TOP design souvenirs to bring from Prague

Blue onion porcelain bowls by Maxim Velčovský | Foto: Lenka Šulcová Blue onion porcelain bowls by Maxim Velčovský | Foto: Lenka Šulcová

Discovering authentic Czech souvenirs that possess both design value and uniqueness can be quite challenging amidst the sea of tourist traps. However, we have carefully curated a selection of products that will serve as exquisite mementos for you and delightful gifts for your loved ones.

We have something for those who like to decorate home with products they bring from their travels, something for those who prefer sweet delights or something in a bottle and for those who appreciate incorporating souvenirs into their daily wardrobe.

Glass

Czech glass is renowned for its exceptional craftsmanship and innovation. Tracing its roots to the medieval era, the region's glassmaking flourished over the years, gaining international recognition. Despite the challenges posed by globalization and the closure of certain factories, Czech glass remains a major symbol of cultural heritage.

Headquarters of Lasvit in Nový Bor where traditional architecture meets new glass building. | Foto: Lukáš PelechHeadquarters of Lasvit in Nový Bor where traditional architecture meets new glass building. | Foto: Lukáš Pelech

Today, a new generation of visionary designers and industry pioneers like Lasvit, whose breathtaking chandeliers doctorate world´s top hotels, continue to blend tradition with contemporary aesthetics, ensuring the enduring legacy of Czech glass in the global art world. Buying a piece of Czech glass is then a great way how to keep a piece of tradition craftmanship at home.

BIG vases by Jiří Pelcl | Foto: Lenka ŠulcováBIG vases by Jiří Pelcl | Foto: Lenka Šulcová

These ellegant vases are made of borosilicate glass and are a symbol of timeless beauty. They were designed by Jiří Pelcl, who is is one of the most distinctive Czech designers recognized worldwide. These remarkable creations have found their place in the design collection of MoMA, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, solidifying their status as exceptional works of art. 

  • Where to buy: Czechdesign Shop, Myslíkova 5, Prague 1 and online

Beer glass by Lukáš Houdek | Foto: Lenka ŠulcováBeer glass by Lukáš Houdek | Foto: Lenka Šulcová

Lukáš Houdek´s glasses embody a deep loyalty to the Czech traditions. They resemble traditional vessels used for pickling, evoking a sense of nostalgia and connection to the past. Simultaneously, they pay homage to the beloved old-school beer mugs. 

  • Where to buy: Czechdesign Shop, Myslíkova 5, Prague 1 and online

Beer

Glass goes well with… Beer! And Czechs know something about it. Proud of their heritage, Czechs boast about consuming the most beer per capita in the world. The renowned Pilsner lager hails from the city of Plzeň, and today, bottles of Pilsner Urquell can be found on shelves across the globe.

Award winning beer label for Jarošovský pivovar was designed by the Little Greta agency | Foto: Little GretaAward winning beer label for Jarošovský pivovar was designed by the Little Greta agency | Foto: Little Greta

For a truly special beer experience, explore the offerings of small breweries in Prague. Stop by BeerGeek at Jiřího z Poděbrad, Bad Flash bar in the hip Krymská district or Karlín or Sibeeria Brewery in industrial Vysočany to discover a wide array of exceptional brews. These establishments offer a chance to bring home unique and memorable beers that capture the essence of Czech brewing craftsmanship. 

Sibeeria Brewery glass and bottle | Foto: www.facebook.com/sibeeria.czSibeeria Brewery glass and bottle | Foto: www.facebook.com/sibeeria.cz

  • Where to buy: Sibeeria Brevery, Ocelářská 975/45, Prague 9

Beer labels often showcase the artistic talents of top graphic illustrators. However, if you're more inclined towards cider, a can of F.H. Prager Cider is a must-buy. What sets it apart is the illustration by Luke Tomski, a member of the renowned duo of illustrators known as Tomski & Polanski. With a distinctive style, they has lent his artistic vision to notable brands like Nike and even worked with acclaimed filmmaker Wes Anderson.

