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What are typical or must-buy (non-alcoholic) souvenirs from Ireland?

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no potatoes? :D – iHaveacomputer Nov 7 '11 at 1:50
I asked for bangers and mash at a pub in Killarney - they were out of potatoes. In Ireland. True story. – Mark Mayo Nov 7 '11 at 3:49
Do you mean what to buy as a souvenir? I think the answers here are misunderstanding what you meant. – Ankur Banerjee Nov 7 '11 at 10:11
I mean souvenir or any other popular product. – Yousf Nov 7 '11 at 12:21
Irish whiskey (-: – hippietrail Sep 30 '13 at 20:02
up vote 14 down vote accepted

From spending a year or so in Ireland as a student:

Not much is "must buy" - it depends on who you are. I found my greatest "buys" in Ireland were experiences, rather than things. So here's my list:

  • A ticket to see the Book of Kells at Trinity College in Dublin. For that matter, just wandering Dublin.
  • A ticket to the Guinness Factory Tour. You said no alcohol, but even if you have no intention to drink, it's worth seeing.
  • Something from the Waterford crystal factory in Waterford - after taking the factory tour ;)
  • Lunch in a random pub.

In terms of just merchandise? The Irish are a sweater people, given their climate, so Irish wool sweaters, scarves, etc. are decent buys. And if you're a slightly bigger dude, it is the land of the rugby shirt.

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I second the sweater idea -- I have two that are many years old and still holding up. (I cannot swear I got a good price on 'em, though.) – offby1 Nov 6 '11 at 23:49
+1 for the experiences part. – Yousf Nov 7 '11 at 11:59

Irish lace is pretty famous, and some curtains or doilies or the like would make a nice conversation piece. If you are a "world music" kind of person, there will undoubtedly be CDs you can get of music that you really can't get any other way. Irish cheese is quite famous, but you may or may not be able to import it to where you're headed (check in advance.)

I would say that once you're there, concentrate on experiencing things. You may then want to buy something as a reminder (postcard, coffee table book, cookbook etc) or so that you can continue to experience something you enjoyed. Or if your intention is to bring presents home to those who didn't travel, choose the things that connect best to stories you can tell about your trip.

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A friend back from Ireland gave me a book. She stayed at Limerick. The book was a collection of limericks.

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