I’ve come to accept that if I go out for Halloween in Prague, I will be one of the only people dressed up. But that’s really not going to stop me from doing it anyway. And Prague actually has a lot of great places to get costumes all year round, which makes costume shopping really fun.
Ptákoviny Costume Shops
One of the most popular places to shop for costumes is the Ptákoviny chain of stores. If you search for that on Google, you’ll find six different shops around the city all with the same branding. Having been to all of them multiple times, I’m partial to the one near Florenc, because it’s pretty well organized and has an excellent selection which makes browsing easier. But they’re all fairly large and share more or less the same inventory.
If you’re looking for something specific, it helps to use their website. Even though they’re all part of the same chain, each store has its own website and prices can vary, and there are some costumes or accessories that you’ll only find in one or two of them. Another good reason to use the website is that prices on there are sometimes discounted. You can always order something online and have it shipped to a store for free. But some shopkeepers will just honor the online price if they have the item in stock.
The Ptákoviny stores have a ton of costumes, though they’re generally all mass made. If you’re from the US, like me, a lot of these will still be unique because they’re made by European manufacturers so they’re brands like Rubie’s or Smiffys, which we don’t see a lot of in American costume stores. Though occasionally, you’ll find some of our slutty Leg Avenue costumes, too. The other great thing about these stores is that the costumes are all out for you to browse. They don’t do that thing where customers can only see walls of pictures, and you have to ask for a size to try on. What you see is what you get and you can try on anything you want.
Buying versus renting
The downside of shopping for costumes in Prague is that they’re actually really expensive. So many stores, including the Ptákoviny chain of stores also offer rentals. But some stores specialize in costume rentals.
Půjčovna kostýmů Praha
This small chain has a store in Prague 7 and in Prague 10. They’re generally more well-organized than Ptákoviny shops, but it’s because they’re smaller and have less options. Still, if you’re claustrophobic, you might feel better walking around a store that’s not a tight basement where you feel like giant bags of costumes are going to eat you everywhere you walk.
The good thing is that, at least for Halloween, none of these stores see a whole lot of traffic so on the bright side, you don’t have to worry about being stuck in a crowded shop anywhere. Here, you’ll be able to find different rental options per day and for the weekend priced at around 200-450 czk ($10-20) per day.
Půjčovna kostýmů Famood
Now, if you’re really serious about dressing up, there’s no better place in Prague than Famood Costume Rental. They have a combination of hand-made and store-bought costumes of all kinds. Many of them are designed for theater so you know that every stitch on it looks good. You won’t find them in a plastic bag hanging in every shop in the city, so you’re guaranteed to have the only one of its kind. Their inventory is insane, and they have everything from military uniforms (some of which are real) to long elaborate dresses fit for a royal ball. If you’re looking for something outlandish like a mascot, they have full-sized animal costumes, all made in-store.
I wish I had discovered this place months ago, because I went crazy looking for an Oktoberfest outfit that wasn’t $250 or a shitty costume, and sure enough, Famood has real dirndls and lederhosen from Germany and Austria. Their rentals are also a bit longer than other stores (most outfits are 600 czk or $27 for 5 days), so this is a great place to go if you’re getting a costume in Prague but taking it somewhere else for a short trip.
The shopkeeper is also one of the nicest people I’ve met in Prague, and she has the life I would probably live if I was as crafty as I am imaginative. She also speaks English so you don’t have to worry about communicating if you don’t speak Czech. And her needlework is fire.
I normally buy all my costumes, because I inevitably end up reusing them for something. But given the choice in Prague to spend upwards of $60-70 on a the most basic, mass manufactured, ill-fitting bagged costume, I would definitely opt to rent something totally jaw-dropping at Famood for half that price.