F.H. Prager cider | Foto: eshop.fhprager.czF.H. Prager cider | Foto: eshop.fhprager.cz

  • Where to buy: In selected bars and restaurants and online 

Toys

The abundance of Czech forests and skilled craftsmen contributed to the development of various wooden products in the 18th century, including toys. Kutulu is a group of designers whose aim is to revive the traditional Czech toy with an emphasis on artistic and craft quality. Kutulu products can serve not only as toys, but also as decorations and perfect souvenirs.

Kutulu wooden toys | Foto: Lenka ŠulcováKutulu wooden toys | Foto: Lenka Šulcová

  • Where to buy: Czechdesign Shop, Myslíkova 5, Prague 1 and online

Another great souvenir for the little ones is Krtek, also known as "The Little Mole," a beloved Czech cartoon character that was created by Zdeněk Miler, a Czech animator and illustrator. The character made his first appearance in 1956. His character embodies the values of kindness, curiosity, and exploration, making him a popular figure in the culture and a cherished childhood memory for many generations. Just stop at any toy shop where you will find books, plush toys, and other merchandise with Krtek. Thanks to his colours he can be used as a high contrast toy for newborns.

The Little Mole plush toy | Foto: www.bambule.czThe Little Mole plush toy | Foto: www.bambule.cz

  • Where to buy: Toy shops Bambule, Sparkys and other 

Porcelain

The history of Czech porcelain is deeply rooted in craftsmanship and timeless elegance. Dating back to the 18th century, Czech porcelain production gained prominence, inspired by the renowned Meissen porcelain. Over the years, Czech china evolved with diverse styles, from delicate Rococo designs to intricate Art Nouveau motifs.

Today, designers blend traditional techniques with modern sensibilities and craft porcelain pieces of enduring beauty and sophistication, perfectly suited for modern homes.

Blue onion porcelain bowls by Maxim Velčovský | Foto: Lenka ŠulcováBlue onion porcelain bowls by Maxim Velčovský | Foto: Lenka Šulcová

Maxim Velčovský, one of the most popular local designers, crafted the exquisite Porcelain Republic. These unique bowls pay homage to the country's shape, ingeniously replicating it in its design. Adorned with traditional "blue onion" decoration, the bowl showcases the marriage of artistic innovation and cultural heritage.

  • Where to buy: Czechdesign Shop, Myslíkova 5, Prague 1 and online

Blue onion porcelain tea cups by Jiří Pelcl | Foto: Lenka ŠulcováBlue onion porcelain tea cups by Jiří Pelcl | Foto: Lenka Šulcová

"Blue onion" decoration is a traditional pattern that typically features a central onion-shaped motif surrounded by delicate floral designs. The color is achieved through cobalt oxide pigment, which is applied before the glaze is fired. Although this style has become synonymous with classic porcelain designs, Jiří Pelcl's modern collection brings a fresh twist to this traditional decoration.

  • Where to buy: Czechdesign Shop, Myslíkova 5, Prague 1 and online

Spirits

Beyond the thriving beer industry, the spirits production sector in Czech Republic is also flourishing. One iconic spirit worth bringing home is Becherovka, a herbal liqueur cherished as a digestive aid. The exact recipe for Becherovka remains a closely guarded secret, yet it is believed to contain a blend of more than 20 carefully selected herbs.

Becherovka spirit | Foto: www.facebook.com/becherovka.czBecherovka spirit | Foto: www.facebook.com/becherovka.cz

  • Where to buy: Any grocery store 

For those seeking unique and exclusive collections, Landcraft distillery offers a compelling selection of spirits. With a focus on sustainability and the principles of the circular economy, they craft limited editions of for example gin, vermouth, and liqueurs. These distinctive liqueurs are often created using fruit purees leftover from beer production, transforming them into delightful liqueurs of raspberry or sea buckthorn flavors.

