So I just returned from my trip to Prague and Slovakia. This is the country where only a couple of decades ago, my mother would send me to a store to buy breakfast for four people with less than a dollar….times changed….According to the survey Worldwide Cost of Living made by Economic Intelligence Unit organization, Prague is the most expensive city in Central Europe. It is more expensive than Lisbon in Portugal or Boston and Detroit in the USA. Prague is also the second most expensive city (after Moscow) from all post-Communist countries. Falling exchange rates are not helping either, while a dollar used to cost almost 50 Slovak crowns some years ago, you only get about 20 crowns today. It is even worse in Czech Republic where for one dollar; you only get 16 crowns (CZK).
A week-long parking at Prague-Ruzyně costs CZK 2,000, that’s $125! My sister who lives in Prague hardly ever goes downtown. Locals will not pay $5 or more dollars for beer, and so tourists who visit Prague do not really even get to see the traditional culture or meet locals who live on the outskirts of the city. You see visitors enjoying very expensive cafes and restaurants that they would never frequent at home. Hotels are also expensive as well as shopping. It is hard to believe that my money goes much further in the US than in a post-Communist country. If you are planning a trip to Central Europe – because it is beautiful and totally worth it- start saving, or go where the locals go.