The Price of Life in Prague
One of the greatest perks of life in Czechia is its affordability. How does the cost of living in Prague compare with other European capitals?
Recently voted among the top ten cities for expats, Prague is a popular destination not least for offering a quality of life that’s hard to beat. But if you are just thinking of moving to this historic yet fast-growing city, it can be hard to work out the exact cost of living.
Before you make the trip, it helps to break down on the basic costs you can expect, from housing and food to going out for a pivo. We compared these costs with other European capitals, particularly neighbouring Vienna and Berlin. Here’s what we found.
1. Rent and housing
The biggest chunk of your monthly budget will typically go toward accommodation. Despite a spike in property prices across the nation, luckily rent remains relatively affordable around Prague. That said, the price range does fluctuate considerably depending on which neighbourhood you decide to take up residence.
Many expats choose to live closer to the city-centre, where rents are highest. A central one-bedroom apartment goes at about 19,000Kč (i.e. €735) per month, utilities excluded. While that may sound steep for some, it’s still cheaper than most European capitals. On average, accommodation rentals in Prague are 30% cheaper than in both Vienna and Berlin.
City-center rentals compared
|City||One-bedroom rental (EUR)||Three-bedroom rental (EUR)|
Meanwhile, flat-sharing is also common among single professionals. With a three-bedroom apartment in the center of Prague averaging at 30,000Kč or €1160, the value for individual tenants is pretty solid.
Living further out of the centre can also slash that price by at least a third. With such a good public transport infrastructure in the city (one of the best in Europe), commutes to a city-center job are a breeze.
Do your research before deciding which district to live in, not only based on price and transport connections, but also by making sure the neighbourhood is right for you. Here’s a handy district guide by Prague Off the Map giving a break down of the many different districts.
2. Groceries and shopping
Source: Wikimedia Commons
Once rent is out of the way, the quality of life comes at a truly great value. Prices of basic products in supermarkets are generally much lower in Czechia than in neighbouring countries, sometimes by as much as half.
On a supermarket trip in Prague, you will likely spend an average of 40% less than in Vienna or Berlin on the same items. Unfortunately, when it comes to clothes, the pricing gap narrows, with clothing in Prague sometimes priced a bit higher.
Shop goods compared
|City||12 eggs||1kg tomatoes||1 pair high-quality jeans||1 high-street dress (e.g. H&M)|
But considering all the money you will have saved on food, it’s probably okay to splurge that extra bit on jeans once in a while. Besides, when it comes to enjoying all that Prague culture, dining experiences and nightlife, value improves even more.
3. Going out
Getting around Prague
In Prague, getting around is extra easy thanks to the city’s remarkable public transport system. Since it is almost always reliable and punctual, exploring the city by tram, metro or bus is pretty ideal. Not to mention the fact it is extremely low-cost.
Transport prices compared
|City||Monthly public transport ticket||1L gasoline||8km taxi trip|
Dining out in Prague
So next time you want to try the fancy restaurant way across town, you don’t have to worry about breaking the bank. An insider tip is to try lunch menus at normally pricey restaurants — you could find an amazing deal and grab some fine dining on a budget.
Meanwhile, one thing you can count on always being good for value is beer, the national beverage and, perhaps, treasure. You can even take a pint in with you to a cinema screening, which is also highly affordable, even more so at the various independent art house cinemas around town.
Restaurant, bar and cinema prices compared
|City||Lunch menu||Dinner out for two||Pint of beer||Cinema for two|
There is so much more about Prague to discover, and we haven’t even touched on the various cultural experiences that are free-of-charge. But as our comparisons prove, you don’t have to worry about getting less bang for your buck here.
Author: Salwa Benaissa
My name is Salwa and I’m a copywriter and communication strategist. I have Moroccan roots, an American accent and a British sense of humour. I moved to Prague from London in 2015 and have been based here ever since. I work mainly in advertising and content marketing while freelancing as a journalist. My passions include acting, surrealist literature and complaining that the coffee I’m drinking is not strong enough.
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