As you might be aware already, in the Czech Republic we have four seasons. Depending on where you are coming from, it might be familiar to you, but if you are coming from a place near the Equator you will find that the changing seasons make Prague very dynamic. The weather will change and so will clothing, food, and lifestyle, making shopping fun and ever-changing experience for an expat.
Now, as fun as shopping can be, there are some purchases that are out of necessity, so it is always good to know where you can get essential clothing, shoes, furniture, electronics, sports and leisure, accessories and more.
The weather will mostly determine what you’ll have in your wardrobe and ultimately what you’ll wear. Based on that there are few things that you need to know. If you are coming in the winter, your number one concern should be having a good jacket. If you are lucky, maybe you can find it in your country, but if not, you will have many options here. The prices will probably be even cheaper if you are not coming from a place that has winter. You can find different styles and the prices usually range between 3000 kc to 5000 kc for a good winter jacket. You can get some lighter ones for a little bit less and in some cases, you can even get a really good one with a nice discount.
Now, if you are coming by the end of winter or by the start of spring you can probably buy a winter jacket really really cheap because to use it you will technically have to wait until winter arrives again. They usually sell end-of-the-season jackets at a pretty good price, so you can invest early on and save some money in the long run. The same thing applies for all seasons, so by the start of April, you can get summer clothes with super nice discounts. You would have to store this clothing for next year, but it is always good to keep this in mind in case you see something that you love.
Getting a good pair of gloves is a must since your hands will freeze, especially if you’re trying to use your mobile phone. Using regular gloves won’t normally work with the touchscreen of your device. You need to get a special pair that has some sort of darkish layer on the fingertips that will do the trick. You can probably get those in many stores, however, I recommend that you go to H&M or Sportisimo. Be aware that they usually run out quickly, so you’d better try to get those as soon as you arrive, otherwise you might not be able to find it in midseason.
Size is also an important thing to consider, especially if you are a guy. Czech guys are averagely tall, taller than in most countries, so clothing usually reflects this. Is not so easy to find XS or even S sizes in some stores, so you’ll probably have to look a bit harder if those are the ones you need. Although for girls it should be pretty easier, as there is a higher range of sizes and stores.
I’ll recommend you for clothing shopping to check these brands stores H&M, Mango, Gate, Mohito, New Yorker and Reserved, those are easy to find in Prague and they always have good prices.
If you prefer checking your clothes online but are also worried that they won’t fit you perfectly, there is a store called ZOOT. There you can order some clothes online and get those delivered to one of their physical stores. Then you just have to go to the one you selected, try these clothes on, and if you like the things you tried, you’ll just pay for it, and If you didn’t like anything you just walk away. It is like a safe option for trying out things that you really like online. There are many ZOOT’S stores around the city, making this a good idea.
If you are a girl or you want to give a fancy purse to one, there are a lot of famous brands like Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Gucci, Fendi, Cartier, Michael Kors among others, located in the city center, close to the plaza of the old town center.
You can take a look at the main shopping malls in the city, however, Palladium is your best choice for shopping in the center of Prague. It is conveniently situated close to Náměstí Republiky metro/tram station in Prague 2.
Here are some of the main malls that you’ll probably end visiting:
Most of them have generous shopping hours, from 9:00 – 21:00 making shopping an almost round-the-clock pleasure. Regularly most of the stores have staff who might speak English or at least understand a bit. Don’t be shy and ask for help in case you need it, however, try learning some greetings in Czech and how to say “Do you speak English?”, this is something that they will appreciate.
As with clothing, shoes will also need to change with the seasons.
In winter you will probably want to go for boots. You can get all the main brands that you want in any shopping mall, which are usually cheaper than in Latin America “if you are coming from there”
If you are looking for something maybe even cheaper, but also with good quality, there are three good stores where you can get those Bata, CCC, and Deichmann. They usually have good discounts and quality. For online shoe store in Prague take a look here.
Sports and Leisure
If you are into sports or even if you are not, trust me, once you come here you will pick up the Prague style and you will probably start doing some sports because here everybody loves doing outdoor activities. There are two main stores for this, once is Sportisimo and Decathlon which you can find in some shopping malls like Palladium and Černý Most. So, for example, if you are looking for things to do snowboarding, ice skating, tennis, hiking, definitely you will find everything that you need there. The prices are usually really good.
Also, there is Alpine Pro and other stores like The North face, that are more expensive brands, if you like those. They have great quality but their prices could be pretty high, like jackets could be starting from 5000 kc and up.
