Among the cobblestone streets and medieval architecture of Prague, the capital city of the Czech Republic, are hidden gems that cater to the literary cravings of English book enthusiasts. From historic establishments to cozy independent stores, the English bookstores in Prague offer a diverse range of books in a city brimming with culture and history. In this article, we will explore the delightful world of English bookshops in Prague.
When I went to school in Prague, one of my favorite ways to spend my time outside of class (besides drinking the amazing Czech Beer and exploring the rest of Europe), I loved looking around the shops, especially the bookstores.
It was really fitting that I went to Prague to study literature when Prague is a UNESCO City of Literature (along with Barcelona, Dublin, Edinburgh, and many, many more). I learned so much about Czech and Eastern European literature and was obsessed with getting my hands on as many books as I could.
I have so many books that I bought, both in Czech and English, that I needed an extra suitcase when I finally traveled back home.
But whether you’re in Prague on a literary adventure, or just a book lover looking to find English books, I’ve got you covered. You’ll find at least one amazing bookstore in Prague on my list.
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Shakespeare and Sons (Shakespeare a Synové s.r.o.)
In Prague’s quaint Malá Strana neighborhood is possibly one of the city’s most well-known foreign language bookstores: Shakespeare and Sons. It’s a beloved independent bookstore that has become a cornerstone of the city’s literary scene.
Founded by expats in 2003, this charming bookstore offers an extensive selection of English and other foreign language books, ranging from contemporary bestsellers to classics and niche genres.
The cozy atmosphere, complete with reading nooks and a café, makes Shakespeare and Sons a haven for both locals and tourists seeking a quiet place to explore new literary worlds.
If you’ve read my Best Berlin English bookstores post you may recognize Shakespeare and Sons from that list. They’re actually the same company, but the Prague shop is the original before they expanded to Berlin.
Their opening hours are daily 11AM-7PM.
While you’re on your literary journey in Prague, head just down the street (it’s literally a 2 minute walk) from Shakespeare and Sons to the Kafka Museum.
The Kafka Museum in Prague is a unique cultural institution dedicated to the life and work of the renowned Czech writer, Franz Kafka. The museum’s exhibits are creatively curated, combining multimedia installations, interactive displays, and a rich collection of manuscripts, letters, and personal belongings of Franz Kafka.
Through a series of immersive displays and thought-provoking exhibits, visitors can explore the complex themes that characterize Kafka’s writing, such as alienation, bureaucracy, and the absurdity of human existence.
Found in the New Town (Nové Město) a short walk from the Dancing House and around the corner from U Fleku, the Globe Bookstore and Café is not just a place to buy books but an experience that combines literature, culture, and community.
The Globe claims to be the first English bookstore in Prague and houses an impressive collection of English language books, including fiction, non-fiction, and poetry.
Visitors can peruse the shelves at their leisure, and the comfortable seating areas provide a perfect environment for reading, studying, or simply enjoying a cup of coffee. The Globe also serves as a cultural hub with regular events, readings, and open mic nights.
The trendy café provides a welcoming space for book lovers to gather, discuss literature, and enjoy a cup of coffee in the heart of Prague. You can also find cocktails as well as burgers, pastas, salads, and other favorites. If you’re missing a bit of home, you can find a full American brunch on the weekends.
The bookstore is open Weekdays from 10AM to 8PM and weekends 9:30 AM to 8PM.
The cafe’s hours are
- Monday 10AM-10:30PM
- Tuesday-Thursday 10AM-11PM
- Friday 10AM-12AM
- Saturday 9:30AM-12AM
- Sunday 9:30AM-10PM.
Address: Pštrossova 1925/6, 110 00 Nové Město
Academia Bookshop (Academia Knihkupectví)
Academia Bookshop is a large brand with a few shops in Prague. In Academia bookstore, you’ll find all kinds of books: books by Czech authors, books about Czech art, architecture, history, cuisine, film, etc. with a really great foreign language and English section.
Many of the books available are translations of Czech authors but also other topics about Czech history, cuisine, architecture, etc.
You can also find other great items like notebooks, pens, magnets, and small souvenirs.
Academia stores often have a section of discounted books where you can find good deals and books on all kinds of topics.
Their biggest and most well-known store is on Wenceslas Square (Václavské Náměstí) just by Marks and Spencer (the opposite side of the square from the National Museum).
If you do find a book about Czech Art, you’ll no doubt learn about the artist David Černý. He has many famous sculptures around Prague that you might have seen while wandering around, including Man Hanging Out, Babies, and Peeing Guys (you might have seen this in front of the Kafka Museum).
