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Moving to Czech Republic

As one of the most developed and industrialised economies in Central Europe, the Czech Republic is not only a popular tourist destination, but also a growing expat destination. 

The main language is Czech, which can present an element of culture shock for new arrivals. Although many of the younger Czech population are able to speak English as it's taught in most schools, this is not necessarily the case for the older generations, especially outside the larger cities. Expats should make at least some attempt to learn Czech if they want to converse with the local population.

Living in Czech Republic as an expat

Most new arrivals live in Prague, which is the site of the European headquarters of many international companies. Recently, the city’s economic structure has become less industrial and more service oriented. Strong sectors include manufacturing, tourism, IT and finance. All of these industries are ideal for expats looking for opportunities to work in the Czech Republic.

The Czech Republic has a developed transport system, with Prague having an established network of trains, buses, trams and a metro. Expats living in Prague will find owning a car rather unnecessary, but those living outside of the city may need a vehicle to get around. 

Healthcare in the Czech Republic is of a high standard, with most large medical facilities centred in Prague. Many doctors and dentists are able to speak English. Healthcare is free to all citizens and is provided through compulsory contributions to a state-approved insurance fund. Most expats working in the country will qualify for Czech public healthcare, depending on their residency status. The Czech Republic also has reciprocal health agreements with some countries, so expats should explore their options in this regard.

Cost of living in Czech Republic

The Czech Republic generally offers expats a high standard of living. Despite an increase in accommodation costs, the general cost of living is affordable relative to West European standards, and foreigners are generally able to maintain active and enriching lifestyles in the country. 

Everyday costs, including transport and groceries, are not overly expensive and expats tend to earn well in Czech Republic. They'll find that their costs depend highly on their choice of lifestyle and where in the country they live.

Expat families and children

Those with children need not worry about their children’s education when relocating to the Czech Republic. Although public schools are free, the language of instruction is Czech. Luckily, there are several international schools in Prague as well as in other major Czech cities, all catering to different nationalities.

As the social and cultural capital of the country, Prague is an incredibly popular tourist city and is filled to the brim with historical landmarks and natural beauty. Expat families living or travelling outside of the capital will also discover castles, keeps and ruins in other parts of the country, many of which are UNESCO World Heritage sites.

There are also plenty of museums and parks in every major city for families to explore or enjoy a day out in the sunshine. Due to its central location in Europe, there are also many opportunities for travel outside of the Czech Republic for a weekend break or extended holiday.

Climate in Czech Republic

Czech Republic has a temperate climate, with cold winters and warm summers. Rainfall is common throughout the country, with the wettest seasons being spring and summer. During the colder months, temperatures generally stay around freezing with cloudy skies and light snowfall. Occasional frosts are brought over from Russia with temperatures dropping to -13ºF (-25ºC), although this is not frequent. Summers, on the other hand, are usually pleasant, with temperatures reaching highs of 75ºF (24ºC). 

Fast facts

Population: 10.7 million

Capital cityPrague (also the largest city)

Neighbouring countries: The Czech Republic is bordered by Germany to the west, Poland to the north, Slovakia to the southeast and Austria to the south. 

Geography: The country is landlocked and can be divided into two main areas geographically; Bohemia to the west and Moravia in the east. Bohemia is ringed by low mountains and its landscape is defined by hills, plains and plateaus. Moravia is defined by rolling hills and valleys.

Political system: Unitary parliamentary constitutional republic

Main languages: Czech is the official language, but German and English are also spoken.

Major religions: Predominantly non-religious with a Roman Catholic minority

Money: The currency is the Czech koruna (CZK), sometimes called the Czech crown in English.

Tipping: Tipping is not mandatory but foreigners may be expected to tip more than their local counterparts. In most cases, expats can tip by rounding up to the nearest 5 or 10 korunas or, if in a restaurant, adding 5 to 10 percent of the total to the bill.

Time: GMT+1 (GMT+2 from the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October)

Electricity: 230V, 50Hz. 'Type-C' and 'Type-E' European-style plugs with two round pins are used. 

International dialling code: +420

Internet domain: .cz

Emergency contacts: 112 (general emergencies), 158 (police), 155 (ambulance), 150 (fire)

Transport: The country is well-conntected in terms of public transport, especially Prague. Driving is on the right-hand side of the road.

Diversity and inclusion in the Czech Republic

Accessibility in the Czech Republic

Since its transition from communism began in 1989, the Czech Republic has improved access to its public and private spaces for those with limited mobility. Legislation requires buildings to limit physical barriers affecting accessibility, though this applies mainly to newly built or renovated sites. Like most nations, the Czech Republic's urban centres and workplaces are easier to navigate in a wheelchair than historic or heritage sites – while off the beaten track, and in rural locations, things can be more difficult. As a member of the European Union, the country has legal safeguards in place to protect and promote the rights of those with any form of impairment.


Almost all international airlines land at the Václav Havel Airport, Prague. The airport is modern and completely accessible, including large elevators, enhanced signage and tactile walkways. Assistance is also available at baggage reclaim and immigration via special passport control lanes, and can be called at any point in the two terminals using one of 20 dedicated contact points.


Most street taxis can accommodate a folding wheelchair, but few are equipped to transport a fixed or electric mobility aid. Many fully accessible minivans are available, though, as pre-book options. Prices for city cabs are regulated and meters are used. Outside the capital, most cars are not limited by charges or route choices. Online platforms including Uber, Liftago and Bolt are also available.


Services operated by Prague Municipal Transport include low-floor buses, but accessibility is often limited by the design of individual bus stops. There is a growing number of adapted platform vehicles, accessed by a tilting ramp operated by the driver. The availability and reliability of these are mixed.


More than half the tram fleet in the capital has low floors and is fully accessible. Each stop typically serves several lines, so wheelchair users need to signal to the driver to board. An online ‘connection finder’ indicates barrier-free routes, including photos of special features to pre-plan journeys.


