Expats are moving to Prague for a wide number of reasons. For years now the popularity of the city has been growing, and the costs of living in Prague are beginning to catch up with the increased demand for housing and other services in the city.
Recently, the World's Biggest Landlord Seeks to Tap Eastern Europe Office Boom: "Allianz will look at investments in the capital cities of Warsaw, Prague, Bratislava, Budapest or Vienna, while staying away from south-eastern Europe, where it considers political and economic risks too high."
The Czech Republic is part of the Schengen Area, meaning that border control has been dramatically loosened in order to encourage economic cooperation. Citizens of the Schengen Area countries should proceed accordingly.
U.S. citizens should consult the website of the Czech Republic Embassy in Washington, D.C. to ensure that they have the most up-to-date visa information as provided by the Czech government.
The Czech government has advised:
"Long-term visa is issued as a Czech national visa with Schengen visa properties, i.e. while allowing to stay on the Territory of the Czech Republic up to 1 year, the Long-term Visa grants a possibility of the stay in the Schengen area for a maximum of 90 days within a half-year."
"Long-term visa applicants need to schedule an appointment in advance. Please call 202 274 9103. Our opening hours are every business day 8:30 AM - 11:30 AM. You will be provided with an appointment within 14 days."
U.K. citizens should consult the website of the Czech Republic Embassy in London for relevant visa information.
Healthcare for Expats in Czech Republic
Expats in Prague can expect to have access to good healthcare there. There are both public and private options available. Generally, the care in private hospitals in Prague will be somewhat better than in public settings. However, the private care will be more expensive.
Expats from the EU will be able to access the Czech healthcare system using the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).
Expat from the United States should expect to have private health insurance for the duration of their time in the Czech Republic.
British expats can use their European Union Health Insurance Card (EHIC) and can apply for it on the NHS website. The site notes that if the U.K. does leave the European Union on October 31st, 2019, British expats should have private travel health insurance as you would for a non-EU country.
Expats living in Czech Rep interested in expat health insurance should take a minute to get a quote from our trusted expat health insurance partner, CIGNA.
Getting a Good Translator is Key
Many expats have commented that the language barrier can seriously get in your way in the Czech republic. In particular, relying on translators that think they can speak English better than they actually can or who misrepresent their abilities have led to significant complications. So taking the time to get a good translator is critical.
Deciding Where in Prague to Live
Prague is divided into divisions called districts. The districts of Prague
Read our article about tips for living in Prague for more information.
Prague 6 is excellent for married couples with children, and Prague 2 is popular with single expats.
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The Prague Property Market is Going Up
For years, the property market in Prague was regarded as robust but not out of control from a price perspective. However, the costs are beginning to seriously reflect the popularity of this new European hot spot.
According to an article in Business Insider about how the Czech Republic's hot property market is becoming a problem:
"While many countries in Europe have seen strong gains in real estate values recently, the Czech capital stands out, thanks to a combination of factors: a lack of new apartments, strong demand amid a growing economy and low borrowing rates, and a boom in investment buying to set up Airbnb businesses."
As one would predict, this is making it harder to purchase or rent properties in the city, and some people are being forced to look outside of the city.
Public Transportation is Excellent in Prague
The public transportation in Prague is considered to quite good. It is run well, it's affordable and is generally safe. It consists primarily of buses, trams and commuter trains.