A guide to transport services when travelling in and around Prague (Praha in Czech):
Prague's Ruzyne International Airport is a major airport of the Czech Republic. It is situated 20km northwest of the city centre and can be reached within 30 minutes by car. This Airport has daily flights from several European and few North American cities on national and budget carriers. The national carrier, Czech Airlines offers its services to many European and some international destinations, including New York and Toronto. Some airline companies provide cheap direct flights such as Easy Jet, Ryan air and BMI baby from UK, Smart Wings from Continental Europe & Turkey, Aer Lingus from the Irish cities of Dublin & Cork, Sky Europe and Sterling from Scandinavian countries.
The airport is well connected with the city by buses, shuttles and taxies. The journey takes around 30 minutes to reach the city centre. The buses run from 4:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
This is the most comfortable and easiest way of travel. Prague is connected with Berlin, Vienna and Budapest by Eurocity trains. The city has two international stations namely Hlavni Nadrazi - the central station, and Praha Holesovice. Both the stations are linked with metro line C. It takes 4 - 4.5 hours from Vienna, 6.5 hours from Budapest and 5 hours from Berlin to reach the city. The city also has some Super City Pendolino trains that offer faster options of travel.
The city is connected with surrounding countries by highway connections from five major directions. So you can reach Prague city by bus or car. Florenc, Krizikova (metro lines B and C) is the main bus station for international buses in Prague, and is located to the east of the city. Major European cities are connected to Prague by Eurolines. However, the highway network is not well established and some highways are still under development.
The public transportation system in Prague is one of the most convenient and economical systems in Europe. Two-third of city’s population makes use of the metro, trams and buses. The public transportation system covers most of the areas tourists are likely to visit frequently.
Visitors can buy a tourist pass which enable them to use any type of public transportation as many times as they want within the time period for which the pass is valid.
Metro is the most efficient, fast and highly integrated way of transport in Prague. Daytime metro runs from 05.00 a.m. to midnight. It is used by around 400 million passengers per year and its three lines cover all areas of the city. This safe means of transport mostly runs underground and has about 50 stations in the city. The subway system covers long distances in a matter of minutes. One can easily reach subway stations anywhere in the city if unable to continue to destination on foot. Subway lines offer their service every 2 - 3 minutes during peak hours and every 10 minutes at other times.
Prague tram has 500 km of tracks in the city and covers large areas of the city. It carries around 300 million people a year. Day time trams operate from 4:30 a.m. till midnight in 8 - 15 minute intervals. The night time trams run from 00:30 to 04:30 at morning.
Some trams cover most scenic routes of the city running through the city centre. Some useful routes: Trams 9, 22, 23 and 91.
City Buses (Autobusy):
City buses are mostly used to reach the outskirts of Prague city. Daytime buses operate from 4:30 a.m. till midnight in 5 - 15 min. intervals in peak hours on working days, 10 - 20 min. intervals at off peak, and 10 - 30 min. intervals on weekends. The night buses are also available in the city which run from 00:30 a.m. till 4:30 a.m. at 40 min. intervals. There are 196 day routes and 12 night routes. It carries around 310 million people a year.
The funicular railway, which climbs Petrin hill, starts at the Ujezd tram stop in Mala Strana. It operates daily from 09:00 - 23:30 in April - October and 09:15 - 22:20 in November - March. Enjoy the stunning views of the whole of Prague while travelling by this railway.
Getting around Prague by public transportation is always the better choice, and makes one forget the existence of taxi services in the city. Unfortunately, not many good things can be said about the traffic situation and the taxi drivers in the city. If one has to use taxi to get around, use the service of a reputable taxi company for fair rates.
The best way to explore and enjoy the original Prague! Walk around most parts of the city starting from Wenceslas Square to the Old Town Square or from the old town to Charles Bridge and the Palace district.