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Getting Around

The Basics

Key Phrases

Přeštupní stanice Transfer/interchange station

Kolej Platform

Výstup Exit

Přiští zastávka/stanice… Next tram stop/metro station is…

Mimo Provoz Out of service

Travel Etiquette

  • On metro escalators, stand on the right-hand side and only use the left side if you want to walk up or down. Failure to observe this nicety can cause consternation among other users, especially during rush hour.
  • The large seatless area at the tail end of older trams or in the middle section of newer trams is generally reserved for baby strollers – be sure to make room here if someone boards with a pram.
  • Except in the oldest trams, you have to press a green button (marked dveře) to make the doors open; if you're at the front of the queue, press it quickly if you don't want to incur the wrath of those behind!

Transport Options

Prague has an integrated metro, tram and bus network – tickets are valid on all types of transport, and for transfers between them.

Tram

Extensive network of routes, best way for getting around shorter distances between neighbourhoods. Full service from 5am to 12.30am; limited service through the night.

Metro

Fast and frequent, good for visiting outlying areas or covering longer distances. Runs 5am to midnight.

Bus

Buses are not much use in the city centre, except for travelling to the airport or in areas not covered by tram or metro. They run from 4.30am to around midnight, plus limited night service.

Taxi

Good value though prone to rip-off drivers in tourist areas, especially late at night.

Walking

Central Prague is compact and individual neighbourhoods are easily explored on foot.

When to Travel

  • Public transport is usually crowded during weekday rush hours from 7.30am to 9.30am, and from 4.30pm to 6.30pm. However, services are also more frequent, with metro trains every two or three minutes, rather than the four- to 10-minute gaps during off-peak periods.
  • Although the normal tram and metro network closes down between midnight and 5am, a night tram service continues to operate with trams every half hour or so. Only full-fare (32Kč) tickets and multiday passes are valid on night trams.

Tickets & Passes

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 at the Můstek, Anděl, Hradčanská and Nádraží Veleslavín stations.

  • You must validate (punch) your ticket 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. A discounted ticket of 16Kč is available to children aged six to 15 years and seniors aged 65 to 70 (kids under six ride free). 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 24/12Kč per adult/child and senior. You’ll also need a 16Kč ticket if you're carrying a dog or for each large suitcase or backpack (more than 25cm x 45cm x 70cm); a 24-hour or three-day pass includes one such item of luggage.
  • Bikes (metro only) and prams travel free.
  • 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 110/55Kč per adult/child and senior; three-day passes cost 310Kč (no discounts available for children or seniors).
  • While ticket inspections are infrequent, getting caught without a validated ticket can be expensive. The fine if paid on the spot is 800Kč, or 1500Kč if paid later at a police station.

Using Automated Ticket Machines

The automated ticket machines at metro and some tram stops can be tricky to use. To get started, first press the button for the ticket you need – probably the 32Kč PLNOCENNÁ (full fare) at the top left – once for one ticket, twice for two etc. You will see the price clocking up in the display. Put your coins in the slot – as soon as the correct fare (or more) has been inserted, your tickets will be printed, and change given if necessary. If you make a mistake, press the STORNO (cancel) button and start again.

Bus & Tram

To supplement the metro, the Prague Public Transport Authority (DPP) operates a comprehensive system of trams (streetcars) and buses that reach virtually every nook and cranny in the city. The DPP website has a handy 'Journey Planner' tab in English to enable you to plan your route.

  • Trams are convenient for crossing the river and moving between neighbourhoods.
  • Buses are less useful for visitors and normally connect far-flung residential neighbourhoods to nearby metro stations or the centre.
  • The system uses the same tickets as the metro and metro rides can be combined with rides on both trams and buses, provided the ticket is still valid.
  • Always validate an unstamped ticket on entering the tram or bus.
  • Trams and buses run from around 5am to midnight daily. After the system shuts down, a smaller fleet of night trams (51 to 59) and night buses rumbles across the city about every 40 minutes (only full-price 32Kč tickets are valid on these services).

Schedules & Re-routing

Prague's transport system is excellent but, sadly, prone to near-constant rerouting and line cancellations brought on by construction and maintenance projects. Depending on the day or the week, some trams disappear, others are rerouted and, mercifully, a few stay the same – but figuring out which is which is nearly impossible.The Prague Public Transport Authority website lists changes, but you need to know the system well to get much out of it. If you do find yourself on a tram that zigs when it should have zagged, just settle in and enjoy the ride.

Key Tram Routes

No 22 The classic tram line that climbs to Prague Castle from Malá Strana, though you can board it in Vinohrady, at Národní třídá, or Národní Divadlo (National Theatre) too.

No 9 One of Prague's busiest cross-city tram routes, linking Žižkov, the main train station, Wenceslas Square, the National Theatre and Smíchov. Transfer to line No 22 at Národní třídá, Národní Divadlo or Újezd.

Walking

Walking is the best way to see the centre of the city. Indeed, much of the centre is closed to vehicular traffic, meaning walking is sometimes the only option for getting around. Cars and vehicles are prohibited from crossing Charles Bridge. Cobblestones and the long hill on the approach to Prague Castle play havoc with heels, though. The best bet is to opt for comfortable walkers or sneakers.