Sections
Personal tools

Prague tourist and transport informations

History

The east bank of the Vltava river
The east bank of the Vltava river

This magical city of bridges, cathedrals, gold-tipped towers and church domes, has been mirrored in the surface of the swan-filled Vltava River for more than ten centuries. Almost undamaged by WWII, Prague's compact medieval center remains a wonderful mixture of cobbled lanes, walled courtyards, cathedrals and countless church spires all in the shadow of her majestic 9th century castle that looks eastward as the sun sets behind her. Prague is also a modern and vibrant city full of energy, music, cultural art, fine dining and special events catering to the independent traveler's thirst for adventure.

It is regarded by many as one of Europe's most charming and beautiful cities, Prague has become the most popular travel destination in Central Europe along with Budapest and Krakow. Millions of tourists visit the city every year.

Prague was founded in the later 9th century, and soon became the seat of Bohemian kings, some of whom ruled as emperors of the Holy Roman Empire. The city thrived under the rule of Charles IV, who ordered the building of the New Town in the 14th century - many of the city's most important attractions date back to that age. The city also went under Habsburg rule and became the capital of a province of the Austria-Hungarian Empire. In 1918, after World War I, the city became the capital of Czechoslovakia. After 1989 many foreigners, especially young people, moved to Prague. In 1992, its historic center was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. In 1993, Czechoslovakia split into two countries and Prague became capital city of the new Czech Republic.

Money

The official currency of the Czech Republic is the Czech Crown (koruna), abbreviated as Kč, with the international abbreviation CZK. The current exchange rate is approximately 24,5 Kč for 1 € and 17,9 Kč for $1.

Sometimes it is also possible to pay with Euros (Hotels in the center of Prague, McDonalds etc.) but be prepared to suffer an unfavorable exchange rate.

How to get from the airport

If you decide to travel by taxi, be careful of deceptive taxi drivers, which mostly charge more than they should (read more in the section below). The price for transfer to recommended hotels or to the meeting place could not be more than 400–500 Kč (16–20 €). There is a taxi dispatching centre on the airport, where is possible to manage taxi for controlled price.

There also operate two direct bus lines between the airport and Dejvická (close to meeting place and hotels Diplomat, DAP and Denisa). Express line (travelling time 19 min) is labeled "AE" and runs twice an hour from 6 AM to 9 PM. Ordinary line (travelling time 25 min) is labeled "119", between 5 AM and 10:30 PM runs in intervals 10 min or less. Departure of the last connection is at 11:34 PM. Dejvická is final station for line 119.

How to get from the railway station

All international trains and DB Expressbus arrive to station "Praha hlavní nádraží". If you want to travel by public transport to hotels close to meeting place, take the subway line "C" to station "Muzeum" and then change to line "B" to station "Dejvická".

How to get to the meeting place

The meeting will take place in the Masaryk's College (Thákurova street 1). It is easy accessible by the public transport (station "Dejvická", subway line "A", more bus and trams lines). Get walking directions from recommended hotels.

Map with marked Masaryk's College, one from exits from subway station Dejvická and bus stop of lines from and to Prague Airport.


Zobrazit místo Masaryk's College on larger map

Public transport

Prague Metro
Prague Metro

There are three main subway lines (Czech: metro), and numerous bus and tram (streetcar) lines. The tram and bus schedules are posted on the stops, and the metro operates from very early in the morning (around 5:00AM) until approximately midnight. The schedules and connections may also be checked online from the website of Prague Public Transit. Purchase a limited (30 minutes or 5 stops in the metro or 20 minutes in buses and trams, no transfers at all) for 18 Kc or a 75-minute transfer ticket for 26 Kc at any dispenser using coins (they give change), or tobacco shop. Ensure you always have some coins, because the only way to buy ticket on some stations (or at night time) is to use a ticket machine. Discounted tickets for children up to 15 years are also available.

map of subway lines

You may purchase 24-hour, 3-day or 5-day tickets at ticket offices in some metro stations. A 24-hour ticket costs 100 Kc, and may be both cheaper and more convenient than buying separate tickets for each journey. Tickets for 3 or 5 days allow for free accompaniment of one child between the age of 6 and 14 (inclusive). The same ticket may be used on metro, tram or bus, including transfer from one to the other, during its time period. Time stamp your ticket by slipping it into one of several boxes in the tram or bus as soon as you board, stamp metro tickets before entering the stations (imitate the locals), and keep it handy until it expires.