The Prague Metro is generally accessible at most stations. But due to differences in the types of trains operating on the network, there can be a platform gap that complicates the use of electric mobility aids. A ramp on the leading car of each service and comb-edge gap fillers makes boarding easier. There is also extra guidance for passengers with visual or hearing impairments.

Car hire

Wheelchair-accessible vehicles, both self-drive and car and driver services, are relatively cost-effective. As parking in central Prague is very restricted, however, hire cars are rarely the best choice. For expats who need to access small towns and cities away from the public transport network, all international car-hire brands are readily available.

LGBTQ+ in the Czech Republic

The Czech Republic is often considered the most progressive former Eastern Bloc country regarding LBGTQ+ rights. Registered partnerships are recognised, and Czech law bans discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Prague Pride has been a popular annual August festival since 2011 and is one of the largest celebrations in the country.

Gender equality in the Czech Republic

Women make up 63 percent of college graduates and 44 percent of the Czech workforce – however, gender equality remains an issue. In 2021, the Czech government put forth a Gender Equality Strategy for 2021–2030. The policy is ambitious and contains eight thematic areas, 26 strategic objectives, and more than 200 specific tasks. The aim is to limit gender disparities in opportunity, attainment and pay.

Women in leadership in the Czech Republic

Just 27 percent of managers and leaders are female, compared to almost 40 percent across the wider Central and Eastern Europe region (and only 4 percent of CEOs are women). A similar proportion (25 percent) of seats in the Czech Parliament are held by women, though this has increased steadily in recent decades. Care and domestic duties fall disproportionately on women in the home, but attitudes, most notably among younger people, are changing.

Mental health in the Czech Republic

In the Czech Republic, one in five people experience mental illness. Many cases are linked to a traditional problem with alcohol in the country, and recent events including the pandemic and conflict to the east of the region have placed an extra burden on resources. The situation is improving, though, with new support available online such as counselling and talking therapies.

Unconscious bias in the Czech Republic

Unconscious bias refers to the prejudices absorbed when living in unequal societies. Preconceptions around gender, age and ethnicity inhibit effective hiring, limit development and lower staff morale. Some international organisations in the Czech Republic use training to promote tolerance and understanding, but ingrained views on women being better in caring roles persist in traditional Czech society.

Diversification of the workforce in the Czech Republic

The Czech Republic is ethnically homogenous. While it is quite rare to encounter people of different racial backgrounds in rural areas, urban centres (especially Prague) are growing more diverse. Compared to large metropolitan areas of the United States and Western Europe, however, the workforce of Prague is still largely white. The main non-white minorities are Roma and Vietnamese.

Safety in the Czech Republic

Most people living and working in the Czech Republic experience no difficulties, but expats should be aware of street crime and petty theft, particularly in Prague. Violent crime and assaults are very rare compared to many neighbouring countries.

Women’s safety in the Czech Republic

The Czech Republic is generally safe for solo females. Women should take the same precautions as they would in any other country, such as avoiding walking alone at night and being aware of their surroundings. Additionally, the Czech Republic has a strong police presence and a good public transportation system, making it easy to get around safely. Harassment and sexual violence are uncommon.

Festive dates in the Czech Republic

January 1 – Restoration Day of the Independent Czech State
March 8 – International Women’s Day
May – Mental Health Awareness Month
Third Thursday of May – Global Accessibility Awareness Day
May 1 – Labour Day
May 8 – Liberation Day
July 5 – St Cyril and Methodius Day
July 6 – Jan Hus Day
August – Gay Pride
September 28 – St Wenceslas Day / Day of Czech Statehood
September – World Suicide Prevention Day
October 28 – Foundation of the Independent Czechoslovak State
November 17 – Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day
November 25 – International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women
December 1 – World AIDS Day

Healthcare in Czech Republic

The standard of healthcare in the Czech Republic is generally high – in fact, the country's healthcare scheme has been praised as one of the best in the EU. The affordability and standard of medical treatment has even seen the country emerge as a popular destination for medical tourism in Europe.

It's compulsory to have health insurance in the Czech Republic, whether through a public or private health insurance provider. Czech citizens, residents, and anyone working for a Czech employer are automatically insured under the country's public healthcare system and pay monthly contributions. Other long-term visitors will have to use a private insurance company and short-term travellers are expected to have appropriate travel insurance.

Public healthcare in Czech Republic

Czech public healthcare is excellent and heavily subsidised, and everyone on the Czech healthcare system receives equal access to care. Many doctors in public hospitals are Western-trained and able to speak English, though this is not always the case.

Although the level of care in public hospitals is extremely good, patients may experience long waiting periods before receiving treatment. Some expats using the public sector have also complained of doctors being short-tempered or unsympathetic, but this is largely due to the high turnover of patients and short consultation times and shouldn't be taken personally.

Private healthcare in Czech Republic

Czech private medical care is excellent and the staff at private hospitals are highly qualified. Although private healthcare tends to be more expensive than public healthcare in the Czech Republic, many private hospitals are better equipped to cater to expat patients. This is because private medical centres have a higher proportion of English-speaking staff and private clinics have a more service-oriented approach to providing medical care. A further advantage is that patients often do not have to wait as long to receive treatment as they might at public hospitals. 

Health insurance in Czech Republic

The Czech Republic provides free medical treatment to Czech citizens, permanent residents and foreigners working for a local company through a universal healthcare system that uses an approved Czech health insurance company. The largest health insurance company is the state-owned Všeobecná zdravotní pojišťovna (VZP). Czech citizens, registered foreign residents and employees of companies based in the country must make regular and compulsory contributions to this fund. It is mandatory for employers to pay a portion of the monthly fee with the employee contributing the remainder of the fee. Under this scheme, expats are also usually required to pay a small stipend for treatment received.

EU citizens can use their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to access state healthcare during a short-term visit. UK citizens can make use of their Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC), which replaced the EHIC for UK citizens post-Brexit.

