Alex Staff Agency
The cost of living in Prague
The Czech Republic is very popular among IT specialists. Often it is Prague that programmers go for a good salary and a comfortable life. Let's estimate the main costs and find out how much life in the European capital costs.
We have already covered the basic facts about the Czech climate, language, transport, etc. Today we will try to assess the cost of living in the Czech Republic on the example of its capital, Prague.

According to the Social Progress Index (analyzes social factors, environment, etc.), the Czech Republic ranks 22nd in the world in terms of convenience of living. According to the authoritative Travel Tables website, total spending per person is about €1400 per month (you can customize the costs yourself for your needs on the website).

The first thing everyone wants to know about life in Prague is the prices of food, rent, taxes, etc. We are analyzing all the basics, and consider whether a programmer's salary will be enough to live comfortably without saving money.
Average salary

According to the latest data from the Czech Statistical Office, the average gross wage in the Czech Republic is 37,499 Kč/€1534 per month.

The highest salaries in the Czech Republic (excluding managerial positions) are paid to doctors (€1200-3000 and higher), lawyers (up to €2000) and accountants (€1700-2000 on average). Welders earn up to €1100, drivers up to €1000 and waiters up to €700.

Programmers, on average, earn €1700-3000 per month. The most in demand are C, C#, C++, Java, JavaScript developers, AI and Cloud Engineers, App Developers and other specialists.



Cost of living in Prague: the most important things about taxes

Corporate income tax is 19%, payable once a year. But income tax for individuals is 15-23%. It is mandatory if you are officially employed, working for hire, making a profit or renting accommodation. 15% is for those who earn up to €5360 per month, and 23% is charged on the amount exceeding this threshold.

You can calculate the net salary in a special online calculator. A Java developer without children will get about €2400 minus taxes.



Rent, utilities and internet

Let’s consider the cost of renting an apartment in Prague. A one-room apartment in a brick building in the center with furniture can be rented for €450, a two-room apartment – for €530, and a three-room apartment – for €739.
The farther from the center, the cheaper: a one-bedroom for €285, a two-bedroom for €366 and a three-bedroom for €615.
However, it is possible to find other prices. We took the popular website srealty.cz and found out some real offers. But if you dig around, it is quite possible to find cheaper options. Other popular sites: ulovdomov.cz, Bezrealitky.cz, expats.cz.

By the way, look at the areas when choosing housing. The entire city is divided into zones: from the 11th begins "bedroom communities". The best areas of Prague for life on the development of infrastructure and availability of entertainment – 1-10.

The cost of utilities (gas, electricity, water, etc) can be up to 30% of the rent. So, an apartment of 85 m2 will be about €180 per month. It is customary in the Czech Republic to pay suppliers a fixed fee, which depends on the number of residents. Once a year there is a recalculation, as a result of which either the company returns what has been overpaid, or consumers pay the shortfall.

The leading mobile and Internet service providers are O2, T-Mobile and Vodafone. A telephone and home Internet service costs about 1,000 CZK/€41 per month.



Nutrition

The cheapest place to buy groceries is in supermarkets and cook at home. The most popular stores are Penny, Albert, Lidl, Billa, Tesco, Kaufland, Globus, etc.

During the pandemic, online shopping at sites such as Rohlík, Košík and others is in particular demand. Shoppers choose the products they want online and wait for delivery to their homes (this service usually costs €2-6). Let's go to Rohlík and get a food basket of the essentials for the week:
Only 991.63 Kč/€41. This is enough for 1-2 people for a week. It turns out that you can budget about €200 per month. For a family, spending will increase to €280-320+. It all depends on your lifestyle and eating habits.

At the Rohlík restaurant you can order Pilsner Urquell beer (500ml) for 29 Kč/€2, Vogue La Lilas cigarettes for 124 Kč/€6, Mikulov Sommelier Club Pálava wine for 180 Kč/€8.

