Prague is not a shopping paradise, not in the way London, Paris or Milan are anyway. However, you will be able to buy things that are nearly impossible to find elsewhere: Bohemian crystal, cut and colored glass, ceramics … Apart from these you have shopping centers, street markets (great for fruit and vegetables) and regular stores where you will find all sorts of items. Even if shopping is not your thing we recommend to buy one bottle of Becherovka, the famous Karlovy Vary liquor; they sell it cheaply at supermarkets and it cannot be bought outside the Czech Republic. Our student trainee has detailed information on the best places to shop.
There are many possibilities for going shopping in Prague. You do not have to be worried because quantity and quality of products available in the Czech Republic has improved dramatically since the early 1990s. The increased competition and consumer demand have resulted in a better selection, improving customer service and lower prices, making shopping a more enjoyable activity.
Typical Czech products
Would you like to experience typical Czech products? We give you some feeling about what to look at and what to try. We have prepared an overview of typical Czech souvenirs so that you will pick the right things.
Czech Beer and Prague Beer Tours
Czech Republic is famous for the production of beer. The Czech beer is evaluated as the one of the best beer on worldwide. Two of the most famous breweries are Pilsner Urquell (produced in Plzeň) and Budweiser Budvar. These two are famous world wide. In the Czech Republic you can find way more brands of beers and there are also small regional breweries. You can try for example Radegast, Velkopopovicky kozel, Staropramen and Gambrinus but there are really many others. Especially if you are going to travel in the Czech Republic do not hesitate to ask for the regional beer and try some those brands as well. There are two main types of beer dark and liht. In addition you have to differenciate in between the different 10, 11,12… degree of the beer.
Becherovka Herbal Liquer
Becherovka is a deliciours, traditional and high quality liquier made from herbs. This is a classical alcoholic beverage for the Czech Republic which does not contain any chemical reservatives. It is made out of the famous mineral watter from Karlovy Vary.
Becherovka is known as the 13th spring at the spas at Karlovy Vary. If you or someone you know is fond of bittersweet, herbal-based alcoholic beverages and digestives, then a bottle of genuine Carlsbad Becherovka will make a great purchase. Formerly it was taken as stomach drops to improve digestion. However, considering the delicious taste of this “medicine” patients did not follow the prescribed dosage and gradually created the tradition of Becherovka as an aperitif served in small shots. Today, Bechorovka is served either ice cold, or as part of mixed drinks. The most famous one is with tonic water, called Beton.
Spa Wafers are a traditional and very popular sweet snack. The history of the Traditional Czech spa wafers (lázeňské oplatky) goes to the time around the year 1800. The first bakery to specialise in spa wafers opened in 1867, and since that time they have enjoyed huge popularity, becoming a favourite snack.
You can choose form the variety of flavours and every spa region has its own spa wafers brand. But the most famous are the spa wafers form Karlovy Vary. Thanks to unique production which includes manually covering with mixture of hazelnuts, vanilla, cinnamon and sugar, wafers are among the traditional Czech specialties. You can either buy them fresh from street vendors, or look for them in a grocery store.
The glass-making industry has a very long tradition in the Czech Republic and Czech glass is well know the world over. It developed during the 13th century in the Jizerské and Lužické mountain ranges due to the locally available raw materials and the most renowned Czech glass comes from Jablonec nad Nisou and Nový Bor. Glass products from the Czech Republic are prized on the world market and the most popular of which is lead crystal, cut glass and glass figurines, Christmas ornaments, domestic glass and chandeliers.
Really famous is also the cut glass form Moser. Moser, the Rolls Royce of Bohemian glass has produced luxury table and decorative glass products of classic and modern designfor more than 140 years. The factory was founded in the middle of the 19th century by glass cutter Ludwig Moser. The company was then managed by his descendants, who helped it achieve worldwide fame.
Branded porcelain has been a traditional Czech product for a long time. The best-known products include onion-pattern porcelain and the Thun-branded porcelain made in Karlovy Vary.
Czech jewelery and Bohemian garnet
Czech Jewelry has a long tradition and remains a favorite among women all over the world. Bohemian garnet, which can only be found in Bohemia, has always maintained a unique position among other garnet stones due to its unique, fiery red color and the light refraction. It has been said to help overcome sorrow and bring vital power, spirit and the feeling of joy. It even well known to have adorned the dresses of Russian tsarinas at the Vienna congress after the fall of Napoleon in 1815.
The famous present-day manufacturer Granat Turnov has been continuing the tradition of manufacturing real Bohemian jewels and spreading their publicity abroad. It has 3,500 designs produced according to customer requirements Whether in sterling silver gold-plated silver, 14 kt or 18 kt gold which can be seen in fine jewelry shops not only in Europe but all over the world.
