Czech Republic long history, various traditions, unique cuisine but also creativity, taste and famous Czech sense of humour result in many products that are of amazing quality and are appreciated in Czech Republic and often also well-recognized internationally.
In this post I will give you a list of 11 authentic souvenirs which relate to Czech tradition and are mostly made in Czech Republic. Many of the them are also products which Czech people buy for themselves and their close ones too.
- Hand-made puppets (see picture above). Czech puppets are often a piece of art, the high quality demanding experienced craftsmen. The puppets are a perfect give for both children and adults being a good decoration for a child room but also for certain types of interior. It is believed that every family in Czech Republic has at least one puppet which says a bit how traditional these items are! The puppets have been popular in Bohemia since the second half of the 18th century. One century later, nomadic troupes but also local theatres were using puppets during their performances. Many Czech people are still very nostalgic about the puppets which makes them a very special and unique item. Czech people also offer them as gifts between themselves. When searching for your own puppet make sure you get it in a small atelier or in a reputable shop selling artisanal items to ensure the highest quality.
- Manufaktura Cosmetics.
Manufaktura is a Czech cosmetic brand founded in 1991. They are producing cosmetics based on natural ingredients, their most famous line is beer cosmetics (shampoo, balms, shaving creams, etc). They are famoys of discovering new effective ingredients, apart from beer they also use wine, thermal salt and different herbs. My favourite line is with daisy, I really like their day and night creams. All the cosmetics are dermatologically tested and tests are not performed on animals. You will find Manufaktura all over Prague, you can also shop their products online. Apart of cosmetics Manufaktura sells also some home accessories, toys for children, jelwelry and handicrafts, all of very good quality. If you want to purchase some of their accessories go to bigger Manufaktura stores for larger selection. Alternatively, all can be found and bought on their website: https://manufaktura.cz/our-cosmetics/?lang=en
- Botanicus cosmetics.
Czech cosmetic brand offering amazing quality. They sell in few main towns in Czech Republic and I found only one stationary boutique in Prague (fortunately in strict city center). Botanicus has a very good reputation as a producer of natural cosmetics based on plants and herbs grown in their own garden complex adjacent to the production facility so fresh plants can be processed immediately. The majority of products are hand-made and the cosmetics contain the highest possible quantity of plant material. The gardens were the plants are gown can be visited in the season (from April to October), they are located near Lysa. Botanicus cosmetics are more concentrated on products for bath, you will find a wide range of soaps, body and massage oils, lip balms, herbal cleansing waters, lotions and treatment creams. They also sell food products, also based on ingredients coming from their gardens. You can buy from them honey, marmalade, tea, cordials, mustards, chutneys, vinegars and mead. The shop itself has a very cool design and looks like an alchemist workshop. You can check out their offer here: https://botanicus.cz/en/
- Pencils from Koh-i-Noor.
A very practical gift from Czech Republic both for children and adults. Established in Vienna in 1790, the brand has been manufacturing its products to Czech Republic since 19th century (at the time it was the Austro-Hungarian Empire). The manufacturer patented the lead pencil made of a combination of clay and graphite. Today, there is even a Koh-i-Noor store as far away as China. The Koh-i-Nor boutique is located just aside of Botanicus store so you can check out both at the same time.
- Bohemian crystal.
Czech Republic is world wide famous from its crystal, traditionally manufactured in Bohemia.You will find souvenir stores selling crystal vases, glasses, jewlery and trinkets. The choice in colors, style and functionality is very varied so visit many stores and look what you like, everyone will find something that suits their needs. For quality I suggest taking a look to Moser, ARTĚL and Rückl. Note that the best quality of crystal reflects in their price, so the good deals in typical souvenir shops in the city centre mean that the quality is most often compromised. Before shopping think well how to transport crystal products since they are fragile, don’t forget to ask in the shop to pack it properly so it’s suitable for travel.
- Czech ceramics.
If you’re not into crystals but you like bringing some dinnerware/mugs/vases to your home, a very good idea is to check out some ceramics stores on the Golden Line, but also in the souvenir shops around the city center where you will find many beautiful white and blue plates/pitchers/mugs/jars/vases with delicate flower motifs. Make sure you find brands manufacturing in Czech Republic. Those items are very practical gifts which will remind you Prague during everyday use.
- Mucha’s art inspired items.
Mucha is one of the most world famous Czech artists, his works in the Art Nouveau style are world-renowned and highly prized. In Prague you can visit Mucha Museum where you can learn more about his life and see some of his works. If you like Mucha’s art it’s worth to bring from Prague the album with reproductions of Mucha’s masterpieces, reprints of his posters or Art Nouveau inspired hand-made jewelry. A good place to search for such items is Mucha Museum shop, for books and albums you can look into bookstores or antique shops which easy to find all around the city.
- Czech fairytales.
If you’re already in library browsing Mucha’s Art Nouveau albums you can also look into children department to check beautifully illustrated traditional Czech fairytales which are read by parents to Czech children since years. I also think that reading traditional fairytales tells a lot about the country, its values, sense of humor, customs and human relations so it’s also an interesting read for adults. My eye caught a gorgeous edition written by K.J. Erben and B. Nemcova, the book was available in Czech, English, French and Spanish.
Another great gift for younger visitors (or/and nostalgic adults) is Krtek mascot. Krtek is an animated character in a series of cartoons created by Czech animator Zdeněk Miler. The premiere of the first short film with Mole took place at the Venice Film Festival in 1957. Since then, the cartoon gained international recognition being broadcasted in many Central European countries, as well as India, China, Kazakhstan, Croatia, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Iran, Iraq, and Japan. You will find the mascots all over Prague.
- Czech sweets.
Czech Republic cuisine offers many delicious desserts, honey cake medovnik and kolach which is a pastry, filled with jam, poppy seeds or a cheese filling and of course trdelnik also called a chimney cake, a very popular street food sweet which can be found all around Prague. Those sweets are delicious, however quite difficult to bring home as a souvenir. Thus, I recommend to get home Czech pernik which is soft ginger-spiced cookie topped with cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, and ginger.
- Czech beer (and/or wine).
Last but not least, this list wouldn’t be complete without Czech beer. Czech people are crazy about beer and choose it as an accompanying drink to their lunch and dinner. Many restaurants have their own beer breweries, and you will find local produce it practically every Czech region. How to choose beer as a perfect souvenir? The idea is simple, just try different ones during your stay and bring the one which you liked the most. If you’re more into wine than beer (but still I think it’s worth Czech beer anyway), Czech cultivate their own wine, although this fact is a bit less known. Wine in the Czech Republic is produced mainly in southern Moravia, few vineyards are also located in Bohemia. You can travel to those regions for wine tasting, although you can easily get your bottle in Prague.