Living in Prague ?
Living in Prague
At a Glance:
- Compared with Central European cities with similar living standards, Prague is more affordable, with a lower cost of living.
- While Prague has a good range of private international schools, the Czech public education is free for anyone residing in the country.
- There are a number of both public and private hospitals in the city. Both systems are known for their high medical standards.
- An extensive public transportation system, comprising of the metro, trams and buses, connects the city’s various districts.
With its cobblestones and narrow lanes, walking through Prague’s old town takes you back in time. Sights such as the Charles Bridge across the Vltava River and the famous Prague Castle give the city an historical charm and have earned it the title of “UNESCO World Heritage Site”. Ranking 126th out of 208 cities worldwide in the Mercer 2016 Cost of Living Rankings, Prague is better value than other Central and Eastern European cities such as Ljubljana, Moscow, Riga and Bratislava. Numbeo indicates that the average rent in Prague is about 26% lower than in Berlin, 35% lower than Brussels, and an incredible 57% lower than in Amsterdam.
Discovering Prague’s Highlights
There is probably enough sightseeing and culture in Prague to keep you busy for every weekend of the year. In addition to its rich architectural heritage, the city is home to an endless number of museums, theaters, and art galleries. Popular recreational spots include Petřín Hill and Letná Hill on the bank of the Vltava River. On weekends, many families escape the city to spend time at their chata — a countryside cottage outside the city. Expats in Prague value 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 Prague’s culture.
Healthcare in Prague: Public vs Private
Prague has a good infrastructure of both public and private clinics and hospitals with high medical standards.
If you have permanent residence status in Prague, or if you work for an employer who has a registered business address in the Czech Republic, you are required to make monthly contributions to the public healthcare system. As of 2016, an employer must contribute 34% of gross wages to state social security schemes, 9% of which is for health insurance. 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 pay minor fees for visits to the doctor and prescriptions.
Many expats choose to be treated at one of the city’s private clinics or hospitals. These can be very costly, making private health insurance an essential. In some cases, employers (particularly big multinationals) offer private healthcare plans.
EU nationals residing in Prague enjoy some additional benefits. EU citizens may keep their insurance from their home country if its complies with the EU law on public healthcare. The European Health Insurance Card will be recognized in all member states and provides its holders with the same basic healthcare as nationals. You may also choose to get additional coverage to be able to use Prague’s private healthcare institutions.
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