After a trip to the fascinating British overseas territory of Gibraltar, you’ll want something to take home to remind you of your time there. It’s fortunate, then, that the place is home to several excellent souvenir shops, in which you can buy everything from exquisite handmade glassware to “apes in bags”.
If you’re not quite sure what you’re after as a gift to take home from Gibraltar then head to Main Street, the old town’s central artery. The variety of shops that line both sides of this lively thoroughfare offer a huge range of choice, selling as they do everything from the handmade glassware for which Gibraltar is famous, to t-shirts declaring your love of this intriguing destination. You’ll also be able to take a break from your souvenir shopping in the numerous restaurants, pubs and cafes which intersperse the gift shops.
Amongst the best of the souvenir shops on Main Street is the cleverly-named “All Wrapped Up”, the owner of which is said to go to great lengths to make sure her customers are happy. It sells all the standard gift shop fare – mugs, plates, teddies and fridge magnets etc – in addition to original and surprising items for a slightly more personalised souvenir. The inside is bright and spacious and a pleasure to browse in, making this a must-visit if you’re after something to take home from Gibraltar.
Gibraltar’s Main Street is the place to head for souvenir shops; rp72, flickr
Located on the old town’s Casemates Square, Gibraltar Crystal sells handmade glassware – one of Gibraltar’s signature commodities – of the highest quality. Browsing their exquisite collection of glasses, bowls and vases, you’re sure to find a classy gift to take back home. Even better, for no charge you can watch the glassblowers at work as they craft the items sold in the shop. You also have the option of customising your glassware by choosing from a comprehensive range of colours, from blue amethyst to brilliant yellow.
You can watch exquisite glassware being made at Gibraltar Crystal | sabinevanerp, pixabay
This is not, as the name suggests, somewhere to stay, but rather a delightful little shop specialising in sweet treats to help you remember your visit to Gibraltar. This high-end boutique has been a magnet for locals and visitors with a sweet tooth since it opened its Main Street doors last May. Hotel Chocolat’s specialities are its renowned Grand Slabs – slates comprised of different types of chocolate – and a decadent liquid chocolate. The only place to head if you’re looking for a Gibraltar souvenir for a chocoholic.
Some of the quirkiest and coolest souvenirs you’ll come across in Gibraltar are those made by the local business that calls itself Funkey Monkey. Handmade keyrings and fridge and telephone box magnets, humorous chef outfits for kids, bookmarks and “apes in bags” are just a few of the delightful keepsakes produced by this imaginative brand. At the time of writing they don’t have their own retail space, but their souvenirs can be bought via stands at the Cable Car Shop, the Gibraltar Heritage Trust Shop and in the departure lounge of Gibraltar airport. Check their Facebook page for details of new outlets.
The souvenir brand Funky Monkey does "apes in bags" - not real ones, though | Jdexter, pixabay
Another key destination on the Main Street shopping scene, this cheerfully-cluttered shop very much does what it says on the tin plus a little extra. All the usual Gibraltar-themed trinkets are on sale here: t-shirts, bags, little ornaments, mugs and plates and the rest. But what makes this shop stand out are more unusual items such as elaborate ornamental skulls and personalised kids’ books created while you wait, in which your young child can appear as the protagonist in their very own story. Super-friendly service makes browsing a pleasure, too.
If you’re taking the cable car up to the top of the iconic 400-metre Rock from which Gibraltar takes its full name, you’ll come across a decent gift shop and a cafe. Prices up here are a little higher than those at the bottom because of the jaw-dropping location, but you can buy some great posters featuring the awesome views, as well as all the standard gift shop fare. Unfortunately the Barbery apes for which Gibraltar is famous – and who like to hang out in large groups on top of the Rock – are not for taking home. They might also try and steal your stuff, so watch out.