Are you about to move to Prague or are you planning to do so in the near future? Are you a young professional or student who needs to find affordable accommodation in Prague? If so, this post could be a good resource in order to find a suitable apartment or shared housing in Prague.
Rather than giving you general overview of resources and links I will share my personal challenges when looking for a flat in Prague. Recently I moved to Prague to kick start my career for a global American company. As the company did not provide any housing I had to look for some myself. When looking for a long term accommodation in Prague you need to consider few things first. When do you plan to move to Prague, what is the location you wish to live, what is your budget and what are your needs considering size and equipment of the apartment?
Prague is a very popular city in the heart of Europe, not only for tourists but also international students and expats. You need to keep in mind that many students arrive to Prague in the beginning of September and stay to the end of June when they leave for holidays, internships, etc. therefore be ready when you move to Prague in September or October you will have a quite hard time to find a affordable place to live (depends of course on the definition of affordable). The demand at this time is enormous while the offer is limited. A better time to look for long term accommodation would be therefore from January to the end of June/July. If you have the possibility to crush at friends place in Prague while looking for a flat it will increase your chances and speeds up the process since you can actually go to check out the flats yourself. I would not recommend to sign any contract or send reservation fees before you visit the object yourself. The photos are often different as published online and there are many scammers in Prague that use non-informed expats and try to rip them off. I have had difficulties in that manner when I studied in Belgium, so trust me, check out the flat yourself first.
Depending on your income, scholarship you need to set up the budget you plan to spend on your living in Prague. Locals often offer their flats/rooms to foreigners since they know that they can charge more. Airbnb offers in Prague are also often quite expensive when considering to stay at Airbnb hosts for a longer period. As mentioned earlier, the demand is high while offer is low, from the economic point of view it’s obvious that the prices are getting higher. So how much do you have to plan to spend on living in Prague? It’s not easy to give the exact numbers, I can only tell the prices that I have seen the most during my research for a flat in Prague (September 2016).
Prices for rooms range between 5.000,- CZK (180 EUR) and 10.000,- CZK (370 EUR), it all depends on the distance to the city center and the level of equipment (bed, closet,etc.). The closer to the center and better equipped the more expensive obviously.
Prices for 1KK: which is one room combined with kitchen range between 7500,- CZK (280 EUR) and 11.000,- CZK (410 EUR) – average therefore around 9.000,- CZK (333 EUR)
Prices for 2KK: which is one room with kitchen combined and one separate room (might be bedroom) cost depending on the location and equipment between 10.000,- CZK (370 EUR) – 15.000 CZK (555 EUR).
Make sure that the above mentioned prices are the prices for the rent, additional charges for services and power, water usage depend on your consumption or contract you signed with the landlord. For one person, additional charges might range between 1.500,- CZK (55EUR) and 3.000,- CZK (110 EUR). Landlords usually also ask for a deposit (one monthly rent). Please note that these prices are not fixed, however you can use them as a reference when planning your expenses for living in Prague.
If you decide to go for a flat offered by a reality agent, they usually charge the amount of one rent + taxes. It is also possible to find accommodation in Prague without the aid of an agent but more endurance is required. I will give you some tips on how to do so in the end of the article.
When looking for a suitable accommodation, the location is often an important factor. You need to be close to the university or to your work. Great news for you, the public transportation in Prague has one of the best if not the best public transport infrastructure in Europe. There are buses, trams and metro that you can use to find your way in Prague all day and all night. A three month ticket for public transportation in Prague cost around 55 EUR (students pay half the price). This should make the choice of the ideal location a little easier. I personally prefer to live in the broader city center, there are not that many tourists anymore and it is still only 10 min to the center. Thanks to the good connection to the heart of Prague, it is also not the cheapest location but in the end, it all depends on your needs. If you live close to the metro lines, you can reach the city center quite convenient from any location.
The red circle symbolizes Prague downtown, yellow circle stands for the broader city center, while in the green circle you should be able to find cheaper flats.
Tips and Tricks
Here are few of the resources I used when looking for a suitable accommodation in Prague. I found bezrealitky website the best portal to find flats/apartments to rent from locals without any reality agents fees. You can send a message to the landlord, introduce yourself, tell him/her why you are a good candidate and where you work. The more info you can provide the better the chances, since the demand for accommodation in Prague is high, you need to differentiate somehow from the “competition”. Extra tip: if you like the description of the apartment but there are no photos yet, apply for it anyway, this worked for me well (since most of the people don’t react when there is no photo).
Sreality, Realitymix and Bytyvpraze are all portals where mostly reality agents advertise their offers, you can browse through them and filter your requirements but most of the results you will find, will require you to pay the reality agent fees.
Another way to find accommodation in Prague would be to use Social Media groups, I am familiar of 11 Facebook groups that have several thousand members who search or offer apartments. Some of them are also English user friendly, some aren’t.
Obstacles for expats/ international students
There are few challenges you need to deal with as a foreigner looking for a flat in Prague.
- Main obstacle I believe is the language, it would be great if you have someone on-site to help you with the translation so you speed up the process. Also ask for a translation (at least into English) of the contract that you should sign
- Some landlords do not rent to foreigners
- Keywords as “pets” or “student” should be avoided if possible (due to the high demand, landlords can choose who to rent the flat, as a student or with pets you lower your chances), I know it’s sad 🙁
- Try to start your research as soon as possible and don’t postpone it
- Ask your friends, colleagues or anybody in Prague if he/she knows about someone who wants to rent an apartment
That’s it, the impossible task should now become easier to fulfil. If you have any relevant comments that could help future readers, feel free to attach them below. Good luck with your research and enjoy the live in Prague. If you found this post helpful, feel free to spread the word and help others find this resource.
credits for the featured image to Roman