Everything You Need to Know About Shopping in Prague9 January, 2022by Bounce
Prague is truly one of the finest cities in Europe to visit. Its city center boasts some of the most iconic buildings in the world. The Charles Bridge, Prague Castle, the National Museum, and St. Vitus Cathedral are just a few of the many attractions worth taking in. The Old Town neighborhood is perfect for walking around, seeing the sights, sampling delicious Czech cuisine, and exploring the wonderful shops throughout the city.
Prague is smaller than European capitals Paris and London, so it’s relatively simple to get around. That doesn’t mean shopping in Prague is any less worthwhile. You will find boutiques featuring some of the best young Czech designers as well as world-class fashion institutions. Shopping in Prague is certainly made more enjoyable by the charming cobblestone streets and medieval buildings that surround these stores. Here are some tips for exploring Prague’s vibrant shopping scene.
Parizska is one of the best shopping destinations in Europe, let alone Prague. Your shopping in Prague is not done until you have completed a lap (or two) around this stretch. This wide boulevard features some of the finest names in fashion, including Cartier, Hugo Boss, Hermes, and Louis Vuitton.
The experience of walking up and down Parizska Street is more important than leaving the neighborhood with a new purse or pair of shoes. Parizska Street is flanked by rows of beautiful Art Nouveau architecture, and there are numerous statues and monuments that commemorate the area’s historical Jewish heritage. While the luxury wares inside the stores are certainly of the highest quality, one might say Parizska Street is the best window shopping in Prague.
Want a Uniquely-Prague Shopping Experience? Take It Outside!
Because of its walkability and scenic beauty, some of the best shopping in Praque is done outdoors. Prague is home to many farmer’s markets, where buyers and producers get to interact as they would have centuries earlier. The markets in Prague offer a variety of locally-sourced produce, honey, and meat and dairy products. Cured meats and sausages are among the most popular foods showcased at markets. Because of the country’s proud culinary heritage, everything is strictly local.
Also called Havelské tržiště, this open-air market is situated deep in Prague’s Old Town near the Mustek metro stop and Wenceslas Square. The old-world charm of this market cannot be overstated. The market is comprised of several dozen stands where local merchants sell everything from fresh produce to ornate jewelry. The iconic buildings of Prague’s Old Town tower above, creating a cozy feeling for shoppers. Because this market is open-air, you’ll never feel cramped or crowded.
Havel’s Market is much, much more than a farmer’s market, and tourists should keep an eye out for handcrafted goods and upscale keepsakes. You’ll find items much more valuable than cheap souvenirs; Bohemian glass is available at a few shops. There are a number of fine cafes and restaurants nearby, so make sure to grab a coffee and search out some of Prague's best street food.
Trhy Tylak (or Tylak Market) is one of Prague’s best attractions. This market is located near the metro stop at Tylovo Náměstí, which makes this accessible from other parts of Prague. The town-square atmosphere is perfect for meeting with friends, and a jumping-off point for exploring more of the neighborhood. Farmer’s Market Naplavka is another outdoor market located in Prague 2. Shoppers enjoy a riverfront view thanks to the market’s location directly on the riverbank along the Naplavka thoroughfare. There are bars and cafes next to the market with equally gorgeous views.
Independent designers are an increasingly vital part of Prague’s shopping scene. The SmetanaQ Showroom is perhaps the most famous place in Prague for discovering young Czech designers and trend-forward fashion products. This facility functions as a hub for design, with art galleries, studios, cafes, and more.
The roster of designers working under the SmetanaQ umbrella is truly impressive. This group consists of some of the country’s most cutting-edge voices in fashion. The Deelive Design store offers everything from handbags, to fashion accessories, to shoes, and even jewelry. All of these items have been designed at SmetaNaq.
Dox By Qubus is a gallery located in Holesovice’s Dox Center for Contemporary Art. The designers at Dox are focused on blending modern and classical aesthetics for creating a variety of items like clothing, glassware, ornaments, and interior design pieces. The eclectic palette of styles makes this showroom fascinating to explore.
In need of something more functional? There is a focus on streetwear and casual clothing in many of Prague’s trendiest stores. Wolfgang has a boutique in Old Town that focuses on modern casual wear that is all made locally. Girls Without Clothes is another example of an urban brand with a minimalist focus and elevated design that fortunately does not come at an upscale price. If your hotel has a gym or you want to take advantage of Prague’s jog-ability, MOOQ designs some of the finest athletic gear in the city.
Vintage and Thrift Stores
Located east of Prague’s Main Railway Station, Bohemian Retro is Prague’s most famous thrift store. This boutique has a more elevated vibe to it than your average thrift store. They carry a wide range of used clothing and accessories, and even re-work and customize pieces for their bespoke clientele. Bohemian Retro is located in Zizkov, an up-and-coming neighborhood your hip friends will be talking about next time they visit Prague.
Located closer to the city center (across the alley from the famous Dubliner Irish Pub), Bric a Brac is a hole-in-the-wall shop that embodies the frazzled and quirky nature of vintage stores. Find your favorite new wall decoration, clock, jewelry, or just about anything that captures your attention! There are also a number of antique bookstores throughout Prague, but Shakespeare And Sons is the most famous. It’s perfect for finding a classic to read on the trip home, and it offers some choice views of the Charles Bridge.
