London Essentials London Essentials

What To Buy In London For Your Friend In Canada?

When visiting any new place, undoubtedly, one of the most exciting parts of the trip is to indulge in some retail therapy.

The British capital can be called a shopper’s paradise, which offers every visitor a wide array of unique and iconic items to take home as souvenirs or gifts for their loved ones.

This article is the answer to your questions. From bustling streets like Oxford Street and Regent Street to charming neighbourhoods like Notting Hill and Covent Garden, you will find countless places to explore and discover what to buy there.

Whether you are looking for traditional souvenirs, exquisite art prints, or even Harry Potter memorabilia, this city has something for everyone.

In this article, we will not only ensure that you find the perfect gifts to commemorate your visit but also guide you on how you can explore this mesmerizing place. Sit tight and go with us on a journey to explore the British capital without even taking the flight.

1. Vintage Watches

Best places to shop for watches in London - Harrods, Burlington, Hatton Garden and a Secret Place.

Are you a watch lover and thinking about what you can buy in there before you catch that flight? Vintage Watches will be the perfect choice for you.

Now you have a question: Where can you buy these watches? Head towards the famous watch Boutiques on New Oxford Street or explore some independent shops in Covent Garden for unique finds.

If you are in search of classic horology, remember the name James Smith. These watches don’t just tell you time like ordinary watches but also narrate a piece of their heritage.

Vintage watches are more than just accessories; you can definitely say that they are a piece of the history that you are going to bring back from your visit to this iconic city.

2. Silk Scarves

Do you want to bring something for the lovely lady at home? Silk scarves are the best gift option. If you are a lovely lady yourself, then silk scarves are a must-buy for a touch of elegance in your shopping spree.

You can discover these exquisite fashion accessories in various places, from gift shops to boutique stores in Regent Street. You can also explore the British Museum’s gift shops as they offer a blend of culture and style in their scarf selection.

Covent Garden’s independent shops also provide unique scarve designs. A silk scarf not only keeps you warm but also serves as a cherished memento. If you buy one, it will remind you of your visit to this stylish city.

3. Harry Potter Memorabilia

Saying hello to all the Harry Potter fans! When considering what options you have to buy, Harry Potter memorabilia is a magical choice for you as a Harry Potter fan.

It is synonymous with J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world, and there are enchanting opportunities to purchase items related to the series.

The Harry Potter Studio Tour is a pilgrimage for fans, where you can find a wide array of merchandise. You didn’t expect that, right? Finding so many items related to Harry Potter is an interesting and exciting thing in itself.

If you have been a Harry Potter fan or your children who love this series are at home waiting for you, buying Harry Potter memorabilia can be the best option for you.

So what are you waiting for? Visit any souvenir shops in Central and King’s Cross Station featuring these nostalgic items.

4. Exquisite Gin

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London is synonymous with him, which makes it the top choice when it comes to what you can buy there. You will find a wide array of gin varieties in the city’s best souvenir shops, including those near Regent Street.

If you ask us what is the best option of gin to buy in there, our answer will be Dry Gin. It is not just a drink; it is a part of British culture.

Take a dip in a gin and tonic while reminiscing about your adventures, or you can also take a bottle home as a gift for your loved ones.

If you are a gin enthusiast, you can also explore the various craft gin distilleries and go on tasting tours in the city. It can be one of the best gifts you can take home for your friends and family.

5. Limited-Edition Art Paints

If you are someone seeking unique and collective souvenirs, Limited Edition Art Paints are an excellent choice for you. Explore Covent Garden’s art galleries or visit the boutique stores on James Smith and Sons for exclusive prints that capture the city’s artistic spirit.

Gallery Tour: Editions | London | June 2023

You can find these in even museum gift shops like the British Museum, which often feature limited-edition prints inspired by their exhibits.

These prints aren’t just ordinary prints; they are a window into their rich history and vibrant culture, which makes them a perfect addition to your collection.

