Prague shopping: vinyl records

This is yet another episode of our never-ending series of tips for Prague shopping. Did you know that the Czech Republic is a global superpower when it comes to turntables and records? If you visited several summer houses or old apartments in the Czech Republic, you would undoubtedly see many variations of a single theme: the reliable Tesla turntable. Sold in many Western European countries under various brands (including such hi-fi names such as NAD), the original design has survived to this day and, slightly improved, is still sold under the Austrian Pro-Ject brand whose products have won many accolades throughout the worlds (just search Pro-Ject reviews on the What Hi-Fi site, you'll know what I'm talking about).

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Where to buy vinyl records in Prague?

We understand that a turntable is not the most convenient of souvenirs to buy, but a vinyl record or two? Why not? It's definitely a gift that will keep on giving through many repeated listens. The quality of the records is decent, and the prices are very reasonable (unlike in, let's say, Berlin). So where do we go hunting for a vinyl record or two?

Music Antiquariat

This small shop in the shadows of the Tyn church focuses mainly on 70s rock, 80s pop, CDs and posters. Don't go searching for rarities here, but it's fun browsing the shelves, and we often walk home with a guilty pleasure or two.

Happy Feet

This very little shop in the Lucerna palace next to the Wenceslas Square is out favorite. Owned by a girl vinyl enthusiast, the shop offers a smaller, but high-quality collection of music, with a separate section for soul, funk and jazz. In addition to records, the shop sells Czech fashion accessories and refurbished old Czech Prim wristwatches (Czechoslovakia was only the 7th country in the world to master the manufacture of the automatic watch). Highly recommended!

This shop near the National Theatre offers a great collection of records throughout all genres. In addition to records, the shop sells (and services) old Czech and foreign turntables and other rare hi-fi equipment. The shop is often busy with DJs searching for new records, and it's clear this is a shop for vinyl nerds.

What to buy?

A Czech turntable, of course! OK, we do understand that a turntable may be a bit of a hassle to transport back home, so we suggest that you buy an old Czech vinyl record instead. But how do you know what is good? Here are some tips:

If you like rock and new wave, we'd recommend, among others, Straka v hrsti by Prazsky vyber (if you can find a pressing - it's a legendary album, banned by the Communist government for years), anything by Vladimir Misik & Etc., Flamengo, Olympic, or Blue Effect.

Or perhaps a Czech chanson? Then go for Hana Hegerova, Marie Rottrova, Eva Olmerova, or, picking among newer ones, Richard Muller (ok, he's Slovak, but it still counts).

Looking for jazz? Choose anything by Emil Viklicky, Jan Hammer, Jan Spaleny & ASPM, Collegium Musicum, or Miroslav Vitous.

And if you're into old, Communist, mindless pop, definitely try Michal David, Kroky Frantiska Janecka, Kamelie, or Dalibor Janda. But you've been warned.

Karel Gott and Helena Vondrackova form a separate category. Great singers, great performances, loved by the nation, but carrying a heavy burden of collaborating with the previous government.

Finally, try to find an album by Michal Tucny. There's nothing like the sound of Czech country & western (really).

Music Antiquariat

Týnská ulička 8, Prague 1

Mon-Sat 10.30-19

Happy Feet

Vodickova 36, Prague 1

Mon-Thu 12-19, Fri 12-18

Opatovická 156/24, Prague 1

Tue-Fri 13-19 

Shopping in Prague: Communist era Czech vintage treasures

Today, we have a tip for lovers of all things vintage. When we travel we always search for unique local things to bring home. Although we can spend hours antique hunting when we travel, back home we used to prefer young designers. But that’s changing. For a long time the design quality of Communist-era Czechoslovak design objects was ignored by almost everyone. These pieces were basically seen as nothing to write home about. However, the popular haunts for vintage object lovers like NoveretroNanovoMoare/Retroobjects and Tuzeks - all started out of a love for vintage things - have slowly made pointed our attention to design gems that are also becoming very popular on the world market.

Designblok 2011

You may have already guessed by now that we love food. But there is another passion that Zuzi and I share - modern design. Whenever we go to a museum abroad, we never forget to check out the design shop. And when we are eating out, food always tastes better to us from a nice plate than from a mediocre one.

Well, if you're like us and you are visiting Prague next week, this post is for you.

From Tuesday, 4 October through Sunday, 9 October, Prague will be hosting the 13th edition of the Designblok annual design exhibition that focuses on Czech design and fashion. This is THE event on the design-lover's calendar in Prague, and definitely the event to attend if you're in Prague next week.

Designblok (and Czech design in general) has witnessed some dramatic development in the past decade or so. I had the honor of being the interpreter for the opening night of the 3rd Designblok - back then, it was a small affair held in a forsaken industrial building with no promotion and just a few young, Czech designers showing their newest creations to a handful of design aficionados. Fast forward ten years, and you can see crowds of people standing in lines to get in one of the "superstudios", lured in by the ubiquitous posters around Prague, just to see the newest products from global names such as Kartell, Nespresso, MaxMara, Ikea, Nike, Nokia, Escada and many others. But if you look carefully, you will have the opportunity to see, and buy, many interesting products by Czech designers - products that can make a great present for your loved ones or yourself.

When and where to go?

The exhibit Designblok exhibition starts on Tuesday, 4 October, and ends on Sunday, 9 October. The main events will be held in two "superstudios". This year, one superstudio is located in the Sporkovsky Palace at Hybernska 5 street, just a few steps from the Powder Tower and the Municipal House. This superstudio will focus on fashion, jewelry and accessories. To see the other superstudio (Superstudio Futurama), you'll have to visit the Karlin district. This superstudio will focus on furniture, lighting, and home accessories. Other events will be held in the shops and studios of the exhibitors that have been admitted to join the Designblok. For a comprehensive list of the exhibitors, click here.

What to look for?

We definitely recommend that you look for some Czech jewelry, crystal and porcelain products, the traditional Czech craftsmanship strongholds. As regards jewelry, definitely check out the Belda Factory, (which makes very popular brooches in the shape of deers), and the jewelry of Zdenek Vacek and Trash made (jewelry made of used materials)

If you love products made of glass, or tableware, don't miss exhibitions by Moser, Rony Plesl, Atelier Pelcl (if you attend our cooking courses, you will be eating from Mr Pelcl's lovely plates), and Pirsc Porcelain

For fashion junkies among you, be sure to visit the exhibitions or shops of Czech fashion designers such as Klara Nademlynska, Timoure et Group, the Sister Conspiracy, Tatiana Kovarikova, Hard"de"core, Denisa Nova and others.

For more information on Designblok and its events, exhibitors, and locations, please visit