Expats in the Czech Republic without an EHIC, who do not have permanent residency and are not employed by a Czech company are not entitled to free medical care. That said, it's still compulsory to have health insurance and expats staying in the country for over 90 days will be required to show proof that they are covered under a private healthcare scheme. In such a case, it's imperative to arrange for private insurance in advance. Those staying in the country for less than 90 days will need to show proof of travel health insurance.

Pharmacies in Czech Republic

Pharmacies, some of which can be found attached to hospitals, are widely available in the Czech Republic with some open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Expats should note that prescriptions are only valid for a set period of time. Prescriptions from emergency services expire after two days, antibiotic prescriptions expire after five days, and all other prescriptions expire after two weeks.

Emergency services in Czech Republic

Emergency services in the Czech Republic are generally good, as are ambulance response times. In the case of an emergency, dial 112 to be connected to the EU emergency line. This guarantees an English-speaking operator. Otherwise, Czech medical emergency services can be reached on 155.

Pros and Cons of Moving to Czech Republic

When moving to a new country, mixed emotions such as excitement and nervousness are natural, and even seasoned expats may struggle with the decision of a particular move. In these situations, it can be helpful to learn about the specific quirks and characteristics of living in a certain place.

Every country has its positives and negatives, and the Czech Republic is no exception. Below is a list of some of the pros and cons of moving to the Czech Republic.

Accommodation in Czech Republic

+ PRO: Good value for money

Accommodation in Prague is priced similarly to other major European countries. The rest of the Czech Republic is far cheaper than the capital, meaning expats will be able to find accommodation at a much more affordable rate elsewhere in the country. That said, despite rising prices, even in Prague, rental homes are still reasonably priced.

Living in Prague also means being at the centre of a rich and diverse culture with easily accessible attractions such as museums and historical sites. Therefore, no matter where in the Czech Republic an expat lives, they'll find it's excellent value for money.

- CON: Foreign-aimed accommodation tends to be pricier

Housing specifically advertised to foreigners is typically more expensive than those aimed at locals. Bargains can be found, but many of the websites that advertise these bargains tend to be in Czech. 

Lifestyle in Czech Republic

+ PRO: Thriving social scene and lots of outdoor activities

Due to the influx of tourists and expats, the social scene in the Czech Republic is diverse. In Prague in particular, expats will find a wide variety of restaurants, bars and clubs to choose from. For the more outdoorsy types, the country is bordered by mountains and its forests are well preserved, which presents many opportunities for cycling around the countryside or hiking during the summer. In winter, there is cross-country running or skiing.

Safety in Czech Republic

+ PRO: Low crime rate

The Czech Republic is a relatively safe country. Crime rates are low, and the European emergency telephone number, 112, is available for foreigners who don’t speak the local language.  

- CON: Increasing rate of pickpockets 

More and more opportunistic pickpockets are beginning to operate in the Czech Republic. Whenever in a crowded place, foreigners are advised to be mindful of their valuables.

Working in Czech Republic

+ PRO: Great salary and benefits packages for expats

Most expats who take up employment in the Czech Republic are in senior positions. Compared to locals, foreigners are generally well paid. Companies may even cover an expats accommodation and other expenses during their stay in the country.

- CON: Bureaucracy in government departments

In the Czech Republic, the Ministry of the Interior handles immigration and this institution is highly bureaucratic. Assuming that all of the necessary paperwork for work permits and visas has been submitted and approved, expats will also need to report to the Foreign Police once they arrive in the country. This process can also be cumbersome, often requiring the submission of documents that were already submitted to the Ministry of the Interior for the initial work permit application.

Transport in Czech Republic

+ PRO: Public transport is cheap, efficient, easy to use, safe and clean

The Czech Republic’s public transport system is well managed. In Prague, one-month passes can be purchased that can be used on any of the public transport networks (tram, subway or bus). Schedules are strictly followed so passengers can rest assured that they will get to their appointments on time. Information on travel times and connections is easily accessible online and regular schedules are posted at the stops.

- CON: Local taxis may try to scam foreigners

Czech taxi drivers are notorious for charging highly inflated rates and taking unnecessary detours in order to guarantee higher fares. 

- CON: Getting a local drivers' licence can be difficult

For expats from certain countries, the process of fulfilling Czech driving requirements can be arduous. For the first three months of their residency, they may drive on an International Drivers Permit. After this period, they will need a Czech licence to continue driving.

Some countries have an agreement with the Czech Republic allowing nationals to simply exchange their home-country licence for a Czech one, and anyone with a drivers' licence from an EU country can continue driving on their existing licence as long as it is valid. That said, those from non-EU countries without such an agreement will need to take driving lessons for a certain number of hours before finally taking theoretical and practical tests assessing their driving ability. 

Culture shock in Czech Republic

+ PRO: Plenty of expat organisations

There are a number of expat organisations in the Czech Republic. Most of these cater to a wide range of interests. They also have a strong online presence, which makes them easy to find. Expats find it easier to make friends in the Czech Republic once they attend one of the many events organised by expat groups.

- CON: Poor customer service

Perhaps a legacy of communism, customer service in the Czech Republic isn't great and can be incredibly frustrating for expats used to good service. It is accepted as the norm and Czech locals don't seem too bothered with complaining. For example, in a grocery store, even if there is enough manpower to have another cash register open, expats may find that customers will wait patiently in line without bothering to ask the store manager about opening another register. In some auto shops, an oil change can even take the whole day with customers being at the mercy of the mechanic assigned to do the job.

Cost of living in Czech Republic

+ PRO: Affordable goods and services 

Everything from household goods to food, utilities and healthcare is reasonably priced in the Czech Republic. Staples such as bread, potatoes and meat are of good quality and are inexpensive. Appliances, furniture and electronics from familiar Western brands are easily accessible in malls and speciality stores. Furniture is also reasonably priced since there are a lot of highly skilled craftsmen in the country.

