Greek Souvenirs – What To Buy In Greece

Post author SJ

Written by our local expert SJ

Sarah-Jane has lived in Croatia for 10+ years. SJ, as she is known, has been traveling the Balkans & beyond since 2000. She now shares her passion for traveling with her husband & kids.

If you’re planning a trip to Greece and are wondering what souvenirs you can bring home from your Greece vacation, we’ve got you covered with this list of gifts from Greece.

Souvenir collecting is always fun. And the good news is, Greece is a country of rich culture and local specialties. You will find Several items represent are also excellent gifts for someone who loves Greece.

Below you will find the best Greek souvenirs you can take back home.

Handmade Ceramics

What To Buy In Greece - Ceramics On Crete

Ceramics is a great starting point if you want a Greek souvenir that brings some personality to your space. Handmade pottery has existed for centuries; it still makes a tremendous Greek souvenir. Ceramics can compliment your home’s style, steal the spotlight, and make your job easy in the kitchen, as these are incredibly easy to clean.

The island of Sifnos in the Aegean Sea is famous for its incredibly versatile and unique handmade ceramics. You can also find fabulous ceramics on Paros, Rhodes, and Milos islands.

Greek Coffee

Greek coffee is undoubtedly strong, and you’ll find it everywhere in the country, no matter where you go. You can take it a step further and buy a traditional pot to brew your coffee in, called a briki. Then, you can brew it slowly over the hob and serve it in small demitasse cups (below) for an authentic coffee break!

Greece Travel Blog_Souvenirs To Buy In Greece

Demitasse Cup Sets

Another one of the great souvenirs in Greece is a “demitasse cup.” This Greek coffee cup is small and serves both Turkish and Greek coffee. Interestingly, Greeks love sipping coffee and watching the world go by for hours – coffee breaks are an essential part of daily life in Greece.

Fun fact: Greeks turn their cup over the saucer when the coffee is finished. This is to let the residue slide onto the saucer. Some fortune-tellers predict the consumer’s future by studying the pattern created by the coffee residue on the saucer!

But above all, the handmade cup designs are unique and beautiful — you will not regret taking these to your kitchen back home!

Worry Beads (Komboloi)

What to buy in Greece - Greek Souvenirs - Komboloi

Komboloi is among the best Greek gifts for your loved ones to bring back from Greece. Representing Greek culture in its proper form, Komboloi are worry beads that Greeks use for the following:

  • To relax and generally pass the time
  • To guard against bad luck
  • To show their social status, by using expensive worry beads

Kombolois are made of different types of beads, including grass, wood, and silver. You will find several stores that sell handmade kombolois in unique designs. Amber is the most common material used in making worry beads.

Kombolois are such a significant part of Greek culture that an entire museum is located in the old city of Nafplion that showcases Komboloi. This Komboloi museum was established to save and spread the knowledge of the traditional worry beads.

A Backgammon Set (Tavli)

Tavli means “board” in Greek. It is used to refer to the games played on a backgammon board. A backgammon set consists of a wooden frame, two sets of 15 checkers, and two dice. Backgammon is popular in Greece among people of all ages. Men usually gather in kafeneia and play backgammon during their coffee breaks.

The rules of the game are pretty simple to follow. So you can buy a backgammon set and play the game back home to recreate your memories in Greece!

Greek Honey

Wild Honey - Serbia Travel Blog

Greek honey is known for its high quality, sweet fragrance, and heavenly taste. From spreading it over bread to adding it to tea, Greek honey will take your dish to the next level and offer innumerable health benefits and is one of those souvenirs from Greece that is great to give as gifts – ask the small mom-and-pop shops as they often make it with plastic jars so it won’t break in your suitcase on the way home.

It comes in different varieties, depending on where the bees forage. Thyme honey is considered the best out of all the types. Some people take Greek honey back home because it is denser and richer in aromatic substances than honey in the United States or Australia, for example.

