This prices ? Expensive. How do you do? The Austrians were watching. He no longer travels to the Czech Republic for cheap

17.03.2022 17:46 | Report

“I used to pay about five thousand a month for the trip, now it’s about eight and a half,” says Sandra Grieger, “who commutes to work from southern Bohemia to Austria. Fuel prices have also sharply increased in Austria in recent weeks. In recalculation, they are about the same as in the Czech Republic. However, wages are several times higher here. We also looked at the prices of food and pharmacies. The days when Austrians traveled to the Czech Republic for cheap shopping are obviously long gone. “It’s going up everywhere. But probably more in the Czech Republic than here. But how do you manage your salaries?”, they ask at the Austrian border. Relatives in the Czech Republic would have told…

Photo: Natalie Brozovska
The description: Prices in Austrian stores are more or less similar to ours. Discount promotions tend to be very advantageous

It doesn’t matter if you meet Czechs who go to work every day for a better income. They work here in restaurants, shops…
Sandra Grieger, who lives in Hluboká nad Vltavou, has worked for four years in a branded clothing store in Freistadt. As she says, although she has a university degree in economics, working here still pays off and she likes it too. But it also made him, so to speak, go over budget for the price of fuel. “Before, I paid up to five thousand a month and now I counted, it’s about eight and a half,” he describes.

Sandra Grieger has lived in Austria for about four years. Photo: David Hora

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He mainly refuels between the Czech and Austrian border crossings at a gas station, where prices are usually lower after all. On Tuesday, March 15, diesel here reached 44.90 in crowns and 1.81 in euros. Natural 95 was in crowns for 42.90. On the same day, diesel prices in Freistadt, Austria were around 1.99 euros per litre, and in southern Bohemia at 49.90 crowns.
The price of fuel in Austria and the Czech Republic is therefore approximately the same. However, it should be remembered that the minimum wage in Austria is around 40,000 crowns, the average is around 100,000 crowns.
“I come here four times a week. I don’t think about looking for a job in the Czech Republic because of the rising fuel prices, maybe if it goes up I’ll think about it,” says Sandra.

Expensive pastries, cheap yogurts, bargains…

“Everything is getting more expensive here, not just petrol and diesel, but also, of course, food. But I would say more in the Czech Republic. Some food is cheaper here, some more expensive than in our country. But the quality is better here. In Austria, for example, I like to buy pesto, which costs around two euros, in our country for a hundred. Organic things and things for vegans are also cheaper here, “describes Sandra: The exchange rate of the kroon against the euro is just under 25 kroner these days.

Despite the very large salary differences in the Czech Republic and Austria, it is interesting for Czechs to travel to Austria for certain types of food and for a pharmacy. Many customers are also attracted by the quality, which is said to be incomparably better in some cases. What pays off are usually events where the price decreases based on the number of coins purchased. For example, a half-kilo glass yogurt came out these days in one of the local food chains in a 1 + 1 campaign for 0.79 euros, that is, for less than twenty coin crowns. The washing powder of a well-known brand, which should be enough for 40 washes, was then in another store in action for 6.79 euros, or in terms of less than 170 crowns.


Cheaper chocolates and other sweets and snacks are often cheaper here. For example, a 325 gram package of salted pretzels costs 0.79 euros, or less than twenty crowns.

On the other hand, what is usually not worth buying here are pastries, which tend to be significantly more expensive than in our country.

In Bohemia? For desserts and lunch. And how do you manage your salaries?

Right after the revolution, Austrians traveled to the Czech Republic for cheap shopping. But those times are probably long gone. It wouldn’t do them any good today. Food prices are more or less similar, but the purchasing power of the Austrian population is several times higher than that of the inhabitants of the Czech Republic. Some people on the Austrian border still remember shopping in Czechoslovakia and later Bohemia in the 1990s.

“We love Czech desserts. We drove for you often. They were also nicely priced and also excellent. But they are also quite expensive. And sometimes we will come to your lunch for the weekend. We love your cooking and it will be even cheaper than here, but it’s getting more and more expensive,” explains retired Emilie, who lives on the Austrian border.

“But we don’t seem to be eating you,” laughs her sister, who introduces herself as Maria and adds. “It’s going up everywhere, here too. We have relatives in the Czech Republic and they tell us how terrible it is now. As some people in your country count every crown, they don’t even have fruit for the children. How do people with the salaries some have with you do?” She shook her head.

Covid… No longer resolved?

High fuel prices, rising food prices, services… This is probably what Austrians are probably facing the most right now. Covid seemed to “evaporate”. According to the regulations, when entering Austria, you must have a negative test or proof of vaccination or disease, no one stopped us or any other car at the border, while we passed. Veils are worn by people in grocery stores, in other stores you can hardly meet customers with their mouths covered. They didn’t even want confirmation from us at the restaurant. Meanwhile, in Austria, compulsory vaccinations have been in place since early February, which has raised a great wave of resentment in many places.

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author: David Hora

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