Prices in the restaurant are reasonable. An order for two in a mid-range place costs about 22 €. At McDonald's you can get a hearty meal for €7-8 (French fries+burger+coke set).



Transportation

The Czech Republic has a well-developed system of public transport. In Prague it is convenient to travel by bus, metro and streetcar. It is cheapest to buy a single pass for 1000 Kč/€42 per month, and for a year – 7800 CZK/€320. It is not tied to a specific person, so any family member can use it (but it is only valid for 1 passenger at a time).

The average cost of a short cab ride is 200 Kč/€9.

It is convenient to travel between the cities by train/bus or rented car. A trip to Plzen by train takes about an hour and costs 97-150 Kč/€4-6.

To access the freeways, you need to buy an electronic vignette pass for 440 CZK/€18 (for 30 days). Rent a VW Polo for 24 hours for 954 Kč/€39 (you can find cheaper and more expensive options), gasoline €1,23-1,25 per liter.



Schools and kindergartens

When you move, there is no problem getting your children into educational institutions. Kindergartens take kids from 3 to 6 years, but can also take older children (7-8 years).

Public options – the most economical option, about 500 Kč/€21 per month + small fees for stationery and mugs. Private ones are more expensive – at least 8000 Kč/€330 per month + additional expenses for optional activities.

There is an excellent educational program in kindergartens: learning foreign languages, drawing, singing etc. The adaptation process in the new country in such a place will go as smoothly as possible.

School education is free of charge in public institutions and from 110000 CZK/€4500 per year in private institutions. If your child has already attended school in his home country he is offered a lower grade. This is necessary for adaptation and mastering the Czech language. In the first year he will not receive grades in Czech language and literature.



Leisure spending

Sports

A membership to the Next.Move fitness club costs 1490 Kč/€60 per month, but you can find an easier place from €30/month. The indoor Šutka (pool (50 m lanes) is open all year round. 1 session for an adult (60 min) costs 135 Kč/€6, and a monthly pass costs 1200 Kč/€50.

Prague has developed infrastructure for cycling and joggers. The latter is free, but renting a bike and equipment costs 350 CZK/€15 for 2 hours (or also free if you have your own).

Personal care

90 minutes massage in Beauty Shape salon – 1200 Kč/€50, business manicure - 550 Kč/€23, basic make-up – 220 Kč/€9.

A haircut for girls costs about 760 Kč/€31, and for guys from 420 Kč/€17. You can also get a beer belly, which is not uncommon in this beer paradise center. A special massage for 40 minutes for 1250 CZK/€52 (you will need several procedures) helps with that.

Entertainment in Prague

  • A movie show – 150-400 CZK/€6-16
  • City tour (river, road and walking tour) – from 970 CZK/€40
  • Zoo – 250 CZK/€11
  • Play – from 730 CZK/€30
  • Beer tour – 970 CZK/€40
  • Bowling – from 230 CZK/€10 for 3 hours
  • Quest room – from 1690 CZK/€70
  • Shooting gallery – from 900 CZK/€37

Attention: Please keep in mind that you have to keep your distance and wear masks in all places. Sometimes you might not be allowed in some places, if you do not have a certificate of vaccination or a negative test for coronavirus. So check the requirements in advance.



To sum up

Let's calculate how much it would cost to live, for example, as a Java developer in Prague (one of the current vacancies in our agency).

Gross salary is €3100 (~76000 Kč). Including taxes, a programmer with 1 child will get €2460 net. The cost of a two-room apartment, utilities, food, internet and travel will be around €1000 per month*. It is also worth adding €200 for contingencies. Subtract this and you have about €1260 of spare cash to spend on your child's school, clothes, trips around the country, entertainment, furnishing the apartment, and everyday life.**

We understand that the calculations are approximate, since everyone's standard of living is different. But we hope that we were useful to you and helped you to understand the cost of living in Prague.

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*The deposit and the first month's rent is paid by the employer (in our case)
**Medical insurance is also paid by the employer
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