Healthcare in Czech Republic

+ PRO: Healthcare system is good and inexpensive

The healthcare system in the Czech Republic is generally good, and those with an insurance card are eligible for nationalised healthcare. There are doctors in each district but new arrivals are free to choose their personal doctor.

The approach to medicine is Westernised and it's relatively inexpensive. Patients often pay a minimal fee for consultations, but many other services are free, including lab tests. Most doctors also speak English, even in cities outside of Prague.

- CON: Impersonal approach

During a visit to a doctor, medical staff may come off as grumpy and waiting times at hospitals are long. Although most doctors speak English, nurses and medical staff might not.

Doctors can be curt and may appear to be unsympathetic, but this is a normal element of Czech medical culture. Those from a country in which doctors always take time to discuss matters and answer questions should note that this is generally not how things work in the Czech Republic.

Visas for Czech Republic

Whether planning a short visit or a permanent stay in the Czech Republic, expats should be aware that visa laws differ according to nationality. The applicant's nationality will determine the processes they need to follow and which visas they are eligible for in the Czech Republic.

Short-term visas for Czech Republic

The Czech Republic is a Schengen country, so nationals of countries that are part of the Schengen Agreement, as well as a select few other nationalities, need not apply for visitors visas for a stay of 90 days or less. This includes citizens of the EU and the EEA as well as Switzerland, the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and others. 

By the end of 2022, non-EU citizens will need to apply online for an ETIAS visa waiver before traveling to the Czech Republic. It will only take a few minutes to fill in and will automatically be linked to the applicant's passport. 

Expats not eligible for visa-free entry will need to apply for a Schengen visa prior to arrival at their nearest Czech embassy or consulate in order to be granted entry to the Czech Republic.

Schengen visas entitle their holders to 90 days of travel within a six-month period to any Schengen-area country, including the Czech Republic. If travelling to multiple destinations, expats should be sure to submit the Schengen visa application to the consulate of the country in which they will spend the largest amount of time.

While in the country, expats can apply to extend the validity of their Schengen visa by a further 90 days.

Long-term residence permits for Czech Republic

Non-EU nationals staying in the Czech Republic for a year or more will need to obtain a long-term residence permit. This must be for a specific purpose such as work, study, research or family unification. Long-term residence permits are renewable and are granted for a maximum of two years.

Those intending to work will have to apply for an Employee Card or a Blue Card. These are primarily work permits but serve a dual purpose as long-term residence permits. A Blue Card is issued for positions requiring a high qualification, while an Employee Card is issued for positions that do not require a high qualification.

EU nationals are entitled to live and work in the Czech Republic without needing to apply for work permits or resident permits.

Certificate of temporary residence in Czech Republic

To stay for more than 90 days in the Czech Republic, EU citizens must report their intentions to the Foreign Police Department. They are also entitled to apply for a certificate of permanent residence if they wish but it is not a precondition of their stay.

Permanent residence permit for Czech Republic

Permanent residency can be applied for by both EU and non-EU nationals after five years of continuous residence in the country. Once granted, a permanent residence permit is valid for 10 years.

*Visa requirements can change at short notice and expats should contact their respective embassy or consulate for the latest details.

Public Holidays in Czech Republic




Restoration Day of the Independent Czech State

1 January

1 January

Good Friday

7 April

29 March

Easter Monday

10 April

1 April

Labour Day

1 May

1 May

Victory Day

8 May

8 May

Saints Cyril and Methodius Day 

5 July

5 July

Jan Hus Day

6 July

6 July

St Wenceslas Day

28 September

28 September

Independent Czechoslovak Day

28 October

28 October

Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day

17 November

17 November

Christmas Eve

24 December

24 December

Christmas Day

25 December

25 December

St Stephens Day

26 December

26 December

Education and Schools in Czech Republic

The education and schools sector in the Czech Republic is in a healthy state. Even better news for expat parents is that their children can attend public school at no cost, provided that they are EU nationals or legal residents. This is the case from pre-primary school up to and including university. But, seeing as the language of instruction in public schools is Czech, most expat parents choose to enrol their children in private or international schools.

Schooling is compulsory from the age of six to 15. The school year runs from early September to late June.

Public schools in Czech Republic

Teaching in the Czech Republic's public schools is conducted entirely in the Czech language, with either English or German taught as a second language. Some expat parents are discouraged by this but there are advantages to expat children being taught in Czech, the biggest of which is that it's a good way for them to learn the language and subsequently assimilate into the culture more easily. This is especially important for expats planning a long stay in the country. Some schools take difficulties with the language into account when assessing students in subjects such as Czech language and literature.

It's always a good idea for parents to visit schools of interest before enrolling their children. This can be done at official open days or may be arranged by request. Conditions in public schools may vary widely, and some are more amenable to and equipped for having foreign students than others.

Private schools in Czech Republic

Private schools in the Czech Republic are partly funded by the state and partly funded by tuition. Some of these schools are bilingual, teaching in both Czech and English, or sometimes Czech and German. Expat parents who can't quite fit international school fees into their budget but are still concerned about their children having difficulties with the Czech language may find these schools to be an ideal solution.

International schools in Czech Republic

Most international schools teach in English and are perhaps most useful for expats planning to reside in the country for a relatively short period of time, as the continuity in curriculum minimises disruption in the child's education. Common curricula offered by international schools include the International Baccalaureate (IB), the American curriculum, or the British curriculum. Prague in particular has a high concentration of international schools.

International schools can be expensive, so if moving to the Czech Republic as part of an international relocation package, it is worth negotiating for school fees as part of the relocation contract.

International schools can vary widely in ethos, curriculum, quality and size. Although there are a number of schools to choose from, space may be limited and parents are advised to start the application process as soon as possible.

Special-needs education in Czech Republic

The Czech government implemented a system of inclusion for children with special needs. This means that all children can be educated in mainstream schools, no matter their level of difficulties, unless a parent specifically wants their child to be educated at a special-needs school. In some mainstream schools there are also classes for special needs children if they would like to be taught separately.