Greek Herbs And Spices

You’ll find countless different herbs and spices anywhere in Greece; many are considered beneficial for your health. Greek saffron is a good purchase, as it’s in its purest form when bought from Greece, and it’s extremely expensive if you buy it overseas. Cretan mountain tea, mountain mint, red oregano, and Olympus tea are worthwhile buys.

But my favorite herb to bring home from Greece is oregano. Greek oregano, scientifically known as Origanum vulgare subsp. hirtum, or Origanum heracleoticum, is a type of oregano that is native to the Mediterranean region, including Greece. It is highly valued and renowned for its rich flavor and aromatic qualities, making it a staple herb in Greek cuisine. 

The aromatic properties of Greek oregano are particularly noteworthy. When the leaves are crushed or dried, they release a fragrant scent that is both captivating and invigorating. When I unpack my bags to pull out all the souvenirs from Greece, the oregano has made everything smell fresh. 

A Mati Talisman And Local Jewelry

Turkish Souvenirs - Cappadocia, Turkey- Tree hanging Nazar amulets

If you’re wondering what to shop for in Athens, here is another excellent Greek souvenir to take back home: a mati talisman.

Evil eye jewelry is a massive part of Mediterranean culture. Mati means “eye” in Greek. According to Greek tradition, a mati talisman will guard you against bad luck and protect you from the envy of others. You will find the peculiar blue evil eye in pendants, bracelets, and earrings in jewelry stores throughout the towns.

It is among the best jewelry to buy in Greece as it genuinely represents Greek culture and tradition. Besides mati talisman, you will also find beautiful handmade jewelry in the towns of Greece.


Bouzouki is a popular Greek musical instrument with a round body, long neck, and fretted fingerboard. It was brought to Greece by Greek immigrants from Anatolia after the 1919-1922 war in Asia Minor. It is now an important part of modern pop Greek music and occupies an extraordinary place in the hearts of Greeks.

If you are a music lover or have a music lover friend, Bouzouki is an excellent Greek souvenir to buy in Greece. If you are low on budget, there are miniature Bouzoukis available that are less expensive and lightweight.

Olives And Olive Oil

Olives have been a staple in Greece for thousands of years – and there is no better answer to the question “what to buy in Greece” – OLIVES!

You can get fresh olives from the Greek markets. They are a significant part of Greek culture and history, making them an ideal gift to bring back from Greece. Be prepared to face an abundance of choices as there are multiple varieties of olives in Greece with varied colors such as green, red, and black.

Being a symbol of peace, the olive branch is universally used to denote a truce. This started with the Greeks using them to declare a truce with their enemies. The winners wore crowned wreaths made from olive branches in the ancient Olympics. In Greek culture, the olive tree is associated with good times and abundance.

Olive oil is another product of the olive tree made in Greece. It is highly popular around the world. Greeks consume the most olive oil in the world. If this seems like a good option to you, you can get high-quality pure olive oil from any Greek market or farm.

Olive wood is an excellent choice for kitchenware due to its natural properties that protect against discoloration and wear. The olive wood’s striking grain pattern will give your kitchen a classy vibe. Handmade kitchenware made from the wood of olive trees is also one of the best Greece gifts to bring back.

Products Made Of Olive Wood

You find lots of olive wood items n Greece, and when you find products made of it, you should certainly think about purchasing them. Olive wood is known for its strength and durability, and you can find kitchen items like spoons and platters, as well as board games.


Consider this popular drink if you’re looking for Greek things to buy in Greece. It is one of the easiest things to buy from Greece as you find it all over the country and it various sized bottles and brands. 

Most countries have their brand of local spirit for you to try, and it’s Ouzo in Greece. The Ouzo is Greece’s most widely drunk spirit, especially in rural Greece.

