Ever wondered what it’s like to live in the city of hundred spires? To wander around the golden city without the uneasy feeling of soon to be rushing off to the airport? To call the mother of all cities a home? It’s ace. I’ve done it. Not for very long because Prague is not where I come from originally (I’m a village kid at heart) however I have spent a couple of summers there working a gazillion part time jobs from a receptionist to a meat packer (you could tell the convicts by red caps, I had a white one – not a word of lie). Prague is an unbelievably beautiful, pretty safe and damn cheap city, let me tempt you into spending your gap year there. Or at least a couple of weeks!
WHY I WANT YOU TO MOVE TO PRAGUE?
🇨🇿 The fairy tale atmosphere of the city
Prague is different every day. The skyline is different, the trees are different, the air is different. But every single day in Prague has its unique fairy tale quality to it. Even on the darkest gloomiest of days you will find it magical to catch a red tram to work, grab a freshly baked bun for breakfast and watch the river flow underneath the stone bridges on your lunch break.
🇨🇿 You will never be bored again
There’s so much to do it’s insane. There’s live music at every other bar (and local gigs on the river islands), little orchestras playing in the gardens and parks (and rock bands smashing it at medieval castles), open air cinemas in the fields (and really fancy opera houses with red velvet seats), secret forests you didn’t even know existed (and waterparks, saunas and beer spas), exhibitions of local artists (and those of Salvator Dali) and tiny cafes where they serve fresh doughnuts, nougat truffles and hot chocolate thicker than Nutella (and restaurants where you can eat pork belly of an actual sword). In a city that’s 12 times smaller than London everything is on your door step. And there’s SO MUCH of it.
🇨🇿 Everything is so damn cheap
Life in Prague costs you a fraction of what you’re paying in England. Or the USA. Or Germany. Or France. Or any other Western country really. You can rent a pretty decent flat near the centre for £400 a month. Or you can buy a farmhouse just outside of Prague for £50k. A day saver still costs £3.50 and you can use it on the bus, the tram and the tube across the whole city. A pint doesn’t cost you more than £3 in the most expensive pubs – in fact you’ll pay less than a quid if you go to the suburbs. And all the fun things I’ve just talked about? A ticket to the opera house will cost you £30 and you’ll gonna be sat in the front row.
🇨🇿 You can live both in the city AND in the country
Prague is so small and the various boroughs are so diverse that you can work in the centre and live either in a brutalist block of flats built, an Art Deco villa, a 1900s townhouse with a swirly facade, a farmhouse with ponies in the garden, a chalet on a lakefront or in a 7-bedroom family mansion. You can be surrounded by chemical factories, satellite villages, Gothic churches, pastel coloured apartment buildings, 5-floor shopping centres, forests of coniferous trees, an evergreen woodland, fields dotted with cows and stacks of hay or fishing ponds and lakes. Prague stretches from the UNESCO-protected historical centre across residential quarters to the very suburban and even rural on the very edges of the city. And if you fancy a skying holiday then the snowcapped mountain ranges are just an hour’s drive away!
🇨🇿 Chances are you won’t get mugged
Just like every big city you will come across crime in Prague – this is usually in the form of pickpockets and petty theft. Most of the city is relatively safe to walk around though – even after dark which is something I would never do in London or Birmingham. This expat blogger talks really well about how safe the city is – the most dangerous thing you’ll encounter are the trams that don’t ever stop for pedestrians and creep up quietly behind you when you’re least expecting it!
🇨🇿 So many things are for FREE
Living in Prague is almost like visiting a huge living museum. Just the views of Prague will leave you speechless and coming back for more. There’s a ton of galleries and museums where you can go in for free, local markets are open every weekend, in winter you can stroll around the Prague Christmas markets, in summer you can go and see bands playing free gigs. There are free festivals, free tasting events and most of attractions that usually charge an entrance fee waive the charge on 5-10 different days a year so everyone can enjoy a nice day out.
🇨🇿 Health is at the forefront of everything (apart from when you’re eating that chunky pork belly, that is)
Having lived in England, Greece and the Netherlands and having needed health care in each of the countries I can safely say that Czech hospitals (despite the oldy worldy feeling of the brutalist buildings) make me feel at ease (as much as a hospital possibly can). The healthcare is split between public and private however fully based on a compulsory insurance model. That means that Czech people all pay their health insurance to an insurance company and in exchange their medical fees are either minimal (£1 for a prescription) or waived completely. Even for foreigners the services are so affordable that the Czech Republic has become a favourite spot for medical tourism. When you live in the Czech Republic you are completely free to pick any GP you want and you don’t need referrals to see a specialist. You just book in. And due to the low density of population and high number of medical staff you usually ring up in the morning and go in in the afternoon – it’s that easy. You can read an article about an American lady who broke her ankle and then wrote all about it here.
🇨🇿 You get to live in all 4 seasons
I might be biased here but living in central England made me realise how much difference experiencing all four seasons in a year can make. Watching the first snowflakes flutter down on the red rooftops of the city in December and then strolling across the park where little snowdrops are poking their heads out. Seeing the trees turn green and pink with blossoms and then pick cherries and apples of them in the park. Soaking up the red hot heat on the river bank whilst sipping on a pint. Seasons give me a routine in life and at the very same time they keep me out of the rut – there’s something charming and calming about having seasons change around your.
💭 Please keep in mind that there are always positives AND negatives when moving to a new city. This is a positive series which aims to inspire and awaken your adventure bug! Always research places you’re moving to in as much depth as possible before making any decision.