Tickets are not checked upon boarding, but uniformed and plain-clothes ticket inspectors often make the rounds asking to see your ticket. These inspectors have mostly improved a great deal, and usually speak a fair amount of English and are fairly polite in their difficult jobs. One problem is false inspectors who most often ride the trams between "Malostranské Namesti" and Prague Castle - these deceivers can be detected by asking for the identity card which should be possessed by every inspector. An unstamped ticket is invalid, it will be confiscated, and you will incur a 700 Kc fine. Even though "riding black" seems easy in Prague, you should invest in the cheap ticket, for the simple reason that Prague's transportation works perfectly, and it functions on the honor system - help it stay that way.

Public transport continues at night. Night trams or night buses (00:00 to 5:00AM) usually come every 30 minutes. Every 15 minutes during this time, trams leave the central exchange stop of Lazarská in the center of Prague. All night trams go through this stop. You can easily change tram lines here if not anywhere else.

Do not underestimate how close to the footpath the trams will be when they reach the stop. It's safer to take a few steps back before the tram arrives as wing mirrors could cause injury for taller people. When you use public transport in Prague, keep in mind that it is good etiquette to let elderly people, pregnant women or disabled people sit down.

Taxi

Try to avoid getting taxi on the street (public transportation is always the better option in Prague) and if you have to, try to negotiate the price in advance. It’s advisable to call one of the major Prague Taxi services:

Deceptive taxi drivers are another trap that can badly surprise a tourist. Mostly they charge more than they should. The municipal council has been trying to solve this problem since the Prague mayor dressed up as an Italian tourist and was repeatedly overcharged. The most frequent cases of cheating happen between the railway station or airport and hotel. If you must take a taxi, and cannot call one directly or call your hotel for a referral, the best way to find a reputable one may be to look for a hotel and ask them to call a taxi.

Always insist on having the taxi-meter turned on and ask for a receipt once you leave the taxi. The receipt should have driver's name, address and tax identification number included. Even though you ask for receipt the taxi-meter could be tampered with so called "turbo", which will cause the taxi-meter price go sky high.

If you go for waving the taxi on the street make sure you stop car with logo of one of the major companies. It's not a bullet proof solution, but at least you have some chance to get some satisfaction from the taxi dispatching company.

If you're not speaking Czech, then be prepared there is about 50% chance to get cheated by a taxi driver, when stopping taxi in the city center. So be always on watch as that is a standard warning in any guide book about Prague.

If you are convinced you got overcharged by the taxi driver, mark the car ID numbers (license plate, taxi license number on the car door, driver name etc.) and contact the company, which the driver is working for (if any) or police. The problem is that you have to testify against the driver, which is kind of hard when you're on the other side of the world. Try to avoid suspicious taxis and if you find even a grain of suspicion, then walk away catching another taxi.

Other alternative is to use some of the chauffeured services companies like Prague Airport Transfers s.r.o. or FEBA Trade Limousine Car Service or even cheaper but as reliable HFS s.r.o. - 123-Prague-Airport-Transfer.com.

Some hotels offer taxi services. Make sure to compare the price with other companies. Some hotel taxis are cheap but others are more than twice the price and the car is not always identified as being a taxi.

Guides and tourist informations


Text is created using Wikitravel.org and is available under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0, images are available under various licenses, see each image for details.