Published On: November 30th, 2023Categories: MSN

Have You Bought One of the World’s Tackiest Souvenirs?

Have You Bought One of the World’s Tackiest Souvenirs?

Have you ever succumbed to an overpriced souvenir stand? Who doesn’t love to collect the odd postcard, fridge magnet, or trinket to remind them of their travels?

No matter where you go, there are tchotchkes that only tourists buy. Here’s what locals say are as tacky as they come:

Ireland

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  • Aran Sweaters
  • Póg mo Thoin, Leprechaun, Kiss me I’m Irish, or essentially any other merchandise that can be bought in Carroll’s “Irish” shop
  • Guinness pint glasses, because if you’re properly Irish you’ll permanently borrow one from your local pub

Australia

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  • Kitsch opal jewelry
  • Kangaroo coin pouches
  • Clip-on koalas
  • Foster’s beer
  • Boomerangs
  • Crocodile or emu jerky
  • Crocodile Dundee hats
  • Didgeridoos

Belgium

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  • Waffles covered in Nutella or anything like this

“Belgium’s main waffles are either Brussels style or Liege Style. Brussels style have a liquid, non sweet batter and are very airy and crispy when baked. You normally just put some icing sugar on top, Maybe whipped cream and strawberries. Liege Style waffle are made with a dough that when baked becomes light and fluffy. The dough has a lot of sugar inside and caramelises when baked, so no toppings required.”

England

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  • Oxford University sweatshirts
  • tin models of the Elizabeth Tower (“Big Ben”)
  • Red phone boxes
  • Red post boxes
  • Red London buses
  • Union flag t-shirts, shopping bags and cushions
  • Tins of shortbread*
  • Practically anything with “Keep Calm and Carry On” printed on it

*”I can categorically state that never since antediluvian times has a single Englishman ever eaten so much as a mouthful of shortbread. (Can’t speak for the Scottish though, they are known to have unsavoury habits). Nevertheless we produce metric tonnes of the stuff and sell it to tourists.”

Netherlands

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  • Wooden shoes (bar a few farmers no one buys them anymore)
  • Apart from all the tourist stuff: little cheeses

“Yes, we eat a lot of cheese, but we never buy these little cheeses with the colourful wrapping. If we wanna preserve the cheese longer, we go to the cheese shop or market where we buy a part of a large cheese and then seal it vacuum to keep it longer fresh.”

Iceland

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  • Bottled water

“Tap water here is the best, whenever I go abroad I miss the fresh tap water here the most and the first thing I do when I come home is to run a fresh glass of cold tap water.”

Germany

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  • Cuckoo clocks
  • Little beer glasses (Maßkrug) on key chains, magnets and the like
  • Dirndl and lederhosen

Thailand

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  • Elephant pants

Denmark

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  • Danish butter cookies

“I have never seen them for sale at any grocery store, only souvenir shops, and am pretty sure Danish people don’t actually eat them.”

Mexico

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  • Gaudy Mayan masks
  • Sombreros withs NFL team logos painted on them

Italy

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  • Fettuccine Alfredo
  • Cappuccino after 11am
  • Coffee to go
  • Basically all that souvenir stuff like “Ciao bella” written in the Coca Cola logo (why would you buy them guys?? They’re awful!!!)
  • University of Florence/Rome/Venice hoodies
  • Lighters/fridge magnets/bags with typical cities’ illustrations, etc.

Russia

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  • The fur hats with communist symbols on it
  • Matryoshki

Weirdly, several Czech said these Russian souvenirs are sold in their country, too.

Scotland

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  • See You Jimmy hats (the bonnets with the ginger hair attached)
  • Cashmere scarfs
  • Any and all amount of tartan tat sold from the ubiquitous shops on the High Street
  • Also Johnnie Walker whisky

Egypt

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  • Anything related to ancient Egypt: pyramids, sphinx, obelisks, writing on papyrus and so on

Canada

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  • Maple syrup in a maple-leaf shaped novelty bottle
  • Polar bear/arctic themed souvenirs
  • Mountie-themed souvenirs
  • Smoked salmon in a cedar box

India

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  • Taj Mahal miniatures
  • Pashmina shawls
  • Overpriced Kashmiri carpets
  • Terrible tea in expensive packaging
  • Cobra Beer
  • Sandalwood elephant miniatures
  • Ornamental daggers

Turkey

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  • Turkish Delight
  • The Whirling Dervish experience

“Travel shows/country guides always mention the shows but in my 20+ years of living there I have not seen a single Turkish person even mentioning them in simple conversation, but when I started working in the tourism industry we would book them for tourists all the time.”

