Before you leave for a trip, everyone asks for a souvenir. Cue the cheesy postcards, magnets, coffee mugs and other random trinkets plastered with the destination name. These items often end up in a junk drawer, barely noticed or forgotten altogether. In Prague, numerous local stores contain useful and memorable items. Instead of bringing back knickknacks en mass, find these handmade gifts made by Czech artists or vintage items originally used in the Czech Republic.
Start your day with caffeine at this cozy coffeehouse. Head upstairs for unique postcards and journals made by Deaf Messenger from recycled magazines and papers. Each are unique; you will not find them anywhere else in the city. Send the artistic postcards in the mail or frame them to create a keepsake. As another option, buy freshly roasted beans to take home, which you can reorder on their website and get shipped to your door.
Address: Vodičkova 6, 110 00 Praha
Hours: Monday-Friday: 800-2200 Saturday-Sunday: 1000-2200
Postcards and journals: www.deafmessanger.com
Use a Prague experience to create memories. Anyone can pay 150 Kč, or about $6, to paint a brick with any design. The money goes to a local Czech charity that helps people with disabilities. Know you have left a mark on part of Prague and helped a charity. Many people paint their country’s flag or their school’s mascot, representing the different kinds of people traveling to Prague. Friends and family at home can also purchase an e-brick.
Address: Located in front of the Communist Museum
Hours: Until 7.18.2015: 1000-2400
If you want to bring your loved ones authentic, handmade Czech jewelry, CVRK is the place to be. They offer a wide variety of unique jewelry and trinkets made by Czech locals. From pendant necklaces to croquet baby bonnets, you can find something original for every style on your souvenir-shopping list. To remember Prague, look for jewelry that resembles the colored squares found in most metro stops across the city.
Address: Pasáž U Styblu Václavské námestí 785/28 110 00 Praha 1
Hours: Monday-Saturday: 1100-1900
Indulge in a sweet snack while shopping. Located off Old Town Square, Viva Praha advertises the finest Belgian chocolates, featuring walls lined with chocolate truffles, waffles, apples and more. While you enjoy a chocolate-covered waffle and some hot chocolate, search the dozens of rows of truffles or fresh candy bars to take home to your loved ones with a sweet tooth. Visit the chocolate museum next door to taste pralines and learn how to make truffles.
Address: Celetná 10 110 00
Hours: Daily 1000 – 2230
Praha Thrift Store
If you enjoy the thrift hunt, don’t miss Praha Thrift Store, which is filled with donated items from locals. Find clothes, board games and even items from the 2012 Olympic games in London. The store is small, but the amount of items is not overwhelming. The workers are friendly and know the store well, and they have another store near Old Town Square.
Address: Šumavská 29 Prague 2 – Vinohrady 120 00
Hours: Monday-Friday 1000- 1930 and Satuday-Sunday 1030-1600
Vintage store Bohemian Retro is a short walk from Praha Thrift Store. The Czech Republic is known for its Bohemian region, and this vintage store is proud to own it. Every piece is from 1910-1980 and has been quality checked by the owner Rebecca, an award-winning textile designer. Bohemian Retro has shoes, accessories and clothes, as well as Bohemian glass, vintage perfume bottles and Soviet-era clocks.
Address: Chvalova 8. Prague 3. Žižkov
Hours: Wednesday-Saturday 1400-1900
Make your way to Prague Castle. On the way up the steps, stop by this yearlong Christmas shop, whether visiting in the winter or the summer. The colorful store is filled with hand-blown and hand-painted glass Christmas ornaments. Grab a few ornaments for 300 Kč, about $15, to decorate your Christmas tree and remind yourself and your loved ones of your trip to Prague for years to come.
Hours: Monday-Friday: 800-1900 Saturday: 800-1200
Pražcky hrad Museum Shop
Once at the castle, but before purchasing your tour ticket, visit the museum shop. Find pictures of the castle, particularly the 3-dimensional postcards set up outside the store. The postcards are open so you can look through two holes and see the 3D picture in the background. The pictures are vintage, so you can look at Old Town Square, the castle and other popular tourist destinations as they once appeared. The postcards cost 115 Kč, or $5.
Hours: Daily: 900-1800
The store accepts CZK, USD or EUR.
Vybor Dobré Vule
After you tour the castle, while making your way down Golden Lane, stop by the little shops in small, colorful houses. VDV is a small gallery with items created by people with disabilities. Buy handmade jewelry, stuffed dolls and paintings while giving back to one of Prague’s charities. VDV’s mission is to help people with disabilities in the community and to build inclusion. “We endeavor to address people of good will to be willing to help others,” says VDV founder Olga Havel.
Address: Senovážné us. 2, Prague 1