Travel Forum

Our Travel Forum was created to provide you with the opportunity to connect with other travelers who share your passion for travel. Sign into "My Account" and you’ll be able to write reviews, share your travel experiences, and post questions for other travelers. Not yet registered? It’s simple to create an account, membership is free, and it only takes a moment to join. Once you do, you’ll be able to write reviews, share your travel experiences, and post questions for other travelers. If you have a specific customer service or quality assurance question, please contact our Traveler Support Team by calling 1-800-221-0814. We value the contributions of our travelers. Please familiarize yourself with the guidelines for participation before you begin.

Author: nancyf

Joined: 4/26/2010
Posts: 155
Trips Taken: 7
Countries Visited:

43 of the 50 United States, including Hawaii and Alaska, England , France , Italy , Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Africa (Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe. South Africa), Israel, Canada, the Carribbean, Peru, going to Egypt & Jordan in February 2011 ( canceled due to the unrest there, but I will take this trip later!), China, Russia, Kenya, Turkey, Greece, Malta, Sicily.

Traveler Since: 2007

April 25, 2013

Two questions: (1) I know what I read in travel books about what to shop for/buy in these countries, but those who have been there, what did you buy and are happy with?? Any particular items that should not be missed?? (2) I will be on the riverboat Adagio (for the Old World Prague & Blue Danube trip. Is there a gift shop on board, like the wonderful one on the Tikhi Don/Russia Revealed trip?

Author: singsling

Joined: 6/23/2010
Posts: 241
Trips Taken: 11
Traveler Since: 1995

April 25, 2013

In 2005 on the Danube-Prague river cruise, the Prague extension I purchased small crystal bells made in Czech Rep.in a department store/mall down from our Prague hotel to give to my siblings as something from our heritage since our great grandparents came from Czechoslovakia.  They were around $15-18 US on sale.  I bought them small enough to get in my  carry on (about 6-7" high)

.  They were wrapped nicely, and they were well liked.  Very good quality.  They make china in the CR too, but too bulky to carry; they will send to US for you.  Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate!!

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 970
Trips Taken: 11
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

April 25, 2013

I was in those countries on the Best of Eastern Europe in 2001.  Right after 9/11, as I've posted before.  It was my second GCT trip. 

I can't remember buying anything in either Warsaw or Crakow, although I almost bought carved wooden figures of Klezmer musicians in a shop in the center of Crakow.  But the ones I wanted would have taken up too much room in my suitcase, and the smaller ones didn't give the facial details that made them so interesting.

In Prague, I bought a pair of earrings at a stall on the Charles Bridge, and the girl gave me a discount after I told her I was an American.  She had asked if I was Canadian.  We talked a lot, because I had to ask what the wires were made of since I have a lot of skin allergies.  Fortunately, they are surgical steel and I wear them a lot.

Hungary.  A friend had asked me to get her some skin cream that is only available there.  And I bought some for myself as well.  I managed to get some when the Aria docked briefly at Budapest on the Grand European Rivers trip in 2006, and I can now order it online.  But it doesn't seem to be available retail anywhere outside Hungary.  It's called Helia-D.

In Vienna, I bought some blown glass flowers.  And a china pill box for my collection.

I also looked for amber, but it was all set in silver which I can't wear.  I had to wait until I got to Russia for that.

Author: hootie

Joined: 3/7/2010
Posts: 131
Trips Taken: 8
Countries Visited:

China, Austria, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Serbia, Croatia, Romania, Transylvania, Bulgaria, Chech Republic, Slavakia, Bratislava, Egypt, Israel, Cyprus, Crete, Greece, Turkey, Istanbul, Italy, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Estonia, Russia, Tahiti & French Polynesia/Society Islands, Hawaiian Islands, Bermuda, Alaska, Costa Rica, Mexico, United States, Panama Canal, Caribbean (extensively), Canada/Nova Scotia, Canary Islands, Gibralter, Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Vatican City, France, Holland, Belgium, Tasmania, Australia, New Zealand, Ukraine, Russia.