South Africa

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  • Ostrich eggs
  • Any kind of wooden carved animal
  • You can tell if someone has been to Lesotho if they’re wearing the traditional mokorotlo (hat)
  • Tribal masks
  • Wooden figurines of african women walking with clay pots on their heads

France

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  • The small shiny Eiffel Towers people sell on the streets in Paris
  • Berets

Romania

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  • Everything with Dracula 🧛 on it.

Bulgaria

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  • Rose oil

Chile

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  • Lapus lazuli
  • Moai figures from Rapanui

Belize

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  • Hand-carved slate coasters
  • Hand-carved turtles or toucans
  • Hand-carved whistles

Finland

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  • Plastic Santa Claus/reindeer made in China
  • Sami hats especially when nowhere near Lapland or Sami people

Kenya

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  • Hakuna matata t-shirt

New Zealand

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  • Anything relating to The Hobbit or Lord of the Rings: tours, merch, etc.
  • Paua (abalone) shells, polished or otherwise

Norway

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  • Troll figurines
  • Plastic viking helmets with horns (which the vikings did not have)

Greece

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  • Packaged olives and tiny olive oil bottles from souvenir shops

“These things are bought in larger quantities, often from a delicatessen or a grocery shop. We don’t offer them as gifts. Olives were the humblest food historically.”

China

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  • Fake jade
  • Gaudy chopsticks
  • Tea sets
  • Our traditional prayer beads

Are Americans Terrible at Geography? Name These Countries

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It’s been a running joke for decades that Americans are bad at geography. Anyone who’s seen people try to name a country on Jimmy Kimmel Live! knows how few average people can identify countries on a map, but we’re not much better at naming states, either.

We’ll make it easier here and ask you to name the country by a famous landmark. Give yourself one point for each country you can name. At the end, we’ll tell you if you’re a geography whiz or… an average American.

Are Americans Terrible at Geography? Name These Countries

The Best Country for Your MBTI Type

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Have you ever wondered which country would be the best fit for your Myers-Briggs type? Many people are interested in finding a place to live that aligns with their personality and values.

Your MBTI type can tell you a lot about your preferences, including your communication style, decision-making process, and overall approach to life. By understanding your MBTI type, you can start to narrow down your options and find a country that’s the perfect fit for you.

The Best Country for Your MBTI Type

Jen Barnett Expatsi
Co-founder at Expatsi | Website | + posts

Jen is the co-founder of Expatsi, a company that helps Americans move abroad. She created the Expatsi Test, an assessment that recommends countries for aspiring emigrants based on lifestyle data. Jen has an MBA from Emory University with concentrations in marketing and innovation. She's written for BusinessWeek, Health, Cooking Light, and Southern Living. Prior to Expatsi, she created Freshfully and Bottle & Bone—two businesses in the local food space—and spoke at TEDx on being brave. She's moving to Mexico in 2024, along with her husband and co-founder Brett, pitbull mix Squiggy, and three rotten cats. How can she help you move abroad?

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Banner Affiliates Expatsi 10Disc 1080x1080 1 jpg
Jen Barnett Expatsi
Co-founder at Expatsi | Website | + posts

Jen is the co-founder of Expatsi, a company that helps Americans move abroad. She created the Expatsi Test, an assessment that recommends countries for aspiring emigrants based on lifestyle data. Jen has an MBA from Emory University with concentrations in marketing and innovation. She's written for BusinessWeek, Health, Cooking Light, and Southern Living. Prior to Expatsi, she created Freshfully and Bottle & Bone—two businesses in the local food space—and spoke at TEDx on being brave. She's moving to Mexico in 2024, along with her husband and co-founder Brett, pitbull mix Squiggy, and three rotten cats. How can she help you move abroad?