Studying in Prague: A student survival guide to discounts, nightlife, and more

Use student benefits to the maximum, pack and shop smart, and have fun while exploring all the Czech capital has to offer.

Fiona Baldwin

Written by Fiona Baldwin Published on 09.08.2023 14:13:00 (updated on 09.08.2023) Reading time: 4 minutes

This is part of a series of student articles written as part of a journalism course at Anglo-American University in Prague.

So you’ve decided to attend university in Prague, perhaps due to the city's breathtaking scenery, or its relatively low cost of living. Regardless, enrolling in school in a foreign country can feel like getting dropped in the deep end. Don’t panic yet, and welcome to your student handbook featuring advice from a fellow international student to make your transition as smooth and financially friendly as possible.

Buy or bring?

No matter how far from home a college student is going, not knowing what to pack is an issue for us all. Every individual will inevitably make their own mistakes, but generally speaking, there are a few things that may be harder to come by in Prague and some that should probably be picked up upon arrival.

  • Leave the school supplies at home. There are plenty of stores around the city where you can purchase notebooks, pens, and anything else you’ll need for class, such as Tesco and Luxor.
  • Bringing a lot of snacks for a taste of home may be comforting while they last, but a better idea is to take one or two of your favorite seasonings with you. Grocery stores in Prague don’t tend to carry an extensive variety of spices, so if you’re a big fan of the flavor, it’s probably best not to take any chances.
  • Certain medical supplies can be difficult to come across. If you’re used to buying painkillers in large quantities, you’ll be surprised to find them available in small packages with twice their typical strength. Additionally, rubbing alcohol is not as easy to find as one might think.

Student discounts

One of the best ways to save money is to ensure you are using your student discount. To do this, you need an ISIC card, which is an identification card available to students across the Czech Republic and internationally; some of its most practical applications are for phone services and transportation. It is common for universities to issue them with a small fee, but you can also buy one online here if they do not. 

  • Your ISIC will open the doors for a range of student discounts on everything from tourist attractions to train tickets. Some restaurants even offer lower prices to students. Using your ISIC as often as possible is a great way to save money while exploring the new place where you live.
  • Some of its most practical applications are for phone services and transportation. Vodafone offers exclusive data plans for students. Even if you select one of their cheaper and more limited options, you will still have coverage throughout Europe in case you plan on traveling. Simply present your ISIC card when you go to set up your account and decide which of their student plans is best for you. Don’t forget to bring your passport, since they need your personal information to set up your plan.
  • Getting around Prague is much cheaper with your ISIC as well. Instead of buying paper tickets or a physical tram pass, you can download the PID Litačka transportation app on your phone and upload your ISIC information. This app isn’t just for students, but it is incredibly convenient for anyone with a cell phone. Additionally, PID has helpful information on transportation routes that can make navigating easier.

Cutting corners

Prague has various grocery store options, ranging from premium to budget-friendly. Consider shopping at discount supermarkets like Lidl or Penny Market which often offer lower prices than larger chains.

Grocery delivery in Prague is another way to save money on food. Platforms such as Rohlík or Košik often offer deep discounts. And many stores have "ugly" produce bins with discounted produce. Beware of mini markets in the city center, which are likely more expensive than elsewhere due to the influx of tourists.

Navigate nightlife

Prague’s dynamic nightlife appeals to many students, especially those who have just reached legal drinking age. However, clubbing is also known to bring plenty of challenges for newbies. Frida Dunetz, a fellow expat student and employee at one of Prague’s most popular clubs, offers some of her wisdom in this regard. 

She suggests that students should check out Duplex on weekdays for their student discounts or Chapeau Rouge, which has cheaper drinks than other clubs in the city center. She also recommends not getting too intoxicated to avoid potentially dangerous or needlessly expensive situations. "Taxis can charge you between CZK 500 and CZK 1000 [more] if they see you’re drunk and unfamiliar with the city," Dunetz says. She suggests taking an Uber or Bolt home instead. 

Overall, Prague is easy to navigate, reasonably priced, and full of opportunities for students. Equipped with this information, it will only get easier to find your rhythm as a student in the Czech Republic.

Would you like us to write about your business? Find out more