Stores, Malls or Markets in Slovakia

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  • lmkluque's Profile Photo

    Glossa: Beautiful Books!

    by lmkluque Updated Aug 11, 2012

    When I went the books shops had beautiful books about CzechoSlovkia and I have one of them. The do serve as a great gift to take home too. There were only Slovak-English Dictionaries and I have one of those too. The only problem with that was that I needed to know the Slovak word to find out what it was in English. I couldn't translate an English word into Slovak.

    Update:

    Since the Velvet Revolution and the Velvet Divorce many more books are available and some are actually in English. Plus, the CzechoSlovak books are now Slovenska books. Still the pictures are really well done. I also have a Kocise book and finally got an English-Slovak Dictionary. Now I can translate either way.

    What to buy: This will be up to you, but I like glossy books about the town and the country. I also like to get an English-Slovak dictionary.

    If you can't find what you are looking for, try the Anima-- internetové kníhkupectvoThey have a lot of books.

    What to pay: The price will be very reasonable.

    Coffee Table Books Are Beautiful Gifts To Give.
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  • lmkluque's Profile Photo

    At the Costumed Doll Festival: Folk Costumed Dolls

    by lmkluque Updated Aug 11, 2012

    This might look like a "tourist trap" item and for some it may be, but for those of us who have a connection to a village in Slovakia, these little dolls have meaning and are a wonderful souvenir of that place we came from.

    This doll is dressed in the costume of my family's village and they gave it to me. Another way they found to honor me and my visit.

    In most of the city shops, the Corn Silk dolls seem to be popular, but I would rather the doll in costume. In June, there are a few villages that hold a three day "International Folk Costumed Dolls Festival" during the festival people trade their dolls so they should be easy to buy there.

    What to buy: If you are connected to a Slovakian village, you can buy a doll on-line, and the cost will depend upon the size of the doll. Also this place will make a costume to wear yourself, but the price begins at $200.00 and can take several months to be made.

    I'll just keep my doll.

    What to pay: In a local store, this small sized doll shouldn't cost very much, but twelve inch doll will cost around $100.00 or more depending upon the complexity of the costume.

    Village Vlachovo
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  • lmkluque's Profile Photo

    Slovak Kristal !: Lasting Souvenirs!

    by lmkluque Updated Aug 11, 2012

    When I was there it was still CzechoSlovakia. Along the street in Kosice, I found a shop selling crystal from CzechoSlovakia and thought the pieces offered were beautiful. This would be the perfect thing to buy for myself and my parents as a reminder of this roots searching trip.

    Unfortuanately, the shop was closed. I then began to notice that many of the shops in the old center of Kosice were closed. I was disappointed, but what could I do? Oh well, we just went over to the hotdog stand and had a sausage stuffed in half a baguette. It was delicious and I was just happy to see the town and to be with these wonderful people who were also my family.

    What to buy: My suggestion is to buy Slovakian Kristal, of course.

    The happy ending to my story of Bohemian Krystal is that my Slovak family presented me with quite a few pieces of this most beautiful crystal to share between my self and my parents! Evidently they had all gathered the items from their own collections and honored us with this fantastic gift. Needless to say, I was overwhelmed by their generosity.

    Update:

    I didn't find out until after the Velvet Revolution that though crystal was and is still, made in Slovakia, it was actually the Czechs that are famous for their lead Kristal.

    Poltar Glass one of the remaining factories in Slovkia making "Bohemian Crystal," there are other cities with these factorys and for some reason they can no longer use the, "Slovglass" name since the Velvet Divorce. They are allowed to offer their works as genuine Bohemain Crystal.

    Buy glasses, vases, bowls or dishes, picture frames or you can even design your own style which they will make. This is especially useful when wanting to replace a wine glass to match your set, which might have been carelessly dropped and broken.

    What to pay: The prices are wide ranging and would depend upon your interests and budget.

    Slovakian Crystal is beautiful and collectable.
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  • lmkluque's Profile Photo

    Tuzex Stores!: Before The Velvet Revolution

    by lmkluque Updated Aug 10, 2012

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    Tuzex is a contraction of the term, "tuzemský export"--domestic export. Hard currency is any globally traded currency. The Kronay was not valued/used outside of the country.