But while you’re in Wenceslas Square, head to Lucerna, just around the corner from the Academia Bookshop, to see a parody of the Wenceslas Statue that overlooks the square. Černý’s version shows the ancient king riding an upside-down (possibly dead?) horse.
Check out this contemporary art tour to see all of Černý’s works around Prague.
Not far from the Globe Bookstores and Cafe is Budget Books. As the name suggests, this bookshop has so many titles for extremely cheap and is one of the cheap english bookstores in Prague. You can find new books, classics, fiction and nonfiction, and children’s books all in English. They also have books in Czech if you’re looking to expand your language skills.
You can also find stationery items like notebooks, pens, and markers at decent prices.
If you’re looking for an online bookstore in the Czech Republic, Budget Books has a huge selection and will ship within the country or has an option for store pickup.
Address: Spálená 82/4, 110 00 Nové Město
The Luxor Bookshop Prague is the country’s largest Czech and foreign language bookstore. There are dozens of locations around the country, with a total of 13 in Prague. Luxor Bookshops can be found in malls and train stations (including Prague Hlvaní Nádraží), much like WHSmith in the UK.
One of the main shops is The Luxor Bookshop (Palác knih Luxor) on Wenceslas Square. The shop is 4 floors of Czech language books, with departments that include fiction, children’s literature and school text books, technical literature, music, and local art and crafts – this stock prints of Czech artists such as Alfons Mucha as well.
Luxor has a large section dedicated to Czech and international travel guides and maps, and also a number of unique geographic books on the formation of the earth and the planets.
For current affairs there is a wide choice of magazines and newspapers, plus calendars, birthday cards and stationery.
Many of the periodicals and travel guides are available in foreign languages too, including in English, French, Spanish, German and Russian. Customers can also order books from abroad, which makes the shop popular for teachers and students studying English and other languages.
For tourists in Prague looking for a novel, Luxor stocks a range of fiction in English and in other languages. And the children’s department has books in English too.
Many Luxor bookstores (including the one in Wenceslas Square) also have a café where you can sit and read the books you’ve purchased.
Knihkupectví a antikvariát Spálená
Knihkupectví a antikvariát Spálená is a charming bookstore and antique shop located in Prague, the capital city of Czech Republic. You will most likely see many “Knihkupectví a antikvariát” around the city, I personally like this location on Spálená for its size and selection.
Stepping into Knihkupectví a antikvariát Spálená feels like entering a magical world filled with shelves upon shelves of books. The store offers an extensive collection of both new and used books, covering various genres such as literature, poetry, philosophy, history, art, and much more.
Whether you’re searching for an old classic or seeking out the latest bestseller, this bookstore has something to satisfy every reader’s appetite. One of the highlights of Knihkupectví a antikvariát Spálená is its well-curated selection of rare and antique books.
Antique enthusiasts will be fascinated by the unique editions dating back several decades or even centuries. These treasures offer not only literary value but also aesthetic beauty with their ornate covers and vintage illustrations.
Beyond its impressive book collection, Knihkupectví a antikvariát Spálená also showcases an array of other collectibles. Antique maps, prints, postcards, vinyl records, vintage magazines – there’s always something intriguing waiting to be discovered amidst the nooks and crannies of this hidden gem.
Address: Spálená 110/53, 110 00 Nové Město
The Franz Kafka Bookstore
What better place for the Franz Kafka Bookstore than the birthplace of the great Franz Kafka. This quaint bookstore pays homage to one of the most influential writers of the 20th century.
With its cozy atmosphere and a curated selection of books, it has become a haven for both locals and tourists alike.
As you step inside The Franz Kafka Bookstore, you are immediately transported into a world where words come alive. The store’s interior exudes an old-world charm with its wooden shelves adorned with books that span various genres and languages.
Each book is carefully selected by the knowledgeable staff who have a deep appreciation for literature. One cannot help but feel connected to Kafka himself as they peruse through the store’s collection.
From his renowned works such as “The Trial” and “Metamorphosis” to lesser-known gems like his letters and diaries, every piece adds to the mystique surrounding this enigmatic writer. Whether you are a long-time fan or new to his work, there is something for everyone at this bookstore.
What sets The Franz Kafka Bookstore apart from other bookshops is its dedication to promoting not only Kafka’s writings but also contemporary literature inspired by him.
It features a section dedicated to authors influenced by Kafka’s style – those who explore themes of alienation, bureaucracy, and existentialism.
This unique addition allows readers to discover new voices in literature while staying true to the spirit of Kafka’s writing.
The bookstore is found in the Jewish Quarter of Old Town near Kafka’s actual birthplace. While there, you must visit the Old-New Synagogue, the Old Jewish Cemetery, and the Jewish Museum. I definitely recommend taking a tour of these locations to get a better look into the area’s history.
