Buy a Prague one day travel pass and rumble along on a number 22 tram from the National Theatre across the River Voltava. Then let the quaint funicular railway take the strain up Petrin Hill. Built in 1893 the Petrin Observation Tower is an Eiffel lookalike and sways slightly in the wind. You can go up by lift or climb the 299 wooden stairs on the outside to the viewing platform with its superb panorama over Prague. Stroll back to the city down through gardens and apple orchards. Two hours, all in, for a fiver.
Many tourists are 'afraid' of using new public transport systems but give it a go - Prague's metro and tram systems really are easy to navigate. The metro system is fully integrated and only has three lines, so it's hard to go too far wrong. Compared to most other capital cities, public transport is inexpensive. You can buy one-trip or all-day tickets at all metro stations (you will need coins for the machines). 18 CZK tickets are for shorter journeys with no changes, 26 CZK for journeys of up to 75 minutes including multiple changes. Validate your ticket before your journey using the little yellow boxes at the top of the escalators. The same boxes are available inside trams, which are super speedy and (if you come from the UK) have a wonderful sense of novelty. Validate your ticket as you board. Tram stops in the center are rarely far apart, so it's not the end of the world if you miss your stop. Stops are announced in advance - “p_í_tí zastávka”(pzheeshtee zastavka) means “next station”.
More detailed information is available, in English, here: www.dpp.cz/en/
If all else fails, central Prague is tiny - walk!
If you're staying in Prague for more than five days, a little known fact is that a whole month's public transport pass can be bought for 550czk, just 50czk (about £1.50) more than a five day tourist ticket.
You can buy the monthly tickets at Mustek and Dejvicka metro stations.
Just came back home after staying in one of Praha Expert's holiday apartments. Everything was exactly as promised, the airport transfer was on time and the driver very friendly. I even got help directly from the owner of the company, when I wasn't able to make "my" washing machine work - which was because I had made a mistake. Everything with a smile
tel.: +420 776 819 223 (Czech)
US phone: +1 866 781 7022
UK phone: +44 0870 4953677
My husband and I just returned from Prague where we had a great time! We stayed at the 987 design hotel and it was very nice. Sadly we were picketpocketed on our last day and the only thing we had left was the business card from the transfer company that picked us up, we called them and they actually came to help us, they took us to the embassy and the police station, all the time they were saying how sorry they were that it happened, they did not accept any money when we offered at the end. Be very careful on Charles bridge!
This is, I believe, the very best way of getting from the airport to your hotel and vice-versa.
The Shuttle (NOT to be confused with a number of recently arrived imitators with "similar' names" offers a truly excellent service that I have used many times when visiting Prague.
The drivers are all English speaking and a mine of local knowledge. Most importantly there is none of the "white knuckle" experience during the trip that colleagues have experienced with other services.
Trams/ buses/underground all use the same ticket which must be purchased BEFORE travelling and is only available at certain locations. The no. 12 tram passes many places of interest – good to jump on in a downpour of rain.
Tickets can be bought at offices located at some metro stations, at a Tabák/Trafika, at some newsstands, and at tourist information centres.
We booked a private airport transfer with from Prague and the driver took us around city and explained everything. Great introduction. When we were picked up from the hotel on our way home we enjoyed another great ride. They were both superb, pointed out places of interest that we passed and were interested in our experiences of Prague.
This private airport transfer service will take 1-4 people into the city centre for about £12 (for 5-8, simply double it). There is a stand opposite international arrivals. Pay there and they give you a voucher for the driver outside. Don't get a taxi: at least Dick Turpin, the original highway robber, wore a mask.
If you're on a budget you could do worse than bus 119 from outside the terminal. It goes to Dejvicka Metro station, which is just four stops from Wenceslas Square. You can buy a transfer ticket in the terminal for about 30p. Make sure you validate your ticket in the machine when boarding the bus, or you will be travelling illegally and liable for an on-the-spot fine from the plain-clothes inspectors who target unsuspecting tourists.
