Life in Prague

We are nearing our 2nd month in Prague, also known as Praha in Czech. We originally figured we’d stay about a week. Yeah, life in Prague is like that.

Prague immediately grabbed me. Paris is one of my absolutely favorite cities in the world. While there are similarities, Prague has a different, relaxed feeling to it. It’s a big city that feels like a small one. And the fantastic and affordable transportation system helps it feel even smaller.

It’s no surprise I fell in love so quickly.

Being an international city, it’s so incredibly easy to find people who speak English. It’s to the point where I don’t even ask people if they speak English first. I just go up to them and start talking. I rarely ever encounter someone without even a basic level of English.

Which is a good thing since Czech is one of the harder languages to learn for native English speakers.

Prague's diversity

Living expenses in Prague

One of the things I love about Czech’s capital is the charming, old world feel combined with modern amenities. Unlike Paris’s metro, the trains are newer and the underground stations don’t have the faint-to-strong aroma of urine. The Prague system is also about one third cheaper than Paris. If you buy a month’s pass, it’s even less.

Cheaper is another lovely theme in the Paris of the East, especially if you get outside the tourist zone. We live in a 2-bedroom apartment on the outskirts of town. We pay just over $600 USD per month for our apartment, which also includes a washing machine, all utilities, and high-speed internet, and they do a thorough clean of the apartment every 2 weeks. We could certainly find something less expensive, though. Rent is quite reasonable here.

We spend about $100 USD on groceries per week, including alcohol, and that’s for 2 people (though not the alcohol), one of whom is a teenage boy. Occasionally we’ll buy some imported foods (like cheddar cheese), and naturally that will add a bit to our grocery bill, but it still isn’t too bad.

From what I’ve heard from some expats in long-term leases, utilities are quite affordable as well.

You don’t need a car. A month unlimited pass for the metro/tram/bus system is $33 USD; however, if you’re here for a while you can get a hold of an Open Card which makes it even cheaper.

Here’s a big win for families: If you have children younger than 15, the Open Card allows them to use the transportation system for free!



This is a very cultural city. There are world-class musical performances like orchestra and opera. And Praha attract big names. While here, Tigger attended his first concert when we saw Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Later I relived the pleasant parts of my middle and high school years by attending an outstanding, sold-out concert by Depeche Mode.

There are plenty of cinemas here, and we have been able to see newly released movies around the same time they’ve shown up in the States. Most of the time they are in English with Czech subtitles. After seeing a 3D movie in the IMAX theater, we decided we need to bring earplugs next time. We both had headaches from the loud volume. Thankfully, the non-IMAX theaters don’t blow your eardrums out.

Movie tickets aren’t cheap, but they’re less than the US as are snacks and drinks. We usually end up paying around $25 total for 2 tickets, 2 large drinks, and 2 medium-sized popcorns. And these are nice, clean, new theaters with comfortable chairs and reserved seating.

There are plenty of activities in town as well—Go-Karting, indoor skydiving, paintball, shooting ranges (you can even shoot an AK-47 if that’s your thing), and many more.


For many people doing long-term travel, there is a big need to be connected. I “work” online, so it’s important to me to have good access and good speeds. Tigger does his education online as well as keeps in touch with his friends. So it’s a biggie for us. Thankfully, it definitely is not a problem here. It is super easy to find free WiFi all over the city, and most accommodations provide free WiFi as well. If you are buying it for your home, it’s extremely reasonable.

I bought a local SIM through Vodafone since I had a good experience with them in Romania. A plan giving you 250 MB of data is about $30 per month. There is a daily plan where you don’t pay for data unless you connect to it. That gives you 25 MB a day and costs just over $1 per day of use.

Calls and SMS are pretty darn cheap. You can top up your account easily. There are places almost everywhere you turn selling cards. You can also top up online.

If you have a Czech phone, you can  buy your transportation tickets via SMS (although you can’t buy discounted fares with this method). The pass is cheaper, but if you end up in a situation where buying a pass isn’t the best plan, this is pretty handy and keeps you from having to make sure you have tons of change in your pockets, etc.

There are some great apps for getting around Prague, doing a self-guided tour, and so on.

Buying electronics is more expensive in the Czech Republic, so you probably won’t want to plan on doing that kind of shopping here. Many locals take the train into Germany to do their shopping for things like clothes and electronics and return the same day.

Prague's famous bridge


Prague basically has something for everyone. We’ve found good Chinese, Thai, Mexican (which totally shocked me), Italian, Spanish, and so on. It’s an international city, and you can find almost anything you’d want food-wise.

Have you heard the rumor about how beer is cheaper than bottled water? It’s pretty much true. And it’s good beer! You can also find beer virtually anywhere, and you won’t be judged if you ask for a beer at 11 AM. *cough*

Street food won’t be as diverse as places like SE Asia, but you probably would already expect that. Most street food fare will be sausages, hot dogs, and meat on a stick.

