What’s not to love about Prague especially in summertime? The city is bustling with culture and flowing with some of the best beers in the world. The people are jolly and the food are definitely the ones to die for.
Situated by the Vltava river, Prague is the centre of all the great things Eastern Europe has to offer. On the street you could see young people travelling through the city using Segway, something unique and frankly quite cool.
Being the historical capital of Bohemia, the city is rich in history, architecture and culture – and you can experience these by taking a stroll through the old town and the new town.
It is definitely one of the better destinations for summer holiday compared to many overrated and expensive cities. Classical music performance is commonplace and takes place daily on most of the churches, synagogues and the town hall across the city. It doesn’t matter if you’re a fan of Mozart, Vivaldi, Beethoven or any other musical maestros, Prague is sure to please everybody.
It is no wonder that the city is named as the world’s no 6 best destination according to TripAdvisor.
Stamp Shops in Prague
The reason why I visited Prague was for a different reason, this year the city hosts the European research conference where I had to present in one of the sessions. It is definitely a great excuse to enjoy the beautiful city as well as to look for stamp shops in a relaxed way.
Before I arrived, I made some search on the internet about the stamp shops in Prague, one site shows me many shops, although I later find out that only a few are still in business.
The most notable auction house in Prague is the Burda Auction, owned by Richard Burda and offers a great selection of stamps for auction mostly from Eastern Europe but also from the rest of the world including occasionally North Borneo, Labuan, Sarawak and Malaya.
Whenever I go abroad, I always make it a habit to send postcards to family and friends. This time is no exception. By doing this, I have a good reason to also visit its post office. The one I visited was right in the city centre and also offers souvenir stamps, FDCs and Czech stamps.
Although I had prepared early to visit all stamp shops in Prague, I only managed to visit one. The reason for this was that two of the shops as listed in this site are no longer in business and another shop (Filatelie Pěnkava) was closed on the weekend. I didn’t bother to make a visit to the Burda auction house because of its opening times and days were not suitable for my schedule.
The one I managed to visit was the Alfafila Philatelic shop in Václavské náměstí 28. This shop is quite hidden and you need to keep looking inside the building to find it at the back.
The shop is of standard size and has many collection of Czech and Europe stamps. When I arrived, I was duly greeted by the gentleman. In the shop there were two other gentlemen sitting at the corner browsing through some hundreds of old postcards while chatting with one another and occasionally with the owner. The owner was having a cup of coffee and was actually smoking inside the shop! So the environment was very relaxed although I’m not sure if the smoking wouldn’t affect the stamps stored in the shop.
I enquired about stamps from British Borneo and Malaya. He spoke very little English but asked me whether this is to do with Singapore? I said yes. He then showed me an album stamp with safety matches labels from Singapore which I find quite interesting and colourful – of course they are nowhere close to anything philatelic so I enquired more.
He came back with a bunch of old postcards from Hong Kong and Singapore. I couldn’t find anything to my liking and none of the postcards are franked with stamps so I didn’t buy any postcards from the bunch. I then asked about China stamps which he have aplenty but I thought they are quite common and the one that I liked was too expensive.
Nonetheless, I bought a new album stamp and a set of Czechoslovakia airmail stamps from 1930s for 140 Kč (roughly €5). I was definitely happy with the purchase. I thought it was a great visit nonetheless as I had the opportunity to appreciate many beautiful stamps from this country.
While I was in the shop, there’s a middle age gentleman who was trying to sell his stamp album. I think it was his childhood album by the look of it. Of course the shop owner didn’t buy it and showed the gentleman a box full of unsorted Czech stamps on his table.
I feel that the gentleman should continue keeping his childhood stamp album because first of all they usually worth very little and second of all and most importantly, it has a sentimental value known only to the collector and this can’t be bought with money.
If you plan to visit: Check Alfafila shop in their website and its location on the map.