Czech Republic shopping is one of the most popular things to do for visitors to this beautiful country, and popular Czech markets offer a wide selection of items for visitors looking for the perfect memento from their trip. Whether you’re interested in browsing large shopping malls like those along the luxurious Na Prikope Street in Prague, or exploring more intimate shops tucked into the beautiful spa towns of the countryside, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for with a little planning.
Czech Republic shopping offers unique souvenirs the country is famous for such as intricate Bohemian crystal and rare Czech glass. Soccer jerseys are also a popular item and more traditional trinkets abound, especially throughout the tourist districts of Prague. Czech markets line the streets of Old Town Prague in the country’s beautiful capitol city, with plenty of gift shops to meet all of the tourist demand. Shopping in the Czech Republic around the busiest stretch between the Charles Bridge and the stunning Prague Castle will result in the highest mark-ups, so look for better deals slightly off the beaten path. A piece of original art made by one of the talented local artists will make a unique gift you can display and treasure at home. Another popular item the area is famous for is garnet jewelery, made from the beautiful dark red stones gathered near Turnov. Decorative porcelain pottery, hand-carved wooden sculptures, lace, and embroidery are also popular choices. Try Parizka street for chic, expensive boutiques stretching from the center of Old Town towards the Danube. Avoid unauthentic artifacts like Russian nesting dolls and fur hats that are sold only to appease misinformed travelers who do not know their Czech Republic history. Shopping in the Czech Republic around the holidays will lead you to festive Christmas Markets, where you can sample traditional Czech food and drink, like rich dumplings and local beer, see local artisans at work and stock up on handmade crafts. When you’re ready for a break, relax in one of the award-winning breweries or casual pubs, or enjoy fine dining along the scenic Danube.
Czech Republic shopping is conducted with the national currency, the koruna or Czech crown. Although the country has been a member of the European Union since 2004, they have not yet adopted the Euro, but are expected to switch some time in the future. Czech markets and larger chains may accept Euros, and even if they do not the price for items is often provided in both Euros and korunas to help with conversions. Most stores in Prague that cater to tourists accept Visa and MasterCard but there are exceptions. While shopping in the Czech Republic, it’s best to carry cash and change money at banks ahead of time to avoid additional hassles at any of the many stores that do not accept credit cards or foreign currency. You can also exchange your dollars, Euros, or traveler’s checks at authorized exchange offices, at your hotel, or at stations located near border crossings along major roads. Avoid changing money on the street and remember that the best rates will always be found at the bank, while scam artists look for unsuspecting tourists to trade real Euros or dollars in for useless counterfeit bills or money that is no longer in circulation. Czech Republic shops are usually open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the week (often opening later and closing earlier on the weekends), but stores in more rural areas may close early on Saturdays and close on Sundays. If you’re staying in a city and need to get something from a grocery store or supermarket, these usually stay open from early morning until late evening every day.