Landcraft spirits | Foto: www.facebook.com/LANDCRAFTSPIRITSLandcraft spirits | Foto: www.facebook.com/LANDCRAFTSPIRITS

  • Where to buy: Alf & Bet, Můj šálek kávy, Kavárna Místo, La Casa Havana and other bars and cafes that you can see on the online map

Jewelry

The Czech Republic has a rich history in jewelry making that dates back centuries. The tradition can be traced to the Middle Ages when the Bohemian lands were renowned for their skilled goldsmiths and silversmiths. Today, jewelry scene in the Czech Republic is very diverse and vibrant thanks to dozens of designers, each with and individual approach.

Zdeněk Vacek is one of the most respected jewelry designer. Having co-founded the renowned Zorya brand, he now pursues his craft independently. His remarkable talent was recognized when he was awarded the title of Jewelry Designer of the Year in 2020. His jewels combine rare materials with distinct artistic style, which is shaped by his vision and aesthetics. 

Earrings from Bones collection by Zdeněk Vacek | Foto: Ondřej PřibylEarrings from Bones collection by Zdeněk Vacek | Foto: Ondřej Přibyl

Veronika Ďuricová, who created her own brand Dick Wolf, was honored wth the same award in 2022. Through her jewelry creations, she introduces an otherworldly ambiance to the Czech art scene. Her inspiration stems from cherished moments she wishes to capture, and she refrains from confining herself to a single artistic trend, allowing her creativity to flow freely.

Ring by Dick Wolf from the award winning collection Marina | Foto: Lenka ŠulcováRing by Dick Wolf from the award winning collection Marina | Foto: Lenka Šulcová

Ondřej Stára´s objects bear the seal of honest handwork with an emphasis on the maximum quality of execution. They are therefore created in small series. In recent works, the central theme is the individual and his relationship to the jewelry, which not only decorates him, but also speaks to him. Ondřej's work has thus stepped beyond the aesthetic level of jewelry and is looking for other ways to embrace this mission.

Ondřej Stára´s rings | Foto: Lenka ŠulcováOndřej Stára´s rings | Foto: Lenka Šulcová

  • Where to buy: Widest selection of Czech designers jewelry at Czechdesign Shop, Myslíkova 5, Prague 1 and online 

Sweet treat

Indulging your sweet tooth? A visit to a "cukrárna" (pastry shop) is a must, where you can savor the delights of traditional Czech pastries like "kremrole," "větrník," "štrůdl " or věneček. 

Boutique Věnečky Janeček with a selection of  luxurious "veněčeks", that are presented with the elegance of fine jewelry, lies right in the centre of Prague. The place was established by Roman Janeček, who present a contemporary interpretation to the traditional Czech pastry.  This place is a must both for design and sweet lovers. 

Věnečky Janeček Prague | Foto: www.facebook.com/veneckyjanecek/Věnečky Janeček Prague | Foto: www.facebook.com/veneckyjanecek/

  • Where to buy: Pštrossova 23, Prague 1

To bring home a sweet treat, simply stroll down the aisles of any supermarket. Discover delightful treasures such as "Hašlerky" candies, named after the renowned songwriter Karel Hašler, or "Kolonáda" wafers, synonymous with Czech spa towns. Chocolate bars like "Milena," "Kaštany," or the especially delectable "Kofila" are also available.

Kofila chocolate bar | Foto: www.facebook.com/kofilaczskKofila chocolate bar | Foto: www.facebook.com/kofilaczsk

  • Where to buy: Any grocery store

Kofila, introduced in 1923, holds a special place among Czech sweets. This delicious treat boasts an unusual chocolate-coffee flavor, making it immensely popular. Its enduring success can be attributed, in part, to its timeless packaging, which has undergone minimal changes over the years. The layout, created by designer Zdeněk Rykr, features an appealing color combination of yellow, red, and blue, along with the iconic illustration of a Moorish man savoring exotic coffee.

