Living life with intention is all cool and dandy until you cross the border, cool your toes in the Mediterranean and realise that you want all the souvenirs such as kitschy magnets, rose chocolate bars and skimpy tops with huge “I heart Maga” on them. It doesn’t need to be like that though. Even when on holiday you can make your decisions with intent. Even when picking which souvenir to take home and which ones to definitely leave behind.
8 beautiful and quirky souvenirs from Prague
Natural Czech beauty wonders
Most people are gonna recommend you buy something from brands of the likes of Manufacture or Havlikova Apoteka. I say go for something a little more unique and special. In the city centre you can find stores like Biooo and NuSpring. Both offer natural beauty products and lots of the brands they sell are either Czech or Slovakia based. Get the nicest smelling cream for your tired touristy feet from the brand called Mylo, a beautiful refreshing face mist from Navia, a traditional Czech net bag from Ceska Sitovka or a pure facial oil from Nobilis Tilia.
Unique enamel kitchenware
You can find these fun enamel mugs, jars, plates and pots in most souvenir shops. They are one of a few things that I actually love and totally recommend to buy from a souvenir shop in Prague. Pretty overpriced so maybe look around and scout which souvenir shop offers them the cheapest. They are really beautiful though and very traditional for this country. If you’re not into mugs and pots, you can get something useful like a bowl for your cat, a colander, a pitcher or a little sign for your bathroom door. The brand is called Smaltum and you can find all their pretty pieces over here.
Beautiful vintage photos
You already know that I’m big on collecting vintage cabinet photos. That aside, I think even as a non-collector you can truly appreciate their unique character and value. Vintage photos are usually one of a kind. Most likely there are no copies in the world of the vintage photo you found at a local flea market or in a second hand book shop. You can either frame it when you get home and hang it on your wall so it’s a constant but totally understated reminder of your holiday. Or alternatively you can use it as a bookmark which I sometimes do too – photographs printed as postcards are absolutely perfect for that and they usually cost around 30p.
Books in English written by Czech authors
Of course you can buy a stunning vintage book for 30p-£1 and just use it as a blog prop or for display purposes. I’ve written more about that in this post. Or you could totally buy a book in English (so you can actually read it) written by a Czech author. In most book stores you’ll find a section with English books and right next to it there’s a shelf titled “Czech Authors”. That’s where you find all the best Czech books translated into English. Choose from books by Vaclav Havel, Vitezslav Nezval or breath-taking and heart-wrecking poetry by Karel Jaromir Erben and Karel Macha. Here are a few of my favourite picks!
Bohemian flea market finds
Flea markets in Prague are brilliant. There are three that I can recommend to you. The first one is the most touristy one – you find it at the Naplavka Farmers Market and it’s on a boat. It’s very tiny and everything’s pretty overpriced but it’s neat and clean and it’s in the city centre so no tedious travelling around. The second one is at Terminal Zizkov. It’s just a short tram ride from the centre but it’s a fairly new flea market so there are usually just a couple of stalls. You can still find some great things without travelling too far.
The last one, which is the best one I think, but also the most difficult one to navigate is Elektra. It’s in Vysocany and you have to take the tube to Hloubetin and then a little local bus to the stop U Elektry. The market is huge, it’s the biggest on in Prague, and there are a lot of crappy stalls. It’s not an overall pleasant experience as it’s in a not so nice part of the city and the field gets muddy as soon as it start raining a little. Spare about 2 hours to walk around and I’m sure you can find something absolutely gorgeous and unique! Vintage books, jewellery, cups, suitcases, jars, bottles, shoes, lamps, photo albums, cameras, toys, clothes, paintings, anything you can think of! Oh, and always beware of pickpockets in these places!
Emerald green moldavites set in silver
Moldavites are rare gem stones which you can find only in certain parts of central Europe – I think you can only track them down in the Czech Republic and parts of Germany and Austria. This gem is forest green in colour and basically it’s a rock formation that was created after a meteorite that hit the Earth somewhere in Germany some 15 million years ago. They are fairly easy to find when walking around fields in the southern Bohemia and people often go on quests for them after periods of rainy weather because the water flushes them out from the ground. They are absolutely mesmerising and look gorgeous set in silver. You can buy them in several jewellery shops in Prague.
Magical handmade puppets and wooden toys
Handicrafts are big in the Czech Republic and we’re especially great at making things from wood. Be it magical (and sometimes VERY creepy) wooden puppets or a plethora of wooden toys for kids, you can pick something for yourself or even as a Christmas present for the little ones in your family.
Rainbow colouring pencils
Another speciality item made in the Czech Republic are craft supplies made by the graphite company Koh-i-noor. It was established in 1790, which makes it one of the oldest still running companies in the world. You will find a couple of Koh-i-noor stores dotted around the centre offering everything from traditional wooden pencils to pencils that literally draw rainbows. Sometimes they sell limited edition pencils made out of twigs (they literally have bark on them!) which are my absolute favourite – I have a set of highlighters in that edition.
See there are so many beautiful and useful things you can pick up as a souvenir instead of the traditional magnet-tshirt-russian-hat kind of pointless tat. Just look around and think about what you need or what would actually make you happy instead of seeing as something you “have to buy because you’re on holiday”.
What’s your favourite souvenir you’ve ever bought?