Czech Republic — Shopping and Leisure
Shopping in the Czech Republic has dramatically improved over the last decade, with many new malls and hypermarkets springing up over the last few years. The quality and quantity of clothing, media and electronics has vastly improved while prices have dropped, making the Czech Republic a viable shopping destination.
The Myslbek Shopping Gallery was one of Prague’s first significant malls and built in the mid-1990’s, it continues to be a popular shopping precinct. Set on the border of the city’s Old Town and New Town, this quaint shopping gallery is home to 30 or so shops, including a handful of popular chains and restaurants.
While the country isn’t known for its progressive fashion, there are some exciting new Czech designers, with many of Prague’s independent fashion boutiques selling youthful, punky, brightly-colored garments. You’ll find many of these around Na Prikope, just off Wenceslas Square, and at the Palladium Shopping Center on Namesti Republic where you can also find familiar names like Zara, Mango and H&M. For catwalk style, you’ll want to head to the appropriately named Paris Street where Hugo Boss, Prada, Loius Vuitton, and several other designers take up residence.
Shops in Prague tend to stay open from 8:00 a.m. until late, with a few even open around the clock. Outside of the capital it’s a somewhat different story, with shopping hours more typically 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. and many smaller stores closed during lunch and on weekends.
Typical souvenirs include Bohemian glass and crystal, geyerstone carvings and pottery from the Koloves region. Another popular Czech souvenir is garnet, a deep red precious stone also known as Bohemian garnet or Pyrope. Czech garnet is the best in the world and is typically sold as finished jewelry pieces in earrings, necklaces and bracelets. There are known to be many fakes sold to tourists, so be sure to buy from a reputable or recommended dealer.