The Prague Public Transport System – Everything You Need to Know

Prague Public Transport - Metro

Getting around the Czech Capital is pretty much pain free thanks to the fabulous Prague public transport system.

Navigating a new city can be a challenge, especially when you don’t speak the language.

Lucky for you, while large parts of the Western world were busy becoming car-dependent, many European cities set their sights on promoting walking, cycling, and public transportation. As a direct result, cities such as Prague are super accessible and provide some the most efficient and relatively inexpensive public transport in the world. To make things even easier, Prague is also an extremely English-friendly city.

To help you navigate the city with ease, we’ve put together our ultimate guide to public transportation in Prague, and your go-to guide for all things transport related in Prague. From buying tickets and reading maps to Prague airport transfers, we’ll have you traveling around the city like a pro in no time!

Before we get to the information about Prague’s Public Transportation system, if you’re looking for the best things to do in Prague as a first time visitor, some off the beaten path things to do in Prague, or where to stay in Prague check out one of our handy guides!

Now, let’s get to using Prague’s public transportation system.

Prague Public Transport Tickets

how to use public transport in prague - ticket vending machines in metro

Prague Public Transport Single-Trip Tickets

Despite being an extremely walkable city, there are still places in Prague that are better reached by public transportation. In this case, you will need to purchase a transport ticket.

For one off-trips, we recommend buying a single, short-term ticket. You can choose from either a 30-minute ticket or 90-minute ticket, depending on the length of your journey. Once your ticket is validated, you have unlimited transfers between any mode of public transport, which includes the metro system and all city trams and buses. Tickets are also valid for night trams and buses, as well as the Petřín funicular.

Tickets are sold at yellow vending machines and staffed info windows located in all metro stations. Older ticket machines only accept Czech coins (koruna) while tickets from newer machines are payable by cards. Tickets are also available at most tobacco shops (tabák), some potraviny shops, and tourist information centers around the city.

All children under six and seniors over 70 years old may use the public transportation for free.

Prague Public Transport 30-Minute Tickets (Short Ride)
Adults: 24 CZK ($1.10 USD)
Children 6-15: 12 CZK ($0.55 USD)
Children Under 6 and Seniors 70+: Free

Prague Public Transport 90-Minute Tickets (Long Ride)
Adults: 32 CZK ($1.46 USD)
Children 6-15: 16 CZK ($0.73 USD)
Children Under 6 and Seniors 70+: Free

Prague Public Transport Short-Term Tourist Passes

In addition to short-term tickets, 24 and 72-hour passes are available for purchase. Depending on the length of your stay, this may be your most worthwhile option. Passes are valid for 24 and 72 hours from the time of validation and are accepted on all city trams, buses and the metro. Passes are sold at ticket offices located at some of the major metro stations and at tourist information centers.

Ticket offices are located at the following metro stations : Dejvická, Hradčanská, Můstek, Florenc, Hlavní nádraží, Nádraží Holešovice, Náměstí Míru. Most offices are open from 6:30 am- 6:30pm.

Prague Public Transport 24-Hour Pass
Adults: 110 CZK ($5.03 USD)
Children 6-15 and Seniors 60-65: 55 CZK ($2.51 USD)

Prague Public Transport 72-Hour Pass
310 CZK ($14.17 USD)

Prague Public Transport Long-Term Passes

If you are planning on staying in Prague for one month or longer, monthly, quarterly, 5-month and yearly passes are available with a photo ID. Long-term passes can be purchased at ticket offices and tourist information centers.

Monthly: 550 CZK ($25.14 USD)
Quarterly: 1,480 CZK ($67.64 USD)
5-month: 2,450 CZK ($112.97 USD)
Annual: 4,750 CZK ($217.09 USD)

Prague Public Transport Ticket Validation

Although Prague’s public transportation system appears to run on the “honor system”, meaning you are assumed to have a ticket or pass, don’t take your chances. Ticket inspectors regularly check passengers in the metro as well as the trams and buses. If caught without a valid ticket, you’re looking at a hefty fine of up to 1500 CZK ($69.00 USD) or 800 CZK ($37.00 USD) if paid immediately.

