Whether you’re visiting Prague for a week or just a few days, there’s probably one activity that’s near the top of your to-do list: shopping.
From luxury items to clothing, glassware and unique home items, Prague offers something for every shopper and budget. But just like any other city, you need to know where to go and what to look for if you want a good experience.
1. To Find the Good Stuff, You Have to Take the Road Less Traveled
The visible fashion stores are easy to find, but they typically don’t offer anything special. These are items that you can find in just about any other European city. And unless you want to wind up with a Celine replica – and other fakes – you should be careful about which street vendors you buy from.
If you want the good stuff – like rare books, garnets, crystal and marionettes – you need to take the road less traveled. Explore the small shops tucked away in Old Town, Malá Strana and Nové Město.
2. Check Out the Antique Book Stores
Visit antique book stores, called antikvariát, to find all kinds of cool and interesting things, like old coffee table books, Bohemian maps and lithographs.
If you’re looking for something more modern, try The Globe Bookstore and Coffeehouse. The store regularly hosts book signings and readings as well as thousands of titles in English.
3. Know Which Time of Day to Go
Old Town’s only true market street, Havelska, changes from morning to afternoon, so it’s important to choose your shopping time wisely. In the morning, the stalls are filled with fresh fruits and vegetables.
In the afternoon, you’ll find wooden toys, marionettes, art, scarves and scores of other items for sale.
4. Avoid Impulse Buying
Like any other major city, Prague has plenty of souvenir shops. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment and buy every piece of crystal, glass and ceramic you see. If you start shopping without a plan or an idea of what you want, you may wind up spending more than you bargained for.
Make a list of the things you truly want, and just browse.
5. If You’re a Non-EU Resident, You May Shop Tax-Free
In Prague, the standard VAT rate is 21%. For books, glasses and pharmaceuticals, the rate is 15%. For certain books, baby food and medicine, the rate is 10%.
Residents of non-EU countries may be eligible for tax-free shopping. All you have to do is to fill out the tax-free form. Refunds will be paid on goods exported in your personal luggage. There are some items that are ineligible, including: fuel, food and alcohol, vehicles and weapons.
6. Moser is the Place to Go for Crystal
Moser, the most well-known Czech glass and crystal brand, has been in the glass business since 1893 and boasts a list of famous customers, which includes King Edwad VII and Emperor Franz Josef. The brand has a shop and showroom in Prague.
All of Moser’s glass and crystal glasses, vases and accessories are hand-cut and use only eco-friendly, lead-free crystal.