Living in Prague, Czech Republic (Episode 35)

We've lived in Prague, Czech Republic since January 2017, making it about a year and a half altogether. But, finally, our time has come to leave this fairytale city in search of new adventures!

However, we haven't made an episode or blog post about our time living here! It's about time we did. In this episode, we blabbered about:

  • Why exactly we moved to Prague, Czech Republic
  • How on earth we did that, including finding an apartment, getting a visa, etc.
  • How we were almost on House Hunters International, then totally got screwed over
  • The cost of living in Prague
  • Our favorite things to do in the magical fairytale land of Prague
  • The best things to do in the Czech Republic outside of Prague
  • Pros and Cons of living in Prague
  • What we're up to next!

Thank you so much for listening! Flip through our blog post below for more information, pictures, and videos on Prague!

Wine: Vinne Sklepsy- Modry Portugal (Czech Republic)


Where is Prague, Czech Republic?

 

Prague is a gorgeous city located in the Czech Republic, which is a country found in Central Europe. It's surrounding countries are Poland, Germany, Austria, and Slovakia.

Why did we move to Prague of all places?

There are a number of reasons:

  1. We wanted to live in Europe while working on our computers with VIPKID
  2. We needed a place where it was relatively easy to get a year-long visa where we could only work with our online jobs
  3. It's very affordable!!
  4. It's centrally located in Europe, so it's easy to go to other countries from there
  5. Also, it's gorgeous
  6. Oh, and we were going to be on House Hunters International!

How did you just up and move to Prague?

We of course needed help with this move, so we hired a Prague-based company called Move to Prague. This company helped us with a ton of stuff, like:

  1. Getting our documents together for our visas and applying for them
  2. Setting up our phone service with Vodafone
  3. Finding an apartment for us and translating the contract (it's almost always in Czech there)
  4. Getting our public transportation cards ("Litacka" cards)
  5. Getting a "zivno," or a trade license (important for self-employed people)
IMG_0025.JPG

Transportation Cards

The Litacka cards in Prague are so easy to use and are so cheap! For one month, we paid 550 CZK, or about $25 USD. But, they did offer 3-months (1480 CZK or $66), five months (2,450 CZK or $110), and annual (3,650 CZK or $163) passes as well for even better prices!

Our apartment

We lived in a 1-bedroom apartment in a hip and perfectly located neighborhood called Karlin. Our rent was 17,000 CZK, which varied throughout our time there from $650 to $800 because of the currency (or possibly currencies?) changing value!

However, we were not told about two things that you need to know before picking an apartment in Prague as a foreigner:

1. Negotiate any rent price they give you and

2. Be sure that ALL utilities (water, gas, electricity, etc.) are included in the monthly rent payment.

Do not sign any lease agreement until these two things are addressed! Don't get totally robbed like we did! 

Because we didn't do those two things, we were paying a lot for rent for the year and a half we lived there and, since utilities are calculated at the end of the year, had to pay almost $1,200 extra in utility fees at the end of our year lease!

Brutal.

Anyway, we found our apartment and one of the main reasons we took it was because the landlord said that he was fine with us filming House Hunters International there. However, after setting everything up for almost 6 months while living there, everything went south. Why?

Because our landlord refused to sign the contract with the TV show no matter what.

And because of that, we never got to film House Hunters International.

And yes, we're still depressed about that. 

Visa Process

The company helped us with our visa process. They helped us get our documents together, like criminal background checks, proof we had at least $4,000 USD in a bank account, and other things. After getting the documents together, they did pretty much everything else for that. Then, we had to go to Warsaw, Poland to a Czech consulate for an interview, which we almost didn't pass (you can read/hear more about our visa nightmare here)!


What is it like living in Prague?

After our visa applications were approved in April 2017, we got into a comfortable routine in Prague. We worked often on our computers, went to the gym, and even made friends! Prague became home for us fairly quickly.

Cost of Living

Our apartment was expensive and for a good reason: the housing market is booming! So, if you're looking for a one-bedroom in the middle of the city, 17,000 CZK is about what you'd pay (probably more if you include utilities). 

However, if you want a studio that's farther out from the center, you may be looking at around 13,000 CZK. Like real estate anywhere, it's all about location. 

Although the rent can be a little pricey in Prague, everything else is cheap. Going out to eat, getting a coffee, raging in the nightlife, getting around: all of that is cheap/affordable. 

By the way, beer is cheaper than water in Prague. Do you really need another reason to visit/move there?!

 Me (Marilyn) and my beer in the park on Letna Hill!

Me (Marilyn) and my beer in the park on Letna Hill!

What can I do there?

Prague offers a plethora of things to do, see, and admire. Here are some of our favorites and must-dos:

Letna Hill and Beer Garden

Prague Castle (the biggest castle complex in the world!)

Old Town Square

Charles Bridge (try to visit this early in the morning or at night when there are less tourists)

John Lennon Wall

Sapa Market (Vietnamese town with killer pho, Vietnamese coffee, and other goodies!)

 Fish pho from Sapa Market, Prague

Fish pho from Sapa Market, Prague

Escape Rooms (try the Harry Potter Escape Room at Questerland!)

Harry Potter Escape Room Prague

What else is going on in the Czech Republic?

Prague is a gorgeous city, but don't be fooled: the Czech Republic has far more to offer! There are tons of day trips you could take from Prague, which you can find here. But, here are some things you should check out outside of Prague, whether it's for one day or a weekend:

Adršpach-Teplice Rocks

Český Krumlov

Karlštejn Castle

Karlstejn.jpeg

Terezin Concentration Camp

Sedlec Ossuary, a.k.a. The Bone Church

Bone Church Czech Republic

Karlovy Vary

Karlovy Vary

Moravia, the beautiful wine region of the Czech Republic, especially:

Lednice Castle

Lednice Castle

Valtice Castle

Mikulov Castle

Mikulov Castle

There's far more to see/hear/listen to on the best day trips from Prague, too! Also, we got to experience a wine festival in Moravia and it was one of our favorite weekends while living there!


Pros and Cons 

Alas, no place is perfect to live and it's definitely worth looking into the positives and negatives of living in Prague.

Pros

  • Location- Prague is so centrally located!
  • So much to do in Prague, the Czech Republic, and surrounding countries
  • Cost of living
  • FOOD-- Czech food is far better than you may think (check out the video below)
  • Transportation- cheap, clean, comfortable, and timely
  • Big and small city simultaneously- It's easy and fast to get anywhere there!
  • SAFE- Czech Republic is the 7th safest country in the world!
  • Free health insurance!

Cons

  • Weather- the winter can be brutal!
  • Local people- Until you get to know them, Czech people can be rude and cold.
  • Getting more expensive- Like we said, housing market is sky-rocketing!

Why are you leaving Prague if it's so great?

We loved and appreciated our time living in Prague! But, there are 3 main reasons as to why we are now leaving it:

  1. We're getting bored and restless. We love living in Prague, but we're naturally nomadic people and loving moving to different places, experiencing different cultures, and seeing different things!
  2. Too comfortable. Prague is such a comfortable and amazing place to live, but again, we're just too comfortable and want something new.
  3. Asia. We lived in Asia for about 2 years and want to head back there because we loved it so much and now miss it immensely! Specifically, we'll be moving to China!

Have you ever been to Prague? Would you ever live there? 


Wine: Vinne Sklepsy- Modry Portugal (Czech Republic)


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How to Move to Prague, Czechia
Why You Should Move to Prague

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