Moving to Europe is a pipe dream of many. However, it doesn’t have to remain a pipe dream as plenty of people take the leap to live out their dreams every day. One of the countries within Europe that many forget about, but that has many advantages is the Czech Republic.
As a landlocked country in central Europe, the Czech Republic is bordered by Austria, Germany, Poland, and Slovakia. With the beautiful architecture and great location, you can thoroughly enjoy your time living there.
Additionally, if you want to explore more of Europe, you’re in a central location to do so!
Whether you decide to move there out of college, with your family, or even in retirement, one thing remains the same. You have to gather together costs for living in the Czech Republic.
Obviously, Europe is much different from other areas of the world, and the costs reflect that as well. It’s necessary to get an idea of all expenses you will incur, both on a routine basis (monthly) or every once in a while (annually).
This comprehensive guide will outline the cost of living in the Czech Republic. This information will help you acquire a basic budget before making the big move to the beautiful European country!
In any country, there are costs associated with daily living that have to be paid on a set schedule. These expenses typically include rent or mortgage, utilities, Internet, garbage service, among others. For those who live in the Czech Republic, the following costs are associated with those necessities.
As is the case globally, the cost of Internet service in the Czech Republic varies depending on the speed you choose for your home or business. The Czech Republic has access to satellite, broadband, and dial-up Internet. The costs range from $15 (dial-up) to USD 4,800 (business level satellite) per month.
The cost of housing will depend on what area of the Czech Republic you want to live in while there. Many of the apartments will come fully furnished, so you don’t have the extra expense of collecting furniture for your new home.
However, if you want to live in a more luxurious area (typically with a higher ex-pat population) of the country, you can pay upwards of USD 1,000 per month for a small apartment of less than 1,000 square feet.
If you venture out of that area, you can obtain the same size and style of apartment for about USD 100 per month less.
Many of the utilities needed in the Czech Republic are combined as one charge. For an apartment like the one described above, at less than 1,000 square feet, the average cost per month for electricity, heating, and gas is around USD 150.
It is worthy to note that if you have several people in one space, the cost will increase. Additionally, this cost can fluctuate during the year as weather conditions change and more heat or air conditioning is used.
Owning a cell phone is practically a requirement these days, no matter where you live. In the Czech Republic, you have access to many of the same carriers that people do in the United States and other countries.
You can prepay your cell phone with minutes, or you can sign up for a plan. The cost of the plan will depend on what requirements you have.
Obtaining a plan through the international provider T Mobile will cost anywhere from $25.00 per month up to $115.00. Their phone plans are labeled S, M, L, and XL in reference to the different standard sizes, and all have various features and benefits.
If you are moving to the Czech Republic with your family, you may require childcare at some point. With many different daycare centers and preschools throughout the country, you are likely to find the perfect fit for your little one.
Thankfully, childcare expenses are much more reasonable in the Czech Republic than in other areas. For full-time child care in a licensed center, you can expect to pay around USD 680 per month.
Once a child reaches three years old and is fully potty trained, they can be enrolled in the country’s preschool program. This education opportunity is free and goes until age five.
For some necessary items, the cost isn’t paid every month but instead is paid as needed. These costs can include healthcare, groceries, purchasing a vehicle, among many others.
For citizens of the Czech Republic, healthcare is provided through taxes and has no additional cost for visits and most procedures. However, if you are an ex-pat or on a student visa, you must obtain insurance by other means.
The cost of healthcare in the Czech Republic can vary depending on what you are looking for in your policy. At a minimum, the country recommends for students to get USD 70,000 in coverage for their time in the country.
However, if you live in the country as an ex-pat, acquiring a private policy is the best route. To get the best policy for your situation, it is best to speak to an agent. Health insurance prices can cost anywhere from several hundred dollars per month to a few thousand.
All people need access to food and groceries to survive, and buying groceries in the Czech Republic is similar to other countries. A few items can cost a bit more, and others may come in at less.
