Saturday, February 28, 2009

Top Ten Things About Living in Prague

OK - the last post while I am living in Prague is a tribute to the city I have called home for the last 2 years: Prague. I may have not always said the nicest things about Prague in this blog - but the truth is this city has been absolutely great to me. Although it isn't perfect, it's been a really, really good place to live. Here are the top 10 things I liked most about the city:

  • Beauty of the City
    The first thing that has to be said about Prague is the beauty of the city. The tourist attractions aren't anything speial, but the buildings and the streets are just amazing. I never get bored of walking around the city and just looking up at the buildings.

  • Czech Beer
    The Czechs love their beer. The drink more beer per capita than any other country in the world. And, as you might expect, the beer is fantastic. You can order a half liter of beer for as little as $1.50 in most restaurants. I have probably ordered less than 10 mixed drinks in my entire time here - I always get beer. Since the beer is great and ridiculously cheap - it makes for an easy decision.

  • Easy, Cheap Living
    The lifestyle in Prague is pretty easy. People live and work at a relaxed pace. It is nothing like New York. At the same time, the city is pretty cheap to live in. Especially compared to New York and other European cities. Groceries are cheap and you can go to a restaurant without spending a lot of money. (Unfortunately, you get what you pay for)

  • Urban Parks
    As much as Czechs like their beer, they also love the outdoors. And the city planning in Prague is some of the best I have ever seen. I can't think of another major city that has so many parks spread throughout the city. I can be at 5 different major parks within 15 minutes of walking out of my house. It's great - especially witha dog. Which leads me to my next point...

  • Dog Friendliness
    Never have I seen such a dog friendly city in my life. Dogs can go off leash in all of the parks. They are allowed on the subways, the busses, the trams and in taxis. You can bring them in to all but the finest of restaurants. And, when they do come in the restaurant, the dogs are usually served water before you.

  • Our Apartment
    After living in New York for nearly a decade, I've become used to a small apartment. A very small apartment. I remember the first apartment that R and I lived in together in 2000. One day I went out and bought basketball. I came home and no where to put it. Literally - there was not a single unoccupied space in my apartment that was large enough to fit a basketball.

    Fortunately the current apaartment we own in New York is a bit bigger - but not much. It is still a 1 bedroom and space can be tight.

    In Prague, we got to live like kings. We had a great 2 bedroom apartment that overlooked the river. The place is about 60% bigger than our New York apartment. If this place was in New York, it would probably cost between $5000 and $6000 a month to rent. Here... it significatnly more affordable.

    I should also throw a shout out to Mirka and Pavla - the two ladies that work in the apartment directly across the hall from us. They have helped us out a thousand times over the past two years and have adopted Bauer as their own. We have been very lucky to have their help and friendship over the past two year (although I still think Pavla tried to posion me)

  • Sex Shops
    OK, this one is just in here to see if you are still paying attention. I've said it many times in the blog but I'll say it again. There are a ridiculous number of Sex Shops in Prague. They're on every other corner. I have no idea how they all stay in business. It fascinates me.

  • 10 Minutes from the Country
    When you are in downtown Prague, it can feel like a major International city. It's not on the same level as a London or a Paris - but it has all of the essential ingredients. However, if you get on your bike and ride for 10 minutes, you totally escape city life. It feels like you are in the middle of the country and went back in time by 50 years. The difference is amazing - but in a pretty cool way. I really enjoyed riding my bike through these tiny little towns and villages on the outskirts of Prague.

  • Intra-City Transportation (Trams)
    Here's a random entry - trams! I love a city with good trams.

    In New York, I NEVER take the bus. I have literally been on the bus less than 5 times in my life. I have no idea how the numbers work and am always afraid that the bus is going to take a random left turn and leave me far away from my destination.

    Since trams have built in tracks on the ground, they always go where they are supposed to. The ride is smooth and the stops are freqent. Trams are great!

  • Central European Location
    Finally, one of the things I like most about Prague is how easy it is to escape from. If you look at a map of Europe and find Prague, you'll see it is stuck pretty much right in the center of Europe. This makes traveling ridiculously easy. For all of the traveling we have done, the only flights longer than 90 minutes were to London, Lisbon and Istanbul. And some places are so close that you can easily take a train or drive by car. We have traveled by train/car to Italy, Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Poland. The location has made our traveling life style much easier.

I won't end my stay in Prague by putting a list of things I didn't like (the food, the surly attitude of everyone that works in retail, etc.). Those thoughts are well documented in some of my earlier posts when I first moved here.

In all honesty, there were many many great things about living in Prague. We are so glad we made this trip and have never regretted our decision for a single second.


Blogger le voyageur said...

Congratulations to have arrived in this lovely city!

thats cool abt the dogs being able to get on public transport!!

things to do in prague

2:48 AM  
Blogger maleena said...

dont you just love the european lifestyle. wish i could go live there for a few years. i remember seeing a lady with a cat on the train on our trip from florence to venice (of course in a carrier). do you feel weird being back in the US?
I spent 3 months in Florence italy and still miss it immensely.

11:44 PM  
Blogger Bill said...


Could someone let me know how do you go about getting a job in a foreign country. I just returned from Prague and feel in love with it. I want to move but need a job. Feel free to email me. Any help is appreciated.


11:58 AM  
Blogger Rosalina said...

I was just recently in Prague and loved it! Posted some places and things I saw as well. Check it out!

6:55 AM  

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