Whether you are into contemporary art or historical illustrations, its art scene has something special to offer in these prints. So, don’t waste any further time and add these prints to your shopping list on your trip.

6. British Tea

How to Make a British Cup of Tea

Tea is something that many people just can’t deny when offered; this city also has something for tea lovers. In the realm of quintessential souvenirs, British Tea is supreme.

It is also known for its tea culture, and you can buy a wide variety of tea blends at famous department stores, including the tea section at Harrods Food Hall.

If you want to have a more traditional experience, you can explore specialty tea when you visit the flagship store of a renowned tea brand on Bond Street.

Whether it is classic Earl Grey, aromatic herbal infusions, or exclusive afternoon tea blends, British Tea encapsulates the essence and makes for a delightful gift or personal keepsake.

So, putting this traditional tea in it would be a great thing to do before you catch that flight.

7. Savile Row Accessories

Savile Row, which is famous for its bespoke tailoring, extends its elegance to accessories that are a must-buy when planning to go shopping. You can explore the area’s renowned boutiques to discover finely crafted accessories, ties, pocket squares, and cufflinks.

These pieces are not just accessories; they are works of art that can enhance your style and give you a better look. From Oxford Street to almost every street in this city, you will encounter Savile Row-inspired accessories that exude British sophistication.

If you buy any of these items, it will feel like you are owning a piece of its sartorial history, making them ideal souvenirs or additions to your wardrobe. These items can also be the perfect gift for you to bring back home for the people who are waiting for you there.

8. Couture Millinery

For those who always want to look more fashionable, you can own this unique gift, which is named couture millinery. If you don’t, milliners are celebrated worldwide for their creativity and craftsmanship.

Explore the independent shops and visit specialized hat boutiques in Notting Hill to discover one-of-a-kind headpieces. Whether you want to buy a stylish fascinator for a special event or a classic British hat, the couture millinery showcases its fashion flair.

Each piece tells a story of tradition and innovation, which makes it a memorable souvenir for those who appreciate high fashion and British culture. Buying one of these items would be the best option for yourself or as a gift to bring back home.

9. Designer Fragrance

Perfume lovers, when making a shopping list before your trip, putting on designer fragrances can be a luxurious choice.

You can explore the upscale boutiques on Bond Street and Oxford Street to find renowned perfume houses displaying their exquisite scents.

Its famous department stores, such as Harrods and John Lewis, offer an extensive collection of designer fragrances. The plus point is that they allow you to sample yourself before you select the perfect scent for yourself. (You’re welcome)

These fragrances aren’t just any perfumes but an olfactory expression of British culture and sophistication. If you own a Designer fragrance from there, it will be like carrying a piece of the city’s elegance with you, which makes it a delightful souvenir.

10. Royal Memorabilia

Royal superfan shows off her collection of memorabilia for Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee

For those people who are captivated by British royalty, royal memorabilia is a must-have when shopping.

While hitting the streets, you will find an array of items, from commemorative plates to figurines, in souvenir shops around the Buckingham Palace shop.

Additionally, the Museum Gift Shop at the British Museum showcases unique royal-themed gifts. These souvenirs are a tangible connection to the royal family and its rich history.

Whether you are a devoted monarchist or simply fascinated by British royalty, owning royal memorabilia is a cherished way to celebrate its regal heritage. Not only that, but they can also be the perfect gift for the people whom you love more than anything.

11. Handmade Jewelry

Handmade jewelry adds a touch of artistry to your shopping experience. Covent Garden’s independent shops and the boutiques on Regent Streets offer a wide selection of handcrafted jewelry.

The Great Frog London | Handmade jewellery made in London since 1972

Each piece you will encounter in any kind of shop will tell you a story of the city’s creativity and craftsmanship. Explore artisanal jewelry in Notting Hill’s charming boutiques, where you can find unique designs and precious gems.

These can be the perfect gift you can buy from this city to bring back home for the ladies you love the most.