As an example, the following food items and prices are standard in the Czech Republic:
- Eggs: $2.30
- Two pounds of potatoes: $1.00
- Liter of milk – $1.00
- One pound of chicken breast – $4.00
- Two pounds of apples – $1.75
- Two-liter of Coke – $1.70
- Bread – $0.60
If you choose to dine out at one of the many restaurants that the country offers, you can expect to pay less than USD 10 for a casual fast food meal or around USD 50 for a nice dinner with drinks and dessert.
Personal care items can be a bit costly compared to other countries. A bottle of laundry detergent averages $12.00, a box of tampons is over $4.00, and roll-on deodorant is also over $4.00.
If you choose not to own a vehicle when living in the Czech Republic, you can use the country’s public transportation system. There are different options available to you when you go this route.
If you choose to get a daily pass, the cost will be around USD 5 each day, with a lesser fare for children. You can also choose to get a one-time fare or monthly pass.
For those who use a taxi while in the Czech Republic, the cost is cheaper than other areas of Europe. For each kilometer, the charge is $0.90.
It is safe to say that you will either need or want to buy new clothes at some point during your stay in the Czech Republic. For the most part, prices are pretty similar to other areas around the world.
For a pair of name-brand tennis shoes, you can expect to pay around USD 75, whereas for high-quality leather business shoes, you will fork over over USD 100.
Name brand jeans will typically come in around USD 60, which is a bit higher than other places. If you are looking for a dress similar in quality and style to Zara or H&M, you will likely be expected to pay around USD 40.
There are plenty of movie theaters, concert halls, and bars to visit while in the Czech Republic, as well as many other entertainment options.
If you want to check out the latest flick at the local theater, you can expect to pay USD 8.50 per ticket to see it. If you would instead take in a broadway-style show, the price will come in a bit higher at about USD 45.
Joining friends for a beer at the local pub will set you back USD 2 while meeting up for a cappuccino at the nearby coffee shop is typically about USD 3.
If you are in the Czech Republic with your family, you can check out one of their zoos. Admission for adults runs an average of USD 11, with a cheaper rate for children and senior citizens.
If amusement parks and water parks are more your styles, the Czech Republic has many throughout the country to visit. Taking a trip to Aquapalace has a daily admission rate of USD 38 for adults, with children costing USD 29.
Many people in the Czech Republic have personal vehicles that they use daily. However, with vehicle ownership comes extra expenses like insurance and gas.
A new Volkswagen car (a popular option in the Czech Republic) with no extras comes in at about $25,000 brand new. Financing is possible for vehicles, with the average interest rate coming in at a little less than 5%.
Motor vehicle insurance is a requirement for all licensed cars in the Czech Republic. Thankfully, the cost to insure a vehicle annually is often less than USD 500 per year. However, it is necessary to note that the following is required when owning a car in the Czech Republic:
- Car inspection every two years
- Having a first aid kit in your vehicle at all times
- Having a safety vest in your vehicle
- Having a warning triangle in your car at all times
- Using winter tires during the months of November through the end of March
The cost of your insurance can rise due to ex-pat status and limited driving experience in-country. However, much of the Czech Republic is moving away from that stipulation.
When filling up your vehicle in the Czech Republic, you buy gas by the liter. For one liter of gasoline, you will pay an average of $1.42. However, just like in every other part of the world, this amount fluctuates on a daily basis.
There are many different types of taxes that you have to consider when living in the Czech Republic. Like other countries, you have real estate tax, sales tax, vehicle tax, and income tax.
Real Estate Tax
The amount you pay for real estate tax will depend on where you live and the size of the residence. You will then calculate the amount based on the tax rate and pay that amount annually with your tax returns.
Currently, the real estate tax cost is the equivalent of $0.09 per square meter. However, if you have more than one floor, you have to add on an additional amount, even if the space is already accounted for in the home’s overall size.
The current sales tax rate in the Czech Republic is 20%. This amount is quite a bit higher than other sales tax levels throughout the world. However, this is common within the country, and citizens have grown used to it.
