10 Unique Souvenirs to Buy in Spain

We live in a small apartment in LA with limited space for knickknacks, so when we travel somewhere we like to choose the souvenirs we bring back very carefully.

We like to pick souvenirs that are unique to the place we are visiting or that we couldn’t easily get somewhere else. This also leaves more room in our budget for trying out local restaurants, museum visits and other experiences. 

With that in mind, here are 10 unique souvenirs you can buy in Spain:

1. Espadrilles

Woman holding Spanish espadrilles

When we visited Madrid, every time we went past Casa Hernanz, there was a line of people waiting to get in and buy espadrilles.

And for good reason; espadrilles or alpargatas are the Spanish summer shoe of choice and Casa Hernanz has been selling them since 1845.

There’s a pair to fit every style and budget. From traditional espadrilles to more modern styling, these can be found across many shops in Spain.

2. Fans

Woman with Spanish abanico fan

 A Spanish fan or abanico is a souvenir that not only is very representative of Spanish culture but is also practical.

If you are traveling in Spain during the summer, you’ll be glad to have one of these in your bag when the heat gets to you.

Fans come in a wide variety of styles and some of the more elaborate ones deserve their own display at your home. These are also a great choice if you’re traveling light and have limited packing space.

3. Castañuelas

Unique Souvenirs to Buy in Spain

Castañuelas or castanets are a traditional Spanish percussion instrument. They make a distinctive sound when they are clicked together and are featured heavily in Spanish music and Flamenco shows.

These are also small in size and easy to transport back home, so there’s no excuse to not get a pair and unleash your inner Flamenco dancer.

4. Turrón

Delicious Spanish turron

I could write an entire article dedicated just to turrón.

Growing up in Puerto Rico (a former Spanish colony), this almondy nougat was always a part of my Christmas. My family would usually buy El Almendro, a brand of turrón imported from Spain.

On our trip to Barcelona, I was in turrón heaven as we kept stumbling upon Torrons Vicens stores, where we were treated to samples of various turrones and gourmet chocolates.

We ended up stopping in for samples every single day.

What can I say? Turrón is delicious and we’re utterly shameless.

This is a “must-buy” for us when it comes to Spanish souvenirs.

5. Saffron

Saffron used in Spanish cooking

Saffron is the key to many Spanish dishes. It’s what gives paella its yellow color and wonderful aroma.

This spice has a reputation for being expensive, but since Spain is one of the main producers of high-quality saffron, it can usually be found for better prices than in the US.

If you are buying from a local market, look for the word “azafrán” which is Spanish for “saffron”.

6. Olive Oil

Spanish olive oil

Although many people might associate olive oil more with Italy than they do with Spain, Spanish olive oil is some of the best you can buy. Spanish olive oils tend to have a fruitier and nuttier taste than their Italian counterparts.

A bottle of Spanish olive oil would make an excellent gift for the foodie in your life.

7. Bota

Bota - a Spanish wine bag
Credit: Fresco Tours

A bota is a wine bag made out of leather or goatskin which you squeeze to squirt wine into your mouth. These usually come with a strap to aid you in your wine-carrying needs.

Whether you decide to fill it with wine, water, or some other liquid, a bota will make you feel like you’ve traveled back in time. 

8. Jamón ibérico pillow

Unfortunately, due to customs, it’s tricky to bring back jamón ibérico from Spain.

So if you’re looking for a souvenir to remind you of all the delicious ham you ate in Spain, this jamón ibérico pillow is the next best thing. It’s life-sized and surprisingly realistic looking.

We saw one of these in a shop in Madrid and I had to remind myself that sadly this would not fit in the carry-on I was using as my only bag.

Luckily, I have since found out that you can purchase these online so I might soon have the pillow of my ham dreams.

9. Cheese

Manchego and other cheeses from Spain make a great souvenir

Manchego, Cabrales, Mahón, these are just a few of Spain’s wonderful cheeses.

When we visited the mountain monastery of Montserrat near Barcelona, we had the good fortune of visiting on a day when there was a farmers market.

We got to sample the freshest goat cheese we’ve ever had, straight from the man who made it.

Cheese can be brought into the US as long as it follows USDA guidelines, so make sure to pick the right type of cheese. This includes hard cured cheeses and solid soft cheeses, as long as they do not contain meat or have runny liquids (like cottage cheese or ricotta).

 10. A sword from Toledo

The medieval town of Toledo, Spain

This might not fall under the practical or easy to transport categories, but there is something undeniably cool about getting a sword from a medieval town.

If a full-sized sword doesn’t fit into your home decor, we suggest getting a sword letter opener instead.

Just be aware that you will have to either ship your sword or carefully pack it in your checked luggage.

If you opt for the letter opener, we would also recommend that you ship or check it to be on the safe side and not risk your souvenir being confiscated.

Conclusion

Spain is an amazing country with just as amazing souvenirs to help you remember your trip for years to come. Ultimately, the best souvenir is the one that brings you joy.

We don’t mean to go full Marie Kondo on you, but souvenirs that end up becoming clutter are the worst.

Do you have a favorite souvenir that you’ve brought back from your travels? Share in the comments!

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