Public Transport in the Czech Republic
The Czech Republic offers an excellent public transport system in every major city. Between the cities, we have both good bus and train connection. The intercity buses are generally cheaper than trains, but to be sure of getting a seat on the major routes you should make an advance reservation. In the Czech Republic it is absolutely normal to sell standing places on intercity buses for the same price as the seats. Not every company does it (it’s not possible e.g. by Student Agency offering the cheapest bus connection between Prague and Plzeň and Prague and Brno), so without a pre-reserved ticket you may not be allowed on the bus. To find your bus or train connections inside the Czech Republic please visit IDOS (switch to English/German in the right bottom corner).
Public Transport in Cities
- Tickets are available from many newsstands and tobacconists, ticket offices in the metro, and from automatic machines in the metro and at selected bus and tram stops. Single tickets cost from CZK 24 to CZK 32.
- In Prague the CZK 32 tickets are valid for 90 minutes of unlimited travel. You may change between trams, buses, the metro and trains (in area of Prague) as you wish. You do not need to have a new ticket, regardless of how many times you change, until the time period runs out. Use a CZ K 32 ticket to get from the airport to the dormitory or intercity tram/bus station. More on Prague Public Transit Co. Inc.
- Validation of Single-Ride Tickets, Ticket Inspection: After boarding a bus, tram, or upon entering the metro, tickets must be date-stamped in order to make them valid. Your ticket is not valid without the time and date or without a specific code. All tickets, no matter whether you buy them in the underground or in a tobacco shop, have to be validated. Ticket inspectors may fine you if you are caught travelling without a stamped/marked ticket. Please use the yellow stamping machines. NOTE: the locals very often have a long-term travel pass and they do not have to validate it, so they often pass by the stamping machines. Do not be discouraged and use them, or ask the locals for assistance.
- Travel passes: If you use local transport regularly, you can save money and time by purchasing season tickets. Passes are valid for unlimited travel on any bus, tram or (in Prague) metro line throughout the city area. They are also valid on some suburban train routes up to the city boundary. For more details on the integrated transport system, including schedules and route planners, see ROPID (Regional Organiser of Prague Integrated Transport)
- The student ID card of the Charles University with the faculty coupon can now serve as transport pass (you have to only add the transport coupons for the period of your stay in the Czech Republic).
- Students above 26 years of age are not eligible for student discounts. In Prague, they have to apply for the new transport pass – Opencard. We recommend the express version.
Public Transport in Prague
Prague has a well-developed public transport network, consisting of the metro, tram lines, buses and trains. The metro (subway) is the quickest way to travel long distances across the city. It has three lines: A (green), B (yellow) and C (red). It closes down for the night shortly after midnight and reopens at 5:00. Trams and buses connect the metro system to outlying areas, and are also a handy way to make short journeys in the city centre. The most efficient form of night transport is the network of night trams that runs from about midnight until the metro reopens. Night trams run very precisely with a 30-minute interval, and rendezvous with each other at selected stations to facilitate passenger transfers (the central changing point is Lazarská tram stop). The night trams are No. 51–59. Nos. 57 and 59 go to Nádraží Hostivař (Hostivař dormitory). For further information on public transport in Prague (fares, list of routes and timetables), visit Prague Public Transit Co. Inc, where you will find comprehensive information in English.
Ticket officers (often accompanied by policemen) travel widely around the transport system and frequently ask passengers to show their tickets or passes. Passengers who are travelling without a valid pass or ticket are subject to a fine, which must be paid on the spot (especially in the case of foreigners). All officers carry both a metal badge and a photo-ID card (průkaz), which are numbered. The number on the two forms of ID should be identical. Always insist on getting a receipt. This may help you if you want to receive part of the money back (e.g. due to having a valid travel pass you have forgotten at home).
IMPORTANT: After you have obtained a travel pass (plus valid coupons for the selected period of time) you cannot be fined at the full rate (in Prague) even if you forget your pass at home. In this case, please, note that you have to inform the ticket inspector and pay a lower fine at the central office of the transport’s agency. In Prague this agency is called Dopravní podnik and the address of its office is Na Bojišti 5 (5 minutes walk from metro station I. P. Pavlova).
Unfortunately, taxi drivers have quite a bad reputation in Prague. There is no standard price for taxi services, but drivers are required to display their prices, usually on the door. A reasonable price is around CZK 28 per km, but it is a good idea to agree on a price before you commit to a ride, and be sure that the meter is running while you are in the taxi. Three usually reliable companies whose dispatchers speak English are AAA RadioTaxi (Tel. +420 222 333 222; 14014), ProfiTaxi (Tel. +420 844 700 800, 14015), Halo Taxi (Tel. +420 244 114 411).