First things first, apartments are called flats and any length of stay (from a night at a hotel to a multi-month lease) is often called accommodation, quite formally and all encompassing. Another fun fact is the spelling of many websites and services supporting the Czech real estate industry including the terms reality and realitky. Reality in English is a noun meaning current circumstances and realty (spelled without the “i”) is property. In Czech, realitky is slang for real estate, to help clarify what you might come across when apartment searching. Finding a room or flat to rent can be quite time consuming for expats and locals alike, but here are a few sources to help begin, expedite, and end your accommodation search.
This company allows you to create a notification not only for accommodation, but for jobs and local events too. There are many category types from festivals to food, to send a catered list of upcoming events to your inbox. The tags option also lets you search more specifically for events geared towards startups or even sports as examples. For apartments simply setup the parameters including the location, number of rooms, price, if you prefer a furnished flat, and how often you’d like to receive listings that meet your requirements.
Known as “The First Czech Roommate Agency,” Spolubydlici allows you to select if the site is viewed in Czech, English, or Slovak. As a side note, the page itself will translate to English, however the ads written in Czech will not, so you will need to use Google Translate if you’re unfamiliar with the language. The benefit of this site is that you can email the renter directly without going through an agency and you can retrieve a listing later by adding it to your favorites. This site clearly marks the price, location, and date the apartment is available. In addition to searching by price limits, you can place an ad that you are looking for a roommate and specify the place, price/currency, and date.
Just as in Spolubydlici.cz, you can select if the page is in Czech, English, or Slovak. The advantage of this site is that all listings will translate to English for you. The main difference however, is how contacts are generally associated with a real estate company. When searching you can specify the location, price range, amenities, and even select specific areas from a map view. At the bottom of each listing there is also a link to show additional rentals in the location you are searching in and you can save your search and be notified by email when a listing matches your parameters. As a bonus, the bottom of each listing also has relevant information such as the closest transport, ATM, post office, pharmacy, and “sports ground” which even includes yoga studios.
This site easily translates into English (even if email notifications are received in Czech) and for searches you can specify the location, type of space including commercial space, price range, and size of rental. When you find a listing you like, the send message button goes directly to the owner. For a pretty cool feature you can actually draw the area you’d like to search on a map. The element to create a watch dog or saved search for future notifications including the size of the place, if it’s furnished, price, and even a balcony or terrace option allows you to have multiple notifications saved and setup, in case let’s say you needed a place to live and a commercial facility for a new business.
Let’s not forget yet another avenue for apartment searching, social media. On Facebook there are many groups you can join, specifically for Prague. Some may require approval to join, but others have a significant number of weekly postings, with the option to message potential flatmates and and subletters directly.
FLATSHARE in PRAGUE (almost 22k members)
Flatshare Prague (over 18k members)
Expats in Prague – Unite (over 14k members)
PRAGUE Accommodation: FLATS for rent (over 6.5k members)
Prague Flat Finder (over 5k members)
Flat Search Tips
In addition to the search engine sites and social media interest groups, here are further tips for a successful search.
1. Begin your search early and be open to flats outside your preferred search area, as lower prices and ease of transportation offsets distance.
2. Tell every acquaintance in town about your rental search including social media friends; you never know who may have a contact in Prague.
3. Be open to a Skype or digital meet-and-greet if subletting or setting up flatsharing from afar.
4. Translate emails into Czech for a potential increased response rate.
5. Setup auto alerts as much as possible to save time from searching manually.
Best of luck on your accommodation search!