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How expensive is Prague?

How expensive is Prague?


There's a recent trend amongst expat Brazilian developers on X, formerly Twitter, where they share their cost of living in the places they're now based.

I first heard of this through a fellow Google Developer Expert, Lucas Santos, who shared a little about his life in Stockholm, Sweden.

He was replying to Alekson's super informative post that covered how expensive Montreal, Canada, is nowadays. Alekson, on his turn, was replying to Augusto's take on the cost of living in northern Italy.

I then decided to jump on that too:

Mostly because:

  • I think this kind of content is super valid for those who want to live abroad. Especially those coming from quite different realities, like LATAM, APAC, and others.
  • There is a lot of misinformation about the cost of living as an expat spread through Instagram Reels and TikTok out there that try hard to romanticize life abroad at any cost.
  • I wish I had something similar before I moved here and, even though I had properly planned moving here, I ended up being surprised by the overall costs and how much my purchasing power dropped for a while after moving.

Given that the original thread in Portuguese had considerable engagement, with a few questions and some people bookmarking it, I decided to turn it into a blog post in English, so that it'd reach a broader audience and also be properly indexed and made more discoverable.

Before we start, just a little bit of context:

  1. I was born and raised in Fortaleza, Brazil. I was remotely working at a US-based company before moving to Prague.
  2. I moved with my wife. Nowadays we have Ricardo, our dog.
  3. I am not an EU citizen and I run under a work permit here.

Here we go: my cost of living in Prague, Czech Republic.

🏠 Renting

Renting a flat in the center of Prague—as well as almost any European capital—will sound insanely expensive for anyone coming from pretty much any city in Latin America and, in my opinion, one just can't compare the baseline here. Just like several other expats, when I arrived my company (STRV) arranged a short-term flat for 30 days. This flat was around 50m², the layout was what they call 2 + kk (explanation below) and it was located in Invalidovna, Prague 8.

The building in particular (and the neighborhood as a whole) had several pros:

  • Close to a metro station and a cable car/bus stop;
  • Close to Karlin, the district where my company's office and several others were located (kind of like one of the tech hubs here in Prague);
  • Pubs and cafés all around;
  • The building itself was mostly inhabited by expats and thus the staff spoke English, which made life a lot easier.

We decided to stay in this building/district. After 30 days, we managed to move into a studio (~30m²) in the same building while we waited for a larger apartment to be vacant (the same as the one the company had picked up for me).

After about four/five months, we got that one for CZK 23,700.00/month, which included internet (CZK 300.00) and all utilities for two people (CZK 3,000.00).

The pandemic came and we realized the two of us could use some more space in an apartment. That was also when Ricardo joined our family and we had to find another apartment because that one had internal rules against pets.

In mid-2020, we found ourselves in Prague 10, this time in a very residential area (Vršovice), in a 95m² flat and paying CZK 25,000.00/month (utilities included). The price per Sqm was way lower than the previous one, mostly because:

  • it was a more remote neighborhood,
  • it had no subway stations nearby, and
  • the building style was from the Czechoslovak era.

At the end of 2021, the owner of that apartment passed away and his family presented us with a leave notice.

And we moved again! This time, we headed to Prague 2 (Nové Město), to a central quarter and got a 90m² flat.

We started at CZK 26,500.00 + utilities and in November 2023 we had our first adjustment. We're now settled at CZK 30,750.00.

To recap, our experience so far has been:

2019-20 (Prague 8):

  • Modern construction (late 2000s);
  • Tech bubble area.

2020-21 (Prague 10):

2022-Now (Prague 2):

  • Post-WWI cubism building;
  • Brand new refurbished flat;
  • Kind of part of the historic center of modern Prague.

If I had to summarize some key points to keep in mind when considering renting a flat in Prague, I'd say:

  • The apartment layout model (2+kk, 3+1, 4+kk, 4+1, etc.) and the real estate terminology here.
  • The correlation between the distribution of metro stations and the price per square meter. This probably applies to several other capitals here in Europe.
  • The fact that, in general, renting is more expensive than buying a home due to mortgage rates being cheaper. A study published in January 2024 by the Rental Housing Association (ANB) has found that the average monthly mortgage payment for a 53-square-meter-apartment is half the cost of average monthly rent in Czechia. By the way, I'd say things are like that in much of Europe too!
  • The importance of having some cash flow to afford a one/two months deposit and possibly a real estate commission too. This can vary for the better (e.g. no commission, if you rent directly from the owner) or for the worse (e.g. commission plus a three-month deposit). In other cities/countries here the reality is worse.


I've seen very different setups when it comes to this.

There are some arrangements where heating, water, and electricity are included in the rent. In my current apartment, water is included in my monthly rent. I also pay a fixed monthly deposit of CZK 1,500.00 for electricity. Last but not least, there's a variable quarterly deposit for heating. I've seen it ranging from CZK 2,590.00 to CZK 4,840.00.