All tickets must be validated with a stamp by inserting them in the yellow validation machines. In the metro, you will find them just before the escalators, and in busses and trams they are located on the holding poles near the doors.

Again, once validated, tickets and passes do not need to be re-validated when transferring services or any time within the validity period.

Prague Public Transport At Night

Prague Tram at Night

The first metro trains run from around 4:45 am to midnight. If you are traveling after midnight, you will need to use one of the night trams or buses. Night trams (numbers 51 – 58) run from 12:30 am to 4:30 am in 40-minute intervals. Their routes are much broader than the daily ones and it can take quite a while to get where you need to be.

Similarity, night bus (numbers 501-513), operate after midnight until 4:30 am in 30 to 60-minutes intervals.

Prague Public Transport Etiquette

Prague Public Transport Etiquette

As far as what you can and can’t do on public transportation, the rules are pretty standard. No smoking, no weapons, and no eating or drinking on the trams and buses.

Dogs are allowed on all forms of transport, but they must be wearing a muzzle.

One thing you may notice is that elderly, disabled and pregnant women always take precedence when it comes to seating. It is considered extremely rude not to give up your seat and the locals will let you know with glaring looks or occasionally with comments.

The Prague Metro (Subway)

how to use public transport in prague - metro station

First constructed in 1974, Prague’s primarily Russian-built metro carries approximately 1.6 million passengers per day and is the fifth busiest underground system in Europe. It consists of three lines and construction for a fourth line will begin in 2019. Not to mention it is fast, clean, safe, and will get you almost anywhere you need to be in Prague.

Line A (Green) runs east to west from Depo Hostivař to Nemocnice Motol and currently has 17 stations. This is the line you will use to go to and from Václav Havel Airport. Unfortunately, the airport is still only accessible by transferring to a bus, but plans to extend Line A are in the works.

Line B (Yellow) runs east to west from Černý most to Zličín and is the longest of the three lines with 24 stations.

Line C (Red) runs north to south from Letňany to Háje and is the oldest line. It has 20 stations.

Transferring Between Metro Lines: Passengers are able to transfer between metro lines at the following three stations:

Můstek (Line A and B)
Muzeum (Line A and C)
Florenc (Lines B and C)

During peak hours, trains arrive every 1-3 minutes. During off-hours and weekends, trains arrive in intervals of 4-10 minutes.

How To Read the Prague Metro Map

how do use public transportation in prague

To help you navigate the metro system, all stations have a large map in the center between both platforms. Your present station will always be highlighted, and transfer stations clearly marked as well.

If you’re looking at the map head on, first locate your current station. Next, locate your destination station. If the destination station is to the right of your current location, take the train from the platform to your right. If the final destination station is to the left of your current location, take the train from the platform to your left.

For a more comprehensive overview of the entire metro system, check out the large scale, glass-enclosed map located in the center of each station.

Once on board, you will notice a similar map above each door which labels the lines and stations. There are even some helpful pictures highlighting the stops for popular landmarks, such as Prague Castle and Old Town Square. Announcements are made for each station.

Useful Czech Phrases To Know:

  • Příští stanice: Next stop
  • Přestup na linku A/B/C: Transfer to line A, B or C
  • Ukončete prosím výstup a nástup, dveře se zavírají: Please finish exiting and boarding the train, the doors are closing

The Prague Trams

getting off the beaten path in prague

Prague’s network of trams is the third largest in the world, following Moscow and Budapest, and is one of the oldest in Europe. In fact, the very first trams were pulled by horses and date back to the year 1879. Today, the extensive network consists of 25 daytime routes, 9 night routes and one historic route. It also stretches over 500 km, and transports over 300 million passengers per year.