All schools have the necessary facilities, staff and support provisions available to assist children with disabilities, and a counselling system has been developed to help the integration process into mainstream schools. The different needs of all children have also been regarded and individualised forms of education have been developed to meet these needs.

Tutors in Prague

Tutors are extremely helpful in assisting expat children to adjust to their new school and curriculum, as well as language of instruction, if different from home. Both Czech and English tutors are widely available, as well as those for other subjects, such as maths, and can provide school support where needed.

There are websites and tutor companies that advertise at home, or online private tutoring services, which include websites such as Apprentus and Tutoroo. Expats in Prague can also benefit from the many language schools in the city. These can assist expats and expat children to learn Czech.

Accommodation in Czech Republic

Expats seeking accommodation in the Czech Republic will be pleased to know that the country has a variety of homes to suit all needs, tastes and budgets. In addition, there are few restrictions on foreigners when it comes to buying and renting property.

Single expats or young expat couples usually opt to rent accommodation in the Czech Republic rather than buy, particularly if they are unsure of the length of their stay. In addition, many are put off by the extensive amount of paperwork, all of which is in Czech, required to purchase a property.

Types of accommodation in Czech Republic

There is a wide variety of rental options for expats to choose from, and apartments and houses alike can be found in a variety of styles from contemporary to baroque and beyond. There are also communist-era apartment buildings available, but these are best avoided as many are in a state of disrepair as a result of poor maintenance and construction.

Furnished, semi-furnished and unfurnished accommodation is available in the Czech Republic, with a variety of properties available in Prague especially. Many single expats choose to rent rooms in shared flats or houses, while couples and families often prefer to rent bigger apartments or houses for themselves. 

Finding accommodation in Czech Republic

Accommodation can be found in newspapers, online, or through a local real-estate agent, and should ideally be secured in person and in advance. If it's not possible to travel to the country before moving there to secure accommodation, the next best option is to initially stay in short-term accommodation while looking for something suitable for the long term.

Websites aimed at the expat market will generally have listings posted at an extreme mark-up compared to what a local would pay. Those with a good grasp of Czech that are able to understand and navigate local websites will be able to find accommodation at cheaper prices. 

Renting accommodation in Czech Republic

Deposits and fees

When renting accommodation, a deposit equivalent to one or two months’ rent is usually required. By law, this deposit should be returned to the tenant in full within one month of vacating the property. This is provided it's left in a good condition; if anything is damaged or broken, costs for repair or replacement may be deducted. To avoid being accused of causing damage that was already there when moving in, expats should take date-stamped pictures of any areas of concern before the start of the lease.

Lessees who find an apartment through an agent will also have to pay a commission fee – usually one month's rent – once they have found an apartment.


Leases can be for either an indefinite term or a fixed term such as six months or one year.

There are usually two versions of the lease: one in Czech with the other being an English translation, but in any legal matter the lease in Czech will be prioritised. Expats should have a Czech-speaking friend or preferably a professional translator look over both contracts to ensure that the terms in both are the same.


Utilities are usually not included in the rental price and are to be paid by the tenant. Expats should keep this extra expense in mind when drawing up their budget. The lease should specify the various utilities to be paid to the landlord in addition to the cost of rent.

Transport and Driving in Czech Republic

Expats will find it easy to get around in the Czech Republic, whether by its extensive public transport system or by car. Public transport is robust and generally preferred, with a wide variety of options including trains, subways, trams, buses and taxis.

It's not necessary to own a car. In fact, owning a car could be an inconvenience in big cities such as Prague, where parking is extremely limited and car break-ins have been known to occur. Arranging a local Czech drivers' licence can also be a long and difficult process. While nationals of certain countries can continue to drive on their existing licence or exchange it for a local one, others will have to face a complicated procedure to obtain a local licence, including extensive testing.

Public transport in Czech Republic


A number of Czech cities have tram systems, most notably Prague. In Prague, trams run 24 hours a day, seven days a week and are a quick way to get around, making them a popular mode of transport. Operating hours vary in other cities.


The national rail carrier is České dráhy and there are a few private rail companies in operation, including RegioJet, Leo Express and GW Train Regio. 

The biggest and busiest railway station in the Czech Republic is Praha hlavní nadráží, situated in Prague. This station offers long-distance travel to several neighbouring countries (including Germany, Austria, Hungary and Poland) and regional services to most large cities in the Czech Republic. 


Prague is home to the country's only metro system, which is popular among commuters and travellers alike. Continually expanding, the track is over 40 miles (65 km) long, serving more than 60 stations.


If expats cannot find a train route to a city or village in the Czech Republic then a bus will most likely get them there. In some cities, local buses are the preferred form of transport, running 24 hours a day.

Local and regional buses are usually run by the state, while services crossing over the border into other European countries are often via private bus companies.

Taxis in Czech Republic

Taxis in the Czech Republic are infamous for taking advantage of foreigners. If expats are not able to speak Czech, they should write down their destination to avoid wrong routes as a result of mispronunciation.

It's best to arrange a taxi with a reputable company beforehand, but when hailing a taxi on the street, only use officially registered taxis. These can be identified by their yellow roof lights. A taxi from a legitimate company will also have the company's name, the taxi's licence number and its rates printed on both doors.

Alternatively, ride-hailing apps such as Uber and Liftago operate in the Czech Republic. Many expats prefer using these apps as it gives them more control over routes and service prices while minimising language barrier issues.

Driving in Czech Republic

Many expats will need to go through a lengthy process to legally drive in the Czech Republic, though there are some exceptions to this. Those already licensed to drive in the EU can continue to do so using their current valid licence. In addition, certain countries have agreements in place with the Czech Republic allowing nationals to simply exchange their foreign licence for a local one.