Traveler Since: 2001

April 25, 2013

The Great Market Hall in Budapest is a fantastic place to shop for all kinds of souvenirs.  I collect pysanky eggs (real eggs blown out & hand decorated) and always find them there.  It is worthwhile to go to just browse or for a meal.  The bottom floor is meats/fruits/vegetables & all types of paprika.  The top floor has food vendors will all the local foods you could ask for.  I shop...my husband eats & drinks beer...it's a win-win situation! 

Szentendre is a small artists town not far from Budapest.  If it's an optional, take it, we always do.

In Prague, there are a few stores called "Manufaktura" (may be spelled wrong, sorry) that carry hand made items of good quality but not expensive.

There are loads of shops in both Budapest & Prague.  We were there for the Christmas Markets in 2012.  Just check out whatever you buy and enjoy. 

Author: nancyf

Joined: 4/26/2010
Posts: 155
Trips Taken: 7
Countries Visited:

43 of the 50 United States, including Hawaii and Alaska, England , France , Italy , Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Africa (Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe. South Africa), Israel, Canada, the Carribbean, Peru, going to Egypt & Jordan in February 2011 ( canceled due to the unrest there, but I will take this trip later!), China, Russia, Kenya, Turkey, Greece, Malta, Sicily.

Traveler Since: 2007

April 26, 2013

Thanks for all of the good ideas. Paprika-wise:  there's not a "problem" bringing it back through customs?? I thought that would be a good gift to bring back to my friends who are avid "chefs"!! :)

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 970
Trips Taken: 11
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

April 26, 2013

I would check an official list about that, Nancy.  I had brought spices back from countries in sealed containers years ago with no problems.  But things keep changing.

Author: sealionlady

Joined: 8/1/2010
Posts: 125
Trips Taken: 13
Traveler Since: 2001

May 11, 2013

On April 25 Pauline wrote about shopping in Eastern Europe.  She mentioned that a friend had requested she purchase some special skin cream, available only in Hungary, called Helia-D.  I was intrigued and quickly found some on Ebay ($19.00, as I remember).  I ordered a jar and it arrived today, direct from Hungary.  It was a pleasure to see the envelope marked "Magyarorzag".  I tried the cream and it seems nice, although nothing special.  But the whole process was fun ..... and ..... who knows? ..... maybe someday I'll get to Budapest ..... hope it's soon!

 

Author: bigredfrog

Joined: 1/4/2012
Posts: 15
Trips Taken: 3
Traveler Since: 2012

May 24, 2013

Good advice about the Great Market Hall on Budapest.  Even if you don't find anything that strikes your fancy (which I can't really believe would happen) it's a wonderful place to spend a couple hours just browsing. Our personal favorites there were the hand-made linens.  If you care for street art at all there are several good artists near the Fisherman's Bastion in Buda who do quality work.

In Prague I would recommend crystal, amber and garnet. And absolutely any kind of food!  Prices are generally better in the Old Town than on the Charles Bridge but you can get lucky on occasion.

We brought back several tubes of paprika paste from Hungary and had no problems with customs at all.  They are inexpensive, small and make great gifts for anyone who likes to cook.  Be sure to note that they come in several degrees of spiciness, from mild to oh-my-God!

You cannot Post or Reply, please sign in

Rules of Use:
Be Relevant

Please stick to the topic of travel when posting in our Forum. Stay on the relevant topic and do not disrupt a discussion in progress. If you have a specific customer service question or issue, please contact our Traveler Support Team by calling 1-800-221-0814.

Be Respectful

Use of any inappropriate language, personal attacks, and hate speech are not permitted. Respect others’ opinions and suggestions.

Be Mindful of Privacy Issues

Please do not post the personal information of other members (full names, e-mail addresses, phone numbers, etc).

Help us help you

Please click on the ‘Report Abuse’ button if you see an inappropriate posting.