Written by Transitions.cz
for the Ceska Sporitelna handbook
Prague is a city dominated by shopping malls, grocery and small convenience stores, luxury retailers and trendy shops. Nearly everything you need you can find here in Prague, although a little research may be required. Therefore we would like to give you some tips.
From Wenceslas Square (Václavské náměstí) to Na Příkopě and the Myslbek Center, Prague 1 has become the center of shopping. Here you can find Marks & Spencer, Debenhams, C&A, Sergio Tacchini, and many other brands. In the streets surrounding Old Town Square, one can stop at Versace and then get a facial at Estee Lauder. If your taste is a little more expensive, the aptly named Pařížská Street is where Louis Vuitton handbags and Hermes scarves reside. Aside from the independent stores, malls are fast becoming popular in Prague. Nový Smíchov, Metropole and Flora are all new malls with a variety of clothing and recreational shops. Prague has a number of free standing large department stores too. Tesco (Narodni Trida), Kotva (náměstí Republiky) and Krone (Wenceslas & Jindřišská) are some of the more popular ones. Clothing and footwear are sized differently here than they are in the U.S. and U.K. It is always good practice to try on clothing and shoes before purchasing.
There are several western-styled grocery stores located throughout Prague. Popular British chain, Tesco has 3 stores (Národní třída, Zličín and Letňany). French chain, Carrefour can be found inside the Nový Smíchov mall (Anděl) and Delvita stores are spread throughout the city. Marks and Spencer also has a small food department. All stores have specialty sections where one can find influences from other countries (Asian, Mexican, Thai etc.) Czechs often buy their essentials daily at the local potraviny. Potravinys only stock the essential needs: frozen meat, canned goods, bread, dairy products, drinks and alcohol. Though very convenient, they are often crowded. Specialty meat shops can also be found in Prague. The maso-uzeniny generally has beef and pork products. You can order special cuts of meat and sausage by weight. For the freshest fish and poultry, shop at a ryby-drubez shop. Often the fish is so fresh it is still swimming in the tank. You must ask for fish and chicken by weight, as with the maso-uzeniny. The best place to buy the freshest bread is at the pekařství. It offers a wide variety of breads and rolls as well as tasty pastries.
A few tips and reminders to make shopping at grocery stores easier for you:
· Larger grocery stores accept major credit cards; smaller stores will only accept cash.
· All shopping carts require a deposit of 5 Kč or 10 Kč.
· Shopping carts move both forward and backwards as well as side-to-side.
· Products and fruits must be weighed and labeled in the product area. Larger stores have clerks who will weigh the goods for you; smaller stores require self-service.
· Delis do not give samples to taste. If there is a long queue at the counters, remember that you can always find the meats and cheeses already prepared and stocked in the aisles.
· A good proportion of chocolate candies contain alcohol so be aware before buying them for your children.
· You must bag your own groceries. Bags are supplied by the cashiers. At smaller stores, they may cost a few korunas to purchase.
· Prices of goods include tax.
· Be sensible and never leave your purse in your shopping cart unattended.
· If you are entering the grocery store with multiple bags of goods already purchased, it is wise to report the goods to security as to avoid checkout issues that may arise later.
· Always check receipts to make sure totals concur with one another.