Where to shop
The shopping tour
Na Příkopĕ, Prague's favorite shopping street begins at the foot of Wenceslas Square (Václavské Námĕstí) and is lined with lots of mid-range international retailers like Zara, Mango, Nike, and Benetton, along with plenty of independent shops and places to break for a snack. The majority of the strip is a pedestrian-only thoroughfare that has evolved into a daily parade of seeing and being seen. In the opposite direction, Na Příkopĕ becomes Národní, or National Street. Anchored by the Tesco department store, this is another strong candidate for binge-shopping, along with several good art galleries and plenty of interesting architecture.
Metro: Můstek, Námĕstí Republiky and Národní Třida
Pařížská, a.k.a. "Paris street" was laid-out at the turn of the last century with the idea of turning it into a kind of local Champs Elysée. Top-end international retailers took the bait and this tree-lined thoroughfare is now the swankiest stretch in town; home to Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Francesca Biasia, and the Czech home accessories store, Le Patio. Nearby, on the streets Dlouhá, Dušni and V Kolkovnĕ is emerging as a fashion district, attracting a clutch of the country's best-known designers, including Klára Nademlýnská, Tatiana, Timoure et Group, and Bohéme.
Celetná, the main street connecting Old Town Square and Námĕstí Republiky is one of the most touristed strips in town. Accordingly, shops here are all about gifts, including several crystal stores. The area between Old Town Square and Charles Bridge (Karlův Most) is riddled with small, winding streets that contain the city's highest concentration of shops. Stroll along Jilská, Liliova and Michalská, all the way down to Karoliny Svĕtlé, and you'll discover lots of wonderful places that most visitors miss.
Metro: Staromĕstská and Námĕstí Republiky
Malá Strana is not for destination shopping, but rather a beautiful and busy area full of "impulse stores" designed catch buyers unaware. There are a few alternative shops hidden away on Saská, and some finds amongst the touristy places on Nerudova and, thankfully, there are no chain stores, only locally-owned and operated shops selling everything from art and music to marionettes and home fashion.
Most shops in central Prague are open Monday through Saturday from 9:30am to 7pm. Some close by 2pm on Saturday and Sunday, and many others don't open on Sunday at all.
Visitors from non-EU countries can reclaim up to 17% of the value-added tax (DPH) provided you spend at least 3000 Kč in a single store and stay in the Czech Republic for less than 30 days. Here's the drill: Pay the tax at the register, ask for a Tax-Free Shopping Cheque, and present it to customs officials at the airport along with the goods (to prove you're exporting them). Once past passport control, cash the cheque at the Tax-Free Refund office. There are refund offices at most major borders, and in cities across Europe as well. The refund program doesn't apply to art or antiques.
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