Prague is the capital of Czech Republic which is the 14th largest city in European Union. The transport services in Prague are economically reasonable, well-organized and highly integrated which makes movement around the city like a breeze. Over the two thirds of the city’s population travel by the public transport. The most common and efficient modes of transport in Prague include buses, trains, trams and Prague metro. To reach certain destinations, funicular (cableway) railways and ferries are also used.
Transport to Václav Havel Airport (Letiště Ruzyně)
The airport express is very similar to the public buses so don’t be confused. The tickets for airport express can be bought from the driver or from the public transport booths in the halls of the airport. There are not any ticket machines for these tickets.
The route for airport express starts from Hlavní nádraží to terminal 2 daily at 6:35 to 22:05 after every 30 minutes interval. The airport express makes a stop in front of the railway station building Hlavní nádraží in Wilsonova Street. While going from the airport to Hlavní nádraží, the bus stops at Náměstí Republiky and Masarykovo Nádraží. The return trip is direct with no in-between stops.
The night bus to Vaclav Havel Airport leaves from I.P.Pavlova at 0:31- 4:31 with the interval of 30 minutes. At night time the travel route includes the destinations, Na Beránku, Budějovická, I.P.Pavlova, Karlovo náměstí, Jiráskovo náměstí, Stadion Strahov, Vypich, Petřiny, Divoká Šárka and lastly Vaclav Havel Airport.
Regular Public Transport
Prague Metro Nadrazi Veleslavin which is green line A connects the Prague bus 119 to the airport (Letiště). Yellow line B, Metro Zličín, connect to the bus 100 which has an approximately 35 – 50 minutes travel time from the centre for example Můstek.
Prague Metro/ Prague underground
The Prague metro is only about 44 years old (it was first opened in 1974) and is mostly Russian-built. Prague Metro is the fastest means of transport in the capital which is not affected by the traffic situation or weather, the subway is an absolutely vital part of the Prague public transportation system. The Prague metro carries around 600 million travelers a year and about 40% of people choose it as their mode of public transport in Prague. The Prague metro is fast, efficient, clean and easy to use. Its three lines consist of about 62 km of tracks running mostly underground, and 61 stations. New stations continue to be added. The Prague Metro constitutes of three kinds of lines which are differentiated by colors and labeled by letters.
The green line is represented by letter A (Nemocnice Motol – Depo Hostivař). Line B is yellow in color (Zličín – Černý Most). Line C is red (Letňany ‑ Háje).
Tourists most commonly use line A as it takes them to the well-known places such as Prague Castle (Malostranska), The Old Town (Staromestska), Wenceslas Square (Mustek, Muzeum). Line A also connects the bus 119 to and from the airport at Nadrazi Veleslavin.
The Prague Metro is integrated smoothly that you can switch between the lines efficiently and effortlessly. Lines A and B connect at Můstek station, line A and C at Muzeum station and line B and C at Florenc station.
The Prague Metro is available from 5am till 12 midnight. During the weekday peak rush hours, the next train is available after an interval of 2 to 3 minutes and after 4 to 10 minutes in off- peak hours.
The Prague underground is finely built by the Russians and still holds the city compactly. In the Prague underground the tracks are efficiently built for the Prague metro and to this day it is being run seamlessly. There are ancient dungeons and historical sites in the Prague underground which are also a major tourist attraction.
Trams are used to travel to the inner district and the City Center. They are the appropriate choice as they have multiple stops and wide range of routes so you can also enjoy the different sights while traveling. Recently the low floor trams are also introduced which have helped and made traveling more convenient for the elderly with the mobility issues.
During the day operational timings start from 4:30 am till 12 midnight. The night time trams run on a 30 minute frequency starting from 24:00 to 4:30.
On weekdays, the most popular trams come every 4 minutes. The usual trams take 8-10 minutes and 8-15 minutes on weekends.
Prague buses are one of the finest busses in Europe. Providing comfortable seats and safe travels around the town. Prague buses have made the local traveling hassle free for the natives as well as for the tourists. Prague buses connect the outskirts to the city. They are used on the routes where trams and metro are not available. They are mostly used by the natives to travel into the city. Prague buses have flexible routes and no fixed tracks thus making it more convenient for the public. Prague buses run every 6-8 minutes in peak hours, every 10-20 minutes off-peak, and every 15-30 minutes at weekends and at night. The timings of the Prague buses are from 4:30 to 24:00. The buses from no. 100 to no. 291 operate all around the city during the day. Night time service is provided by buses 502-514 and 601-603.
Other Modes of Transport:
Prague is the most significant Czech rail intersection. Not only do the railways link the capital with the rest of the republic and of course, the whole World too, but trains are also an essential part of the urban public transport system. Prague underground rail systems are also efficiently built and are being run without any trouble.
Funicular railways are also an integral part of Prague Integrated Transport System. These cable cars connect from Újezd tram station, and has been operating since April 2016 after a long-lasting reconstruction. They are 510 meters long and travel at a speed of 4 m/s. A one-way ticket costs only 24 CZK. The funicular operates 09:00-23:30. It runs every 10 minutes in the summers, and every 15 minutes in the winters, in both directions. The funicular railway forms part of the Prague public transport network, so the same tickets and passes which are used on the Metro, trams and buses can also be used to ride the funicular.
Prague integrated transport system provides several ferries across the Vltava river. Since the Vltava almost never freezes, some of the ferry boats even operate all year around.
The ticket prices range from 24 to 310 CZK. The ticket costing 24 CZK is valid for limited period of thirty minutes. It can be used on metro, tram, buses, night lines, funicular railways. The transfers are allowed on theses tickets. The ticket that costs 32 CZK is the basic ticket which is valid for 90 minutes on all the modes of transport except for taxis. The transfers are also allowed on this ticket. On a 110 CZK ticket you can carry luggage with you and it is valid for 24 hours. 310 CZK ticket is valid for 72 hours.
Where to buy Tickets and Passes
To facilitate the tourist tickets, passes maps, timetables etc. are made accessible at the DPP (Prague Public transport organization). Information centers which have multilingual staff. The few metro stations have the staffed windows where you can buy passes or tickets. There are ticket vending machines at public transport stops which give out single tickets and accept payment only in coins. The ticket machines at airport and main train stations accept banknotes and credit cards. The ones installed at Nádraží Veleslavín and Národní Třída accept contactless cards. A widespread agency network of newsagents, hotels, tour operators etc. also sell tickets which are valid for up to five days. The 24 hours tickets can also be bought at any Czech Railways counter. These are not to be stamped so let know the clerk when do you want the ticket validity to start.
Validation and Inspection
The validation is a very important step which would otherwise penalize you. The ticket inspectors in plain clothes are authorized to fine you 1500 CZK if your ticket isn’t validated which can be reduced to 800 CZK if you pay it at the spot. The tickets are validated by inserting them into the yellow stamping machine inside the trams and the buses or at metro stations when first used. Do not get them re stamped while transferring in the valid period as are stamping would invalidate the ticket. They are to be stamped in the direction of the arrow. The passes for 30 days and above are not validated.
When to Travel
Public transport is generally jam-packed during the weekday rush hours from 7.30 am to 9.30 am, and from 4.30 pm to 6.30 pm. 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 5 am, a night tram service continues to operate with trams every half hour or so. Only full-fare tickets and multiday passes are valid on night trams.