Overall, the calculation here is annual, based on average usage: if you used more, you pay the difference, if you used less, you get your money back.

🛜 Connectivity

I'd say that the internet here is relatively cheap if compared to Brazil. I have a 250mb plan from Vodafone for CZK 700.00/month. I've also had optical fiber internet for similar rates but unfortunately, this setup isn't available in my current area. I did notice that neighborhoods within (or nearby) the historic center share the same issue around fiber internet coverage. I've also had plans from T-Mobile and O2 for similar rates.

In addition, I also have a 5G-based redundancy (unlimited data) for home internet that costs CZK 900.00/month. This is quite useful when my main network drops during a meeting, for example.

For cell phones, my wife and I have T-Mobile plans that go around CZK 1,100.00 each and provide unlimited data/calls here and an additional 36GB + 100 mins within the EU.

🚋 Transport

Public transport here is insanely efficient. The Prague network is generally one of the highest-ranked in Europe. It's simply well-covered, cheap, and easy to navigate. Rates are split into short-term and season tickets.

It costs me CZK 3,650.00 for unlimited riding the entire network (buses, cable cars, metro lines, boats, city trains, the funicular, etc.) within Prague for a whole year.

By the way, it also happens that some companies include an annual pass as part of their benefits package.

I have never checked the prices of bicycles, electric bikes, and scooters, but I've rented them a few times via apps here and it's quite affordable.

I don't have much idea about the costs of a car either, but I have a few friends who own one and it seems much more affordable than in Brazil. I have to say that most of them have small children and/or like to hit the road for the weekend to visit some country nearby.

Health Care

In general, the public health system (VZP) has your back if you're either a Czech/EU citizen or if you're formally under an employment contract here, which is my case.

Unlike some other EU countries, spouses are not covered—which was a negative surprise. My wife, for example, had to pay for a private system (PVZP) for a long time. A good plan goes around CZK 3,000.00/month.

You'll mostly be fine with VZP/PVZP, but there are also some private healthcare clinics for those looking for more comfort/convenience—and that includes, for example, being assisted by doctors who speak English.

We lived our first few years here without it but nowadays this is key to me. Many companies include this in the bonus package. A monthly subscription in Canadian Medical goes around CZK 2,990.00.

🐶 Pets

For those into pet parenting, I'd it's quite ok too.

We spend around CZK 1,300.00 on a 6kg dog food package every three months.

We pay for a health plan that costs CZK 810.00/month. The plan pays for itself soon enough, especially in cases of hospital admissions, expensive exams/sampling, etc. One-off vaccines cost in the range of CZK 800.00 - CZK 1,200.00.

A two-hour visit to a fancy pet shop, with everything included, costs around CZK 1,000.00.

🍻 Going Out

This does vary a lot, but in general, I'd say it's way cheaper than most western/northern European capitals and more expensive than cities further east.

A cappuccino at a fancy café ranges between CZK 75.00 - CZK 95.00. A whole brunch at a similar place should be around CZK 250.00.

A pint of craft beer in a good bar costs around CZK 70.00. For about CZK 400.00you can drink a lot and really good quality beer.

Food costs are also within a huge range, but I'd say grabbing lunch costs at least CZK 180.00. About CZK 280.00 will get you lunch at a decent restaurant. Dinner at a fancy place goes around CZK 450.00 - CZK 500.00 per person—and you'll eat well!

🛒 Groceries

This is probably the most variable part of the equation because it takes countless factors into account.

My wife and I usually make a one-shot order in the range of CZK 4,000.00 at the beginning of every month and then we buy other items on demand. Much of this can be covered with a company meal voucher (usually at CZK 3,000.00/month).

At the end of the month, groceries usually go around CZK 8,000.00 - CZK 9,000.00 for the two of us.

If you're wondering about prices for specific items, you might wanna check the English version of, a fine Czech online grocery store.

💰 Salary Ranges

I won't disclose my salary here but from what I've noticed in the local market, I'd say that the average salary for a senior engineering position here is CZK 130,000.00 - CZK 150,000.00/month.

People in tech positions are considered highly skilled workers and these numbers do not reflect the reality of most people here. In fact, looking at some recent data from the statistics office, the average gross monthly salary in Czechia is around CZK 43,193.00.

Taxes are based on how much you earn. There are great tools out there to help you estimate your net salary.

Wrapping Up...

At the end of the month, if we filter out fun and entertainment expenses—e.g. eating out, cinema and concerts, traveling, etc.—and also investments and savings, we have a cost baseline of around CZK 55,000.00.

To be honest, I'm not quite sure if I managed to cover everyone's questions about the costs of living here, but I'm always open to anyone who's got questions about a career as a software engineer and life as an expat.

Last but not least, this is an ever-living post and I'll keep updating it as I get more feedback and/or updates to share.

Thanks for reading!

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