Ouzo is a clear liquid that turns milky white when diluted with water or ice. It is an excellent appetizer and is mainly served with seafood appetizers called mezedes. Ouzo is also served as a late afternoon or evening drink, slowly sipped along with snacks.

The intense flavor of anise makes Ouzo an interesting drink. This also means you won’t like Ouzo if you don’t like anise flavor.

Cases called “Ouzeries” focus primarily on Ouzo of different flavors and fragrances in Greece. These are also good places to buy a bottle of Ouzo as a souvenir from Greece to take back home.

Greek Alcohol, Aside From Ouzo

Everyone has heard of ouzo, but there are other delicious spirits and liqueurs to try in Greece, making great souvenirs. Try tsikoudia, raki, and tsipouro. You can also opt for Metaxa (a type of brandy), mastiha liqueur, Kitro, and Tentura if you’re into liqueurs.

Items Made Of Mastiha

Mastic trees (Pistacia lentiscus) are native to the Greek island of Chios, where they are predominantly cultivated. Chios is renowned for producing mastic, a resinous substance derived from mastic trees, which makes products made from mastiha very good souvenirs to take home. You can buy liqueur, ouzo, drops, perfume, cosmetics, supplements, and even chewing gum!

Greek Traditional Pasta

We all know that nothing says Italian food like pasta, so when I say that one of the things to buy in Greece is pasta, people look at me weirdly.

But surprisingly, Greek pasta is tasty and a delicious souvenir to buy from Greece. You can find the best kinds of pasta and wheat products in Athens and Crete supermarkets.

Different types of pasta are found in other regions of Greece. The most popular ones are the hilopites and trahanas. So don’t waste time wondering what to buy in Greek supermarkets while searching for the best souvenirs from Greece – the answer is pasta shapes that you’d never get at home.

Hilopites are traditional Greek pasta made from eggs, milk, and salt. The word hilopites means egg noodles in Greek. These can be long and thin or square-shaped. Trahana is another popular type of Greek pasta and is among the best souvenirs of Greece – specifically from the Island of Crete. It is made with wheat, bulgur, or semolina. You can find this pasta’s sweet and sour varieties in Greek markets.

Handmade Leather Sandals

What to buy in Greece - Leather shoes in Athens

The Monastiraki and Plaka areas in Greece are home to many local shops having handmade leather sandals. As a Mediterranean country, Greece is ideal for wearing sandals; naturally, leather sandals are highly popular in Greece.

Fun fact: Even the word “sandal” is derived from the Greek word sándalon!

In ancient Greece, sandals were made from cattle skin and colored leather. Sandals are still worn by both men and women in Greece and hold much significance in Greek culture. These are excellent summer wear and are generally high in quality and comfort. These sandals are available in various designs and fit, giving you countless options.

The most well-known handmade leather sandals are the ones made by Melissinos. Melissinos’s design craft has made the Greek sandal well known worldwide as celebrities and fashion icons wear these in many countries. Their popularity can be gauged because the artists of the well-known band Beatles used to wear Melissinos sandals as a fashion statement. Melissinos’s shop is located on Theklas Street in the Monastiraki Psirri district of Greece.

Greek Sweets

Diples or thiples traditional greek Christmas dessert -

Everyone knows about baklava, but there’s more to try besides! Give kantaifi, ekmek, and kourboubinia as a starter, all based on honey syrup and phyllo dough. You won’t want too much as they’re quite sickly, but they’re certainly delicious! Other options include halva, koufeta, tahini, pateli, and loukoumi.

Greek Cosmetics

Ancient Greek women were known for their beauty and were indeed into skincare and makeup! Often made of natural ingredients, you can purchase authentic cosmetics at markets and in boutique stores all over the country. Korres products are internationally known, and you’ll find them everywhere in Greece. These are made of pure ingredients and have great reviews. You can also purchase bubble baths and other skin products made of olive oil.

Now that you have my list of souvenirs in Greece, I suggest you tell me which Greek souvenirs you plan to bring home.

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