You travel to Kiev and stay in a terrific Kiev hotel. You have a great time seeing the sights of this historic city, enjoying the fast nightlife, and touring the countryside. Before you know it, your vacation will be over and you’ll be going back home. You want to take home gifts for family members and friends. Now you’re wondering; what are the best Ukrainian gifts you can get?
Actually, this is something that veteran travelers keep in mind from the moment they check into their accommodations in Kiev, or anywhere else they go for a vacation. You don’t do your gift-buying at the very end of your vacation; you keep your eyes open for appropriate presents throughout your visit, because great gift opportunities can pop up at anytime. You won’t always find the right gift in souvenir stores or the gift shops in Kiev hotels.
If you visit Ukraine’s Carpathian National Park, you will probably meet some Hutsul people. These residents of the mountains are famous for their hand carvings, handmade textiles, and other folk art. Their artifacts are available in stores, of course, but don’t pass up the opportunity to buy gifts directly from the people who make them. You might get a bargain on the price.
Have you been enjoying the Ukrainian cuisine? Does someone you know love to cook? How about getting them a real Ukrainian cookbook? You can also buy gift baskets full of Ukrainian cheeses and other delicacies. Crimea is Ukraine’s famous wine producing region. You might accompany these gifts with a bottle of sweet Crimean wine. You can pick that up at a good price in the duty-free shop at the airport when you’re going home.
Ukrainian dolls are excellent souvenirs, and not necessarily for little girls. These handcrafted little figures dressed in traditional Ukrainian costumes are collectibles, and are meant for display, not for being played with.
It could be that the floors and walls of Kiev hotels or Kiev apartments you’ve seen have been decorated with beautiful rugs. Those rugs, known as kylym, are woven by Ukrainian artisans. You just might know someone at home who would love one. Also look at blouses, shirts, aprons, towels, curtains and other items that have been embroidered by hand. That is a skill for which Ukrainians are famous. Every community has its own distinctive designs, so keep your eyes open when you’re touring around the country.
The Ukrainians are also famous for their pottery. The country has large deposits of kaolin, a clay that is especially good for making china. Just be sure to wrap these gifts very carefully when you pack them. It’s heartbreaking to get home and find a special gift has been broken.
Of course, the most distinctively Ukrainian gift of all is pysanky. The intricately decorated Easter egg has been a traditional gift in this country for centuries. You can pick up some beautiful ones to take home. So much better than a tee-shirt.