That said, expats from non-EU countries without agreements with the Czech Republic will need to obtain a Czech drivers' licence. This can be a long and arduous process.

For the first three months of their residency, expats can drive on an International Driving Permit. To continue driving, they will need a Czech licence. To obtain one, expats must attend a local driving school for a prescribed number of hours and pass written and practical exams. Tests are usually available in English, German or Czech – those unable to take the test in any of these languages will be allowed to make use of an official translator during testing.

Road signs are mostly in Czech and driving is on the right-hand side of the road. Cars in the Czech Republic must have their lights on at all times. Roads in the big cities are in good condition but the trams, narrow streets and lack of parking might make a journey less than pleasant. 

Cycling in Czech Republic

Cycling is more commonly viewed as a sport and recreational activity than as a means of transport in the Czech Republic. Expats used to getting around by bicycle are likely to be disappointed by the relative lack of cycle-friendly roads. The hilly topography of the country, and Prague in particular, can also be a challenge for cyclists, not to mention its picturesque but bumpy cobblestone sidewalks.

In some cities, there are bicycle-renting schemes where bicycles can be picked up at one location and dropped off at another. Some forms of public transport allow bicycles to be brought on board, though this is sometimes restricted by area, for example only outside of the city centre.

Walking in Czech Republic

Travelling by foot in the Czech Republic is usually not necessary thanks to its excellent public transport infrastructure. When crossing the road, keep a sharp eye out for approaching cars or trams, as trams have right of way even at a pedestrian crossing.

Work Permits for Czech Republic

Citizens of the European Union (EU) don’t need a work permit to take up employment in the Czech Republic seeing as they have a right to work in all EU member states. 

Expats from outside of the EU will, however, have to apply for a working residence permit for the Czech Republic. This will either take the form of a Blue Card (for skilled work) or an Employee Card (for unskilled work). Both of these cards are dual-purpose in that they grant the holder the right to reside and to work in the Czech Republic for the specified period. 

Applying for a work permit for Czech Republic

Those who need a work permit must first secure a job, as permits are only granted to foreigners who have already found employment in the Czech Republic. Before an application can be made, Czech employers must prove to the state that no locals are qualified for the advertised job. Once this has been established, expats can move forward with their work permit application.

As work permits are tied to a specific job and employer, they are invalidated once foreigners change employers or positions.

Once a work permit has been granted, successful applicants are typically given a special visa for the purposes of entering the country to pick up their work permit in the form of a Blue Card or Employee Card. Work permits are valid for a maximum of two years but can be extended.

*Visa and work permit requirements are subject to change at short notice and expats are advised to contact their relevant embassy or consulate for the latest official details.

Banking, Money and Taxes in Czech Republic

The banking system in the Czech Republic is modern and expats should not have too much difficulty finding their way around it.

It is relatively easy to open a bank account and apply for a credit card in the Czech Republic. Despite being a member of the EU, the country still uses the Czech crown as its currency. It is legally bound to adopt the Euro as its currency at some point in the future, but much of the Czech public is strongly opposed to this.

Money in Czech Republic

The Czech Republic’s currency is the Czech crown (koruna), with its international abbreviation being CZK.

  • Coins: 1 CZK, 2 CZK, 5 CZK, 10 CZK, 20 CZK and 50 CZK

  • Notes: 100 CZK, 200 CZK, 500 CZK, 1,000 CZK, 2,000 CZK and 5,000 CZK

Banking in Czech Republic

Expats who plan on living in the Czech Republic for more than a couple of months will need to open a Czech bank account, especially if they are receiving their salary in korunas.

There is no shortage of banks in the Czech Republic and some banks even have services that cater to the needs of expats. The largest bank in the Czech Republic is Česká spořitelna. Some international banks such as Citibank, HSBC and Western Union also operate in the country.

Expats will be able to use their foreign debit and credit cards in the Czech Republic, but some smaller shops and restaurants only accept cash.

Those who need to make transfers from their home country should use a foreign exchange centre as banks do not offer good rates for large transfers. 

Opening a bank account

It is not difficult for expats to open a bank account in the Czech Republic. All they need to produce is their passport and one other form of identification, although some banks might also ask for proof of address in the Czech Republic.  

Expats will also need to provide an initial deposit when opening a bank account in the Czech Republic. Different banks will have different minimum amounts. 

Transaction fees in the Czech Republic can be very high and are charged in addition to a monthly bank account fee. 

ATMs and credit cards

ATMs in the Czech Republic are easily found in urban centres and many will have a language option, allowing expats to operate them in English or whichever language they choose. Expats should be aware that most ATMs will charge a fee, especially when withdrawing from a foreign bank account.

International credit cards are accepted in the Czech Republic, but expats are eligible to apply for a Czech credit card should they wish to do so. The application process may vary from bank to bank. 

Taxes in Czech Republic

Expats who spend more than 183 days within a tax year in the Czech Republic are considered tax residents. Those who fall into this category will be taxed on their worldwide income unless their home country has a double-taxation treaty with the Czech Republic. Expats who are not tax residents of the Czech Republic are only taxed on their income earned in the Czech Republic.

As tax matters can be complex for expats, it is recommended that they consult a specialist tax advisor who has experience with expats.

Doing Business in Czech Republic

Expats doing business in the Czech Republic will find themselves in one of the most developed and industrialised economies in Central Europe. The Czech Republic has taken strides in developing its economy and moving closer towards a more Western style of business. Its ascension to the European Union in 2004, along with its central position in Europe, have made it an attractive destination for international foreign investment and a number of international corporations have their European headquarters in the country. 

How individuals conduct themselves during business in the Czech Republic can have a great impact on how fellow business associates perceive them. Expats should take some time to understand common business practices and etiquette in Czech Republic to become familiar with their corporate culture.

Fast facts

Business hours

Business hours are generally from 8am to 4.30pm or up to 6pm, Monday to Friday.

Business language

Czech and English, although German is used in some business circles.


