Prague - An Introduction to the Czech Capital
Welcome to Prague, A City for Everyone
A diverse city that is popular with expats as well as tourists, Prague is certainly a city to consider relocating to. The Czech capital is the hub of the country’s business and economic sectors, with many large Czech and European companies based in the city due to its central Europe location. Aside from work, there is wealth of things to see and do on your days off and with children which goes toward making Prague the ideal place to live. Though the city is quite diverse in terms of languages, the majority of the population in Prague are Czech and speak the national language. However, many can communicate in English, particularly younger generations, and some are fluent in German.
How to get around
Prague is quite a small city, meaning that getting around is made that bit easier. The city has good transport links making it hassle free to get from A to B. The city has an extensive tram network, a 3-line underground metro and a bus network that runs beyond the realms of the tramlines and metro. Most of the public transport runs from 4.30am through until midnight, with less frequent night services running in the meantime. The tram network can also act as a leisure activity with the number 22 route passing most of the major tourist hot spots and the number 91 acting as the ‘Nostalgic Tram’ which takes you round the main historic sites of Prague. With the city’s taxi’s having a reputation of over-charging foreigners, the public transport system is certainly the recommended option.
WHAT TO DO IN PRAGUE
Culture & Architecture
Prague is dubbed the “City of 100 Spires” due to its plethora of high-rise churches and landmarks. Both the Old Town and Lesser Town are brimming with cultural sites. The city is full of beautiful architecture, including churches and other structures, which date to ancient times. Perhaps the most famous structure is Prague Castle which has 3 courtyards and includes the impressive St Vitus Cathedral at St Georges Basilica. The castle offers guided tours as well as exhibitions such as “The Story of Prague Castle”. Another cultural hot spot is Charles Bridge. The bridge was first constructed in the 1300’s and is used to cross the Vltava river and to connect the Old Town with the Lesser Town. The Bridge also has statues on its interior of Saints and offers tremendous views of the Castle, particularly at night. A sail down the Vltava River can be the most unique way to catch a glimpse of the architecture on show in the city.
The city has a variety of shops and markets to visit and can these can easily fill your days off. The Náplavka Farmers market that takes place every Saturday morning is a great way to sample the best of local produce in a calm and relaxed atmosphere on the banks of the Vltava. There are now also many shopping malls and designer shops in the city for a more upmarket shopping day out. Na Příkopě is one of the most luxurious streets in Europe and is the destination for a variety of designer shops.
Restaurants & Nightlife
Eating in Prague Means Endless Possibilities...
If you want to sample some traditional Czech cuisine then you are spoiled for choice in the Czech capital. The city is filled with cafes and restaurants serving up local favourites such as fried cheese, Kulajda (potato based soup) and a range of meats served with dumplings. The city also boasts a number of international restaurants that offer cuisines from around the globe.
The Famous Prague Nightlife
Prague is renowned for its nightlife and perhaps even more renowned for its beer. This heritage of nightlife and reasonable prices attracts a number of tourists and locals, making the city a great place to let your hair down. There are host of beer gardens, which sell big brands as well as local craft beers. For the non-beer drinkers, don’t worry Prague has several cocktail and wine bars meaning there is a place for everyone’s taste. The city also has many clubs for those who want to stay out that bit later.
Sports & Recreation
If sport is your passion, there are a variety of ways to get involved with conventional and some more unusual sporting activities. There are plenty of facilities for all types of sports from football to go-karting. Despite being in central Europe, Prague even has facilities for beach sports such as volleyball. Getting into sports clubs provides an active way of meeting new friends and settling in to your new home.
Fun For the Kids
For those with young families, Prague has a host of activities and places to keep the children entertained. Petřín Hill is popular with both children and adults, as it has some breath-taking views of the city. Getting to the summit is made easy with the funicular railway and at the top there is mirror maze, an observation tower (Prague’s version of the Eiffel Tower). There are sometimes even pony rides at the top for the kids to enjoy. There is also Prague Zoo which is home to a range of wild animals which you can get very close to. It is possible to get a river cruise there and back to make a real adventure out of the day. If the zoo is not enough, why not take the kids to DinoPark which takes visitors on tour back to the dinosaur ages with life sized models of the pre-historic creatures.
Housing in Prague
Prague offers a wealth of housing options for expatriates, from chic city-centre apartments to suburban family houses. Prague is split into 10 districts, which are simply numbered 1 through to 10. Prague 2 and 5 are quieter central areas that are popular with expats and have many apartments that are usually rented. Rental prices are higher in the centre of the city, though it is worth noting these bustling locations can often be noisy at weekends. The quality of housing can vary, with expat-orientated Western-style properties usually more expensive. For expatriates with family, Prague 4, 5 and 6 are the most popular. These greener, residential districts have good options for a family home, are close to international schools, all whilst being close to the city centre.
Schooling in Prague
Public schools in the Czech Republic use Czech as the primary language for tuition, with English and German usually taught as secondary languages. These schools are good for expats with young children who plan in staying in the country for the long-term as it will introduce them to the local language and culture. However, many expats prefer to send their children to international schools in order to overcome any language barriers. Prague has a variety of schools to choose from, with many offering the International Baccalaureate Programme, British curriculum or American curriculum. The majority use English as their language primary language, though some have multi-lingual and German programmes. The privately-run schools can often be expensive meaning it may be wise to factor this in to any budgeting considerations.
If you are interested in a move to Prague or anywhere else in the world and would like to speak to Kingpin International about International Tax Opportunities, please contact a member of the team. Alternatively, please browse our current International Tax vacancies.