Prague vs. Warsaw: The Polish capital's supermarket prices are easier on the wallet

People from Czechia can save up to 40 percent by shopping in Poland, and will find the same prices in Berlin. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 13.09.2023 10:16:00 (updated on 13.09.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

A recent analysis conducted by the Czech Institute for Politics and Society reveals a stark difference in the cost of living when it comes to food and other essential items in Warsaw and Prague. The study examined a standard shopping basket consisting of 18 common items (such as milk and eggs), and found that on average Warsaw prices were 25 percent cheaper.

Much cheaper in Poland

In Warsaw, the analysis found that people would pay approximately CZK 1,238 for the 18-item shopping basket, which includes chicken, cheese, fruit, vegetables, rice, bread, and other basic items. Conversely, in Prague, the identical purchase would set consumers back by CZK 400 more, totaling around CZK 1,655.

Poland's decision to introduce zero VAT on food – a move prompted by soaring energy costs and inflation – has played a significant role in the affordability of groceries in Warsaw. The initiative, which has been extended until the end of the year, has made 17 out of the 18 model shopping items cheaper in Warsaw than in Prague.

Notably, some items, such as rice and bread, are more than 40 percent less expensive in the Polish capital. Apples, in particular, are a staggering 54 percent cheaper in Poland. Additionally, eight other items, including chicken and onions, are over 30 percent less expensive in Warsaw.

Very similar to Germany and Italy

Despite the difference between Czechia and Poland, Prague's expenses remain relatively comparable to Berlin, where the same basket of goods is only 2 percent more expensive. In Vienna, the same shopping basket was just 5 percent pricier. This affordability discrepancy is further highlighted by the fact that Czechs can afford 23 of these shopping baskets with their average gross salary, whereas Germans can manage 57.

The analysis, which used exchange rates from June, primarily focuses on price disparities and does not delve into potential differences in food quality. The Czech Republic, in particular, is shown to have a lower purchasing potential due to the relatively high prices in Prague.

The analysis further extends its comparison to Bratislava, where 16 of the 18 items are cheaper than in Prague, resulting in an overall 14-percent reduction in costs. For instance, rice is found to be 42 percent cheaper in Bratislava. Chicken cutlets and onions are roughly a quarter less expensive.

The study underscores the significant disparities in food prices across European capitals, with Warsaw emerging as a notably budget-friendly destination for grocery shopping, leaving Prague with a higher cost of living in comparison.

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