When speaking of location, it doesn’t just apply to Prague’s general location in the heart of Europe. While it’s true that Prague is in an enviable geographic location, situated between Warsaw and Vienna, a two hour drive from Dresden and a less than 4 hour drive from Berlin, and while it has access to cheap European flights that put London, Madrid, Rome, Paris, Stockholm, and a dozen other cities within less than 2 hours flying time, often for less than €100, that all discounts the reasons why Prague itself is worthy of being a tech capital on the world stage.
While “normal” commute times in London or Paris can stretch into the hours, and commute times in Moscow or the San Francisco Bay Area can seemingly stretch into days, Prague based commuters face the daunting prospect of not having time to finish their morning reading before arriving at work. The transport is just too good. And while lowly tech workers in other major cities are forced to find accommodations far from the center, serviced by lonely, scary looking bus stations and nary a local café or bookstore from which to scam free WiFi, Prague offers the opportunity to snap up central flat-rentals at incredibly low prices. Because the local Czech population is relatively static, increased housing development at the city’s periphery has meant lower prices near the beautiful city center, as well as scandalously affordable housing in its charming inner districts, like Vinohrady, New Town, Letna, and Zizkov. Any of these districts offer beautiful, modern accommodations for circa €500 a month.
Since the late 2000s, the Czech Republic has joined with other EU countries in implementing the Schengen Agreement, allowing unregulated movement and employment for all Schengen members within its borders.
A Great Talent Pool at a Great Price
Prague is just an incredible place to live, and its low prices and business-friendly atmosphere make it a dream for finding and keeping talented developers. The city is home to thousands of Russian, Ukrainian, Romanian, and Czech developers. And their skills can be won a fraction of the prices for similar talent in Paris, London, or Mountain View. When you consider the ratio, salary to living costs, the quality of life that talented developers get is higher than in other “IT cities”.
For these developers, joining a Dev Team in Prague is often infinitely better than doing the same work back home. Prague’s base of talented developers is affordable and very happy to be employed here, where the local standards of living are quite high, crime quite low, and the future very bright. Low-income taxes and permissive business licensing practices also make contracting with freelancers incredibly easy and cheap. For a few hundred euros, virtually anyone can obtain the trade license, giving them the right to self-employ, and file taxes as a knowledge worker.
Czechs Love Foreigners
While it’s true that Czechs have a reputation for being a bit cold, they’re amazing people and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. The Czech Republic has been host to legions of foreigners for centuries.
Prague also has a vibrant gay scene, with a number of clubs and gay-friendly bars, mostly located in Vinohrady. Vinohrady is known as the “gay quarter” of Prague and offers a good variety.
Czechs are big talkers, especially after a few Pilsners. Talk about your country and also about the Czech Republic. Show them you care and you are trying to learn at least few Czech words. They will be happy to speak with you, use English language and become friends. There’s also a thriving community of expats already living in Prague.
Prague is a heaven for hamburger lovers, as well as fans of virtually any foreign cuisine. Travelers often focus on Czech cuisine, which is amazing on its own, but they usually ignore the incredible depth of possibility when it comes to dining in this city. Prague offers a world class selection of food options, at prices that foreigners just don’t believe.
Seriously…the prices? A solid meal in Prague will cost less than 8 Euros, which is closer to the price of a coffee than a meal in many European capitals. And the Czechs don’t scrimp on portions.
Coffee has never been “the thing” in the Czech Republic or something that you could get here in amazing quality. But the time has changed! There are so many cool, stylish and beautiful places where you can get excellent coffee and delicious piece of cake. It seems like it is “the thing” now.