The Czech Republic is very famous for its long tradition in glass making, Czech crystal is something absolutely world unique. Also, jewelry, especially Czech garnets, is a very popular gift from the Czech Republic. But there are also other original and less known things you can bring back home as great souvenirs from Prague.
My name is Dana and I am a licenced Prague guide designing original (less touristy) tours of Prague downtown. With my services I strive to support sustainable and responsible tourism in Prague. No mass tourism. Besides guiding, I am also blogging about my hometown. Especially about all the less known things related to Prague tourism. Today about souvenirs and gifts from Prague.
You can skip this if you are a fridge magnet person
I´ve traveled a lot myself and never been a „fridge magnet“ person. I always wanted to bring back home something authentic or unusual. Something what locals consider to be great. Not what souvenir shop owners think we should buy.
So, the first thing you need to do before your “souvenir hunt” in Prague, is to avoid the touristy places full of “I love Prague” T-shirts and fake absinthe bottles. Done? Welcome back to the real world. This is my personal shopping guide for what is worth buying while in Prague. With the Made in the Czech Republic label!
1. Net bags: did you know they are originally from the Czechoslovakia?
Really! Net bag was invented in Czechoslovakia in 1926. By Mr. Vavřín Krčil, who had a successful business with hair nets (fine nets worn over long hair to hold it in place during sleeping), which he even exported abroad. However, later short hair came into fashion and he basically didn´t have enough customers. So, he got the idea to attach two handles to his hair nets and voilá, the very first net bag was born. Now, when single use plastic bags are completely out of fashion, net bags are extremely popular again. Get your first one in Prague. Practical, light, uncreasable and affordable souvenir from Prague.
Price: around 300 – 400 CZK (15 euro). The original Czech net bag (hand-made) you can get in one glass shop on Mostecká street, this is a street leading from Charles bridge. Address: Bohemia Crystal shop Mostecká 273/21, Prague 1. The shop is rather a souvenir shop but they have a huge selection of the net bags (on the top shelves above the counter). My recent discovery! Sometime my clients ask me to stop there during my tours. So I do!! See the happy face below!
2. Rybička: Cute Czech pocket knife every Czech has at home
Rybička (“little fish”) is a cute pocket knife with a handle shaped like a fish. We all had one when we were kids. Not for defense or fights but for cutting things like branches, mushrooms, fruit, veggies or to spread butter over bread when camping. This is an absolutely cult Czech thing even nowadays. Like Swiss army knifes in Switzerland. The difference between these two knifes is that our Rybička only has two functions: to cut and to be cute.
Price: ca 150 Kč (6 euro). Where to buy it? The best location downtown is DIY shop Kutil Florenc, Sokolská 7, Prague 8.
3. Alpa: healing souvenir from a pharmacy
Alpa is a cult Czech product with a 100-year old tradition. Alpa is a brand of natural herbal embrocation which I use myself every time my legs are tired from long guiding. The basis of the embrocation recipe is an alcoholic solution of essential oils, volatile oils, fragrance substances, 19 herbs and natural menthol. It’s sold in the retro glass package and the design/recipe hasn’t changed since my grandparents were kids. It can be used for massages at rheumatic pains of muscles, regular massages, relief after hiking, for disinfection, mouth wash, foot perspiration, for inhalations, for mitigation of a number of unpleasant pains at joints and muscles, etc. You can buy it in every drug store / pharmacy. And definitely not only as a souvenir from Prague but also for your own usage after walking and sightseeing.
Price: 60 CZK (2.50 euro). Where to buy it? In every drug store or pharmacy.
4. Deelive: Czech design from local artists
If you are into fresh young design, I can highly recommend you Deelive design store offering original products of up & coming Czech / Slovak designers (glass, jewelry, 3D prints, clothing, porcelain, accessories, cosmetics, bags and much more). If you want to support the young generation of local designers, pay it a visit. Opposite to Deelive there is also a nice café called SmetanaQ with fantastic views over Vltava River and Prague Castle. Deelive design store is located only 5 minutes walking from Charles bridge. Very convenient.
Address: Smetanovo nábřeží 334/4, Prague 1. My recommended items: 3D printed vases of my ex university mate Martin Žampach or his glass ware called Bulb. I also like jewelery of Janja Prokič or natural hand made cosmetics JAGAIA.
5. Herbal tea made of the national tree of the Czech Republic
Souvenirs from Prague can be very healthy! Linden tree (Tilia) is a national tree of the Czech Republic. It´s a symbol of love, protection and help. When lindens are blooming, we pick the blossoms, dry them and make healthy herbal tea from them. Linden tea cures fever, helps with breathing problems or soothes when you have a flu. Linden tea is delicious with honey and a few drops of lemon. Lovely winter drink for cozy evenings at home. You can buy the dry blossoms in a small herbal shop close to Old Town square at Herbata, address: Dlouhá 612/6, Prague 1. Linden tea in Czech is called “lipový čaj”. Another option is shop called Sonnentor located close to Wenceslas Square or shop Country Life also close to Old Town Square.
Price: ca 100 CZK (4 euro)
6. Souvenirs from Prague supermarkets
Totally last minute thing. But why not. Affordable and easy to pack. One of the best souvenirs from Prague are the local retro sweets. For example Piknik (condensed milk packed in a metal “toothpaste” tube) or Antiperle (Czech Tic-Tac from the communism times). Or Metro dessert – a special dessert designed for Prague metro opening in 1974!!! You can buy them in every supermarket (Billa, Albert, Tesco, Žabka). They cost less than 2 euro! To learn more about them, please check my other blog post called Traditional and fun Czech sweets.
Or a blog about Metro dessert: Fun and cult Prague pastry designed for Prague metro opening.
7. Chessboard made of old stage of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
Upcycling in the practice. Amazing idea and absolutely authentic and original gift from Prague. Couple months back the stage of Dvořák´s Hall at Rudolfinum (home of the world renowed Czech Philharmonic Orchestra) underwent a replacement. Can you imagine the pile of wood? Wood with a story, recalling memories of thousands of concerts. The wood was sent to a Czech joiner´s shop (Truhlářství Zdar) where the skilled craftsmen designed a limited collection of beautiful chessboards. And the holes and scratches in them? That´s the best part – they come from the cello and bass endtips. Each piece is 100% original, different and comes with a practical cotton tote bag.
Price: 4990 CZK (limited edition)
Where to buy: right inside the Rudolfinum building daily between 2pm – 6pm.
8. Honey made by a member of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
In the above paragraph I was writing about the Czech Philharmonic Orchersta and here we go again! On the Rudolfinum building you can find beehives! According to regular laboratory research, the local bees are producing high quality honey. Because they are only flying to the nearby parks Letná, and Petřín – places without pesticides. The main bee-keper is Mr. Vácha, viola player of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. The philharmonic honey you can purchase right inside Rudolfinum. I went there yesterday and got my first one!
Price: ca 100 CZK
Last minute gifts: Prague Airport Terminal 2, a special shop with local products
In case you really don´t have time for shopping, there is still a great place where you can get some unique local gifts. Prague Airport, yeah! I just recently discovered this place on my way to Rome. If you are leaving from Terminal 2, there is a shop called Future is local where you can buy Czech cosmetics, jewelery, glass, clothing, toys…all in one place. I highly recommend checking brands Kama (sustainable functional sport wear), Ababu (toys) and Almara soap (cosmetics).
Have a lovely time in Prague!
Dana, owner and guide for Prague Behind The Scenes | small-group tours and experiences.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or wish to see Prague with a local guide: firstname.lastname@example.org
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