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Excursions from Prague and Shopping for Local Art/Crafts

Excursions from Prague and Shopping for Local Art/Crafts

Jul 20th, 2007, 01:00 PM
  #1  
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Excursions from Prague and Shopping for Local Art/Crafts

1. I will be in Prague for 4 nights at the end of August and would like to consider at least one day excursion (via train or bus); I love historic, charming towns or nature destinations.

2. Can you recommend any organizations that offer unique tours to small groups, no more than 8-10 people; specializing in history, art or archtecture. I found a great company in Rome called Scala Reale and would like something similiar.

3. Also, I am looking for shops/galleries that sell local arts/crafts... non touristy pieces... especially ceramic/pottery, etchings, paintings, jewelry, etc. if there is anything that is specific to this area to look out for, please let me know. thank you
mbt127 is offline  
Aug 8th, 2007, 11:44 AM
  #2  
 
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I also used Scala Reale in Rome and loved them. I was unsuccessful at finding a similiar tour in Prague.

I was at the John Lennon Wall one day and a small tour group came by... I listened for a minute and the tour guide spoke really great English and he was funny. I asked him for a business card and he didn't have one with him and neither of us had pen/paper.

He told me that he had contracted with the American Embassay to give special tours. I am not sure how to contact them but you may want to try.

The Whittman Jewish tours were small groups and some of the guides were really good (from my experience and what I have read).

You may also want to try the tripadvisor chat section, there is a local expert who answers questions daily and also Rick Steves recommends a few (not longer have names but they were all booked when I was there).
adnil1962 is offline  
Aug 9th, 2007, 05:22 AM
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Highly recommend trip to Cesky Krumlov. You can go via either train or bus. World Heritage Site, fascinating place, beautiful location, very walkable, great history and architecture, many good restaurants, shops. Well worth the visit.
dfr4848 is offline  
Aug 9th, 2007, 10:04 AM
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For day trips, I'd probably pick a shorter one than Cesky Krumlov since you'll only be there four nights, but that is a nice trip if you want. I'd suggest Kutna Hora which is only an hour or a bit more away from Prague, and an important city historically and a nice visit (also a UNESCO site). I really like this day trip company and their prices are very reasonable (I used them for Kutna Hora and another visit for Cesky Budejovice and Hlouboka which is also very nice).
http://www.pstours.cz/

as for folkart, I like the Manufaktura collective shops, which sell Czech traditional folkart and crafts. They have several shops in Prague, a couple around Old Town Square and the bridge that are convenient. I suppose their main clientele are tourists, of course, but the pieces are authentic and not souvenir shop type things.
http://www.czech-tradition.cz

Lots of places sell decent ceramic and pottery, that's not difficult to find, even in common tourist shops, and a lot of it is very nice. I think you are confusing shops that sell to tourists with cheap plastic stuff or things of bad taste or something like that. A lot of shops sell nice things to tourists, and the pottery and jewelry are authentic and quite nice. One of th best jewelry shops in Prague (Cesky Granat) sells mostly to tourists, I bet. http://www.granat-cz.com/
Christina is online now  
Aug 9th, 2007, 10:20 AM
  #5  
 
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I also have loved shopping at the Manufactura shops. As Christina mentioned, there are several - one near the Old Town square, one on the road up to the Castle, and a small one in one of the tiny houses on the Golden Lane in the castle. They carry beautiful wooden items and textiles, as well as toys, painted eggs and the like.
noe847 is offline  
Aug 11th, 2007, 05:40 AM
  #6  
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thank you these are great recommendations for all of my questions... I am sorry if you were confused by my request about shops/galleries. the touristy shops, while they carry some nice high quality items, usually have a similar design for the masses, I am looking for pieces that are unique, which often means higher price and sometimes higher quality art. I am really looking for pottery, small paintings or etchings. thanks again
mbt127 is offline  
Aug 11th, 2007, 05:58 AM
  #7  
 
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I agree that Cesky Krumlov, although beautiful, is really a bit too far away for a day trip for my liking.

When we there a couple of months ago we took a day trip to the town of Karlovy Vary (the spa town which was formerly called Carlsbad) and thought it was wonderful. It reminded us very much of a minature St Petersburg and we enjoyed it as much as Cesky Krumlov. The architecture and surrounding countryside were lovely. However, it is still about two hours each way. We actually drove to it, but it appeared there were plenty of trains and buses going to and from. The train/bus interchange area drops you less than 5 mins walk from the heart of the historic centre.
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