No matter where you are in the world, it’s easy to find a souvenir shop. Just head to a tourist-heavy pocket of the city, and you’ll be immediately surrounded by storefronts packed with shot glasses, Eiffel Tower-shaped pens, and “I <3 NY” T-shirts. Considering how totally uninspiring and random this merchandise can be, if you’ve been to one store, you’ve been to all of them. So instead, delve deeper into a city’s shopping scene, and you’ll likely find a cleverly curated boutique that sells locally made products that will better commemorate your trip. After all, if the experience is special, shouldn’t the memento be, too? Here are eight stores whose made-here tags perfectly complement striking design and cultural relevance.
Purchase local items at A Vida Portuguesa. (Photo: A Vida Portuguesa)
A Vida Portuguesa, Portugal
The name of this mini Portuguese empire (there are two shops in Lisbon and one in Porto) translates to “Portuguese life,” and that’s exactly what you’ll find inside. The new two-floor shop, which features stunning Old World tile work throughout, in the capital’s Intendente neighborhood is stocked with everything from tins of sardines to local craft beer to several brands that focus on cork design (Portugal is one of the world’s biggest exporters of the stuff) to stylish leather backpacks and wine cozies from Porto-based outfit Ideal & Co.
Decorate your home with items from Lunapark. (Photo: Chadner Navarro)
Lunapark, Istanbul, Turkey
This Galata shop from a retail and product design agency of the same name has a very local mantra: “Turkey very much.” Lunapark is a blank-slate backdrop to a medley of items made by both traditional companies and contemporary talents that could easily fill up a house. Soaps and lotions, Turkish delights, home decor, books, stationery, and more are available for purchase. But one of the standouts is created by the Lunapark team itself: a lit-up wall fixture of Istanbul’s iconic skyline showcasing its famous minarets.
Buy homemade items at Made in Jackson Hole. (Photo: Made)
Made, Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Made is located in downtown Jackson Hole and inside nearby Hotel Terra. Both locations carry pieces by roughly 160 artisans from Wyoming and across the U.S. The cool-looking bottle openers, for example, are fashioned from melted-down railroad spikes Yellowstone firefighter Sam Thompson collects during fire season. There’s also the very popular Conner’s Custom Creations, a collection of wall art (usually rodeo motifs) handmade from old license plates that started as 16-year-old Conner Baldacci’s summer project for a country fair.
The chic boutique, Prostor, at Hotel Lone in Croatia (Photo: Prostor)
Prostor, Rovinj, Croatia
The lobby-level boutique in Hotel Lone in Rovinj is a stylish treasure trove that spotlights Croatia’s most renowned creatives. True to the property’s design-driven aesthetic, the tightly edited inventory here is decidedly cutting-edge. Bring home the Oblo toy (the Russian nesting doll of puzzles) by Marko Pavlovic, the Boya crayons from Maja Mesic, or more practical items such as beach bags, flip-flops, and graphic T-shirts produced by the hotel.
Take home authentic glassware from Rin in Tokyo. (Photo: Rin)
Rin, Tokyo, Japan
Rin is a gallery-esque retailer in downtown Tokyo, where you’ll find countless made-in-Japan products from all over the country that marry age-old production techniques with contemporary design. Items include striking lacquered cups made in Wajima, a town renowned for its high-quality lacquer artisans, brass trays from Takaoka, and Hasami pottery from Nagasaki.
The Vienna Store has everything from mugs to puzzles. (Photo: The Vienna Store)
The Vienna Store, Austria
Tucked into a historic building from the 1930s in Vienna’s city center, this shop has a massive selection of products that will remind anyone of time spent in the Austrian capital: from a 500-piece city map puzzle to a book of vintage photos taken in Vienna, and even a miniature wood Ferris wheel that movie buffs might remember from a scene in the cult classic Before Sunrise.
Terracotta warrior statue created by Justin Lee (Photo: Farm Store)
Farm Store, Singapore
Farm Store is mostly online-based, but those who want to shop in person can head to the Dhoby Ghaut district office. There you can pick up graphic maps of Singapore’s various neighborhoods, limited-edition miniature statues of terracotta warriors, and a fun local game called Kuti Kuti, where players take turns flipping little toy critters over one another.