    Tuzex Shops were meant to offer tourists items that the Slovaks could not purchase themselves with krouna, unless they had Tuzex vouchers. These shops accepted only foreign (hard) currency and the products offered could be seen in any western city. I think the prices here were lower than in the west and would appeal to the bargain shopper.

    What to buy: I don't know if Tuzex stores still exist, but there was an interesting variation I heard of later. When Slovak citizens were employed by non-Slovak companies they were paid in "boni" (something like that.) a kind of "credit slip" that could be used as one would use money. With this form of currency, they could go to special shops and buy things not available in the regular stores.

    Update:

    Tuzex stores are no longer needed. That interesting variation I spoke of turned out to be the Tuzex voucher. My cousin's husband was a musician in the Kosice Philharmonic and when they made recordings that were sold in the West, they were paid in what she called "bony." I guess it was the word for the ersatz currency.

    No Longer Only A Dream
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  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo

    Along highway 583: He didn't sell drugs :-)

    by matcrazy1 Updated Jan 19, 2007

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    Driving along highway 583 from Parnica through village of Terchova to city of Zilina I noticed locals standing on a shoulder or sitting on a small, folding chair. They didn't sell drugs but so called "syrove korbaciki" - local, home-made, smoked sheep cheese.
    I liked this, unavailable in Poland, cheese a lot. It goes well especially with beer :-). I never had any problems with my stomach after eating them!!! It was available in few local groceries as well but produced in registered "food factories" and... somewhat less delicious.

    The vendors were usually equipped with a small table or (more modern and younger folks :-) a cooler or they just kept their treasures to sell in hands (inside plastic bags).

    What to buy: Syrove korbaciki.

    What to pay: After some bargaining I paid 50 SKK (= $1.38 = 1.66 euro = 5.28 Polish zloty) for three bags of syrove korbaciki (half a kilogram or one pound or so).

    YOUNG  CHEESE  VENDOR
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  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo

    Suveniry: T-shirts and hats

    by matcrazy1 Updated Jan 19, 2007

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    Usually you can buy T-shirts and hats (kind of baseball hats - hmm... do they play baseball in Slovakia????) in Slovak gift stores located by tourist attractions. Tourist trap or Slovak gift? Your choice.

    Most of T-shirts go with label Slovensko (Slovakia) and heraldic arms of Slovakia or local village, town or area. Or there is a photo/drawing of local castle, architecture etc. on the T-shirt.

    What to buy: White T-shirt with Slovak heraldic arm if you like it.

    What to pay: 208 Sk for a T-shirt for me - XL that time :-(.
    You could buy in Slovakia that time:
    36.3 Sk for $1
    42.9 Sk for 1 Euro
    9.47 Sk for 1 Polish zloty.

    T-SHIRTS IN
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  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo

    Souveniry: Kitchy souvenirs

    by matcrazy1 Updated Jan 19, 2007

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    Travelling around Slovakia I noticed gift stores located close to points of tourist interest which sold a loft of very kitchy souvenirs/gifts. They were usually cheap. Usually I had to be very patient to find anything interesting and nice maybe except postcards which were slaways good and nice gift. They sold paintings and drawings of Slovak castles, landscapes and villages, pottery, various figures and statues of... witches and medieval knights, T-shirts etc.

    What to buy: In Oravsky Podzamok gift store ("Suveniry") I liked handmade crayon (black and white or in one colour - brown for example) drawings of local wooden architecture. Notice that you should buy real picture- frame later.

    What to pay: 120 - 150 Sk for a handmade drawing or painting (small size).
    You could buy in Slovakia that time:
    36.3 Sk for $1
    42.9 Sk for 1 Euro
    9.47 Sk for 1 Polish zloty

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  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo

    Potraviny, supermarkets: Food and drinks

    by matcrazy1 Updated Jan 19, 2007

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    GROCERY = POTRAVINY in Slovak
    If you travel around Slovakia on your own like always me, you can find quite a lot of small groceries located both along highways and in downtowns/centers of cities and towns. But not as many as in Western Europe maybe except areas close to Polish border where there were a lot of groceries put up for customers from Poland.
    Slovak groceries looked (in 2003) like, say in early 90' in Poland (beginning of privatisation): they were small with limited but enough choice of food and drinks put often very chaotic on shelves and they were somewhat less colorful than Polish groceries.