Once they know that they own handmade Jewelry, they will feel like they are wearing a piece of the city’s vibrant culture. Whether it is a delicate necklace or a statement ring, these jewelry items make for meaningful gifts or personal mementos of your visit.

12. Exploring Local Markets

Before you go on your trip, let us appreciate you for choosing such a destination that is going to give you so many memories that will be impossible for you to forget.

On your trip, you will encounter its local markets, which will give you a vibrant and eclectic shopping experience, each with its unique charm. Here are some markets you won’t want to miss on your trip.

12.1. Columbia Road Flower Market: Blooms and Beyond

Columbia Road Flower Market is something that you can call a floral paradise in the heart. If there’s a Sunday on your trip’s calendar, you will encounter the street alive with a riot of colours and fragrances.

Besides buying an assortment of beautiful blooms, you can find gardening accessories and artisanal goods. This market will offer you a taste of British horticulture and is a fantastic place to buy the best souvenirs that capture the city’s natural beauty.

12.2. Portobello Road Market: Vintage Treasure and More

Located in Notting Hill, Portobello Road Market is famous for its vintage finds, antiques, and eclectic bric-a-brac. It is like a treasure trove for collectors and anyone looking for unique gifts.

PORTOBELLO ROAD MARKET! Shop With Me! Thrifting for HIDDEN TREASURES! Vintage Flea Market Finds

You can find items from retro fashion to quirky home decor here; this market is a paradise for vintage enthusiasts. As you walk through the streets, the colourful stalls and discover a piece of its history in the form of antique collections.

12.3. Borough Market: Gastronomic Delights in the Heart

Borough Market is a food lover’s haven which is situated near the London Bridge. Why do we call it a gastronomic paradise? Because it is where you can indulge in gourmet delights, including artisanal cheeses, freshly baked bread, international cuisine, and more.

This market embodies diverse cuisine, which makes it an excellent spot to buy for foodies. Also, don’t forget to pick up some British chocolates or unique condiments as a tasty souvenir.

12.4. Brick Lane Market: Unique Finds in East

Located in the East, Brick Lane Market is the epitome of the city’s hill and diverse culture. On Sundays, it transforms into a bustling hub of vintage fashion, handmade jewelry, art, and international street food.

This market showcases the city’s creativity and multicultural spirit. Exploring the stalls here will be like a journey through the city’s artistic and culinary diversity, which makes it a destination for shopping in its vibrant East End.

13. Cultural and Historical Keepsakes

On a trip, you will encounter its cultural and historical treasures, which go beyond sightseeing.

It involves collecting meaningful keepsakes that encapsulate the city’s rich heritage. This section of the article will cover some must-visit locations for acquiring these special items.

13.1. British Museum: Souvenir Shopping Amidst History

While the British Museum is known for its extensive collection of ancient artifacts and art, it is also a remarkable place where you can shop for souvenirs.

The museum gift shops offer you a curated selection of items that are usually inspired by its exhibit. Browse through replicas of famous sculptures, historical books, and unique gifts.

Your visit will become more memorable once you purchase a piece of history in the form of a British Museum Souvenir.

This is the place where people click many pictures on their trip to this vibrant city. So, if you are someone who loves to click photos, this is the right spot for you.

13.2. Museum Gift Shop: Artifacts and Memorabilia

It is a home of captivating museums, each with its gift shop offering items related to its exhibitions.

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Whether you got your step into the Natural History Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, or Tate Modern, you will encounter unique artifacts, art prints, and memorabilia.

These items make for extraordinary gifts, allowing you to take home a piece of the museum’s artistic or scientific heritage for yourself or someone you love.

Also, whenever you look at them after bringing them to your home, they will work as a tangible reminder of your explanation of its cultural scene.

13.3. Sherlock Holmes Museum: Channeling Your Inner Detective

Are you a fan of the great detective Sherlock Holmes? There’s a museum waiting for you to explore, typically dedicated to his fictional world. Located at 221B Baker Street, the Sherlock Holmes Museum’s gift shop is a treasure trove of detective-themed memorabilia.