Classical Music CDs
If you are the fan of the classical music you should definitely experience one of the classical concerts which take place in the city center of Prague. You can definitely find some in Obecní dům, Old town squere and many others. The Czech Republic gave the world several great classical music composers such as Bedrich Smetana, Antonin Dvorak, Leos Janacek, or Bohuslav Martinu, to name the most famous ones. In Prague, you may therefore want to browse the music selection in the CD shops.
Marionettes have a long tradition in Bohemia, going back to the times when traveling troupes used to entertain children with morality plays on town squares. First Czech performing puppeteers appeared in the Czech lands in the 70s of 18th century. Puppets have also been used widely in animated films in the 20th century. The most famous Czech merionette theatre is undoubtedly the Spejbl and Hurvínek You can buy marionettes of different sizes and quality mainly in the tourist areas of Prague.
Books – Famous Czech Authors
You can never go wrong by buying some book about Prague or Czech Republic, whether about history, cuisine, sights. As for the Czech prose you can choose from Czech writers know far behind Czech borders like Franz Kafka, Milan Kundera, Karel Capek, or Jaroslav Hasek and his popular Svejk.
Prague Department Stores
Kotva (The Anchor)
The Kotva is an institution among Prague department stores. A remnant of socialist Czechoslovakia, it seems to be doing relatively well, even with the large, trendy Palladium shopping mall standing almost across the street.
Address: Namesti Republiky 8, Prague 1 (Metro B, Namesti Republiky)
The My Narodni department store is owned by Tesco, which has been in Prague for many years. It is located on Narodni trida where the socialist Maj department store and later Kmart once stood.
Address: Narodni trida 26, Prague 1 (Metro B, Narodni trida)
Website: www.mynarodni.cz, www.mystores.cz
Bila labut (The White Swan)
The Bila labut department store is a sad reminder of what shopping used to be like in Czechoslovakia of the 1970s and 1980s. Back then, the Na Porici store with its revolving swan above the entrance was the place to shop. Today, the depressing, ugly building stands almost forgotten. The reason to go there is to transport oneself back in time. The store at the top of Wenceslas Square is at a better location and seems in better shape.
Address: Na Porici 23, Prague 1 (Metro B to Namesti Republiky or tram 3, 8, 24, 26 to Bila labut); Vaclavske namesti 59, Prague 1 (Metro A/C, Muzeum)
Prague Shopping Malls and Shopping Centers
Palladium is a large shopping mall located in the center of Prague, across the way from the Municipal House (Obecni dum). The five-story building holds 170 shops and 30 restaurants and cafes.
Address: Namesti Republiky 1, Prague 1 (Metro B, Namesti Republiky)
A modern mall opened in 2008 with a wide selection of clothing stores, a number of shoe shops and sport clothing shops.
Address: Na Pankraci 86, Prague 4 (Metro C, Pankrac)
Nový Smíchov is a stylish shopping mall and entertainment center that spreads across three floors. It is located near the Andel metro station (line B). There’s a large Tesco supermarket and Datart electronics store on the ground floor, 150 different shops, as well as a food court and Palace Cinema multiplex on the third floor.
Address: Plzenska 8, Prague 5 (Metro B or tram 4, 6, 7, 9, 10, 12, 14, 20 to Andel)
Palac Flora is one of the larger malls, yet it feels almost intimate. It opened in 2003. Its four floors are filled with 120 shops, a food court, a Cinema City multiplex theatre and IMAX 3D cinema.
Address: Vinohradska 144, Prague 3 (Metro A or tram 5, 10, 11, 16 to Flora)
Myslbek Shopping Gallery
The Myslbek Shopping Gallery opened in 1996 as one of Prague’s first shopping malls. It connects Prague’s New Town and Old Town, stretching between the busy Na Prikope Street and the historic Ovocny trh (Fruit Market) behind the Estates Theatre. The site is named after the sculptor who created the St. Wenceslas statue on Wenceslas Square.
Address: Na Prikope 19/21, Prague 1 (Metro A/B, Mustek)
Cerná ruze (Black Rose)
The historic Cerna ruze passageway at Na Prikope Street was turned into a shopping center in the 1990s. You will find some 50 stores and several restaurants inside.
Address: Na Prikope 12, Prague 1 (Metro A/B, Mustek)
Metropole Zlicin is a large fashion and entertainment complex on the outskirts of Prague. It includes a Cinema City multiplex theatre.
Address: Revnická 1, Prague 5 (Metro B to Zlicin)