In the international arrivals at Ruzyne Airport;
tel: +420 224 281 005;
Get yourself a three-day transport ticket from the stand in the airport – it only costs 220Kcs, and pays for the 119 bus to the metro, plus all metro and trams while you’re in town. You can’t buy a ticket on the bus and, if you are foolhardy enough to leave it, attempting to get a ticket once you reach the metro can be somewhat problematic. The ticket machines don’t take notes for the 20Kcs (single journey) ticket, and staff can be reluctant to deal with pesky tourists. Having been to Prague twice, and never been checked for a ticket once, I told my girlfriend we’d be ok to get tickets later… a decision which could have proved costly, as the trams/metros now seem extremely well populated with plain clothed, badge wielding, ticket inspectors. The only reason we escaped on the spot 500Kcs fines was that the inspectors at Muzeum Metro station were over occupied with collecting 4500Kcs from “Reservoir Stag” weekenders… nice personalised t-shirts lads although, in the circumstances, not brilliantly inconspicuous.
Tickets don’t become valid until registered (with a date and time) and the little machines at the entrance to metro stations and on trams.
My wife and I used them from the airport to our hotel in Prague and it was brilliant. The drivers are all English speakers, mostly expats, and they give you lots of information about the city on the way to your hotel as well as bar/restaurant tips and local scams, the price was the same as the airport taxis, about £15.
Prague taxis are very shady, and should be taken as a last resort - there's plenty of public transport (but always buy a valid ticket). If you have to take a taxi, order one from AAA. They are the most honest and reliable I found in the city, and they have English speaking dispatchers. Just tell them where you are and they'll send a taxi, normally within 10-15 minutes.
Tel: 14 0 14 222 333 222; www.aaa.radiotaxi.cz/en
The number 100 bus is signposted in English from the front of the airport terminal. Tickets can be purchased from the machine next to the stop; catch the bus to Zlicin at the end of the yellow metro line, and change onto the metro. From there to the centre of Prague. All signed in English. Easy and cheap; feel smug about how simple it all was afterwards!
Airport to Zlicin metro via 100 bus
Service 119 from the airport (in front of terminal at far right) runs to Dejvicka metro station. Price is 12 Kc. and enables transfer trips within 60 mins, or 90 after 20.00 hrs. Ticket machines only take coins.
The Praha Transport Authority (DPP) has an information desk in the Arrivals Hall, open 0700-2200.
Stamp the tickets when you are in the metro and on trams and buses (stamp them by pushing them into the slot on the orange boxes on the vertical poles, and a time is printed on them. The time printed on a ticket is the time until which it is valid. On the metro, stamp the tickets at the top of the escalators as you go in). Public transport is cheap and good, and the number of ticket inspectors has gone up massively recently.
Buy public transport tickets at a trafika (news stand/tobacconists).
To better understand the differences between the West and the Middle - in this case Mittel Europe - take the train from the UK to Prague via Berlin. Spend a few days in Berlin, then get back on the train and look out the windows, and make sure you get a seat on what will be the left side of the train, the east side. The last 2+ hours go through the Elbe Valley all the way to Prague. Nice. A special with Deutsche Bahn is a return ticket from London to Berlin with the Eurostar and DB Nachtzug (the night train). It starts at about EUR 200. A return ticket from Berlin to Prague is about EUR 80 more.
Triple A taxis, or to give the full name of the company, AAA, is the best, most reputable service in the city. When you arrive at the airport, dial 14014, they speak English, will tell you when the car will arrive, and where to wait. To the centre should cost around 500kč - 12 pounds. They are the choice of expats and natives alike.
AAA Taxi tel 14014
You can buy travel cards for various numbers of days in the major Metro stations (such as Mustek, at the bottom of Wenceslas Square.) These entitle you to unlimited travel on any bus, tram or metro line in the city and represent an economic and convenient way to get about. At the time of writing, a 24-hour pass costs KCs80 (less than £2), a 3-day pass costs KCs220 (£5) and a 7-day pass costs KCs280 (£6.50)
Major Metro stations. Prague Transport Authority website: www.dp-praha.cz/en/
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