Icons on glass and embroidered
Icons on glass - their feature that the icon is painted not simply on glass, but in the mirror reflection, and then fixed into a framework inward by the side on which the image has painted. There is wide selection in souvenir stalls, but really beautiful icons can be found in Village Museum in Bucharest (from 80 dollars). But in regard to quality of frames, in which icons are fixed, can be noted that it is not so satisfying. The Village Museum (in Romanian: Muzeul Satului) is an open-air ethnographic museum located in the Herastrau Park, showcasing traditional Romanian village life. The museum extends to over 100,000 square metres, and contains 272 authentic peasant farms and houses from all over Romania.
Icons embroidered by the semi-cross can be found in a shop on market Obor.
Tourists in Romania buy usually painted eggs of handwork. Tradition of painted eggs has remained especially in the north of Romania – Bukovina (Romanian: Bucovina; Ukrainian: Bukovyna; German and Polish: Bukowina). But if someone decides to purchase the painted eggs, then it can be advised to check… as there are can be offered the real hen’s eggs!
Art Galle Vases and other wares made of glass
There is a wonderful opportunity to bring from Romania vases Gale (also known as Art Galle Vases). There are also handmade Art Galle bowls, plates, ashtrays etc. Workshops of glass blowers have remained in the district of Lipscani. Technology of producing of these vases is known only in Romania; in France the secret of technique of their making was lost. The products with finest quality are offered at low price in this regard and meet your special requests.
There are beautiful wares made of varicoloured glass - for example, in the same district of old Bucharest near Lipscani, Street Selari (Strada Selari), Unirea Square - there is the Yard of Glass blowers - "Curtea Sticlarilor", there it is possible to buy souvenirs also. There are available many interesting original items made of multi-coloured glass under convenient prices.
Porcelain, ceramics and pottery
Porcelain - is considered as one of the main Romanian souvenirs. There is possibility to buy wattled porcelain tableware and statuettes. Wattled porcelain items can be white or dark blue and represented as plates, small baskets, miniature ornamental jars and vases with edges in form of interlacing porcelain strips of different thickness and size, some kind of a porcelain lace. Cost of such wares is - from 2-3 dollars for a small basket up to 20-25 dollars for the big vase under fruit. Sometimes can be observed very lovely wattled hand bells. The best choice is in the department store "Obor" (it is far from the centre, metro station "Obor"); also there is wide selection in "Unirea" and in small shops at the street Selari (near to "Unirea" across the road towards the Parliament Palace, crosses street Lipscani).
But there is an opinion that porcelain tatting cannot be presented to all friends, although it can depends on a territorial zone, but in general it is fabulously expensive, if to have in view purchasing wattled porcelain products for souvenirs.
In Transylvania between Timisoara and Sibiu towns Deva and Alba-Julija (Romanian: Alba Iulia) are located. In Alba there is a porcelain factory where those lacy vases and dishes have been produced; they are wonderful indeed. There are also offered tea and coffee services and sets with a carafe for vodka - porcelain is really good and qualitative, the shape is remarkable and painting is Dracula. A souvenir set including two cups, teapot and a sugar bowl is also available. A service costs approximately 100 euros, sets – around 20-30 euros. When it is seen - it is impossible to keep one’s balance and not to purchase such lovely things, which are well cased into boxes also. It can be presented on a wedding and so forth. Whether this porcelain there is in Bucharest precisely isn’t known, but in Timisoara such items are not offered.
In area of Lipscani have been sold ceramic vases copying vases, found in Romania in Cucuteni. This archaeological discovering concerning period of many years B.C. has given an origin to a new stream in the world of art.
In Bukovina (Romanian: Bucovina) well-known ceramics from Radauti are offered – these are wares made of black coloured clay and such products are not presented anywhere in the world. There can be bought a pot for meat cooking, i.e. quite applicable thing. It is on the tourist road of monasteries of Bukovina.
Tableware made of clay and common porcelain products have charms also. There are good choice and unusual shapes.
There are various clay dishes, which look very lovely hanging on a kitchen - nice and not complicated gift. By the way, there can be depicted different plots, not only an image of the Dracula, but pictures of ancient cities there are as well.
Containers for cooking and serving duck made of clay can be purchased too. Before cooking they should be soaked in water for 15 mines and meat just melts in the mouth.
Products with images of Dracula
Dracula - the prototype of Dracula is the legendary Romanian prince Vlad Cepesh (Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia, more commonly known as Vlad the Impaler, Vlad Tepes in Romanian) who has become famous, on the one hand, for successful struggle against Turkish conquerors, with another - severe temper and a bad habit to pierce objectionable persons set them down on a stake. In Bucharest can be bought wooden images of Dracula.
Souvenirs and shopping places
Lipscani is interesting place in the city centre were can be found remarkable things.
There can be purchased knitted and embroidered serviettes, miniature fabric rugs, linen blouses with embroidery and so on.
In the shop Unirea there are many various plates, trinkets, magnets et cetera.
Hypermarket “Carrefour” is something like "Metro" - large shop where it is possible to get everything! There are souvenirs (icons, wooden and leather products et cetera), gold, antiques, pictures, bijouterie and many other things. These shops are located on suburbs of cities. In Bucharest it is situated not so far from Baneasa Airport.
Souvenirs can be bought also in the Village Museum and in the Museum of the Romanian peasants (Muzeul Taranului Roman). There are available dishes painted by various decorative patterns and ornaments, wooden mugs for beer as well as made of clay, pots for stuffed cabbages and serviettes are offered in abundance; all items are from manufacturers.
In Obor there is wide choice of goods and prices are cheaper in comparison with other shopping places. It is very cheap market. Interesting things at more expensive rate would not be found here.
