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The industrial agglomeration of Ostrava is located in the north of Moravia near the borders with Poland and Slovakia. Cross-border contacts and shopping are the daily norm here. Ostrava used to be the steel heart of the country and was dominated by mining and the metallurgical industry.
We can still find heavy industry in Ostrava and the surrounding towns. It has a very long tradition here but is gradually declining and being replaced mainly by manufacturing companies in the automotive industry and also by companies active in the field of services. And because the Beskyd and Jeseník Mountains are so close, you do not have to travel far to reach practically untouched countryside.
Ostrava is a popular destination for relocation. It holds joint third place with Plzeň in the unofficial “attractiveness to expats” stakes. It is also the third largest city in the Czech Republic and had a population of nearly 292 000 in 2017. The earliest written records mentioning Ostrava (Ostrawa) date back to the year 1229, when it was mentioned in a document from Pope Gregory IX.
The city has good traffic connections by train and long-distance bus (in both cases from competing operators) to the entire country. Pendolino trains or trains from the competition assure a comfortable service to Prague and other cities several times a day. Ostrava is 140 kilometres from Brno, 270 kilometres from Prague, 200 kilometres from Bratislava and 270 kilometres from Košice (the last two in Slovakia), 225 kilometres from Vienna in Austria and 120 kilometres from Krakow in Poland. However, the living costs in Ostrava are lower than in any of the aforementioned cities.
A four-member family needs 37 964 CZK per month, excluding accommodation costs, and individuals require only 11 000 CZK. A three-course meal for two costs 500 CZK in an average restaurant, the monthly travel pass for public transport costs the same and a soft drink or beer in a restaurant costs around 30 CZK. Rent for a 3-room flat is 11 200 CZK on average, a private nursery school costs 2 500 CZK per month and an international primary school comes to 150 000 CZK per year. According to the Living Costs Index, living costs in Ostrava are 16 percent lower than in the capital city of Prague.
The airport in Ostrava, named after composer Leoš Janáček, assures flights to Prague, London, Milan or Dubai. During the season there are also regular flights to European, Turkish and Egyptian resorts. The nearby Polish airports in Krakow and Katowice also enable Ostrava residents to fly comfortably to other destinations worldwide.
Public transport in Ostrava is assured by trams, trolley-buses and buses. The municipal council in Ostrava also takes care of the development of cycle paths, as is usual almost everywhere in Europe. The rail transport system is also highly developed in Ostrava and enables employees outside the Ostrava region to comfortably commute to work by train.
The city has two state universities and one private university: Ostrava University, Technical University of Ostrava and the Business University.
Stodolní Street is the centre of entertainment in Ostrava and the nightlife in the sixty bars and restaurants in this street is famous throughout the Czech Republic. The local summer festival called Colours of Ostrava, which is held in the unique area of the former ironworks in Vítkovice, also has an excellent reputation. Many enthusiasts also appreciate the regular athletics meeting called the Golden Spike, the quality of which is demonstrated by the fact that Usain Bolt regularly attended, and javelin thrower Barbora Špotáková was also a regular attendee. As well as sports and festival events, Ostrava also boasts of theatres and concert halls.
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