Although they’re both major European cities, Warsaw and Prague are quite different. Learning more about each can help you spot the distinctions between the cities and possibly decide which one suits you if you’re thinking of visiting or moving.

Warsaw vs Prague cities


Key takeaways

  • Warsaw and Prague are similar in size.
  • Warsaw has a higher population than Prague.
  • The cost of living is lower in Warsaw.
  • The average income is higher in Warsaw.
  • Warsaw and Prague have similar climates and weather patterns.
  • Warsaw and Prague have excellent education systems.
  • Warsaw and Prague have large public transportation systems.

World Location

Warsaw is the capital of Poland. The city is located in the east-central region of Poland and sits on either side of the River Vistula.

Prague is the capital of the Czech Republic. It was also the historic capital of the region of Bohemia. Prague is located in the center of the Czech Republic and is situated on the Vltava River.

map of warsaw and prague

Size

Warsaw has a total size of 199.71 square miles, and it is divided into 18 quarters. Prague’s total size is 191.5 square miles. Both Warsaw and Prague are the largest cities in their respective countries.

Population

Prague has a total population of just over 1,275,000 people. The greater metropolitan area is home to about 2,709,000 people.

Warsaw has a population of about 1,796,000 people, and the metropolitan area is home to about 3,101,000 people.

warsaw vs prague population chart

Real Estate

Because it’s Poland’s most populous city, is the capital, and serves many of the country’s business and economic needs, housing in Warsaw is more expensive than anywhere else in the country.

Most homes cost between 2,198 and 3,957 euros per square foot, which is equal to about $2,203 to $3967. The average cost of a home in the city is about $246,710.

Homes are also relatively expensive in Prague, but the price does fluctuate depending on what area of the city you’re in.

Some of Prague’s most expensive apartments, for example, are worth about $6,992 per square foot.

An average one-bedroom apartment, however, costs about $800 per month, and the average home costs between $266 and $307 per square foot.

Cost of Living

The average cost of living in Prague, without taking rent or a mortgage payment into account, is actually relatively low, especially compared to many populous American cities.

A single person in Prague can expect to spend about $684 per month, while a family of four will usually spend around $2,312 per month.

Monthly living expenses are even lower in Warsaw. A single person will usually spend about $575 per month on living expenses that don’t include rent or a mortgage.

A family of four can expect to spend about $1,942 per month.

real estate vs cost of living charts

Income

The average person in Warsaw makes about 8,510 Polish zlotych, or PLN, per month. This is equal to about $1,805, which means that an average annual salary in Poland is about $21,660.

The average monthly salary in Prague is 38,000 koruna, which equals about $1,552 per month. This means that the average annual salary in Prague is about $18,624.

Languages

Most people living and working in Warsaw speak Polish. The Warsaw dialect is a version of Polish with Russian and German influences, and it doesn’t differ too much from standard Polish.

Some people in Warsaw may also speak German, and about 40% of the population also speaks English. Russian is the second-most common language spoken in Warsaw, however.

About 97% of all people living in Poland also speak Russian.

The official language of Prague is Czech. Czech is quite similar to Slovakian, so you’re likely to find many people who speak at least some Slovakian.

Many people in Prague also speak at least some English. This is especially common among people in the hospitality or tourism industries.

closeup of the hand of a young caucasian man showing a speech bubble with the question do you speak Czech written in it, next to the Vltava river in Prague, Czech Republic

Weather

Prague has an oceanic climate, which gives the region mild summers and chilly, snowy winters. Summer temperatures generally hover in the high 60s and mid-70s, although nights can be quite cold, with temperatures dropping into the 40s.

Winter temperatures tend to hover around freezing. The area is relatively dry, although rain is common during the late spring months, and Prague sees about 28 inches of snow each winter.

Warsaw’s climate is also oceanic, and its weather is very similar to that of Prague. Warsaw experiences winter and summer temperatures in the same range as Prague.

Like Prague, Warsaw also experiences cloudy winters. The area does not see too much rain throughout the year, despite the frequent cloud cover.

Prague in winter
Prague in winter

Food

Warsaw has a fascinating food culture, as its culinary influences have been shaped by hundreds of years of multicultural populations. Warsaw in particular is known for its strong French and Jewish food influences.

Most food in Warsaw is relatively hearty, where fish, dumplings, and breads are common.

Warsaw is also known for its iconic milk bars. These bars offered inexpensive, home-cooked meals of traditional Polish dishes.

Pyzy are a type of polish dumpling
Pyzy are a type of polish dumpling

Milk bars rose to prominence during Communism and offered guests quick, inexpensive food, but they remained long after thanks to their convenience and the tastiness of the dishes.

Prague is known for its exceptional fine dining. The city is currently home to two restaurants with Michelin stars, and the Allegro restaurant in Prague was the first in the post-Communist section of Central Europe to be awarded a Michelin star.

Prague is also famous for its beers and breweries. An annual Czech Beer Festival celebrates the best of local beers, and different beers, along with traditional Czech dishes such as roast duck, potato pancakes, dumplings, and beef tartare, can be sampled in the city’s many cafes, pubs, and restaurants.

Education

Warsaw takes pride in its excellent education system, and many students from around Poland come to Warsaw to study at the city’s premier universities.

The Medical University of Warsaw, for example, is the largest school of medicine in Poland. Other well-known universities in the city include the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music, the Warsaw University of Technology, the Academy of Fine Arts, and the University of Warsaw, which was established in 1816.

Prague also has a fantastic education system, and the city is home to many world-renowned universities and colleges.

Charles University is one of the most famous in the city, not only because of its excellence but also because it was founded in 1348 and is the oldest university in Central Europe.

Other famous universities and colleges include the Academy of Arts, Architecture, and Design, the Czech Technical University, the Czech University of Life Science Prague, and Ambis College.

The city is also home to the University of New York in Prague.

Charles university, Prague
Charles University, Prague

Sports

Both Warsaw and Prague have strong sports cultures, and skating, ice hockey, and soccer are the most popular sports in the cities.

Warsaw’s most famous professional football club is Legia Warsaw. The club dates back to 1916. Many people in Warsaw also support their rivals, Polonia Warsaw.

Basketball is also popular in Warsaw, and the city’s professional basketball team is also called Legia Warsaw.

Prague is home to five professional soccer teams, including Sparta Prague, Bohemians 1905, and Slavia Prague. There are also two professional ice hockey teams and a professional basketball club.

Prague is also home to the O2 Arena. The arena, which is frequently used for concerts and other events, is the second-largest ice hockey arena in Europe.

Another of Prague’s stadiums, Strahov Stadium, is the largest stadium in the world. Strahov Stadium was designed for synchronized gymnastics.

Transportation

Because Warsaw has such a large population, traffic and transportation can be a concern. However, the city has excellent bus and metro systems.

The city is also home to the largest tram system in Europe. Warsaw is also heavily invested in building or rejuvenating roads and bridges.

Currently, there is no ring road system around Warsaw, so most traffic is diverted directly through the city, which can cause extreme traffic.

Most people in Prague rely on public transportation, which includes the Prague Metro system, the Prague tram system, a bus system, and several commuter trains and ferries.

About 52% of all trips made in Prague utilize public transportation, and another 22.4% are made on foot. This is one of the highest percentages of public transportation use in the world.

Prague also has inner and outer ring roads, although the majority of traffic is still directed through the center of the city.

Rush hour traffic on the Dmowskiego roundabout in the city centre of Warsaw, Poland
Rush hour traffic on the Dmowskiego roundabout in the city centre of Warsaw, Poland

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