Most tram lines run everyday from 4:30 am till midnight in 8 to 10-minute intervals while some lines only run at selected times, such as workdays and/or rush hours. Night trams (numbers 51 – 58) run from 12:30 am to 4:30 am in 40-minute intervals.

One of the greatest advantages of riding the tram is that you get to see much more of the city. It is also one of the fastest ways to get around Prague. Before riding a tram, you will need to purchase a public transport ticket before. Yellow validation machines are located inside each tram on the holding poles near the doors.

How To Read Tram Timetables

All tram stops display a table of tram numbers and their accompanying timetable. First, locate the tram number located in the top left-hand corner. Next, you will see a list of all the stops on that route. The current stop will be emboldened and underlined. Beneath the current station is a list of the remaining stops. If you’re destination is above the current stop, you’re going the wrong direction.

To the right of the stops is a timetable with the departure hour (0:00-23:00) and departure minute. The first row is a timetable for weekdays (pracovní den), the second for Saturday (sobota) and the third for Sundays (neděle).

On the tram, a digital screen will display the upcoming stops. Every time a tram approaches a stop, two different names are announced. First, is the name of the current stop. Second, is the name of the next stop. Don’t hop off too quickly!

Key Tram Routes In Prague

Tram Route 22 & 23: Easily the most scenic route in Prague, trams 22 and 23 pass by the National Theater, Staroměstská and Malostranská metro stations, and continue to Prague Castle.

Tram Route 16: Runs across the river from Andel through Karlovo náměstí, Náměstí Míru and through Vinohrady district.

Tram Route 17: Runs from Vyšehrad to Letná Park.

Tram Route 9: Runs directly through the city via Wenceslas Square to Lesser Town (Malá Strana).

Historic Tram Route 91: The Nostalgic Tram 91(nostalgická linka č. 91) is a vintage 1920s tram which runs from March through mid-November. It leaves from stop Vozovna Střešovice every hour from noon until 5:30 pm and travels through the city center. Tickets cost 35 CZK for adults and 20 CZK for children under 15.

Prague City Buses

The first regular city buses began running in 1925. Since then, the network has expanded to cover the outskirts of Prague and areas which are not accessible by tram or metro. From 4:20 am till midnight, daytime buses run in 6 to 8-minute intervals during peak hours, and 10 to 20-minute intervals in the off hours. On weekends, buses arrive every 15 to 30 minutes. Night buses (numbers 501-513) run from midnight till 4:30 am in 30 to 60-minute intervals.

Just like the tram, bus timetables are displayed at each stop and are read the same way.

Key Bus Routes In Prague

Bus 119: Bus 119 connects Václav Havel Airport Prague with the Nádraží Veleslavín station (Metro Line A, Green). Currently, it is the only public transportation which directly connect the airport and the city center.

How To Get from Prague Airport to the City Center

Prague Airport Transport

If you’re visiting Prague, chances are your first stop is Václav Havel Airport Prague (Letiště Václava Havla Praha). Formerly Prague Ruzyně International, the airport is located about 12 km west of the city center and consists of two main passenger terminals: Terminal 1 (Flights outside the Schengen Area) and Terminal 2 (Flights within the Schengen Area).

While there are several ways to get to and from the airport to the city center, we highly recommend taking advantage of the city’s suburb public transportation system (#3). This is the quickest and cheapest route. That said, here are your best options:

Taxi or Uber from Prague to the Airport

A Taxi from the airport to the city center will cost you approximately €25.00 and will take 30-45 minutes, depending on traffic. For a slightly cheaper option, Uber will cost you between €15.00 – €20.00.

Airport Shuttle – Prague to Václav Havel Airport

Prague Airport Transfers offers a relatively cheap public shuttle connection between the airport and the city center. This service picks up at both terminals and is available by reservation only. It costs about €6.00 per person (140 CZK) and each passenger is are allowed two standard pieces of luggage.

