Transport in Prague

Prague is a relatively small city, with a compact historic centre. This means we can walk to most important sights and enjoy the local gems at the pace you deem convenient. However, some attractions do require a bit of travelling, in which case we can choose from the following options:

Public transport
Prague boasts an excellent metro, tram and bus system. These are complemented by regional rail services and two funiculars; one on the Petriny hill and the second in the zoo in Troja.

Although the metro is fast and efficient, I prefer to travel on trams as they enable us to admire the city's architecture instead of travelling underground. You will rarely come across buses in the centre, as they usually serve the more distant suburbs.

The public transport operates from approximately 05:00 am. till 12:00 pm. The last metro leaves each terminus at this time and covers its whole route before the stations close down. Night buses and trams run daily, but each line only about twice every hour.

Tickets
Tickets have to be purchased before boarding the vehicles; they are sold in metro stations, newspaper stalls (trafika) and ticket machines. Once aboard, they have to be stamped in the yellow machines attached to the railings (or at the entrance to each metro station). Each ticket is to be marked only once on the correct side, otherwise it becomes invalid.

The tickets available are the following:

Valid for Changes Cost
Adults 90 minutes Unlimited on all public transport services 32 CZK
30 minutes on buses and trams, maximum 5 metro stops Not possible on trams and buses. Possible on the metro, but the journey can't take more than 30 minutes. 24 CZK
24 hours Unlimited on all public transport services 110 CZK
3 days Unlimited on all public transport services 310 CZK
Monthly Unlimited on all public transport services 550 CZK
Children (6-15) 90 minutes Unlimited on all public transport services 16 CZK
30 minutes on buses and trams, maximum 5 metro stops Not possible on trams and buses. Possible on the metro, but the journey can't take more than 30 minutes. 12 CZK

Inspectors may check your tickets at any time while travelling. They will present themselves with a gold-plated badge, with the logo of the Public Transport Corporation. If you don't have a valid ticket, they will demand the immediate payment of a fine, which is 800 crowns. In case you don't have the money, they will write down your personal details and you will have to pay 1000 crowns at the central office of the company.

Although tourists tend to disregard these fines, it is advisable to pay them as the company is well known for suing its debtors. And, obviously, a lawsuit can complicate any future trips into the country.

Timetables Every line of the public transport network has a timetable, which must be respected by the drivers. These can be found on the tall red tram and bus stop signposts and on the central concourse in each metro station. They also detail the vehicle's route and the time it takes to reach each station.

Metro Many tourists have a problem finding their way around Prague's metro, despite the fact it is very simply designed and only has three lines.

Most stations have a single concourse in the centre, from which you can either go right or left. There is always a large sign showing all the stops on the line and the station you are currently at. From it, you can deduct whether you need to go to the right or left rail (called 1 and 2), which are further described by their terminus, which is also shown on the main sign.

There are three stations through which you can change lines. Mustek will get you from A (green) to B (yellow), Florenc from B (yellow) to C (red) and Muzeum from C (red) to A (green). The line changes are clearly marked and if you feel lost, simply follow the crowd.

Trams and buses There are too many bus and tram lines to list them here. Suffice to know that all doors are used to get on and off, except regional buses, which tourists are highly unlikely to use.

Trams stop at absolutely all of their stations at all times of the day, there are a few remote bus stops on which the vehicle must be hailed.

Some trams also have doors, which open only on-demand from passengers. A yellow or green button has to be pressed for them to open.

Taxi Although Prague taxi drivers have a bad reputation, it's very easy to avoid the unscrupulous ones. I don't recommend hailing a taxi on the street or boarding one at a taxi rank. It is always easier to call a renowned company, which will send you a vehicle free of charge in a matter of minutes and is very unlikely to overcharge you. I will be more than happy to do this for you as, I am sure, will be your hotel.

The maximum costs, established by the Mayor's office of Prague are the following:

Start-up rate 40 CZK
One kilometre within the city 28 CZK
One minute of waiting 6 CZK

I can recommend City Taxi, which has proven to be quite reliable and can be reached through their website or the phone number 257 257 257.

Private car If you prefer to have a private car with a driver at your disposal while in Prague, this can be easily arranged. This will, however, be slightly expensive and we might end up in traffic jams, especially at peak hours.