Outdoors life

Czechs thoroughly enjoy the outdoors. There are plenty of greenbelts, gorgeous parks, bicycle paths (including a rather impressive bicycle pathway system leading all over the city, even into the suburbs), and so on. Prague is a very pedestrian-friendly city.

The city is also close to great ski areas for winter fun.

During the warmer months, you’ll find people rowing boats and canoes in the river.

Beautiful Prague

Prague as a travel base

Trains within Czech are extremely budget friendly, clean, mostly on schedule, and just a pleasure to travel on. You can leave Prague by train and be in many wonderful locations (both domestic and international) within hours.

Prague’s airport also has a great selection of low-cost airfares.

Prague may not be “perfection,” but I’m going to say it’s pretty darn close!

Have you been to Praha? What’s your favorite memory?

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  1. Nice overview of Praha, and I definitely second Anne Marie’s recommendation of Budapest. It’s got the architectural charm of Prague (along with another challenging language), reasonable cost of living, and a historical-modern balance of everyday life. Plus, there are some amazing “ruin bars” – pubs created in former living spaces – worth a visit.

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    • Those sound like interesting bars. I went to a couple of “cave” bars in Paris in the Marais quarter. Very interesting.

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  2. If you love Prague I’m sure you will like Budapest, Hungary as well. It has a really good feeling to it, nice people and lovely food. Check it out!
    Best travels
    Anne Marie

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  3. Does sound like it could make a good base for you guys. I’ve been to Prague three or four times, and enjoy it, though nothing particularly attracts me to stay for a long time. How do you find the people? I haven’t had much interraction with Czech people, but the stereotype (at least the one I have heard) is rude and distant: have you found this to be true?

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    • I’ve heard that as well, and it hasn’t been my experience. Like most big cities, people kind of keep to themselves. If you talk to someone or something, they’re quite polite and helpful. Many are quite cheerful. But on buses, trains, etc., everyone just minds their own business really.

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  4. It’s tough to pick a favorite travel memory, but I’ve been twice — each time during the Christmas markets. They are among the best in Europe. My husband would actually say “the best”. How lucky you are to be living like a local there. Would love to do that.

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    • I wouldn’t mind seeing the Christmas markets here. I’m sure they’re quite lovely.

      It has been very nice being here in this manner for sure.

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  5. So great to see you guys are enjoying Prague so much, and that it still remains really affordable. I remember when I backpacked through there in 2005, it was really a wonderland, with subway rides costing just a few cents and the beer being so much cheaper than water. It was a delight at the time, but it made the transition to Austria afterwards that much more painful!

    The Czech Republic is part of Schengen Zone, right? So a 3 month stay is all that is possible?

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    • There are a handful of countries that Czech allows a stay for 90 days beyond the Schengen time, but the US isn’t one of them unfortunately. So a temporary residency visa would be needed to extend.

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  6. Wow, I really liked Prague when I visited 16 years ago, but I never would have considered it as a longer term stay. That’s very interesting! We are considering Europe in two years, so I will definitely take note of your recommandations!

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  7. Love reading about your travels and really admire the life you have created for your family.

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  8. What a wonderful life you have in Prague! Though I have never been, Prague is my favorite city. I spend most of my free time reading about it, and hopefully, if I live to retirement age, I would love to retire there. I even have a Pinterest board and Flipboard magazine dedicated to all things Prague. Thanks for sharing your experiences. Will.

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    • I had never even considered basing it here until we spent some time here. Now it’s definitely in the top of my list!

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  9. Talon, how difficult is it to locate an apartment “bundle” like you guys found? Germany is on our traveling list so it would be easy to hop over to Prague and you make it sound fantastic! I assume you guys are traveling on the 90 day visitor visa? If Wikipedia holds true, I found this: In addition, above the framework of the Schengen visa exemption of 90 days in any 180 day period, Argentine, Chilean, Costa Rican, Israeli, Malaysian, Mexican, South Korean and Uruguayan citizens are permitted to spend an extra 3 months visa-free in the Czech Republic. Since my husband is Mexican, I usually find more limitations on him so this is great news! When you rented the apartment, were there any hassles since you’re there on the tourist visa?

    Sorry for the million questions but I’m so excited to finally be traveling and eager to see the world!

    Krystal, Jose, Erika, and Mia

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    • It’s really rather simple. I initially located this place through AirBnB. We stayed a few nights, loved it, and so I worked out a deal with the owner. There are some websites for finding short-term leases, short stay places, etc., as well as some Facebook groups.

      The bundled situations are probably a little more of a challenge if you go outside of a rental site like we used, but utilities are really quite cheap here.

      No one asks for a visa. It’s super easy as a tourist to find a place.

      Good news for your husband! Wow! Wish it worked that way for people from the US!

      Feel free to ask questions. You can also email me via the Contact Us area at the top of the page.

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