Business attire is generally formal and conservative. Women should wear business suits, modest dresses or formal skirts. Men should wear dark suits with ties. Business-casual and other less formal attire may be accepted in some industries. 


If invited to a local's home, flowers or a bottle of good-quality wine or spirits are acceptable. A small gift from one's home country is also acceptable. Gifts are usually opened when received. 

Gender equality

Women are considered equal and there are no restrictions on women in the workplace, although men still hold the majority of senior positions. 


A firm handshake while maintaining direct eye contact.

Business culture in Czech Republic

Expats may initially perceive the reserved Czech manner to be cold and impersonal, but Czechs are actually warm and hospitable people. They are generally private people until one gets to know them on a more personal level, although it could take many meetings to reach this stage.


Initial greetings may be formal and reserved. Czechs may be somewhat indirect and non-confrontational in their communications during business meetings. It’s not uncommon for a Czech associate to answer with a vague “we will see” or “it is difficult” (neither of which are favourable answers) rather than giving an outright “yes” or “no” response. 


Business structures in the Czech Republic are hierarchical and decisions are made from the top down, although the group’s opinion may be considered in some cases.


Networking is very important in the Czech Republic and it is vital to build and maintain relationships. Business may be conducted slowly with initial meetings scheduled to get to know each other and ascertain the trustworthiness of associates before a deal can be made. Patience is key to succeeding in business in the Czech Republic.


Family is valued highly in Czech culture. Family ties are deeply rooted and family time is important. As such, it is unlikely that work commitments will extend over weekends or public holidays.

Dos and don'ts of business in Czech Republic

  • Do be on time. Punctuality is important and taken very seriously in Czech business.

  • Do arrange meetings well ahead of time as Czechs are not fond of impromptu meetings at the last minute.

  • Don't address somebody by their first name unless invited to do so.

  • Don't try to rush things. Business decisions can take time as associates get to know a person and decide whether they are trustworthy.

  • Do shake hands and maintain eye contact when greeting.

Culture Shock in Czech Republic

Expats moving to the Czech Republic may experience some degree of culture shock. Although the country has one of the most open and Westernised cultures in Central Europe, it also has practices and traditions that new arrivals may need time to get used to.

Studying some of the nuances of the culture can make the first few months in the Czech Republic not only more tolerable but also more enjoyable. Keeping an open mind will certainly help new arrivals to accept certain realities and ease the culture shock.

For the most part, expats are won over by the art culture that the country has to offer, as well as the relatively low cost of living. That said, genuine friendships (achieved with a little persistence and patience) and dependability in business are also qualities that endear foreigners to the Czech Republic.

Language barrier in Czech Republic

The vast majority of people in the Czech Republic speak Czech, and many, particularly the older generation or those outside major urban centres, don't speak English at all. Due to this, an expat who doesn't know the language or doesn’t have any Czech ties – be it a friend, relative or relocation company – may have a difficult time settling in. Before moving to the Czech Republic, expats should learn a few basic phrases or key Czech words to help them get around. Road signs are also generally in Czech.

When looking for employment in the Czech Republic, knowing the language is a great advantage and may even be essential in some cases. Most public offices only offer forms and instructions in Czech. On top of that, television shows, movies and radio are all either in Czech or are dubbed in Czech.

Meeting and greeting in Czech Republic

On a personal level, it can be quite difficult to make friends with Czech locals. The usual greeting is a handshake with eye contact, and it may take some time before an expat gets to first-name basis with a local. When meeting a local for the first time, they may seem cold and unwelcoming because Czechs don’t generally smile or make small talk. In time, they may open up but still aren't likely to openly express emotion in the way some expats may be used to.

Dining in Czech Republic

When dining at a restaurant, or in a social setting, it isn't unusual for complete strangers to say 'dobrou chuť' (enjoy your meal) to others at a table. The appropriate response would be to say 'dobrou chuť' if the other party is also about to enjoy their meal, or 'děkuji' (thank you) if they are not eating.

Religion in Czech Republic

There is no single predominant religion in the Czech Republic, and in fact, most of the population is not religious. That said, the influence of its predominantly Catholic culture during the early part of its history can be seen in its historical architecture, sculptures and other pieces of art.  

In general, Czechs are very tolerant of different religions and lifestyles. As a result, expats living in the Czech Republic should find it easy to practise and embrace their faith without fear of being criticised.

Communication in Czech Republic

Czechs are usually straightforward and direct in the way they communicate. When doing business, it is important to put everything on paper. Czechs often do business through verbal communication and make deals with a handshake. This is mostly due to the non-confrontational manner typical of the Czech people. When things go wrong, though, this makes it difficult to determine who is at fault. Thus, if it's a matter of great importance or involves a lot of money, getting a contract in place is necessary.

Bureaucracy in Czech Republic

Although most private firms now conduct their business online, the Czech Republic is still a country of paperwork. Whether opening a bank account, buying property or sorting out a legal matter, an overwhelming number of documents and signatures are still required. 

Family in Czech Republic

Family is important in Czech culture. Family gatherings are a common practice on weekends or on special holidays and are often the centre of the social lives of locals.  

When a child reaches adulthood, they customarily move out of their parents’ homes, but it's still common for children to live in the same town as their parents. Thus, the closeness between grandparents and grandchildren is maintained.

Working in Czech Republic

The Czech Republic's favourable economic climate has attracted many expats in recent years. With a stable economy and close transport links to Germany and Russia, there are also plenty of investment opportunities in the country.

EU citizens are able to easily live and work in the country as they do not require a work permit, whereas non-EU citizens do need a work permit to gain employment in the Czech Republic.

Job market in Czech Republic

The majority of expats working in the Czech Republic will find employment in Prague, but there are also opportunities in smaller towns and cities, particularly in the tourism sector.