    WARNING: they close early, earlier than in Poland. Usually they are opened Mon - Fri 8am - 5 pm (or 6 pm). But sometimes they close at 4pm Mon-Fri in the countryside esp. On Sat 8am - 1pm (2pm). On Sunday most of them are closed except areas close to borders (groceries for foreign consumers)!
    But - like in Czech - there are groceries signed VECERKA (fewer than in Czech) which stay open longer (till 8-10 pm) even (rarely) overnight, esp. in towns and cities.

    SUPERMARKETS
    I found few (much fewer than in Poland) food supermarkets in Slovakia. They are located usually in larger cities and in suburbs of smaller ones as well. I found suopermarkets of BILLA (smaller ones) and TESCO (English chain of large food supermarkets) chains. They both offered a lot of discounts, better choice of food and drinks at usually lower prices than small groceries. But they were... less friendly with no local, home-made specialities available.

    What to buy: Syrove korbaciki (smoked, sheep cheese) - more in my local customs.
    Beer (Zlaty Bazant = Gold Pheasant), wine (from Zemplin area), spirits (Slovak tokai).

    What to pay: Basic, local food is much cheaper than in Western Europe and usually a little cheaper than in Poland. Imported food (fruits: grapes for example) maybe much more expensive at least before joining EU.

    MY  CAR  BY  SLOVAK  GROCERY  (POTRAVINY)
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  • zaffaran's Profile Photo

    Bata: Summer sales in Kosice

    by zaffaran Written Jan 12, 2007

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    The main thing which made this shop so special was the prices vs. quality of shoes. As it was time for summer sales( the end of July) we left the shop with bags full of wonderful leather shoes which cost even less than 20 $.
    I love such souvenirs from different places!

    What to pay: Hahaha- no limits if you like buing shoes!

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  • Sue08080's Profile Photo

    Found all over: Local Craft

    by Sue08080 Written Apr 24, 2006

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    From shops to stands, these corn husk creations can be found all over Slovakia. The figures depict village life and are beautifully made. They are a souvenier that I can never resist. I have over 100!

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  • Skipka's Profile Photo

    ULUV: Basketry

    by Skipka Written Apr 15, 2004

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    What to buy: Goods of basketry. Very popular in Slovakia, you can buy baskets, little decorations for kitchen or holidays - such as picture is -, chairs and even furniture.

    What to pay: not much :) because the material isn't that expensive here

    duckling

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  • Skipka's Profile Photo

    ULUV or market places: Easter eggs

    by Skipka Written Apr 15, 2004

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    The shop ULUV is for local goods and art in the style of traditional crafts with a modern look so you can find here everytime something for your close friends or relatives.

    What to buy: This time I would like to recommend you the Easter eggs. There are lots of techniques how to decorate them but the typical - and the unique for Slovakia - are eggs decorated by wire. Those on the picture are decorated by myself but in shops you should find pieces that you forget to breath...

    What to pay: well, all depends on the difficulty of patterns but let's take some around 100 Skk (40 Skk around 1 EUR)

    eggs

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  • ChrisAlexander's Profile Photo

    'Kovac': Hand made crafts in Kosice

    by ChrisAlexander Written Mar 26, 2004

    Hrnciarska/Kovacka street has little craft shops and a great bakery/tea shop, the Vodarska restaurant and runs parallel with Hlavna ulica (Main street). Here you’ll find the Kovac (blacksmith) craft shop, full of beautifully handmade items of various metals along with wooden pieces and jewellery, interesting pictures etc.

    Hrnciarska/Kovacska ul.,Kosice

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  • Skipka's Profile Photo

    Potraviny shops :): Chocolate :)

    by Skipka Written Jul 16, 2003

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    Potraviny shops offer a lot of food products :) in Slovakia generally. You must buy some lcoal chocolate marked with Figaro :) especially these two and then all in dark red packing --bitter chocolate and nougat fill or almond fill. Really delicious ...

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  • Skipka's Profile Photo

    again Uluv or any other souvenir shop: Dolls made of Corn skin

    by Skipka Written Jul 16, 2003

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    Dolls made of Corn skin are very nice and you can find great variety of them. They aren't heavy for your luggage and are unique because they mostly are made in traditional clothes or doing some traditional crafts. There are alo betlehems or animals whatever you should think of.

    What to buy: All of them I simply love them :) and never can pick the most beautiful LOL

    What to pay: not that much it is reasonable price...

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