PART 1: Central Design District
The streets that link two architectural gems of Prague - Dancing House, designed by Frank Gehry and Vlado Milunić, and the monumental National Theatre designed by Josef Zítek and Josef Schulz, are great for an afternoon of exploring by foot. Running along the Nove Mesto side of the Vltava River, dotted with galleries, churches and cafes, there is plenty on offer for all kinds of shoppers, whether you’re looking for something special to add to your wardrobe, something to brighten up your home or something more original than the ‘made in china’ souvenir from your trip. Continue further and you’ll pass the famous Old Town Square and Obecní dům. This whole route can be easily walked within a couple of hours, or you can always jump on a tram.
Open the guide map in your Google Maps.
Czech Design Center, an extensive selection of the best Czech products, also online • Vojtěšská 3, 110 00 Nové Město
Nearest tram stop: Jiráskovo náměstí • www.shop.czechdesign.cz
Working with local illustrators, graphic designers, ceramicists, fashion and jewellery designers, and industrial designers, it presents a great mix of fresh talent alongside Czech icons such as Jiří Pelcl and Maxim Velčovský (Don’t know them? Check them out!). The shop has one of the widest selections of backpacks and a wonderful jewellery collection, as well as beautiful toys and books for kids, making it the ideal one-stop-shop for all your holiday gifts (and treats for yourself).
Beautiful stationery designed and made in CZ
Vojtěšská 9, 110 00 Nové Město
Nearest tram: Jiráskovo náměstí or Národní divadlo • www.papelote.cz
In 2009, just when it seemed paper was dying out, Papelote opened its store in Prague, presenting ‘the forgotten beauty of stationery and paper’. Since then it has only gone from strength to strength, winning Designblok Store of the Year 2011, Czech Grand Design Store of the Year 2012, and expanding its limited edition and original collections. Its name is now synonymous with high quality and uniquely Czech designed products.
Bookstore Unique publications of art, design, photography and more, including children’s books • Vojtěšská 18, 110 00 Nové Město
Nearest tram: Národní divadlo • www.bookstore.artmap.cz
An extension of ArtMap the NGO, which promotes small contemporary art galleries, exhibitions, and other cultural events through their bi-monthly map publication, this well-laid out book store offers exhibition catalogues, monographs, artists’ books, theoretical texts, specialized magazines, DVDs, audio recordings, comics and books for children, and often publications that are not in general distribution.
Showroom Fashion and jewellery specialists
U Obecního dvora 2, 110 00, Staré Město
Nearest tram: Haštalské náměstí or Dlouhá třída • www.back-yard.cz
!!! Check their opening, because they've moved to this new address recently.
Tucked away in quiet cobbled courtyard is this delightful showroom presenting unisex, womens and menswear and exquisite jewellery from some of the most interesting designers currently working in CZ, many of whom work with BackYard to produce exclusive limited editions. Regular launches, lectures and meetings also take place here.
Exclusive products presented in a gallery-style space
Smetanovo nábřeží 4, 110 00 Staré Město
Nearest tram: Národní divadlo • www.deelive.cz
A carefully curated selection of Czech designs including glass, lighting, furniture, and a fashion room, where you can find bold and often witty conceptual pieces. Everything is beautifully laid out, making even browsing a pleasure, with a good view of the river too.
6. Leeda Fashion Store
Fresh Czech fashion
Bartolomějská 1, Staré Město, 110 00
Nearest tram: Národní divadlo • www.leeda.cz
Just off the main street Národní, this fashion boutique is the home to the successful Leeda label run by Lucie Kutálková. Discover new collections of strong silhouettes, textured or printed fabrics, as well as accessories, shoes and jewellery from other local designers.
Real souvenirs from Prague
Platýz pasáž, Národní 37, Staré Město, 110 00
Nearest tram: Národní třída • www.pragtique.cz
A little further on, and in another lovely courtyard, you’ll find souvenirs with a special Praguish twist at Pragtique (they also have a branch on Mala Strana). Made in collaboration with local designers and artists, Pragtique offers a welcome and refreshing change from cheap and tacky souvenir options. Give someone something that is truly a enjoyable product as well as a momento from your trip!
8. Debut Gallery
Style and quality in an elegant setting
Malé náměstí 12, Staré Město, 110 00
Nearest tram: Staroměstská • www.debutgallery.cz
From Pragtique, it’s a leisurely 10 minute stroll through winding streets towards the infamous Old Town Square. But just to the side of this main tourist attraction is Malé náměstí, ‘Small Square’ - which, even just steps away from its bigger sibling, is a bit more relaxed. The Debut Gallery is here, offering a carefully chosen selection of jewellery, fashion, ceramics, glass and more, from the best contemporary Czech and international designers presented in such calm, beautiful arrangement that a visit offers welcome respite from the gaudy surrounding souvenir shops and the chance to purchase something of far superior quality.
