently got back from a wedding on the Emerald Isle and it inspired me to write this blog post to help others on their travels. If you’re planning your own trip to Ireland, make sure to check out my list of 150+ Ireland Instagram captions as you’ll have plenty of amazing photos to share!
So, for ultimate list of what to buy in Ireland, read on!
What to Buy in Ireland: Irish Food & Drinks
Food and drink makes up such a huge part of any culture, and Ireland is no different. If you want to take a taste of Ireland home with you to share with your friends and family, these are Irish food and drinks I’d recommend you buy.
If there’s one thing that the Irish are known for globally, it’s their whiskey.
The most well-known Irish whisky is Jameson’s, which you’ll be able to purchase from any supermarket in Ireland.
However, they are also a number of more niche Irish whiskeys that could be fun to try:
- Teeling Whiskey – the first whiskey distillery to operate in Dublin for 125 years when it opened in 2015
- Midleton Very Rare – an annual release that combines selected grain and pot still whiskey
- Knappogue Castle – whiskey made in an actual castle, the 1951 Vintage is one of the rarest bottles of whiskey in the world
- Connemara – the only Irish Peated Single Malt Whiskey commonly available
If alcohol isn’t really your thing but you still enjoy sipping on a taste of Ireland, it has to be tea.
The two most popular brands are Barry’s and Lyons. You’ll find most Irish people will be staunchly one or the other.
Why not purchase both and make your mind up for yourself. Both brands are widely available in supermarkets across Ireland.
It wasn’t until I got into baking last year that I found out Irish butter is globally known to be some of the best in the world.
Irish butter contains a high butterfat content, which is achieved by churning fresh cream until it reaches around 82% butterfat.
This is quit common practice across Europe but, if you’re from the US, this is very unusual. American butter has a much higher water content making it less creamy and delicious than Irish butter (in both mine and many a pastry chef’s opinion!).
You might already be familiar with Kerry Gold, which is known worldwide, but why not treat yourself to some luxury butter while in Ireland? Look out for:
- Glenstal Irish Butter
- Abernethy Butter
- Connacht Gold Butter with Sea Salt
Irish Soda Bread
When in Ireland, you’ll probably notice that popularity of Irish soda bread, which lines bakeries and supermarkets alike.
It’s a quick bread that has a crumbly texture and tangy taste.
To be completely honest, I don’t enjoy Irish soda bread, but you might! So, why not give it a go?
What to Buy in Ireland: Traditional Clothes & Jewellery
I think this is possibly the best thing to buy in Ireland. The Claddagh ring has so much meaning and history and it’s also very beautiful to look at, making the perfect memento from your time in Ireland.
Claddagh rings have been around since the 17th century.
The heart represents love, the hands – friendship, and the crown – loyalty.
They are sometimes used as friendship rings but most commonly they are engagement or wedding rings. Mothers will often gift these rings to daughters in their teenage years.
They’re worn throughout the Irish diaspora as a reminder of Irish heritage.
Aran knitting was developed on the islands of, you guessed it, Aran. These islands are just off the west coast of Ireland.
A traditional Aran jumper is off white with a cable-knit pattern that gives it a fisherman look.
Originally these jumpers were knitted using unscoured wool. This meant that the wool retained its natural oils, which made the jumpers water-resistant. This was perfect for the rainy weather in Ireland.
In fact, it’s said that an Aran sweater can absorb 30% of its weight in water before it starts to feel wet.
These jumpers are very high quality and will probably last longer than your memories of the trip!
Donegal Tweed is another fantastic thing to buy in Ireland.
This particular type of tweed has been manufactured in Ireland since the 18th century. It uses the thick and warm fleece of Donegal sheep to create a heavy threads for warm garments.
Traditionally, this is produced by hand, and it still is for many manufacturers.
You can purchase a whole host of Donegal Tweed products while in Ireland, including:
Celtic Cross Jewellery
There are a multitude of Irish legends surrounding the Celtic Cross. One of which is that St Patrick created the first one when he drew across on top of a circular stone. Some also believe that the cross has a Pagan origin.
Whatever the real story, the Celtic Cross has become a globally known piece of iconography for Ireland.
Wearing a Celtic Cross necklace will be the perfect reminder each day of the wonderful time your spent in Ireland and the country’s rich history.
The paddy cap is a flat cap that has been hugely popular for decades in Ireland.
Kill two birds with one stone and get an Irish cap made from Donegal Tweed!
Celtic Knot Jewellery
A Celtic knot is a type of traditional Celtic artwork. It is a looped knot that has no start or finish and dates back as far at the 8th century.
Different knots have different meanings. These include friendship, love, happiness, and faith (generally being very positive).
Throughout Ireland, you’ll find lots of Celtic Knot jewellery, with necklaces being particularly popular.
What To Buy in Ireland For Your Home
Waterford Crystal is famous across the world for it’s beautiful crystal homeware. They make everything from tumblers, chandeliers, vases, and even clocks. They also have a collection of luxurious Christmas tree ornaments that would add an opulent touch to any tree.
Waterford Crystal can be purchased in other countries too now, as they’re such a household name. However, buying it in Ireland will always be a lovely reminder of your trip.
This can also be a very practical item, if you purchase something you can get good use out of.
You might be wondering, is Waterford Crystal cheaper when you buy it at the Factory in Ireland? Unfortunately not. The prices are comparable globally. However, a tour around the factory is a great way to learn more about this iconic brand and how their crystal is created.
If a Waterford Crystal Christmas ornament is a little out of your budget, have no fear! There are plenty of the cheaper options around. Many of the souvenir shops in Ireland will carry Christmas tree decorations with Irish iconography, such as shamrocks and leprechauns.
