Within the Czech Republic, buses are often faster, cheaper and more convenient than trains. Many bus routes have reduced frequency (or none) at weekends. Check bus timetables on www.idos.cz. Buses occasionally leave early, so be ready at least 15 minutes before the official departure time.
Bus ticketing at main stations is computerised, so you can book a seat ahead and be sure of a comfortable trip. Otherwise ticketing is rarely computerised. You must line up and pay the driver.
All international car-rental chains have offices in Prague. Small local companies offer better prices, but are less likely to have English-speaking staff – it’s easier to book by email than by phone. Typical rates for a Škoda Felicia are around 800Kč a day including unlimited kilometres, collision damage waiver (CDW) and VAT. The following are reputable local companies:
Secco Car (220 802 361; www.seccocar.cz; Přístavní 39, Holešovice)
Vecar (224 314 361; www.vecar.cz; Svatovítská 7, Dejvice)
West Car Praha (235 365 307; www.westcarpraha.cz; Veleslavínská 17, Veleslavín)
Czech Railways provides efficient train services to almost every part of the country. Fares are based on distance – one-way, 2nd-class fares cost around 64/120/224/424Kč for 50/100/200/400km.
For travel within the Czech Republic only, the Czech Flexipass is available (from US$78 to US$138 for three to eight days’ travel in a 15-day period).
Ticket sellers seldom speak English, so write down your destination, with the date and time you wish to travel and show it to them. Check train timetables on www.idos.cz.
If you have to purchase a ticket or pay a supplement on the train for any reason, you’ll have to pay a fine if you do not tell the conductor before you’re asked for your ticket.
Some Czech train conductors try to intimidate foreigners by pretending there’s a problem with their ticket. Don’t pay any ‘fine’, ‘supplement’ or ‘reservation fee’ unless you first get a doklad (written receipt).
City buses and trams operate from 4.30am to midnight daily. Purchase tickets in advance – they’re sold at bus and train stations, newsstands and vending machines. You must validate tickets in the time-stamping machines on buses and trams, and at the entrance to metro stations. Tickets are hard to find at night, at weekends and out in residential areas, so carry a good supply.
All taxis have meters – make sure they are switched on.