Prague shopping

Prague off the beaten path: Bethlehem Square and its surroundings

Prague off the beaten path: Bethlehem Square and its surroundings

Calling an area this central “off the beaten path” can be quite daring, but we think the stretch of the Old Town between the National Theatre and the Charles Bridge can offer a truly authentic, local experience, with many venues frequented more by locals than foreign visitors. You see, most of Prague’s visitors move between the two bridges along the river bank, which surely is beautiful, but sadly bypasses some hidden, shady streets just a block away from the river that can offer some nice culinary and shopping opportunities. 

And on top of that, this area, which takes the total of some 15 to 30 minutes to explore at a leisurely pace, is just utterly beautiful, with a nice, quiet atmosphere that can be enjoyed literally seconds from the madness that is the Charles Bridge. Just a few steps away, you have an area where you can fall in love with Prague all over again, have a breather or contemplate the day in some of the nicest cafes and bars in Prague, and talk to the owners of some of the nicest and cleverest shops in the entire city. What follows are our personal tips for the area.


Prague Local Favorites: Kurator

Prague Local Favorites: Kurator

One has to wonder how can you put so much soul into a space that many diminutive espresso bar owners would call "too small". But Martina and Jan, the owners of the Kurator shop near the National Theatre and the Bethlehem Square, clearly can. The winner of the 2014 Czech Grand Design “Shop of the Year” award, Kurator does exactly what its title suggests: looks at young, promising or otherwise interesting designers (mostly Czech but also some from abroad), and sets up a (roughly) two-month curated selection of their work. And you can buy it all! Yay! The exhibitions are always wrapped around a theme, be it proms (during the Czech senior prom season), ethical manufacturers, flowers or anything else. 


Prague Local Favorites: Metamorposis

Prague Local Favorites: Metamorposis

Sure, a flower shop does not relate to food or shopping or culture, but if we were to talk about the shops we love in Prague, Metamorphosis would be near the top of the list. Just walk inside and you’ll be immediately hooked: the eclectic, run down room is dominated by a large table full of various flowers, the ingredients for the florists’ creations. Just tell them how much you want to spend, and what color and flowers do you prefer, and watch as the wooden floors cover in twigs and leafs when the florists prepare the bouquets “a la minute” for you. Romantic and beautiful? You bet. Also, we are always surprised how much beauty and flowers we get for whatever we say our budget it. 


Prague local favorites: Botas 66

Prague local favorites: Botas 66

The guests of our Prague food tours often ask us about souvenirs they should get from Prague. We think you have to be smart when it comes to buying souvenirs anywhere: it has to be something relatively small, something that will survive the journey in your luggage unharmed, and something that has a story behind it you can later tell your friends when you show off what you brought home. Botas 66 sneakers (or trainers for those reading this in the UK) meet all these criteria.