There are three qualities that define the perfect souvenir: locally made, functional, and fit in a suitcase. Don’t be afraid to look beyond the typical souvenir stores; the best souvenirs are items locals would buy, too!
Tastes to remember
1. Black bread—Dense and delicious, Estonian black bread fits into your suitcase and makes for a memorable breakfast back home. It travels well, and its hearty flavor will instantly transport you back to Estonia. If you don’t manage a trip to the bakery, the airport shops often have black bread for sale.
2. Preserves—Did you visit over Christmas? Then pick up a jar of pickled pumpkin and another of lingonberry preserves to help recreate the festive feeling back home. Honey mixed with blueberries or wild strawberry jam will remind you of happy hikes through the forest.
3. Local distillations—Vana Tallinn is the classic, go-to recommendation. For those who prefer something less obvious, check out gift-size bottles of locally distilled liquors, especially the award-winning craft gin from Junipeerium.
A mug of your own
Pottery is another souvenir that fits into our definition of perfect. Mugs, plates, bowls, and pitchers are functional and fit in a suitcase. Plus, there are local ceramicists all over the country. Modern and minimalistic or funky and rustic, there are plenty of options to fit in with your home decor. If you’re feeling especially adventurous, take a ceramics workshop and learn a new skill to take home as well.
One of the many—and there are many, believe it or not!—upsides to Estonia’s cold weather is the abundance of high-quality wool products in local shops. Grab a pair of hand-knit mittens—the gorgeous traditional patterns will warm your hands and heart long after your trip.
For products that combine traditional materials, modern designs, and sustainable methods, check out. They offer an array of wool scarves, coats, and throws to choose from. Reet Aus is another designer with a similar sustainable ethos. You can find her clothing at design shops around Estonia.
Another option is to head right to the source. Several handicraft stores feature woven rugs, knit scarves and sweaters, linen towels, and leather goods made by local craftspeople. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Tallinn: Estonian Handicraft House
- North Estonia: Jäneda Handicrafts Centre
- South Estonia: Peipsimaa Arts and Crafts Shop
- Kihnu: Handicraft shop Njaputüe pued
- Muhu: Käsitöö on the Kuivastu Harbour quay
Estonian design is also high-end. The widest selection of Estonian designers can be found in Tallinn at the Estonian Design House showroom and the Tallinn Design House or in Tartu at the LEVI design shop.