Souvenirs may not be at the forefront of your mind when planning a trip to Prague; after-all, these are mementos we take back from a place to mark an occasion during our travels, or to commemorate a time and place from our journey, but once you find yourself in Prague, you'll soon see that there are lots of Prague souvenir shops, gift-stores, and traditional Czech souvenirs vying for your attention and hard-earned moolah.
To help you avoid a souvenir-shopping-induced headache, we've put together some of the best Prague souvenir ideas for you; some are traditional, some are unconventional, and some are wholly unique - so, whether you're looking for the perfect gifts from Prague, or creative souvenir ideas, read on for the best Prague souvenirs suggestions and where to find them.
The Little Mole
Spotted around Prague in just about every shop and window, it’s the absolutely adorable Little Mole,
known locally as Krtek
Known for his red nose and bright ski cap, he sits around Prague like a tiny reminder of times more innocent - though The Little Mole doesn’t have a completely shiny past.
Krtek first appeared in a film by Communist Party Leaders in 1956 and became known as a kind of communist Mickey Mouse. His messages of kindness and his undeniable cuteness have made the Czech Krtek renowned all across central Europe. He is a beloved symbol of nostalgia that can still be spotted on school children’s backpacks and ski caps.
Bring home a plush toy, as small as a mole or as big as a game-prize, and take a slice of Czech pride with you. He is also available on just about every item you can think of; keychains, lunchboxes, even hula-hoops, the options for a Little Mole souvenir from Prague are plenty!
You can learn more about communist cartoons and history on the Resistance and Revolutions New Town Free Walking Tour
every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday at 11am from Old Town Square
Czech Games & Hockey Pucks
The Czechs love games and the Czechs love logic; this breeds some of the most complicated and satisfying games you’ll ever enjoy!
First and foremost, the Czechs have their own card deck, Sedmové Karty
, which can be used to play multiple games. Try learning Prší, each card has a new rule and once you finally learn them you can’t seem to remember what was so hard!
is another great game that uses multiple areas of the brain at once, perfect for kids, but also a great game to bring to the bar.
The famous Ježek v Kleci,
or 'Hedgehog in a Cage', is a game more frustrating than a Rubik's cube, but just as satisfying to beat. Or if you’re more of an outside kid, you can pick up an object world recognized for its superiority in quality, a Czech Hockey Puck!
You can buy games at any Papírnictv
í, or stop by Bohemian Boards & Brews
in Prague 10 to buy and play local and international games among Czech’s and expats. Enjoy a game night as a great way to venture out of the tourist center and check out more local Prague neighborhoods!
Bohemian Crystal & Glass
So you’re walking by a Prague souvenir shop and you see a glistening window display advertising “Bohemian Crystal.” Is it a gimmick? Fortunately for lovers of great cups, this beautiful glass actually has some real historical significance in Prague.
It all dates back to Rudolph II, early 17th
century king who liked art more than war. A true patron of the arts, and collector of occult curiosities, he collected phoenix feathers and artistic friends. He had an artsy friend who etched in stone, and another bohemian friend that blew glass, he thought they might collaborate nicely. What became of this royally arranged partnership was a unique glass artistry that gained an international reputation. Just make sure it doesn’t read ‘made in china’ on the bottom and you’ve got yourself a traditional Czech souvenir from Prague!
Come along on one of our Free Walking tours of Prague Castle
every day at 11am and 2pm to learn more of Rudolph II, and oh boy is there more?!
Okay so it might be an unconventional Prague souvenir, but hear us out; Walnut shells are traditionally used around Christmas time as a way for Czech’s to reveal their future, or to simply make a wish.
First you must drip wax into the empty walnut shell with a wick, and carefully float the flamed shell on water. If you’re alone, you simply make a wish and hope the boat doesn’t sink (bad omen), or with family you each float your boat and, depending on which direction it goes, or who’s boat it touches, you may live long and marry soon, or are destined for a less than festive fate.
Walnuts are also used in the tasty ice cream & chocolate Czech treat Trdelník, which is actually not so hard to make at home. Your friends will love eating Czech dessert and floating walnuts in Czech tradition. It’s certainly a cheap Prague souvenir - pick some up from a supermarket, or a traditional treat stall on the street.
