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Prague: ARTĚL Style

Expert recommendations and insider tips for first-time visitors and locals alike from ARTĚL’s founder, Karen Feldman, who has lived in Prague since 1994. Click on the links below for detailed reviews – from Feldman’s own unique perspective – of all the best that Prague has to offer...

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Hamleys: Toy Paradise in Prague

Published on November 12th, 2016 in Shopping

  • A wide offer of toys is putting mildly (Photo: gletnulka.blogspot.cz/2016/05/ham-ham-hamleys.html)

  • Furry friends and photo opps galore!

  • The carousel is a main attraction

  • Parents beware, candy is everywhere!

  • Never a dull moment at Hamleys (Photo: gletnulka.blogspot.cz/2016/05/ham-ham-hamleys.html)

This spring a 4,500-sq-meter branch of the oldest toy store in the world (est. 1760 in London and supplying British royals with toys ever since) opened on Na Přikopě street in Prague. It is considered the largest toy store in Central Europe, the second largest on the entire Continent.

Hamleys is an exciting, albeit a bit overwhelming, addition to the Prague retail experience that offers interactive games and attractions alongside a mind-boggling array of toys, many of them not previously available on the Czech market (although not to worry, Czech classics like Igracek and Krtek are still here).

 


Hamleys historic Art Deco facade (Photo: gletnulka.blogspot.cz/2016/05/ham-ham-hamleys.html)

 

With its massive Lego displays, cinema, giant slide and ongoing fanfare that includes frequent photo opps with costumed characters, I'd say that the store is definitely worth a visit, not just for families but also the young at heart, as one of Prague's most surprising tourist sites and a brilliant rainy-day activity that will surely keep kids entertained here for hours.

The musical carousel in the atrium is also deserving of a mention. It is, by my estimation, the only carousel in Prague and never disappoints (rides are 50 CZK).

 


The giant slide and carousel are just a couple of the myriad attractions (Photo; Hamleys Praha / Facebook)

Given all the hype leading up to its opening last spring, it seems the company wants to position itself as a bit of an FAO Schwarz, a place that was, before the closing of its flagship Fifth Avenue store in 2015, a must-visit for tourists in Manhattan just for the spectacle and legend.

I'm not sure that Hamleys is quite there yet and if you seek a more down-to-earth toy shopping experience or your taste leans toward vintage or modern design toys, you will prefer the shops featured in my post 6 Great Spots to Shop for Toys.

But Hamleys will surely be a hit with little ones and toy enthusiasts and anyone who is impressed by things like a walking piano like the one from the Tom Hanks movie Big—but in an historicArt Deco building in Prague.

Na Přikopě 14
www.hamleys.com/czech_republic/
Hours daily 10:00-18:00
Tel 734 447 652
Metro A/C to Můstek

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