3 years ago, I arrived in Prague, not knowing anything about this city/country. I didn’t know anyone living there, I obviously didn’t speak the language and I hadn’t heard much about Prague itself, to be honest. As the moving process happened in a heartbeat, I didn’t have much time to overthink. So, my suitcase(s) and I freshly landed without any preconceived idea or expectations of any sort (which is actually the best way).
At first, I was impressed by the unfamiliar Czech names and I must confess that during the first month, I often called an Uber to take me anywhere. Now, I enjoy wandering in the streets and I don’t mind getting lost sometimes.
I’ve lived so many experiences (mostly good ones) and met many people – kisses to my roommates, friends and colleagues who have left. It has been 3 years of getting to know the city, 3 years filled with laughs, cries and memories. 3 years I’ve lived exactly the way I had chosen. I came for work, stayed for love. And so far I’m feeling well here, in what I now call ‘home’. Any expat would tell you the city’s nickname is Pragadise! Ok, it’s high time I share with you my 10 reasons to live in Prague:
#1. Cheap bars & restaurants
I’ve never eaten so often outside: the restaurant offer is huge and most places are very affordable. Not only you will find Czech local food but also American, Mexican, Japanese, Indian, French and much more. Bars are also everywhere and beer is cheaper than water, believe it or not! And if you wonder why streets are empty in winter, look twice: people are usually drinking in the hidden basement bars. 😉
#2. Human scale city
Prague is a city where it’s easy to walk and nothing is never too far. After living in Paris, I do appreciate the fact that you can meet your friends within 20 minutes (door to door), instead of 45 minutes as it’s often the case in the French capital. Public transportation is also convenient, reliable and clean. On top of that, it’s cheap (around 140€ for the annual subscription).
#3. A good reason to visit
While living abroad, it’s always pleasant when your friends and family visit you from time to time. For that reason, the city you live in needs to be pretty well-connected internationally and attractive enough to motivate your love ones to come all the way to discover it.
#4. Cultural life
Prague is full of events all year long: food festivals, bar openings, concerts, cinema, art exhibitions, children activities, etc. Many of them are for free and they are happening in all districts. My best friend is the event category on Facebook to be aware of what is going on.
#5. Lovely city
Prague is a city where you don’t get tired of its beauty and you feel like on holidays all the time (maybe because I’m a foreigner). The Vltava river gives to the city a calming mood and I still appreciate the nice views by day and night.
I didn’t realise safety was an important criterion until my trip to Brazil. When I came back to Prague after this experience, I felt lucky and relaxed I could just walk outside without being worried, I could leave my phone on the table without anyone stealing it. Coming home by night wearing a skirt? No problem. So great!
#7. Urban but Green
As much as I enjoy living in a city, I also love having some green areas. The Czech capital offers stunning parks and even some lakes around. Prague was ranked as the world’s greenest city. Parks are famous for their beer gardens but you can also just chill, walk around or have a picnic with a nice view on the Prague Castle.
#8. Internationally connected
Being located in the heart of Central Europe is a strategic advantage for travel lovers. From Prague, it is easy to access many destinations including my « home land ». Countries such as Poland, Hungary, Germany, Austria are just next door. It might sound as though I am selling it but practical things become so important when you live abroad. What can appear as a detail does make the difference!
#9. The Expat community
Previously, I talked about the multiplicity of events organised in Prague. I cannot forget to mention the language exchanges, MeetUps, etc, which are part of the experience for anyone willing to meet new people. Even if it’s better trying to live like a local, it’s sometimes nice integrating the expat community in a country where it’s hard to speak the language.
#10. Salsa in Prague
I was so surprised (and happy) to discover that the Latino dancing community exists and is very active in the Czech Republic. Not exactly what I expected in the first place! Swing and other types of dances are also everywhere. Classes, parties, outdoor events, it was the cherry on the cake for me. 🙂 Prague is definitely Pragadise.