- Download our Moving to the Czech Republic Guide (PDF)
The cost of living in the Czech Republic has quickly risen in the last few years. Prague ranked 33rd out of 227 cities in Mercer's 2023 Cost of Living Survey, in the neighbourhood of Paris and Helsinki. This is up 27 places from the city's 2022 ranking of 60th. As with anywhere in the world, a few things don't come so cheap – the cost of entertainment and healthcare among them.
Cost of accommodation in the Czech Republic
Generally, the cost of accommodation and utilities in the Czech Republic is similar to the rest of Europe, although housing costs are rising. Accommodation in Prague, particularly, is more in demand and therefore pricier than in smaller towns or cities. Suburbs and districts further from the city centre are generally more affordable, but this comes with less access to the amenities and buzz of city living.
Moreover, tenants must account for the initial costs of renting, which include a security deposit of between one and two months' rent. For those who will be using a real estate agent, they will also need to pay their agent at least one month's rent as a commission. Expats must also budget for monthly utility fees, which are usually not included in the rental price.
Cost of transport in the Czech Republic
Expats should not find transport in the Czech Republic a significant expense, as both public transport and petrol are relatively cheap. Expats can purchase a small car at a reasonable price, although thanks to a well-developed, reliable and inexpensive public transport system, many expats (especially those living in Prague) may find this isn't necessary.
There are various passes available for the public transport system in the Czech Republic, and expats can get excellent value for money if they buy a monthly pass and use public transport regularly. Students and seniors are eligible for discounted passes.
Cost of education in the Czech Republic
Public education in the Czech Republic is cheap, but because of the language barrier, most expats send their children to private or international schools that teach in English or are bilingual. These schools cost more but have smaller classes and an expanded slate of extracurricular activities.
Expat parents moving for work purposes are advised to negotiate an education allowance with their employer as part of their employment package. It is also worth researching available scholarships, bursaries or financial assistance programmes. Some schools offer qualifying students merit-based scholarships or financial aid, which can significantly reduce the financial burden on expat families.
Cost of groceries and clothing in the Czech Republic
Groceries are not expensive in the Czech Republic, and expats from Western Europe and the United States will spend much less on food than they are used to. Some typical grocery stores in the Czech Republic include Tesco, Billa and Albert. Exploring local markets and shopping at discount supermarkets can also help expats save on food expenses.
Clothing is one of the few expensive items in the Czech Republic. While apparel, especially brand-name items, can be costly, expats can look for alternative shopping options to find more affordable clothing. Local markets and second-hand stores often have a selection of reasonably priced clothing, and shopping during seasonal sales can result in significant savings.
Cost of eating out and entertainment in the Czech Republic
Eating out at restaurants in the Czech Republic costs around the same as in the rest of Europe. Alcohol and tobacco, on the other hand, are less expensive, especially the locally brewed beer for which the country is renowned.
For those who enjoy dining out but are conscious of their budget, exploring local food stalls, markets or cafés is an excellent way to experience traditional Czech cuisine without breaking the bank. Street food vendors and local cafés offer delicious meals at a fraction of the price of traditional restaurants. Additionally, expats can look for free or low-cost entertainment options, such as cultural events, festivals and outdoor activities like hiking or cycling, to make the most of their leisure time without incurring high costs.
Cost of healthcare in the Czech Republic
The cost of healthcare in the Czech Republic can vary greatly depending on the type of services that expats require and whether they opt for public or private healthcare facilities. The country's comprehensive public healthcare system is funded through mandatory health insurance contributions, ensuring that all legal residents, including expats, can access essential medical services for a reasonable cost. On the other hand, language barriers can sometimes make it difficult for expats to fully benefit from public healthcare services, and waiting times can be lengthy for some procedures.
To overcome these challenges, many expats in the Czech Republic choose to utilise private healthcare facilities, which often offer higher-quality services and shorter waiting times. However, the costs associated with private healthcare can be significantly higher than those found in the public system. As a result, expats should secure comprehensive private health insurance that covers private medical treatment and any necessary repatriation expenses.
Cost of living in the Czech Republic chart
Prices may vary depending on the product and service provider. The list below shows average prices for Prague in October 2023.
|Accommodation (monthly rent)
|Three-bedroom apartment in the city centre
|Three-bedroom apartment outside the city centre
|One-bedroom apartment in the city centre
|One-bedroom apartment outside the city centre
|Food and drink
|Milk (1 litre)
|Loaf of white bread
|Chicken breasts (1kg)
|Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)
|Three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant
|Big Mac Meal
|Bottle of beer (local)
|Monthly mobile phone plan with calls and data
|Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month)
|Basic utilities (average per month for a standard household)
|City-centre public transport fare
|Gasoline (per litre)
►For more information on money matters, read Banking, Money and Taxes in Czech Republic
What do expats say about living costs in the Czech Republic?
"I can say for certain that the cost of public transportation is definitely lower here than anywhere I've used it in Canada. The price of a night out for a few pints in the pub is also much cheaper here than anywhere I've been in Canada." Read more about Kevan's move to the Czech Republic and his expat experiences in the country.
"Babysitting, housecleaning, and hair cutting are all cheaper. And public transport is great and also very reasonable." Read how the cost of living in the Czech Republic compares to the US in our interview with Expatova.
Are you an expat living in Czech Republic?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Czech Republic. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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