The final stop is at Národní 40, next to the Premiant Tour kiosk. This is within walking distance of Wenceslas Square and near Metro Line A (Green) and B (Yellow), which are accessible via the Můstek entrance.

Return shuttles pick up at the same location.

Public Transportation to the Prague Airport

Regular public transportation is the fastest and cheapest way to reach the city center. A 90-minute ticket costs 32 CZK ($1.46 USD) and is valid on all city buses, trams and the metro.

Ticket machines are located at the bus stop in front of Terminal 2 (Exit D) and accept Czech coins (koruna) or card. You may also buy a ticket at the Prague Public Transit kiosk in the arrival hall. Either way, make sure you purchase a 90-minute ticket for 32 CZK ($1.46 USD) for adults and 16 CZK ($0.73 USD) for children, to ensure that your total travel time is covered. We also suggest picking up a free city map from the Prague Public Transit kiosk before leaving the arrival hall.

Bus 119 to the city center leaves every 6 minutes. The first and last bus run from 4:23 am to 23:42 pm, including weekends. Immediately after getting on the bus, validate your ticket in one of the yellow validation machines on the holding poles near the doors. From the moment of validation, your ticket is good for 90 minutes.

Stay on Bus 119 until you reach the final stop at Nádraží Veleslavín (Metro Line A, Green). This only takes about 15 minutes. Afterwards, grab your bags and follow the crowds to one of the Metro entrance. On the platform, wait on the right side for the Metro going toward the city center.

Prague Airport Express Bus

The Airport Express Bus is slightly more expensive, but more convenient in that it doesn’t require any transfers. Tickets cost 60 CZK ($2.75 USD) or 30 CZK ($1.37 USD) for children and can be purchased at the terminal or from the driver.

The bus operates between the airport and Prague Main Train Station (Praha Hlavni Nadrazi) and operates from 5:30 am to 9:00 pm in 15 to 30-minute intervals.

Traveling Outside Of Prague

Prague Main Train Station

If your planning to take a day trip from Prague, you’ll likely need to travel by train or bus. Prague Main Station (Praha Hlavni Nadrazi) is the largest and most important railway station in Prague and is a major a hub for regional and international travel. It also includes a metro station Hlavní nádraží (Metro Line C, Yellow).

Regional Train Services in the Czech Republic

Regional rail services most of the larger Czech cities, such as Brno, Plzeň, České Budějovice and Olomouc. České dráhy (ČD), RegioJet and LEO Express are the main railway operators in the Czech Republic. Tickets can be purchased online or are the train station.

Long-Distance Train Services in the Czech Republic

International trains service Germany, Poland, Slovakia, Austria, Hungary, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Serbia, Russian Federation, Ukraine and Croatia in summer. Railway operators include high speed ČD Class 680 Pendolino trains, LEO Express, RegioJet and Arriva. Again, tickets can be purchased online or are the train station.

Bus Services in the Czech Republic

Prague Bus Stations – The main bus terminals include Prague Main Station (Praha Hlavni Nadrazi) and Florence Bus Station (Praha Florenc ÚAN). Florence Bus Station is the city’s central bus station and is connected with metro station Florenc, which provides transfer between Lines B (Red) and C (Yellow).

Buses leave 24-hours a day and include regional and international services. Main providers include FlixBus and RegioJet. All tickets are available at the ticket sales office in the terminal or online.

Car Rentals in the Czech Republic

Prefer to rent a car to get around the Czech Republic? We highly recommend taking a road trip or two while visiting Prague and the best way to do so as a tourist is to rent a car at Prague’s airport. Click here to see current prices and deals.

 

Click here for a list of all of our Prague travel guides and articles!

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Prague Public Transport Guide - Everything you need to know about Prague's public transportation system. Including riding the Prague metro, trams, and buses. #prague #czechrepublic #europe #travel


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