Christmas decoration 

Who doesn't adore Christmas? The Czechs certainly do, and they have a tradition of decorating their Christmas trees with cherished ornaments passed down through generations. Alongside the association of glass production with Christmas decorations, one particular type of ornament stands out: those crafted by Rautis using delicate blown pearls.

Rautis star made of glass beads | Foto: Czechdesign Rautis star made of glass beads | Foto: Czechdesign

  • Where to buy: Czechdesign Shop, Myslíkova 5, Prague 1 and online

The process involved in creating these ornaments is incredibly sophisticated, requiring skilled artisans who meticulously blow, color, cut and shape the pearls into stunning decorations of various forms. Today, a small family-run business in the idyllic mountain village of Poniklá is successfully upholding this tradition and is the sole preserver of this traditional craft, and has rightfully earned its place on the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Process of making a star from glass beads by Rautis | Foto: www.facebook.com/rautis.perlickoveozdobyProcess of making a star from glass beads by Rautis | Foto: www.facebook.com/rautis.perlickoveozdoby

Stationery

Are you enchanted by the scent of paper or the allure of brand-new pencils? If so, Prague is the ideal destination for you, offering a plethora of shops that cater to both traditional and contemporary stationery lovers. One such renowned establishment is the Koh-I-Noor Hardtmuth company, with a history dating back to 1790. Their primary production hub is situated in České Budějovice, and in Prague alone, you'll find 17 stores where you can indulge in purchasing their extensive range of watercolors, pastels, and charcoals.

Koh-i-noor Hardtmuth products | Foto: www.facebook.com/kohinoorczKoh-i-noor Hardtmuth products | Foto: www.facebook.com/kohinoorcz

On the other hand, Papelote represents a fresh and innovative stationery brand and a visit to its Letná store is a must for every stationery freak. All products are made locally using gentle materials.

Papelote notebooks | Foto: www.facebook.com/papelote.czPapelote notebooks | Foto: www.facebook.com/papelote.cz

  • Where to buy: Papelote, Milady Horákové 11, Prague 7 and Holešovická tržnice, hala 18 B, Prague 7 and online

Shoes

Baťa shoes have gained worldwide popularity, but not everyone may know that the brand was established by entrepreneur Tomáš Baťa in the Czech city of Zlín. His legacy remains deeply ingrained in the local business community, and his principles continue to inspire many.

Modernist Baťa store at Václavské square in Prague | Foto: prazdnedomy.cz/domy/objekty/detail/8011-batuv-palac-vaclavske-namestiModernist Baťa store at Václavské square in Prague | Foto: prazdnedomy.cz/domy/objekty/detail/8011-batuv-palac-vaclavske-namesti

Vasky is a brand that upholds the tradition of local shoemaking. Although Vasky shoes are now manufactured in Slovakia, they maintain the principles of exceptional craftsmanship. In a recent development, the owner of Vasky Váslav Staněk, with the support of crowdfunding, has also acquired the legendary sneaker brand Botas, thus preserving its production.

Vasky boots | Foto: www.facebook.com/vaskybootsVasky boots | Foto: www.facebook.com/vaskyboots

  • Where to buy: Na Příkopě 957/23, Prague 1 and online 

PÁR Prague is a shoe brand established by designers Jan Kloss and Darina Zavadilová. Their creations embody a harmonious blend of nature and urban influences, seamlessly integrating technology with tradition. Based in Prague, they design their shoes while partnering with European suppliers to source materials, and the manufacturing takes place in Portugal.

 

PÁR Prague shoes | Foto: www.facebook.com/parpraguePÁR Prague shoes | Foto: www.facebook.com/parprague

​If you want to support local economy and craftmanship of local designers, be careful where buying souvenirs and try to avoid tourist traps. 

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