For some foreigners, it may be possible to get some of the paid sales tax back on yearly taxes. However, this comes with different criteria that must be met, so it is wise to meet with a tax advisor to find out more.
For all vehicles, there is a requirement to have a car inspection done every two years (or after four years if your car is brand new). This inspection comes with a required fee of USD 40.
For cars used for business purposes, there is a tax fee of around USD 100 paid annually. This amount is higher if the engine size is larger than the standard.
The rate for income tax amount for Czech Republic citizens is 15%. Although this is specific to residents, there are tax obligations for those who live in the country but are foreign citizens.
The amount will vary depending on how much of your income is made within the Czech Republic country. It is best to connect with a foreign tax professional for proper advice on the matter.
The Czech Republic allows citizens to collect retirement pensions tax-free up until a certain threshold. This amount is dependent on years of service and the age of retirement.
Once an individual passes the designated threshold, they are liable for a 15% retirement tax on everything over the initial level. Therefore, if you make $1,000 above the threshold, you are only taxed on that $1,000 in the amount of 15%.
While there is a gift tax for gifts over USD 680, there is no tax obligation for inheritance, wealth, or estate. Those accepting an inheritance from abroad are typically subject to a 15% tax upon receipt.
How much does it cost to immigrate to the Czech Republic? For those looking to make a move, it isn’t all that simple. The country doesn’t have set immigration laws, and many looking to stay long-term have to acquire a long-term visa.
While the long-term visa allows you to stay over 90 days, it expires after one year. Therefore, you have to continually renew it to stay in the country. This visa costs USD 115 and includes students coming to the country for study.
Currently, less than 5% of the country’s population is comprised of immigrants, with most of them being from Ukraine.
Information on the Czech Republic
When preparing to move to the Czech Republic or enjoy an extended stay in the beautiful country, it is essential to know background information on the area.
Having this data will help you make sound decisions in planning for your journey.
The Czech Republic enjoys one of the highest levels of disposable income globally, earning them an entry into the category of better health.
On a monthly basis, the average income per employee is the equivalent of USD 1,600 before taxes.
When coming from the United States, many countries continue to accept American dollars in order to exchange them during periods of high conversion rates.
Unfortunately, the Czech Republic is not one of the countries that will accept USD in place of their local currency. However, they do often quote prices in both CZK and USD for the sake of simplicity.
While you can’t pay in American funds, there is no limit to how much you can bring into the Czech Republic. With that being said, if you do bring more than USD 10,000, you do have to declare it at customs.
Amount Needed to Live Comfortably
If you are considering moving to the Czech Republic, it is essential to know what amount you need to earn monthly to live comfortably.
While the amount recommended will vary depending on the number of people, sources say that $2,900 per month for a family of four would allow for accommodations in Prague (the most expensive city in the Czech Republic) and ample wiggle room for entertainment.
Amount Needed to Retire
If you are ready to stop working and are looking to retire in the Czech Republic, it is necessary to know how much you will need to have to retire appropriately in the country.
Similar to the amount needed to live comfortably, the number will depend on where you want to live in the country. For an area like Prague, the cost will be more expensive. However, in some places, you can retire comfortably for less than USD 1,000 each month.
Related: Top Cities to Live in the Czech Republic
There are many beautiful countries within the European continent, but the Czech Republic is one of the best lower-cost options for people looking to move to the area. With many of the same luxuries as other European cities, you get a similar experience for a lesser cost.
While it can be difficult to acquire citizenship in the Czech Republic, it is relatively simple to obtain a long-term visa. Many foreigners are able to stay for years at a time, with a relatively low cost of living.
You don’t have to reserve this move for your retirement years either. The Czech Republic is a great place for families, with many options for recreation, entertainment, and education.
Child care is high-quality and low-priced, and the central location allows for frequent travel to other countries in the area. Children grow up in the Czech Republic with a great understanding of the world and all it has to offer.
Are you thinking of relocating? Take the time to reference this comprehensive guide on the cost of living in Czech Republic before taking the leap.
Related: 7 Best Banks in Czech Republic for Expats