When wandering the busy streets of the Malá Strana district, you might find yourself at the corner of two narrow streets looking upon, or Shakespeare & Sons. Like a little slice of literary heaven, here you can find English and Czech books alike.
Pick up a copy of one of Prague’s most famous authors Franz Kafka to read on the steps of St. Nicholas' Church
on Kafka Square
, or atop the watchtower of Prague Letná Park
. Read the English translation of The Prague Golem
and unlock the mysteries of the Jewish Quarter
, or pick up a book on magic and alchemy to make proud the mystic Prague of Rudolph II and Rabbi Lowe’s reputation.
What’s more romantic than a Prague printed page? Charles University Bookshop
is another great option for new reads close to the square.
Postcards & Calendars
If you’re looking for more creative Prague souvenir ideas, postcards and calendars may seem generic but can be used as a cheap way to bring home the art of the Czech capital.
Instead of bulky souvenirs that take up room in your suitcase, you can collect original postcards for 25 crowns (about €1 euro) each and tuck them away in your travel reads. You can buy cheap frames and create a small gallery wall in your home, or pop them along bookshelves and end tables.
Best of all, instead of taking home expensive prints in poster tubes grab a large outdated calendar for cheap and snip out the glossy printed art to frame or pin up. A calendar offers 12 whole prints for the price of one! Visit Mucha Museum
for a calendar filled with the art nouveau and photo realism stylings of famous Czech painter Alphonse Mucha
. Or you can really save and simply frame a Prague city map!
It may seem like an obvious choice, but tote bags offer a practical souvenir that show off where you’ve been! The House of The Black Madonna
has a particularly noteworthy tote that showcases a colorful snip of Czech Cubist style that can be explored upon further inside.
One of Czech’s biggest local legends, The Golem, can be toted around with a lovely design featured at Prague gift-shop Pragutique,
where you will also find some of the best souvenirs from Prague, there’s something for just about everyone.
Learn about The House of The Black Madonna
and The Golem on our Old Town & Jewish Quarter Free Walking Tour
every day at 11am and 2pm.
Czech Beer & Liquor
You told your friends you came for the culture, but we all know you came for the cheap booze. As capital of the worlds biggest consumers of beer, Prague has supreme choices for Bohemian brewed beverages, and legendary Pilsner Urquell
and the original Budweiser
barely scratch the surface. Try also Krušovice
and light or dark Kozel
. Traditionally dark Kozel is only for girls, and light for boys because of an ancient rumor that dark Kozel makes your chest grow. Dark Kozel is, arguably, superior and grows, if nothing else on your chest, the hairs!
Don’t be shy to say na zdraví
(cheers) while shooting Slivovice
, or Božkov
. Feel presidential and drink Czech president Miloš Zeman’s favorite liquor Becherovka
. There’s also a brewery in pretty much all Prague districts that sell swag alongside their pivo
(beer), so there are plenty of cool Prague souvenir options associated with the world-renowned Czech beer culture!
Check out our Prague Pub Crawl
to add some organization to your stumbles around Prague.
Puppets & Marionettes
Pretty much the genesis of Czech souvenirs, Puppets have a stronghold among gifts from Prague. Specialist shops all around Prague sell marionettes and puppets. Earning a reputation in the 18th
century, Czech puppets were an instrumental tool in the Czech National Revival as a way to re-establish the Czech language through art and show.
The famous Obchod s Loutkami
(The Puppet Shop) in Prague 1, and the cute little shop down Prague Castle’s Golden Lane
are definitely worth perusing. You can buy classic or contemporary figures and hang them from your ceiling like a Prague dream-catcher, so long as you don’t take home the famous devil!
Now that you know what souvenirs to get, let us show you what to see in Prague! Don’t forget to book your spot
our free walking tours of Prague
to get to grips with the history, culture, stories, secrets, oddities, sights and sites of Prague. And you can always ask your lovely local guides for more Prague souvenir inspiration as well as where to find cheap Prague souvenirs and souvenir shops in Prague neighborhoods.
Have you been to Prague? What souvenir did you take home? Tell us, and about any cool souvenir ideas you have, in the comments. Happy souvenir hunting!
Julia Ruth Worland