Posted by Michael P. Thiele on 8/21/2014
Many tourists wonder what kind of typical product or local souvenir should they buy during their trip to Prague. They are looking for something valuable, local, genuine and useful. They want to avoid generic crap imported from Asia with little or no connection to the place.
Walking around Prague, one can find several categories of shops selling products to tourists. There are souvenir shops, crystal glass shops and local art shops.
Some travellers believe that souvenir shops around city center offer only low value imported crap. This is true only partially. Yes, if you examine the shops in Melantrichova and Celetna street, at least half of the products offered come from Asia. But the second half is true local stuff. The question is how a foreign traveller would distinguish the former from the latter.
First hint is to look for identification of the vendor. Name of a local vendor would be printed on a product label or on a box. So if you will for example look for genuine local ceramic model of the Prague Old Town Hall, ask the shop assistant to show you the box - it needs to be printed with the "Miniatury Art" name and "Made in Czech Republic" phrase. If not, it is clearly imported. Do not get fooled by the shop assistants - they would tell you that a product is manufactured by their company instead of confessing it is actually imported.
Apparel is an exception, though. There is no local cotton textile factory left in Czechia. Local vendors have to import the basic textile (T-shirts, sweatshirts, baseball caps and so on) from Asia or Africa and print it locally with their own original motives.