When thinking about electronics, probably the first thing that will pop Czechs mind is Alza.cz. They have different warehouses, where they deliver what you order on their website, you’ll probably find one close to your place. They can even deliver on the same day, so you just have to go there and pick it up. You can also go directly to the main store, which is located in (Prague 7) and see for yourself whatever you want and pay for it.
This is how it works:
- If you are in there, you will have to talk with one of the attendants, they will help you after you decide what to buy.
- After that, they will give you a number or code to proceed with the payment.
- Then you will have to go and find the payment machines “don’t worry they will point to the location in the store”
- Then you will have to type the number and you will be able to pay either with cash or with a card.
- The machine will print a receipt, with this you can go to the claim area and receive your stuff.
- This is a very automatic process, you just have to wait for your number and be aware of it in the screens.
They usually have really good prices, actually, I really recommend you that first check online if they have in the store the things that you want, so you will not waste your time going there in case they do not. And if you are feeling adventurous you can even buy an electric bike or car in Alza 😛
They also have gaming sets, where you can buy awesome chairs, gaming keyboards, monitors, mouse and pretty much everything that you need to make a gaming room in your new apartment.
Is important to mention that Alza has 24 hours pick up, so you can go to the main store, they have a special section where you can go and claim the product that you bought online, even if is really late.
There are also other stores that are pretty good, like Mall.cz which is also an online store. I’ll recommend you to check first on Alza or vice versa because they might have a better price. There is also Datart where you can buy computers, TVs or any sort of electronics that you are looking for, especially if you are interested in buying a cell phone, that are not linked to a mobile company.
In general, all of them work by you first paying for the item and then waiting for somebody to fetch the product that you bought. Maybe you will have to wait a little bit.
If you rent an apartment in Prague it might come fully furnished, partially or completely out of any sort of furniture. The best reference that you will have by far is Ikea. Is it at the last stop of the yellow Metro station in Černý Most line (B) then take the Ikea special bus in the platform (2), it will leave you just in front of the place. If you prefer you can go there by walking, it’s just 10 minutes by far. Now, there you can find pillows, bed sheets, lamps, things for your bathroom, kitchen, etc. You’ll be pretty much covered. Although be aware that if you are taking too much stuff from the place, it might be tricky for you to get back home via public transportation. You might want to get an Uber or ask a friend with a car to drive you back. Czechs are usually willing to help you if you ask them.
Something that you need to know about beds in the Czech Republic in general, and probably will be confusing for you, is that all double size beds, queen or king size, or what you are familiar with, are made out of two mattresses. Those are connected together. It could be either one bed with two mattresses inside or it could look like is two beds connected. Don’t freak out thinking that you got a weird bed, all they are like this, so you just have to get used to it. You would find, that even you probably like it more than the regular beds because if you are sharing it with somebody, each one absorbs the individual movement and this is not going to affect the other.
Also, there are these stores Sconto nábytek, ASCO nábytek, KIKA nábytek, favi.cz for shopping online. In case you need to repair something or find some stuff for household maintenance and gardening, you should take a look of Hornbach, Obi and Bauhaus stores.
Accessories and More
Moving out, probably another thing that you would do “a lot” once you come to Prague, is travelling. In case you might want to get some small suitcases, like cabin suitcases for your travels nearby to Paris or Milan, you can head up to Palladium, they have in some of the floors, stand’s with people who sell it, however, keep in mind to check the prices. If you prefer you just can head up for Samsonite which is also there, and you get good quality luggage.
Now, if you are a fan of comic books or literature, you can also get those in some bookstores in Prague. Some titles are in English but most of them are in Czech. If you know Czech already, you can be adventurous and try reading at least some Czech books for children, which might help you to improve your learning process.
Slippers, you will definitely need those, because is an unwritten rule that if you go to an apartment in Prague, you will have to remove your shoes as soon as you get in. The same thing would probably apply to your house, so you’ll want to get some slippers for you and your visitors. Usually, you can find those in some Vietnamese convenience stores for a really cheap price, or in a shoe store.
Finally 🙂 it’s a good idea to get a good moisturizing cream, you can bring it from your home, or I would recommend this brand (KIEHL’S) that you can find it in Nový Smíchov, Palladium and other places. It’s pretty good to have it because the weather in Prague is very dry. If you are coming from a place that is more humid than here, then your skin, in general, will start to suffer from this, unless you use the moisturizing. After that, your body would try to adapt to the new humidity condition from here. So, it’s a good idea either bring one or buy it.