The Czech Republic's main industries include tourism, finance, IT, real estate and manufacturing, especially in the automotive industry. Expats often find jobs in the financial services, education, information technology, trade and hospitality sectors. Czech Republic is also becoming more popular for foreign business investment and expats therefore may be able to find a job in one of the foreign companies based in the country.

Finding a job in Czech Republic

With a highly educated and skilled workforce, competition for top jobs in the Czech Republic may be fierce. Nevertheless, expats with the right credentials and experience will find opportunities to explore in the country. It is recommended that expats secure employment in advance of moving to the Czech Republic.

Job opportunities can be found through online job portals or by directly contacting a local recruitment agency. Otherwise, employment opportunities may be found by looking for postings on the websites of specific multinational companies.  

Czech is the main language of business and potential employers might expect resumes and applications to be in Czech. 

Work culture in Czech Republic

The Czech Republic has a favourable business environment, and foreigners should not have trouble adjusting to working life in the country. That said, how individuals conduct themselves during business can have a great impact on how fellow business associates perceive them, and expats should therefore take some time to become familiar with the corporate culture in the country.

Business structures are hierarchical and decisions are made from the top down, although the group’s opinion may be considered in some cases. The business culture in the Czech Republic is mostly formal, and building personal relationships is important to doing business successfully.

Keeping in Touch in Czech Republic

Expats have a variety of options for keeping in touch in the Czech Republic thanks to its well-developed telecommunications infrastructure.

Internet, mobile, landline and postal services are widely available and affordable, making it easy for expats to communicate with friends and family back home. While there is a distinct lack of local English-language print publications, there are many online resources to keep expats in touch with both local and international news. 

Internet in Czech Republic

The Czech Republic fast and reliable internet, and connectivity shouldn't be a problem for expats. Wireless connections are more common than fixed lines in residential households and businesses alike, and in public places, expats will not struggle to find free WiFi connections around the big cities.

While there are many reliable Czech service providers to choose from, some of the most popular are UPC, O2, and T-Mobile. UPC, in particular, is quite popular among expats in Prague thanks to its wide location coverage, reasonable prices, reliable staff and English-speaking customer service providers.

Mobile phones in Czech Republic

Expats looking to set up a mobile phone in the Czech Republic will find a variety of affordable packages available which can be tailored to suit individual needs.

The most prominent mobile operators in the Czech Republic are T-Mobile, O2 and Vodafone. Both prepaid and contract options are available and it's easy to navigate available packages for each of these on the English versions of the mobile provider's websites.

To get a contract phone, expats will need to sign up for a 24-month contract. Proof of address and identity documents are required as part of the application process.

Expats wishing to bring their phone from home may find that their phone is blocked in the Czech Republic and therefore unusable. Fortunately, there are mobile companies that can unblock phones in these cases so that they can be used in the country.

Landline telephones in Czech Republic

Private landlines are not very popular in the Czech Republic, but can be obtained if required. Landlines are most beneficial for people who want to call friends and family within the Czech Republic and the European Union, or those who require a landline to facilitate installation of high-speed internet. Many apartments don't come with a landline installed, though, and it can take some time to arrange one.

Postal service in Czech Republic

The service provided by the Czech Postal System does not have the best reputation, although it does offer affordable prices. It's recommended to send important documents and packages via private couriers instead, despite the extra cost.

There are post offices located in several locations around the country (including a 22-hour branch in Prague) but expats should be aware that they still might encounter language difficulties, as the people working in post offices don't always speak English and the documents are still mostly in Czech. Ideally, bring someone to act as a translator, whether a professional or just a Czech-speaking friend.

English media and news in Czech Republic

Unfortunately, there are no printed English-language newspapers in the Czech Republic. While it's possible to read local news in English, this will have to be done online. The Prague Post, formerly a printed English-language newspaper, is one of the most popular online sources for Czech news in English, along with The Prague Daily Monitor. Radio Prague does broadcasts in several languages, including English, and publishes English-language news online. 

Embassy Contacts for Czech Republic

Czech embassies abroad

  • Embassy of the Czech Republic, Washington DC, United States: +1 202 274 9100

  • Embassy of the Czech Republic, London, United Kingdom: +44 207 243 7908 

  • Embassy of the Czech Republic, Ottawa, Canada: +1 613 562 3875

  • Embassy of the Czech Republic, Canberra, Australia: +61 2 6290 1386

  • Embassy of the Czech Republic, Pretoria, South Africa: +27 12 431 2380 

  • Embassy of the Czech Republic, Dublin, Ireland: +353 1 668 1135

  • Honorary Consulate General of the Czech Republic, Auckland, New Zealand: +64 9 306 5883

Foreign embassies in Czech Republic

  • United States Embassy, Prague: +420 257 022 000

  • British Embassy, Prague: +420 257 402 111

  • Canadian Embassy, Prague: +420 272 101 800

  • Australian Consulate, Prague: +420 221 729 260 

  • South African Embassy, Prague: +420 267 311 114

  • Irish Embassy, Prague: +420 257 011 280

  • New Zealand Honorary Consulate, Prague: +420 234 784 777 

Relocation companies in Czech Republic

Corporate, family and individual relocations are fairly commonplace nowadays, yet by no means straightforward. Relocation businesses offer companies and individuals an extensive assortment of services when moving to Czechia, from cultural and language training to home-finding services and lease negotiation. Families with children can also get support looking for schools and setting up their registration.

Below, we've listed two excellent international relocation firms ideally placed to assist with the move to Czech Republic.

International relocation companies



Sanelo specialises in providing customised end-to-end moving services to Czech Republic. Their experts are available day or night to make sure things go to plan and to make sure that their clients are always supported during the process. Clients get five-star protection and coverage, first-rate packing, and expert guidance on immigration and custom clearance all through a single point of contact. 


santa fe

Santa Fe Relocation

Santa Fe Relocation offers a full spectrum of relocation services for both corporate relocations and individual expats. They are a global firm that can manage any move to Czech Republic, and services include home search, school search, moving services and pet relocation.