5 things to know as a Dutch expat living in Prague

A Dutch native shares her reasons for moving to the Czech capital, as well as her local favorites.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 21.11.2022 16:43:00 (updated on 28.11.2022) Reading time: 5 minutes

The Dutch community in Prague is a small but active group. Almost 200,000 Dutch tourists visit the country annually, while cultural ties exist in the form of one very famous Czech émigré to The Netherlands. This is the scholar and philosopher Johann Amos Comenius, who left his homeland for political reasons and ended his long pilgrimage throughout Europe in Amsterdam, where he died in 1670.

Modern pilgrims to the Czech lands tend to be attracted by the capital’s lush greenery, international vibe, quality of life, and affordability. This is bolstered by job opportunities for Dutch speakers and ease of travel between the two countries.

What do you need to know as a Dutch person considering a move to Czechia? We spoke to Anne-Fleur Peters, a native of Tilburg, who moved to Czechia three years ago for work. Anne-Fleur says that despite occasionally being homesick for Dutch treats (and a longing for a better bike lane) the experience has been a positive one.

“I was always really interested in different cultures but also really loved nature and I was looking for an international experience.” When Anne-Fleur came to the country with her family on a holiday, she realized that the Czech Republic represented the best of all those worlds.

Now a Human Resources Contact Center Leader at Johnson & Johnson, a major employer of Dutch speakers in Czechia, Anne-Fleur has this advice for Dutch speakers considering working in the Czech Republic.

#1 The cost of living is cheaper than in Amsterdam and other large Dutch cities

Inflation is having an impact on the cost of living all over the world. The crunch is also being felt in Czechia, particularly in the area of food prices and other consumer prices. But while rents in Prague are indeed increasing, a flat in Amsterdam will still cost you more.

Anne-Fleur believes that “for the salary you get it's really affordable to find something for every budget.” She says she’s able to enjoy life but also save while living in the city center compared to the “little closet” you’d find in Amsterdam while earning less.

The Numbeo platform confirms this, estimating the cost of a 1-bedroom apartment in the Prague city center (CZK 21,859.35 /EUR 892.64) at almost half what you’d pay in the Dutch capital (CZK 41,576.58/EUR 1,697.80).

#2 There are plenty of job opportunities for Dutch speakers in Czechia

Language speakers are currently in high demand in the Czech Republic as more and more multinational companies base their operations on this Central European hub of innovation. Multilingual speakers – those who speak English in addition to another language – are in high demand not only in the IT sector but also in customer services and human resources for top international firms.

Anne-Fleur uses her Dutch-language skills as the HR Contact Center Team Leader for Johnson & Johnson Czech Republic. She is one of the more than 2,000 employees in Human Resources, Finance, and Procurement who work for the company in key service centers located in Manila, Suzhou, Bogota, Tampa, and Prague.

Currently, Johnson & Johnson in Prague is hiring Dutch speakers like Anne-Fleur as HR Contact Center Specialists (a relocation package is available).

“I love the passion we have for people in communities, everybody on my team is dedicated to helping others and to being there for each other.”

Anne-Fleur Peters

#3 Prague is getting bike-friendlier

One thing Anne-Fleur misses as a native of The Netherlands is cycling around town on her bike. “While I do miss bicycle lanes and how flat the Netherlands is, I sometimes hop on a rental bike on a sunny day and it feels like home,” she said.

The number of cyclists in Prague has increased by around 73 percent since 2019. Every second adult in Prague now rides a bike at least once a month. While for some that can be seen as a sign of progress, bike infrastructure in Czechia still has a long way to go.

But things are looking up: In 2022, Prague City Hall released plans to expand key cycle paths and create more connections between city neighborhoods and between the city and wider Central Bohemia.

#4 You can actually get good stroopwafels in Prague

Thanks to the fact that one of the main grocery chains in the Czech Republic, Albert, is Dutch-owned, Anne-Fleur says that she can easily fulfill cravings for comfort foods such as stroopwafels at the Czech grocery store. Of course, her actual favorites arrive in a care package from Holland – but of the Czech variety she said: “I give them a 7.”

The overlap between Belgian and Dutch cuisine means that certain staples of the Dutch diet are easy to come by. Fritesbutik is a cafeteria by Prague’s Dancing House which serves frites, Flemish stews, and traditional Dutch mitraillette sandwiches. You can also get a cheesy fillet which is similar to Czech fried cheese, Anne-Fleur said.

Other favorites among Dutch-Belgian communities include Bruxx and the Dutch Pub, which offers a Dutch breakfast.

#5 Travel between Czechia and The Netherlands is easy

Another bonus for Anne-Fleur is that travel between the two countries is fairly easy. There are roughly 23 weekly flights between Prague and Amsterdam (on average 3 flights a day). Flight time is approximately an hour and 40 minutes. Flights to Eindhoven depart daily as well.

Anne-Fleur says that her family can easily make the 8-hour drive, while the European Sleeper, operated by a new Belgian-Dutch rail company, is planned to run between Prague, Berlin, Amsterdam, and Brussels.

Useful resources for natives of The Netherlands in Czechia
Holland in Prague
Embassy of the Netherlands in the Czech Republic

When asked about culture shock and the challenges of settling into Prague, Anne-Fleur adds in closing that moving to Prague has had a positive impact on her life 

“For me, there was no culture shock per se. I just really love the energy here. I can be myself and it feels very friendly and accepting toward everyone, something that’s missing in my hometown – at home, I felt less freedom.” She advises anyone who’s planning a move to Czechia to have an open mind and understand the culture.

“Czechs can be very direct, we share this with Czech people,” she laughs. 

This article was written in association with Johnson & Johnson. Read more about our sponsored content policies here.

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