Need Something For The Kids?
While you can find a wide array of children’s toys and collectibles at street vendors throughout Praque, one boutique stands apart from the rest. Rocking Horse Toy Shop is the premier purveyor of children’s toys and goods. What you will not find at this store is a pile of cheap souvenirs and plastic imitation toys. What you will find are classically-inspired wooden toys, dolls, and games. All of these are handmade and of the highest quality. Keep an eye out for a little mole named Krtek, he’s the local interpretation of Mickey Mouse. Whether you’re exploring Prague with the kids or looking for a gift to take home, Rocking Horse Toy Shop is your destination.
Malls and Shopping Centers
Prague will be Prague, so even its shopping malls are situated in ornate buildings with gorgeous facades and historic charm. The Palladium in New Town was converted from an army barracks to become a cultural and shopping center with a historical twist. There are 180 stores in the Palladium, and many shops will be familiar sights to most tourists, but there is an upscale vibe throughout the freshly-renovated modern interior. If you’re near the Florenc Bus Station, Florentinum Shopping Center is a solid option for some familiar shops, bookstores, and cafes.
Walking around Prague’s Old Town, you’ll feel transported to a cobble-stoned medieval city. Take the metro out to SAPA Praha, Prague’s “Little Vietnam” neighborhood, and you’ll be transported to a Hanoi-inspired street market and shopping center. You will be able to find textiles, cheap souvenirs, dishware, glassware, and a wide variety of keepsakes important from Vietnam or fashioned by craftsmen in Prague’s Vietnamese community. Anyone interested in some light (and friendly) haggling will enjoy the “flexible” pricing of some of these vendors.
There are a number of passages, which are essentially enclosed areas that connect different parts of town. These are often winding and mysterious, but not impossible to navigate by any means, as they are meant to offer an indoor route for pedestrians. Cafes, independent boutiques, unique shops, and other businesses line these passages. There are a number of shopping centers based in these distinctive buildings throughout Prague’s Old and New Town, and they make for an excellent shopping experience and adventure unique to Prague.
The Slovansky Dum passage near the center of Old Town provides a friendly atmosphere with its shops, salons, and restaurants. The structure is situated in the foundation of two medieval houses and boasts attractive Baroque Art-Nouveau features. Lucerna Passage (or Lantern Passage) connects winding indoor alleys with various shops and cafes, and the Lucerna Cinema. This passage is located near The Franciscan Gardens.
Local Treasures to Seek Out
Bohemian crystal, also known as Bohemian glass, is glassware that is produced in the region and has distinctive and colorful characteristics. Prague has an incredibly long history of craftsmanship, being a cultural and political center of numerous kingdoms, empires, and republics throughout the centuries, and Bohemian glass is a massive part of that tradition.
These magnificent items are hand-cut, blown, engraved, decorated, and colored by some of the most skilled glassworkers in the world. These glass pieces range from stunning decorative pieces like chandeliers and vases to cookware like champagne flutes and carafes. Some of the best shopping in Prague can be found at specialized shops that will craft and sell Bohemian crystal. Here are some of the best:
Glassimo - While many associate Bohemian crystal with ornate and historical extravagance, this design boutique focuses on high-quality glass pieces with a modern emphasis. Most pieces are entirely unique, as they are considered art as opposed to functional goods. Glassimo is located in the heart of Old Town.
Pelcl Studio is the most famous (and most decorated, having won numerous international awards) design studio in Prague. You’ll find a wide range of glass ornaments, glassware, and art pieces in this studio. Pelcl Studio is located across the river from Florenc, so it’s relatively easy to access from the city center.
Bohemian Garnets are some of the most distinctive items you can buy in Prague. These deep blood-red gemstones are the national gem of the Czech Republic. They are mined and cultivated in Prague and other Czech cities and there is a style of jewelry where garnets are the focal point. These gems are packed together tightly so that they completely cover necklaces and other types of jewelry. Bohemian garnet merchants are a common sight around Prague, especially in the high-traffic tourist areas. It’s advisable to search out a reputable store to ensure the highest quality and value.
Granat Turnov is one of the largest producers of garnet jewelry in the country, and their shop in Old Town is one of Prague’s best boutiques. The quality and authenticity are guaranteed at this store, and the staff is known for being accommodating to locals and tourists alike.
Halada is another respected garnet merchant and has three locations in and around Prague. This family-owned business sells a variety of jewelry from some of the country’s best producers. They have two locations in Prague’s Old Town, including one on Parizska Street.
Prague is an amazing city to explore. There are so many winding streets and alleys to get (hopefully not too) lost in as well as expansive town squares and a gorgeous river to stroll by. While Prague boasts some of the world’s finest and most famous luxury stores and independent designers, the activity of shopping is the star here. You may find the perfect piece of jewelry or your new favorite jacket, but walking between stores on a gorgeous street or strolling through a charming market will be what you remember most.
Exploring Prague on foot is the best way to experience this city. Bounce is here to help make your trip the best experience possible.