Address: Široká 65/14, 110 00 Josefov
Book Therapy is a charming independent bookstore in Prague. It’s a literary haven for book lovers and a sanctuary for those seeking solace through the power of reading.
Located on the quaint cobblestone street in the Vinohrady neighborhood, Book Therapy is unique bookstore offers much more than just books; it provides an experience that transcends the traditional retail setting.
As you step into the shop, you are greeted by shelves upon shelves of carefully curated books that cater to various genres and interests. From classic literature to contemporary fiction, from poetry to self-help and personal development, there’s something for everyone here.
The knowledgeable staff members are always ready to recommend hidden gems or engage in delightful conversations about your favorite authors and novels. What sets Book Therapy apart is its focus on bibliotherapy – the use of books as therapy. Whether you’re feeling overwhelmed, looking for inspiration, or simply in need of some relaxation, their team of trained bibliotherapists can guide you towards the perfect book that will meet your emotional needs.
This personalized approach ensures that each customer leaves with not only an exciting new read but also a sense of fulfillment and empowerment. The cozy ambiance inside Book Therapy invites visitors to linger amidst the stacks of books or find a cozy nook to dive into their newfound literary treasure.
There’s even a small café within the store where you can enjoy a cup of aromatic coffee or tea while immersing yourself in captivating stories.
In addition to regular book sales and recommendations, Book Therapy hosts various events and workshops throughout the year. These events range from author signings and readings to writing sessions and book clubs – creating opportunities for like-minded individuals
Kosmas Bookstore (Knihkupectví Kosmas)
Kosmas is another chain bookstore in the Czech Republic. Kosmas primarily holds Czech books but there is a great foreign language section, especially in the location in Old Town.
Kosmas Bookstore boasts a captivating history that dates back to 1924, when it first opened its doors to literary enthusiasts. Initially known as Knihkupectví Praha (Prague Books), the store witnessed various transformations over the years but remained true to its mission: promoting literacy and fostering a love for books among people from all walks of life.
Browse through hundreds of titles to get your fill of new books. From classic literature masterpieces to contemporary bestsellers, travel guides to art collections—there’s something here for everyone. Whether you’re seeking rare editions or popular titles, this bookstore promises endless literary treasures waiting to be discovered.
Address: Perlová 3, 110 00 Staré Město
Bonus: National Library of the Czech Republic
While not a bookstore, and not even a foreign language bookstore, the National Library of the Czech Republic, also known as Národní knihovna České republiky in Czech, is a prestigious institution that serves as the central library of the country.
The National Library resides within the beautiful Clementinum complex—a stunning architectural gem that dates back to 1232. As you step inside this vast Baroque building adorned with intricate frescoes and opulent interiors, you’ll find yourself transported to another era. The library’s grand halls and elegant rooms provide an atmosphere conducive to contemplation and appreciation for both artistry and intellect.
The library holds an extensive collection of over six million item like books, manuscripts, periodicals, maps, and other valuable materials. Established in 1777 under Emperor Joseph II’s decree to consolidate various imperial and monastic libraries into one national library, the National Library has grown over the centuries to become one of the largest libraries in Europe.
Its main purpose is to collect, preserve, and provide access to Czech literature and documents related to Czech history and culture.
However, it also houses an impressive collection of international works. The library’s current building was inaugurated in 1941 but underwent significant renovations between 2005 and 2018.
The modernized facility now offers state-of-the-art services and facilities for researchers, students, bibliophiles, and anyone interested in exploring its vast resources. The collections within the National Library are divided into several departments based on their focus.
The Department of Manuscripts preserves ancient scripts written on parchment or paper by renowned historical figures such as Charles IV or Jan Hus.
It also safeguards valuable medieval illuminated manuscripts adorned with intricate illustrations. The Prints and Drawings Collection boasts an extensive range of graphic art dating back to the Middle Ages.
This department showcases works by world-renowned artists such as Albrecht Dürer or Rembrandt van Rijn alongside numerous local talents.
Boasting an impressive collection of books, manuscripts, and other literary treasures, The National Library of Prague is an iconic institution that offers visitors a unique experience that transcends time. Whether you’re an avid reader, a history enthusiast, or simply seeking inspiration in a serene environment, here’s why a visit to the National Library should be on your itinerary.
Address: Klementinum 190, 110 00 Josefov
Tips for Book Lovers in Prague
How to Say “Book” in Czech
If you are looking for an English bookstore, you may still want to know a few Czech words to make it easier for helpful locals to guide you to your needs. The word for “book” in Czech is “Kniha.”
But, unlike in English or any Latin-based languages you might know, there isn’t just one standard spelling or pronunciation for book. Depending on the part of speech, nouns will change in Czech.
