Tips on settling in for expats heading for Prague

Tips on settling in for expats heading for Prague

Tips on settling in for expats heading for Prague

If you’re still planning a move to Prague after the coronavirus crisis cools down, these tips will help you settle in and get on with your new life.

Before the worldwide crisis broke, Prague was fast gaining a great reputation as an expat hub for its unique culture, fascinating history and business opportunities. All these attractions still hold true, and can be realised by determined expats after the coronavirus has run its deadly course. However, culture shock is still the norm for new arrivals, with preparing for the unexpected the best way to minimise stress.

The most important aspect of your move wll be housing, leading to lifestyle decisions about renting alone or sharing an apartment. Unsurprisingly, the closer to the city centre the more expensive the rentals, but the advantages of living in outlying districts include peace and quiet as well as cheaper rental costs. Commuting isn’t expensive and the services are good.

As regards safety and security, Prague scores well with the exception of its pickpocket problems. Mostly found in popular tourist areas, these crooks are clever and swift, making taking good care of your personal possessions essential. Another issue to watch out for is the city’s plethora of dubious currency exchange outlets, all of which are set up to cheat tourists. Newly arrived expats are advised to use local banks after checking the current rate online.

The average Prague local is often seen by foreigners as tough and somewhat unapproachable, but long-stayers confirm this is just a cover for a friendly attitude towards incomers in general. Once you get to know the locals and those you’re working with, you’ll find you’ve made strong, long-term friends.

As regards getting around the city, the transportation infrastructure is excellent and covers buses, trains and an efficient underground system, all of which are open day and night. Czech cuisine may not suit every new arrival, but the city is known for its international restaurants covering many countries’ dishes including Vietnamese and Italian favourites. Even vegans need not worry, as they’ll soon find speciality groceries as well as eateries.

As with many European cities, Prague has its much-loved customs such as bringing a gift when invited to visit or taking your shoes off when entering a friend’s home. Slippers are provided, much in the same was as in Japan. All told, newcomers won’t find adjusting to their new home as tricky as they’d imagined, as expats are now part of the city’s scene and welcome as a result.

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