My husband and I love buying a Christmas ornament from each place we visit together. That way, we get to reminisce on all of our travels when we put up the tree each year!
Irish linen is globally known for its high quality and durability. In fact, it’s considered one of the best linens in the world!
What makes Irish linen different?
It’s woven from fibres of the flax plant, giving it a unique texture and making it much more durable.
There are a number of different manufacturers of Irish linen and you’ll see it for sale across the country.
Newbridge Silverware was founded in 1934 in Newbridge, County Kildare and are proud to be an Irish brand.
Their silver-plated tableware comes with a 55 year guarantee, so, unlike a magnet or keychain, it’s a souvenir that will last the test of time.
They’re famous for their dining ware, which are popular wedding gifts, but also sell beautiful jewellery.
Ireland’s famous Connemara marble has a distinctive green colour and was officially designated a heritage stone in 2022. It’s a true marble and includes beautiful white swirls throughout its green body.
Whilst it might be impractical to bring home a whole slab of Connemara marble, there are ways that you can bring a little piece back with you. Connemara marble is often incorporated into jewellery in Ireland, or you can purchase a Connemara marble wishing stone, which is meant to bring good luck.
I’ve even seen Connemara marble whisky stones, which would make a great gift alongside some Irish whiskey.
Belleek Pottery is home to Ireland’s oldest working fine china pottery. Established in 1857, Belleek produces over 100,000 pieces of pottery each year. They are often considered to be a heritage brand in Ireland.
Their classic shamrock dinner plates or Irish tea sets make the ultimate gift or souvenir from Ireland.
What to Buy in Ireland: Miscellaneous Souvenirs
If you’re musically inclined, something you might want to buy in Ireland is a Bodhrán. This is a traditional Irish instrument used in Irish folk music.
It’s a kind of small hand-held drum, not dissimilar to a tambourine.
I also think this would be a really lovely thing to hang up somewhere in your house to remind you of your travels to Ireland.
Guinness Pint Glasses
There’s something very iconic about a Guinness pint glass. You’ll see them everywhere you go in Ireland.
If you want to enjoy a glass of Guinness from the comfort of your own home, purchasing Guinness glasses is a great idea. They’ll always remind you of the time you spent in Ireland’s infamous pubs.
These also make a great gift. My dad loves his Guinness glasses and my husband is also keen to get some!
Guinness Memorabilia Posters
There’s also lots of other cool Guinness memorabilia. I personally love the posters of vintage Guinness adverts. In fact, I have one on the wall opposite my desk as I write this blog post!
These posters include famous Guinness slogans, such as ‘a Guinness a day’, ‘opening time is Guinness time’, and ‘my goodness, my Guinness’.
Irish Recipe Book
Buying an Irish recipe book is a really fun way to incorporate your trip back into your everyday life at home. You can use the book to re-create some of your favourite meals from your trip and reminisce over the wonderful time that you had exploring.
I think this is a really lovely and unique thing to buy in Ireland!
If you like the idea of Irish wool but don’t want to spend so much on traditional Aran sweaters, why not purchase some wool yarn. That way you can create whatever you like with it!
This is a great way to incorporate a souvenir into your existing hobby or even pick up a new one!
Inexpensive Ireland Souvenirs
If you’re really just looking for a cheap and cheerful Ireland souvenir to remember your trip by, these inexpensive mementos are just the ticket! They might be a little more clichéd but they’ll still hold memories of your amazing trip to Ireland.
If your fridge is looking a little bare, you’ll find plenty of Ireland-themed magnets at the various tourist shops around Ireland. You’ll find them with all the typical Irish iconography, from leprechauns to sheep and everything in between.
This is a must if you like to collect magnets from your travels.
Carry the luck of the Irish with you wherever you go by purchasing a shamrock keyring. That way you’ll be reminded of your trip every time you open up your front door at home!
Confession: I love buying a mug when travelling. I find them to be a really useful souvenir and I’m just a sucker for some good pottery.
Of course, you can find the classic touristy mugs in souvenir shops all over Ireland. However, I’d recommend you seek out some local potteries, where you can find really special pieces you’d never find anywhere else.
We did this in Lisbon and I love sipping from my traditional Portuguese mug every morning.
If you’re tight on suitcase space, postcards a light and inexpensive souvenir option.
Rory and I love to buy a postcard from each place we visit, write a little bit about our trip and post it home to ourselves. We keep all of these postcards in a photo album and they’re so fun to look through and read!
Where Should I Buy Souvenirs in Ireland?
There are lots of the classic tourist souvenir shops in Ireland but, where possible, I’d recommend supporting local businesses that are well-known for their authentic craft.
I’ve mentioned a number of these businesses throughout this blogpost, however you’ll also stumble across many of them organically on your travels.
How Do I Get My Souvenirs Home from Ireland?
Carry On Luggage
To avoid losing your newly purchased items or breaking them, I would recommend keeping them in your carry on luggage with you, rather than checked luggage. Checked luggage is often thrown around a lot.
As you’re in control of your carry on luggage, you can be much more careful with anything delicate.
I’d also recommend getting anything breakable wrapped in bubble wrap. Most gift shops will be more than happy to do this for you (I should, I know I used to work in one!).
Ship Your Items
If you’ve bought a lot of things or a larger item, you might want to ship them.
There are a number of companies that will do this for you, ensuring that everything is wrapped securely, so it arrives to your home safely.
Alternatively, you can wrap everything up yourself and take your items to the local post office. They will be able to help you select the best option for you and give you all of the relevant costs.