Products of folk creation on peasant markets
At the highway in countryside in the district of Sinaia-Brasov there are many peasant markets. Goods made of clay, wood, straw, and also rugs, knitted and embroidered serviettes, miniature fabric carpets, home slippers and very likable vials of different sizes with poured layers of varicoloured seeds and/or small stones can be acquired there.
But in general, it is not so easy to buy suitable souvenirs in cities, on the European routes there are many peasant stalls where nice souvenirs have been sold; and not only Romanian, but also of Hungarian origin (if someone does not know - in Romania live quite many Hungarians). These are beautiful leather trinkets, wattled of straw knick-knackeries, beautified pottery and wooden tableware.
There are very likable knitted of natural sheep’s wool knickknacks. Hides of sheep are rather right and proper things too.
Unique Romanian preparations and cosmetics
There are unique Romanian preparations, which are slowing down processes of ageing, and cosmetics made on their basis.
Romanian cosmetics are natural products – for example creams of brands "Gerovital" and "Ana Aslan". There are all kinds of creams, a jar costs about 4-5 euros. It is available everywhere in pharmacies and supermarkets.
National white blouses embroidered by intricate patterns on sleeves are cost 100 Euros.
Embroidered blouses (called IE) can be bought for example in Unirea – they are light, air and gentle-soft to the touch, embroidered with threads in tone of a blouse or slightly darker. They can be put on in summer in the heat - and it won’t be hot (as these garments made of pure flax). Its cost is 30-40 Euros.
Child's clothing in Romania is good indeed - cheap and qualitative. It can be brought as a gift to friends who have small kids. Maybe it is banal, but the best gifts from Romania – are things for kids!
Embroidered textiles and sets for embroidery
Tablecloths with manual embroidery can be recommended for buying. Prices are different, depending on the size, quality of the fabric and patterns. It is needed to bargain. However, in Bucharest it may not be found, but can be got near by Peles Castle. Located in Sinaia (44 km from Brasov), Peles Castle is considered by many one of the most beautiful castles in all Europe. It was the final resting place for several Romanian monarchs including King Carol I, who died there in 1914.
In a shop on Obor there are tapestries, embroidered by semi-cross, with images of icons, landscapes, portraits.
For those, who like to embroider, it is possible to purchase tapestry-set (canvas, threads, chart, needle) and to embroider the picture by own hands. It is available in haberdashery departments. In the same place embroidery frames (round or square) can be bought too.
Furthermore can be recommended to pay regard to painted furniture in Sibiu that is located in mountain region. Furnishing for dolls can be got as well.
Wattled chairs from willow attract a look (but these are bulky items).
There is wide selection of cheeses. The generic name for cheese in Romania is Branza. Most of the cheeses are made of cow or sheep's milk, with goat's milk rarely used.
Branza de burduf (sheep's milk cheese with a strong taste and semi-soft texture);
Branza de vaci (farmer cheese or quark);
Branza topita (cheese for melting; a generic name for processed cheese);
Branza in coaja de brad (specialty cheese kept in a fir's tree bark) - but there is an opinion that the cheeses in the fir-tree bark – is on a personal liking; it can be purchased also from peasants on the route in Sibiu area.
Cascaval (semi-hard cheese made with sheep's or cow's milk, a traditional Romanian dairy product) - cheeses "Cascaval" are different to the taste; smoked as well as usual and available in abundance in all supermarkets, its cost is up to 10 euros per kg. Cheeses are packed up into the vacuum wrapping by 200, 400, 500 gram and 1 kg.
Cas (semi-soft fresh white cheese, lightly salted and preserved in brine, similar to Bryndza or Feta cheese, a base for Telemea and Branza de burduf;
Telemea (semi-soft white cheese with a creamy texture and a tangy taste, matured in brine;
Urda (soft whey cheese, similar to Ricotta but made from boiling the whey drained from cow's or ewe's milk "Cas", so its bland taste is reminiscent of evaporated milk.
Cozonac (a kind of pound cake made with leavened dough, into which milk, eggs, sugar, butter, and other ingredients are mixed; called Kozunak in Bulgaria) - is similar to Italian Panetoni. They are for sale the whole year round and have various fillings. It is better to take more expensive one - they are tasty indeed (within the limit of 5 Euros).
Honey can be brought as well.
Plum tincture Tuica (sometimes spelled tuica, tzuika, tsuika, tsuica, or tzuica; 55-60 degrees) - is a traditional Romanian alcoholic beverage, usually made from plums. Other drinks prepared from fruits, cereals and so on, are called "rachiu" or "rachie" (fruit brandy).
Romanian wines possess soft pleasant taste. It is lovely to enjoy its flavour during a summer in hot weather. The wide choice of brands is presented. Murfatlar and Jidvei – are inexpensive wines, in relation to quality. To the people of more refined taste can be recommended Vinul Cavalerului (white and pink), Terra Romana, Prahova Valley - red. Romanian wines, especially of vineyards known far outside the country such as mentioned above Murfatlar, Jidvei or Cotnari, and also local fruit vodka "palinka" attract a look. All of these brands are available in any supermarket and at the airport. Prices are from 5 to 15 euros for a bottle. Responses were the most positive in Moscow as well as in Holland!
In regard to alcoholic beverages in addition to aforesaid can be mentioned cognac of the Romanian production that is named Zaraza. Except for quite good quality (3 stars - 10 euros, 5 stars - 15-18 euros) to us, Russian-speaking, the name sounds very originally. It is a furore always! But here in Romania Zaraza - it is a lady’s name. And there is even a popular song of type "Ah you my dear Zaraza!" It can be bought in any shop, where alcohol is for sale, and in the airport of Bucharest in Duty-free.