Today, a small keepsake you buy in the Czech Republic to remember your visit by can be beautiful, delicious or even practical. You will definitely not be thought badly of if you decide to put a souvenir from the Czech Republic in the Christmas stocking of your loved ones. Though, can one really be sure of it? Absolutely, because the days when Czech gifts for visitors were of poor quality, tacky and useless are long gone. So before the festive season knocks on your door, take a look at the list of the best Czech products, which are often connected with a certain region of the Czech Republic, but luckily can be bought throughout the whole of the country.
For Children? Krtek, The Little MoleThe adventures of the cartoon character – Little Mole are widely known by all Czech children. Many little moles, whether in the form of soft, wooden or metal toys, or animated, plastic, marzipan or gingerbread creations have left the Czech Republic in the luggage of foreign tourists, who may have taken them home just as a keepsake for themselves or as a charming gift for their children. If they bought a wooden mole, it must have been produced by the Czech company - Detoa, which is the only manufacturer licensed to make this popular character out of wood. The Little Mole is a small Czech hero and a true original. Czech illustrator Zdeněk Miller created the first cartoon starring The Little Mole as early as 1957. This character became immensely popular not only thanks to its extreme charm but also because it is one of the few animals that had not been drawn by the American cartoonist Walt Disney. Despite pushing sixty, The Little Mole is not planning retirement, but is heading off for new adventures with a panda in China.
Cosmetic Products with Ingredients from All Corners of the Czech RepublicAnother group of popular Czech souvenirs is toiletries made by the Manufaktura company, which in the 1990s successfully continued in the tradition of fresh glycerine soap production and since then has extended its range to dozens of high quality cosmetic items. Nonetheless, it has remained true to Czech traditions and the production of its cosmetic series uses natural ingredients such as wine from Moravia, spring salt from Karlovy Vary, medicinal herbs or even beer. In addition, Manufaktura was the first Czech company to be awarded the internationally recognized no-animal-testing certificate– HCS. Good quality and authentic toiletries are also offered by other companies of Czech origin. To name just a few – there is the Botanicus company, focusing on a close tie with herb producers, the luxury brand of Chateau Mcely manufactured especially for the five star chateau hotel not far from Prague, and the Czech cosmetics under the trade name of Ryor available in all cosmetic shops and drugstores.
Crystal Fit for Kings, Emperors and PresidentsImagine top-class crystal, sparkling in all possible directions and when you tap it you will hear a sound evoking luxury and gleaming exquisiteness. If your imaginary crystal had all of these qualities it must have been none other than crystal from Karlovy Vary in West Bohemia. The local Moser Glassworks has been producing such beautiful items since Austro-Hungarian times. The foundation of the factory is associated with the name of Ludwig Moser, one of the most outstanding personalities of crystal manufacturing in the whole monarchy. Over the years various beverages served in Moser crystal glasses were sipped by the British Queen, Japanese Emperor, American and Russian Presidents as well as a Spanish Prince at his wedding.
Beauty and Elegance from the North of the Czech RepublicElegant crystal decorations and masterfully crafted costume jewellery all come from the foothills of the Jizera Mountains. Owing to the quality of its products, the local Preciosa brand has earned a global reputation, manufacturing crystal jewellery, refined rings or crystal gifts and ornaments, such as for example the always popular decorative nail files. Imitation jewellery has been produced in the north of the Czech Republic for decades, so when buying a crystal item you will not only be getting something nice but also acquiring a small piece of history.
How about Something Delicious?To bring a smile to gourmets’ faces, we will go back to West Bohemia, because apart from glass and porcelain production the renowned spa region became famous also for its crispy wafers and Becherovka liqueur. Strolling through Karlovy Vary or Mariánské Lázně you will probably bump into a few people munching on large round wafers filled perhaps with a nut or cinnamon mixture. Luckily, you can take this delicacy home with you wrapped in a box.
Another world-famous product from West Bohemia can also be transported home – this time in a bottle. Thanks to its soothing effects on the digestive system the herbal liqueur Becherovka is considered to be one of the Karlovy Vary “healing springs”. It has been drunk during family celebrations as well as a digestif since 1794, when it used to be produced in Karlovy Vary by the pharmacist Josef Becher.