So you may also see it written kniha, knihu, or knihy. However, chances are if you say “kniha” to a local, they will most likely know what you mean.
(In my experience, Czech locals are grateful for you trying to speak Czech. Even if you don’t have a good grasp for the language, they will try to understand you and will be even more receptive than if you just assume they can speak English.)
Most often, you’ll see “knihkupectví” for bookstore on signs or maps.
If you want to ask for directions you can ask, “Jak se dostanu do knihkupectví [store name]?” “Where is the [store name] bookstore?”
And remember that “Js” are pronounced as “Ys,” so “Jak” is “Yahk.”
Czech Authors You Should Know
Czech literature has produced many notable authors whose works have left a lasting impact both within the Czech Republic and internationally. I always think you should read works from the place you’re going to travel. Here are five famous Czech authors worth knowing.
- Franz Kafka (1883–1924): Although born in Prague when it was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Kafka wrote in German and is considered one of the most influential figures in modern literature. His works, such as “The Trial” and “The Metamorphosis,” explore themes of alienation, bureaucracy, and existentialism.
- Božena Němcová (1820–1862): A pioneering Czech female writer, Němcová is celebrated for her contributions to Czech literature. Her most famous work is the collection of fairy tales titled “Babička” (The Grandmother), which draws inspiration from Czech folklore.
- Jaroslav Hašek (1883–1923): Best known for his satirical novel “The Good Soldier Švejk,” Hašek’s work is a classic of Czech literature. The novel humorously depicts the absurdities of war and military bureaucracy through the character of Josef Švejk.
- Milan Kundera (born 1929): An internationally acclaimed author, Milan Kundera is known for his philosophical and intricate novels. His notable works include “The Book of Laughter and Forgetting,” “The Unbearable Lightness of Being,” and “The Joke.” Kundera’s writings often explore themes of love, politics, and identity.
- Karel Čapek (1890–1938): A versatile writer, Čapek was influential in various literary genres, including science fiction, drama, and essays. He is best known for his play “R.U.R.,” which introduced the term “robot” to the world. His other works include the novel “War with the Newts” and the play “The Makropulos Affair.”
Where to Stay in Prague
One great thing about Prague is its relatively small size. Unlike some cities, you can easily hit all of the major tourist spots (and some great bookish locations) in a few days. No matter where you stay in Prague, you’ll find it easy to get around by metro, tram, or bus.
For more of a local feel and quick access to the Airport, stay in Prague 6. For a quiet and quaint neighborhood, try Malá Strana. If you want to be right in the middle of everything, try the Old Town or New Town (Prague 1 or 2).
New Town is great to be close to Wenceslas Square, while the Astronomical Clock is in Old Town. But the distance between the two is walkable, so you wouldn’t be wrong staying near either.
Check for hotels on Booking.com. I find they’re the best deals with the best rewards.
There you have it. I hope my post has been able to help you find English books in Prague. The best English bookstores in Prague offer a delightful blend of literature, culture, and community in the heart of one of Europe’s most enchanting cities.
Whether you’re strolling through quaint Malá Strana or the bustling New Town, these bookshops beckon with their diverse selections, cozy atmospheres, and commitment to fostering a love for reading.
For those seeking a literary adventure amid the medieval charm of Prague, these English bookshops are essential stops that promise to enrich the cultural tapestry of this captivating city.
If you find yourself in Prague and visit one of these amazing shops, share your photo on instagram or facebook and tag me so I can see all of your amazing travels, and we can help other people learn where to buy English books in Prague.
Map of English Bookstores in Prague
Are you ready to Travel?
- Book Your Flights– To find the cheapest flights, flexibility is a must. Some great options are Google Flights for the calendars to find the cheapest options, Skiplagged, and Skyscanner. For more options, see our resources page.
- Find Transportation- If you’re driving, look into Rentalcars.com before arriving to find the best rates. Also check for rail or bus routes as they might be cheaper than renting a car.
- Book Your Accommodation– Look at Booking.com, Hotels.com, or Expedia for hotels. You can also look at AirBnB or VRBO if you want a bigger space.
- Book Tours and Experiences- Check Viator or Klook for some of the best tours and attractions for a great price.
- Stay Connected– If your phone’s data plan is going to be expensive, order an eSIM card before you go.
- Buy Travel Insurance- I always recommend World Nomads for insurance. It’s better to protect yourself in case of mishaps. Learn more about World Nomads in this FAQ post.
- Pack Your Bags– Check out my packing lists, or my favorite travel gear to help you remember all of the essentials.
- Learn About Your Destination: Learn about your location with guidebooks like Lonely Planet, or, novels and books about the country, or, shameless plug, search around my site for more info.
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