Unlike in other European cities, shopping in Prague hasn’t had long to evolve. Communist department stores like Máj didn’t exactly follow international style trends. While developing their own sense of style, the people of Prague have been strongly influenced by other countries, especially Italy and Spain. The blonde in stilettos and faded jeans (with a Dior bag) is the prototypical Prague supermodel, and it is these women – their images all over the Prague tabloids – who lead shopping trends.
The Prague Fashion Scene
On Na príkope, the main artery of Prague’s shopping district where you’re never far from a branch of the Italian fashion chain Bloom, there are at least 15 shoe stores, and Spanish retailer Mango has expanded into the building next door. The designer boutiques, like Versace at the end of the avenue, are an enclave of exclusivity. H&M has opened two stores in central Prague, on Na príkope and Jindrišská. There’s nothing else like Parizska Street in Prague: from Hermès to Dior, the five-block-long boutique-studded avenue is Prague’s own shopping paradise.
Czech fashion designers have carved out their own niche for shopping in Prague and are gaining a following among Prague’s fashion gurus. The small boutiques around Staromestské námestí are popular with stylists and shopping enthusiasts alike.
Great Deals For Jewellery in Prague
Bohemian garnets are among the most beautiful in the world. Whether set in gold or silver, the deep red stones always look elegant and timeless. Antique garnet jewellery, with its darker stones and delicate art deco designs, can be found at almost any antique shop in Prague. The prices and selection at the factory-direct Cesky Gránat Turnov are some of the best in town.
Crystal, Glass and Porcelain: A Prague Peculiar
Prague is renowned for its fine crystal, glass and porcelain. The art of glass-blowing has been practiced in Bohemia since the 14th century and Czech crystal is a source of national pride. Moser is the king of crystal houses, but prices reflect its status as ‘the glass of kings’. The ancient thoroughfare of Celeina on Prague’s east bank has several opportunities for shopping, including Celetná Crystal (No. 15). Many stores will pack and send your purchases free of charge to local hotels so you don’t have to carry breakables around with you.
Prague: A Great Place to Hunt For Antiques
For antique shopping in Prague, look for signs that say starozitnosti, and for antique books, antikvariát. Prices are marked, but you can make a polite counteroffer if you feel justified. Lace items, small paintings and art deco tea sets are widely available and not very expensive. Art Décoratif, on Melantrichova, has lots delightful old finds. The bazaar at the Palmovka metro stop is a treasure-hunter’s paradise, with an array of old and antique furniture.
Shopping in the Prague Markets
Signs saying trznice point the way to the small markets usually run by Vietnamese vendors who sell cheaply made but useful goods, from plastic suitcases for storing clothes to wallets, bags and shoes. These are normally down narrow passageways that open into interior courtyards. The largest outdoor market in Prague is Holešovická trznice.
Practicalities for Shopping in Prague
Most Prague stores are open from 9 or 10am to 6pm Monday to Friday, with shorter hours on Saturday. In popular shopping areas most shops are also open on Sunday.
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