Prague at a Glance
Living in PragueiStockphoto
Prague has a lot to offer in terms of culture and leisure.
Living in Prague today, you can still feel much of the city’s original charm and 1,100 year-old history. Walking through the old town with its cobblestones and narrow lanes seems to take you right back in time. Sights such as the Charles Bridge across the Vltava River and the famous Prague Castle have earned the city its title of UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Although living in Prague is no longer as cheap as it once was, it is still a lot cheaper than many other expat destinations. According to the Union Bank of Switzerland, average costs of living in Prague in 2010 were merely 57.5% of those in New York.
Living in Prague: Leisure and Culture
If you are here for the first time, there is probably enough sightseeing to do to fill the first year’s worth of weekends of your life in Prague. In addition to the rich architectural heritage, there is an endless queue of museums, theaters and galleries waiting to be discovered.
Popular recreational spots include Petřín Hill and Letná Hill on the bank of the Vltava River. On weekends, most families living in Prague temporarily escape the city to spend time at their chata, their countryside cottage outside the city.
Expats starting their life in Prague value the good expat infrastructure the city offers and the vibrant international community. A number of foreign cultural institutes, such as the British Council or the German Goethe-Institut, also offer a variety of services and contribute to the multifaceted cultural life in Prague.
Life in Prague: Healthcare
Healthcare available to expats living in Prague is generally excellent. The city has a good infrastructure of both public and private clinics and hospitals. Medical standards are comparable to those in Western European countries. Living in Prague, you need not worry about being in unqualified hands!
The majority of citizens living in Prague are covered by the public healthcare system. Each doctor has a contract with a public healthcare provider and treats patients who are insured by that provider. Those eligible for public healthcare only have to pay some minor fees for visits to the doctor and prescriptions.
A number of expats living in Prague prefer treatment at one of the city’s private clinics or hospitals. As these can be very costly, private health insurance is essential.
Living in Prague: Health Insurance
Expats living in Prague are covered usually either by the public healthcare system or have private healthcare plans arranged by their employer. This depends on your employer as well as your residency status. EU nationals living in Prague profit from some additional benefits.
If you have permanent residence in Prague or you work for an employer which has a registered business address in the Czech Republic, you are required to make monthly contributions to the public healthcare system. EU citizens may keep their insurance from their home country if it complies with the EU law on public healthcare.
You may choose to get additional coverage to be able to use the private healthcare institutions. Many multinationals employing expats usually offer private insurance plans as part of their standard remuneration package.