From magnifying glasses to Sherlock Holmes-themed clothing and books, you can immerse yourself deeply in the world of Arthur Canon Doyle’s iconic character.

If you have a friend or someone in your family who is a die-hard fan of Sherlock Holmes, acquiring Sherlock Holmes Souvenirs will be the best option to give them as a token of your love.

13.4. King’s Cross Station: Platform 9¾ and Beyond

King’s Cross Station is not only a place from where you can transport but also a pilgrimage site for every Harry Potter enthusiast. Don’t forget to visit the Platform 9&3⁄4 store, where the iconic scene of the trolley disappearing into the wall took place.

Harry Potter Platform 9 3/4 Kings Cross Station London

This is where you can purchase a wide range of Harry Potter merchandise, including wands, Hogwarts house scarves, and magical trinkets.

We also talked about these items earlier and how owning them allows you to carry a bit of wizarding wonder from back home, which makes them some of the most sought-after souvenirs.

14. Sports and Fashion

As we said earlier, it has something for everyone. So, how can this vibrant city forget about people who love sports?

When it comes to sports and fashion, it has a vibrant scene that caters to sports enthusiasts and trendsetters alike. This section of the article will now highlight that aspect.

Have you ever wondered how they are so fit? Because they take their fitness so seriously, and the city’s apparel stores reflect this commitment to an active lifestyle.

From world-famous brands like Nike and Adidas to fitness fashion boutiques, you will find a wide range of stylish activewear.

Whether you are going to hit the gym, going for a run along the Thames, or just simply want to embrace athleisure, these stores will offer you functional yet fashionable options.

14.2. Tote Bags: Functional and Fashionable

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Tote bags are something that has become essential for both locals and tourists who visit. You can find them everywhere, from high-end department stores like Harrods to independent shops in trendy neighbourhoods.

Tote bags are not only practical for carrying souvenirs but also for stylish fashion statements. Many features of iconic designs make them both functional and a piece of the city’s fashion culture.

Take Away

In summary, making your shopping list of what to buy before catching that flight can be an experience that cannot be forgotten. From the bustling streets of Oxford Street to the quaint charm of Notting Hill’s independent shops.

Whether you want to hunt for iconic Souvenirs, explore historical markets like Portobello Road, or seek the perfect British gift at the British Museum’s gift shop, this city has got you covered.

Indulge yourself in cultural and historical keepsakes at the Sherlock Holmes Museum, or immerse yourself in the world of Harry Potter with a studio tour.

Or if you are a foodie or treasure hunter, Camden Market and Borough Market are waiting for you to explore it. So, pack your bags and note down the headings of this article. Have the best experience that you won’t ever forget.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Is New York bigger than London?

If we talk in terms of land area, then London is bigger than New York City- with a size of 1,572 square kilometres and a population density of 11,407 people per square mile.

However, New York has a larger population and density, with an average density of 27,000 people per square mile.

Q2. Is it expensive to visit London?

Yes, it can be quite expensive for travellers because of the high costs of accommodation, dining, and attractions.

Q3. Why is it so famous?

It is typically famous for its rich history, iconic landmarks like Big Ben and the Tower Bridge, world-class museums, and its role as a global financial and cultural hub.

Last Updated on by Arnab Nandi


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  1. London seems an expensive destination but I would like to visit it one day and buy all the good things from there, especially the Harry Potter Memorabilia.

  2. London is such a touristy spot and thanks to its long history of rulers, the first things that comes to the mind about souvenirs is inevitably related to the royal family. I loved that this article covers so many little know but significant facts for the shoppers in London.

  3. As an avid Harry Potter fan, I chose Harry Potter Memorabilia from the following collections: I was also wondering if the real characters would go to this wonderful place to give more meaning to their representative figures. Quite an interesting article!

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