This post is part of an ongoing series about how much my digital nomad lifestyle costs. For a full list of budget posts and a detailed breakdown on how I budget for a life of full-time travel, visit this detailed article.
First things first. Let’s set the record straight:
Prague is not a budget city.
As is the case with so many places, the internet and the travel gossip is behind the times. Before we arrived, we were still hearing and reading glowing reviews of how exquisitely cheap the city is to visit.
And I get it. There are some things that run super cheap. Beer, for instance. And jam.
But for the most part, Prague has caught up to other Western European cities. My haircut cost almost $100. Our rent was around $1000 (with Airbnb options starting about 50% higher). And based on my experience with lots of places around Europe, I’d call it mid-range.
So if you’re looking for extremely low cost of living in Europe, I’d skip Prague and take a look at cities like Split, Croatia (though not in the summer, when prices double), or Ljubljana, Slovenia. Or head to a smaller town or mid-sized city like Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina; Kobarid, Slovenia; Toledo, Spain; or Taormina, Italy.
If you are planning on visiting or moving to Prague, here’s what I spent for one month in the city. The number are from July 5th to August 4th, 2018.
Keep in mind that I work while I travel (so if you’re retired or on vacation, you’ll probably spend more time and, thus, more money exploring) and my partner and I are mid-range travelers. We rent apartments in local neighborhoods (rather than pricey hotels or uber cheap couchsurfing). We eat out a few times per week, but often cook at home. And we both really like activities that tend to be cheap or free, like cycling, hiking, or picnics in the park. Consider this budget mid-range.
So now, to the numbers:
|Entertainment & activities||$67.86||1505.42|
|Luna (vet bills, supplies)||$29.57||656.49|
|Health & wellness||$349.62||7756.04|
The above expenses are my spending and do not include my partner’s expenses. We split the rent 50-50 and lunch and dinner groceries 60-40 (while purchasing our own breakfast stuff and sometimes our own snack stuff separately). Luna is my responsibility, so these are her full bills and our health insurance and healthcare costs are totally separate as well.
For accommodation in Prague, we were thrilled to discover a mid-term rental site called Flatio. They offer mid-term rentals (several weeks to several months) at prices cheaper than Airbnb and they vet each rental personally. Rents on Flatio ran about 1/3 lower than rents on Airbnb for the same period and in similar neighborhoods. Our rent was about $1000 US total, so the above represents my half of that plus my half of our weekend accommodations in Karlovy Vary, a popular spa town up north.
International transportation includes the cost of my half of a private compartment on a night train from Zurich, as well as uber rides to and from train stations.
Local transportation includes a day trip to Dresden to see my friend Ali and a weekend trip to Karlovy Vary, as well as the monthly transit pass in Prague (approximately $25), which allowed me to take the trams as often as I wanted. My receipts got a little mixed up, so some of this may have ended up in the international line item, but this number should be close.
The eating out budget reflects about two meals out per week (with the exception of our weekend in Karlovy Vary, when we ate every meal out as we didn’t have a kitchen), plus little snacks, drinks, and gelato stops. When we eat out, Chad and I generally split one entree (and maybe a dessert), which is the perfect portion size for us and keeps eating out more affordable. If you and your partner aren’t splitting meals, expect this line item to run higher.
Our grocery bill includes fresh market purchases as well as grocery runs.
Supplies are things like toilet paper, soap, and lotion.
Entertainment and activities included museum tickets and a food tour, but I had an Airbnb credit, so that line item is a bit less than someone else would pay for the same thing.
Luna the traveling pooch’s line item is mostly food this month.
Health and wellness includes travel insurance, therapy (three appointments), and one very expensive haircut.
As a final note: the above budget is our day-to-day living and exploring costs and does not include my business expenses and certain personal expenses like books, movie rentals, and replacing water bottles and clothes. I figure those things are too personal and variable to be helpful if you’re using these budgets to figure out your own trip costs, so I generally pull them out.
Want to see more nomad budgets? Check out this extensive piece with links to all my published budgets from the last six+ years.
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