Slovakia/Life at bratislava
QUESTION: I am an Indian.I have an offer from one of the auto exterior company from Bratislava.I am planning to come with my wife to bratislava for 2 years after few days.So I have few questions:
1)Is Bratislava is totally safe for foreign people like me?
2)Is English communication works at market or hotels?
3)Can I save up to 1600 Euros if I get salary of 2500 euros after cutting all taxes and considering flat rent and eating and all?
4)Can I find fully furnished( with furniture,cable,kitchen, internet with maitenance and warm)flat at bartislava up to 450 euros?
Your expert answers will help me lot for planning.
ANSWER: Hi Sanjay,
glad to hear you are thinking about moving to Bratislava, always happy to see more skilled foreigners in town :)
Regarding your questions:
1. Safety: Bratislava is fairly safe, of course there is a small street crime but probably very comparable to any other European city. The number of foreigners here is still significantly smaller than in bigger cities (almost all other European capitals), so people are not that used to seeing foreigners as lets say in London or Amsterdam, on the other hand, there is no extremistic movement or really any backlash against foreigners moving here like in some western countries.
2. English is widely spoken by professionals of any age and in general people younger than 30.
Hotels - no problem, small grocery store - usually no English spoken. You will probably not have any problem at work, you might have small problem socializing with older neighbours. Bratislava is only 3 kilometres from Austria so lot of people speak German instead of English, but English is still most popular foreign language.
3. I assume 2500 salary is net, after you already paid taxes and social security?
Average salary in Slovakia is about €900 brutto (maybe 600-700 after taxes), in Bratislava might be around €1100-€1300 before taxes.
So 2500 net is fairly good salary, living on €900 per month (and saving 1600) is doable as some people earn this much, but you would probably have to be quite aggresive with saving on rent and food (probably not eating out very often, etc).
4. you can check the flat prices at reality.sk, the cheapest flat would be around 350 per month, so 450 would be with some effort achievable .
Anyway, is your work directly in Bratislava or somewhere nearby? Prices drop rapidly when going more than 20-30 kilometres from the capital.
Let me know if you have any more questions, always happy to help.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Hello Thomas,
It is really great to see your answer.It is going to help me a lot.I was not expecting that I will get this detailed and neat answer.So thanks a lot.For you information I will be working in Bratislava itself. Problem with we Indian people is we cook food daily.I dont know how I can solve this problem.Will I going to get the raw material like wheat flour,rice and vegetable quite easily? For the food of 2 people with average consumption What will it cost per month?
If I live 10 to 15 Km away from my workplace to save rent(100 euros/month).Then how much it will cost for travelling to office per month?
If I am willing to learn slovak,then,are there any tutions? We Indians can mix up with every forigners here in India.Do slovakia people are friendly with foreigners? Or are they going to Hate Indian(may be because indians are not white)? Which normally happens in Austrailia.Sorry if my question is wrong.I asked because of my curiosity.
Thanks again for your support!
cooking is not a problem, Slovaks typically cook at home all the time when they are not at work.
If you need any special Indian ingrediences, people usually travel to Vienna (60km) where they can get anything. (I would guess also Indian restaurants in Bratislava get special Indian ingrediences from there, but any normal food you easily buy here.)
It is hard to estimate the cost of food but in general, it tends to be much cheaper of course than restaurants, you can spend anything between 100-500 € per month depending on what quality you buy.
Travel - really depends on exact location of your office, if you know the address, I can maybe tell you more about if it makes sense to live outside of Bratislava (probably only if you are willing to travel more than 40 minutes per day - below that distance prices are still high). In general public transport is good and traffic jams are not frequent, but there are some exceptions.
Learning Slovak - sure, there are lot of opportunities and teachers.
In general I would say Slovak are very friendly to other people, unknown people on the street might not appear that friendly (not smiling as often as Americans :) but once you start talking with them, for example in work, it is much easier to become close friends with them than in Western Europe. In general, we tend to think about ourselves that we are very hospitable :) although this would be probably more visible in the countryside than in the capital.
There are so few Indians here that there are no general negative or positive feelings about them, I would say most of the people would be just curious to know more about you and no one would be unfriendly by default. Some people (usually outside of Bratislava, in Eastern Slovakia) have negative feelings about Gypsies, living in kind of slums, so in theory the only problem you could have would be if someone mistakes you for a Gypsy and you are at a very wrong place at very wrong time (like middle of the night near some bad nightclub). But I cannot really imagine this in reality, never heard of something like this in Bratislava.
Hope this helps,