9. Lípa Store
Malé náměstí 10, Staré Město, 110 00
Nearest tram: Staroměstská • www.lipastore.cz
Just a hop to the other side of the square, in the coolness of the arches of the overhanging national monument, the stunning ‘House at Golden Corner’, is the Lípa Store. Here, as well as online, you’ll find a charming collection of perfect luggage-sized gifts designed and crafted in CZ; something for the kitchen, original greetings cards, or cute wooden toys for the kids.
10. Galerie Kubista
An emporium of Art Deco and Czech Cubism
Dům U Černé Matky Boží, Ovocný trh 19, 110 00 • Note: closed Mondays
Nearest tram: Náměstí Republiky • www.kubista.cz
From Malé náměstí, you can take a 10 minute route through Old Town Square with its 14th Century Gothic church and Jan Hus monument, along Celetná street to the House at the Black Madonna, the first Cubist structure in Prague, and rightly the home of the Museum of Czech Cubism. On the ground floor is the fairly new Černá Madona Restaurant, whilst on the 1st floor is the Grand Café Orient whose design dates from the original plans of the building, should you find yourself in need of refreshment.
The ground floor also houses Galerie Kubista - a truly special design shop as it is the only place you can find certain Cubist or Art Deco designs, original or replica. Do not be afraid to pop in simply to admire their wonderful collection of renowned Czech designers and artists such as Bohumil Kubista and Alois Wachsmann, and perhaps find a really special gift for someone.
Streamlined fashion and accessories
Klimentská 3, 110 00 Nové Město
Nearest tram: Dlouhá třída • www.showroomdot.cz
A further short 10 minute walk, admiring the Art Deco gem of Obecní dům and the brutality of the Communist-era Kotva Shopping Mall on the way, you’ll reach the clean and quiet space of Showroom - a boutique, atelier and meeting point, showcasing the work of 7 Czech designers, and some guests, from different fields including jewellery, leather accessories, fashion and shoes. It is all brought together in a complimentary whole by the clever interior and a designer is always on-hand to give advice.
PART 2: Design District Prague 7
If you have time to explore further than the centre, which should be possible as Prague is quite compact and transportation is good - the Prague 7 district which includes Holešovice and Letna is definitely worth a visit. Home to two of Prague’s best city parks; Letna and Stromovka, and two great galleries; the National Gallery for Contemporary Art and DOX Centre for Contemporary Art, as well as several hip cafes and bistros, there are plenty of ateliers, pop up markets and local design boutiques to discover.
Open the guide map in your Google Maps.
12. DOX by Qubus (gallery shop)
Unusual and exciting contemporary design pieces DOX Centre for Contemporary Art • Poupětova 1, 170 00 Praha 7
Nearest tram: Ortenovo náměstí • www.qubus.cz
The DOX gallery shop forms part of the Qubus brand established by Jakub Berdych with Maxim Velčovský. As well as their Design Studio and Gallery, this shop represents the best Czech artists and designers. You’ll find unique conceptual pieces, but also quirky gifts, with something to suit every budget.
A whole village street in one space
Tusarova 31, 170 00 Praha 7
Nearest tram: Dělnická • www.vnitroblock.cz
Making use of a previous industrial warehouse complete with freight train tracks in the floor, the concept behind Vnitroblock, (which directly translated means ‘inside block’ or courtyard) was to combine some of the elements you would normally find on a street, in this one inside space - so as well as a great cafe, you can also browse through fashion and sneakers, attend a dance class, a talk, a workshop or discover their resident DJ.
14. Koncept Story
A centre for contemporary design and applied art
Řezáčovo námesti 2, 170 00 Praha 7
Nearest tram: Vltavská or Strossmayerovo náměstí • www.konceptstory.cz
Koncept Story is a exciting local boutique where you can purchase beautifully crafted items for your home or to wear, from high quality, carefully chosen collections. But it is also more than a shop - it also works as an incubator for young designers, giving them a space in which to present new ideas and concepts, fostering the next generations of Czech design.
Veverkova 5, 170 00 Praha 7
Nearest tram: Strossmayerovo náměstí • www.pagefive.com
A great bookstore with a wide choice of art, photography, architecture and design books, magazines, travel guides, illustrations and more, and they also work as a publishers through which they promote the work of young artists and cultural activists.