Because of its amazing history and breathtaking scenery, Austria has always been a popular travel destination. And whether travelers experience the serenity of a Danube River cruise or the magic of Mozart’s Salzburg, they will certainly want to take something home with them to commemorate the trip. But, it has become more and more difficult for tourists to find unique souvenirs as things coming from one country are sometimes just as easily available in other countries as well. Hunting for true souvenirs has become challenging even in Austria, which is far more conservative than many of its European neighbors in its attempts to resist globalization. However, there are still some items that are uniquely Austrian and would make excellent mementos of one’s travels to that beautiful country.
Austria is famous all over the world for Swarovski crystal and, while Austrian crystal is not a trademark in and of itself, the term is indelibly linked with Swarovski which is produced in a factory in Wattens, Austria. What makes a Swarovski crystal unique is its composition. By adding 32 percent lead to the molten glass, Swarovski imbued their crystal with a high refraction rate and later, developed different chemical coatings to enhance color and sparkle. Swarovski crystal also earned international attention during the 1976 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria when a mouse figurine crafted from chandelier parts morphed into the mascot of those games. Today, Swarovski crystal is an Austrian souvenir that is recommended in almost every tourist guidebook.
The unique architecture of many Austrian cities is one of the things that make the country worth visiting. Since, obviously, it is not possible to carry the buildings home with you, what could tourists bring home instead from a trip to Salzburg or Vienna? A small photo frame containing a 3D portrait of the city is a good choice as is a snow globe or other similar miniature reproduction of Austrian buildings. One can also find 3D fairy houses featuring the tales of the Brother Grimm which not only evoke fond travel memories but nostalgia from childhood as well.
In addition to the Brothers Grimm, Austria was the birthplace of many famous residents, all of whom have inspired the souvenir hunting of many travelers. For example, the works of famous Austrian painter Gustav Klimt can be brought home on note cards and bookmarks as could the works of Austrian artist Anna Wischin, one of which turns the couple from Klimt’s famous painting Kiss into cats (especially appealing to cat lovers). A tribute to the genius composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Mozart Chocolates from Mirabell in Salzburg are the most popular in Austria. These delicious chocolates in the unmistakable red-golden packaging are a typical Austrian souvenir.
Last, in most Austrian cities, there are shops that offer many of the more traditional Austrian souvenir items like gloves, socks and vests of loden wool. These hand-made items make perfect and practical souvenirs that represent the local culture. Whether crystal or chocolate, Mozart or Klimt, the souvenirs from a trip to Austria are sure to evoke the memories of that amazing country long after the traveler has returned home.
Images Resource: Flickr