Tram in Prague Tram in Prague – Image courtesy of monster-lounge.com

How to get around Prague

Walking is the best way to get around Central Prague and individual neighbourhoods.

Elsewhere, a reliable public transport network of trams, buses and the metro offer an excellent and inexpensive way of getting around the city.

Prague's transport system is integrated, with the same tickets valid on all types of transport.

Taxis should only be booked from your hotel or over the phone – ProfiTaxi or AAA Taxi are considered the most reputable companies – but not flagged on the street. Car rental is available but expensive.


Transport options in Prague

The city's comprehensive public transport system is operated by the Prague Public Transport Authority (DPP) (www.dpp.cz/en), and includes the metro, trams, buses and the funicular railway to the top of Petrín Hill. The DPP website has a handy 'Journey Planner' to enable you to plan your route.

A valid ticket or day pass is required for travel on all metros, trams and buses. Tickets and passes are sold from machines at metro stations and some tram stops (coins only), as well as at newspaper kiosks and DPP information offices.

Ticket must be validated (punched) before descending on the metro escalators or on entering a tram or bus (day passes must be stamped the first time you use them).

For the metro, you’ll see stamping machines at the top of the escalators. In trams and buses there will be a stamping machine in the vehicle by the door.

A full-price ticket costs 32Kč per adult. Full-price tickets are valid for 90 minutes of unlimited travel, including transfers. For shorter journeys, buy short-term tickets that are valid for 30 minutes of unlimited travel. These cost 24Kč per adult.

You’ll also need a 16Kč ticket for each large suitcase or backpack; a 24-hour or three-day pass includes one such item of luggage.

Day passes are available for one or three days and make sense if you're planning on staying more than a few hours. One-day passes cost 110Kč per adult, and three-day passes cost 310Kč.

Trams and buses run from around 5am to midnight daily. A small fleet of night trams (51 to 59) and buses criss-crosses the city about every 40 minutes (only full-price 32Kč tickets are valid on these services).

Tram: Trams are convenient for crossing the river and moving between neighbourhoods. The tram network operates 34 lines, with nine lines running at night, every 30 minutes between 12:30am and 4:30am.

Key tram routes include tram No 17 along Smetanovo Nabrezi; No 22, a classic tram line from Vinohrady – board at Národní třídá or Národní Divadlo (National Theatre) – that climbs up to Prague Castle; and No 9 – one of Prague's busiest cross-city tram routes – linking Žižkov, the main train station, Wenceslas Square, the National Theatre and Smíchov.

Metro: Prague's metro consists of three lines with a total length of 65km (40mi). Fast and frequent, it's good for visiting outlying areas or covering longer distances.

Line A (shown on transport maps in green) connects the airport bus to Malá Strana, Old Town Square, Wenceslas Square and Vinohrady; Line B (Yellow) is cross-river route from Smíchov in the southwest to central Náměstí Republiky and Florenc bus station; and Line C (Red) links the main train station to Florenc bus station, Wenceslas Square and Vyšehrad.

Useful metro stops for visitors, include Hlavní nádraží (main train station), Malostranská (Malá Strana), Můstek (Wenceslas Square), Muzeum (National Museum), and Staroměstská (closest to Old Town Square).

All metro lines run from about 5:00am to 12.00am (midnight). In each carriage there is an area for transporting buggies (strollers) or bicycles, free of charge.

Bus: The bus network is really only useful when travelling to/from the airport, and in those few areas not covered by tram or metro.

Bicycle: Bike hire and guided cycling tours of Prague are available during summer from several companies including, City Bike (www.citybike-prague.com), AVE Bicycle Tours (www.bicycle-tours.cz), Biko Adventures Prague (www.bikoadventures.com) and Praha Bike (www.prahabike.cz).

A small bike-share system, Homeport Rekola (www.rekola.cz/en), has a handful of stations in the city centre.

While several districts of Prague have bike lanes (look for the yellow bike-path signs), Prague is a challenge to get around by bike, with cobblestones, tram tracks and numerous pedestrians.

Cycling is also prohibited in pedestrian zones such as on Charles Bridge and in part of the city centre.

Bikes are transported free of charge on the metro, but cyclists are required to obey certain rules including only two bikes are allowed per train, bikes are not permitted if the carriage is full or if there’s already a pram in the carriage.

Taxi: Taxis in Prague are an easy and affordable way to get around town, though dishonest taxi drivers remain an ever-present risk.

It’s best to use a reputable company such as AAA Radio Taxi (www.aaataxi.cz), ProfiTaxi (www.profitaxi.cz) or CityTaxi (www.citytaxi.cz), all of which offer 24-hour service and honest, English-speaking drivers.

Avoid cabs waiting outside stations and major tourist attractions. Taxis should be legally registered, with a permanent yellow roof light and the company name, licence number and rates printed on both front doors. It’s also a good idea to establish your destination and a likely fare before getting in, and make sure the meter is switched on.

The official rate for licensed cabs is 40Kč flagfall plus 28Kč per kilometre and 6Kč per minute while waiting. Any trip within the city centre should cost no more than 200Kč. A trip to the suburbs, depending on the distance, should cost 200Kč to 300Kč, and to the airport between 400Kč and 600Kč.

Alternatively, Liftago (www.liftago.com) is a reliable, locally owned ride-share service, available via their downloadable smartphone app.

Car hire: Car hire is available at Václav Havel Airport and many large hotels. Major companies include Avis (www.avis.cz) and Hertz (www.hertz.cz).

Drivers must be over 21 years and have held a full driving licence for at least a year. A valid national driving licence, International Driving Permit, passport and credit card for the deposit are required. A young drivers fee may be applicable to those under 25 years of age.

Car hire isn't really practical for anything other than trips out of town. Cars are often restricted in the city centre, and the warren of one-way streets takes time to get to know well. Instead, it's best to use public transport.

Note: if you do decide to drive in Prague, be aware that motorists must always give way to buses and trams.

Parking spots are hard to come by around the centre. There are three types of street parking zone: orange for stays of up to three hours, purple for stays up to 24 hours without a parking permit and blue for residents and businesses only. Park and Ride car parks (signed P+R) have been set up near metro stations around the city. They are secure and charge a flat rate.

Boat : There's no regularly scheduled water transport along the Vltava River, however several companies operate pleasure cruises on the river.

Prague Boats (www.prague-boats.cz) offers one-hour cruises year-round from Central Prague to outlying Vyšehrad.

Prague Steamboat Co (www.praguesteamboats.com) runs various cruises from March to October from the centre to various points up and down the Vltava River, including a one-hour cruise taking in the National Theatre, Štrelecký island and Vyšehrad.

Prague Venice (www.prague-venice.cz) offers 45-minute cruises in small boats under the hidden arches of Charles Bridge and along the Čertovka millstream in Kampa.


More about Prague…


Latest update: How to get around Prague : 7 July, 2020


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