Even though the shops on Obchodná tend to come and go, ÚĽUV has been there for years. Avoid the tacky Slovakia Drinking Team T-shirts shops in the Old Town and come here for the quality Slovak design and crafts products. I usually visit it when I’m about to go for a trip abroad and want to bring something typical from my country or to buy decorations for home.
You can find beautiful traditional dresses here which are actually wearable, incredibly coulourful wedding bonnets with meticulous embroideries, warm wool socks or gloves and various household decorations such as wooden and wire bowls tailored into modern shapes. You can even buy fabrics to make your own clothes, including the ever more popular blueprint (modrotlač). I can recommend the corn husk dolls which are very typical for Slovakia and quite cute.
ÚĽUV is an acronym for Centre for Folk Art Production. It’s not just a shop facing the street. Walk into the courtyard and you can visit their gallery just next door. Right now they have an exhibition of artworks of talented kids from all around Slovakia. There is also a small library and a crafts school open to the public where you can join a course for leather crafts, weaving, pottery, wood carving or even such obscure specialities as bobbin lace weaving. The courtyard is usually decorated with some installations. I like how they don’t try to overdo it with decoration, but keep it minimalistic.