- Download our Moving to the Czech Republic Guide (PDF)
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. Expats moving to the Czech Republic will love the country's beautiful architecture and diverse communities.
The main language is Czech, which can present an element of culture shock for new arrivals. Although many of the younger Czech population can 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 the 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 based. Strong sectors include manufacturing, tourism, IT and finance. All of these industries are ideal for expats seeking 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 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 can speak English. Healthcare is free to all legal 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 the 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 Western European standards, and foreigners can largely maintain active and enriching lifestyles in the country.
Everyday costs, including transport and groceries, are not overly expensive and expats tend to earn relatively well in the Czech Republic. They'll find that their costs depend highly on their choice of lifestyle and where in the country they live, with Prague being the priciest place to live.
Families and children in the Czech Republic
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. For parents who cannot afford international schools but want a bilingual education for their children, the Czech Republic provides subsidised private schools.
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 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 to travel outside the Czech Republic for a weekend break or extended holiday.
Climate in the Czech Republic
The 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. Although this is infrequent, occasional frosts are brought over from Russia, with temperatures dropping to -13ºF (-25ºC). Summers, on the other hand, are usually pleasant, with temperatures reaching highs of 75ºF (24ºC).
Population: 10.8 million
Capital city: Prague (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-connected in terms of public transport, especially in Prague. Driving is on the right-hand side of the road.
►For more about the ups and downs of life in the country, see Pros and Cons of Moving to Czech Republic
What do expats think about life in the Czech Republic?
"One of my favourite things about the Czech Republic is that it's a small country with lots of beautiful things to see, and a very well developed public transportation network to help you get to some of those things." Learn more about Kevan, a Canadian expat, and his experience moving to Czech Republic.
"Life in Prague is much more interesting if you learn a bit of Czech and make friends with the locals. You must, of course, try smažák (fried cheese) and the famous Czech beer." Read our interview with Expatova, an American expat in the Czech Republic.
Are you an expat living in Czech Republic?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Czech Republic. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
Expat Health Insurance
Cigna Global Health Insurance.
Medical insurance specifically designed for expats. With Cigna, you won't have to rely on foreign public health care systems, which may not meet your needs. Cigna allows you to speak to a doctor on demand, for consultations or instant advice, wherever you are in the world. They also offer full cancer care across all levels of cover, and settle the cost of treatments directly with the provider.
International Movers. Get Quotes. Compare Prices.
Sirelo has a network of more than 500 international removal companies that can move your furniture and possessions to your new home. By filling in a form, you’ll get up to 5 quotes from recommended movers. This service is free of charge and will help you select an international moving company that suits your needs and budget.