Getting Around Prague: Guide to Public Transportation

Tunnel view of Namesti Miru underground station in Prague
photography Matthijs Borghgraef / Getty Images

Prague’s great public transportation system makes it easy to get around the city. While some of the routes may be time-consuming, visitors traveling around the city center will have good connections to the city’s main attractions. Most people use the metro, trams, and buses to get around the city. Since all of these are run by the same transport authority, you can use them all without having to purchase a separate ticket. This makes it easy to combine different modes of transportation to create the most direct or quickest route. Thanks to the help of planning tools such as Google Maps and the Prague Public Transport (DPP) app, navigating Prague’s transportation system is relatively easy.

How to Ride the Prague Metro

The Prague metro system is one of the main ways to get around the city and is the one of the busiest metro systems in Europe, serving approximately 450 million people each year. There are three metro lines (Line A: green, Line B: yellow, Line C: red), and all three pass through the most popular destinations for visitors to Prague. Transferring between lines is easy to do and transfer points are clearly marked in the underground stations. This can take several minutes depending on the station and how crowded it is, so make sure to give yourself a little extra time if you have to switch lines.

Fares: A single journey, 30-minute ticket costs 24 Czech koruna and a 90-minute ticket for longer journeys is 32 Czech koruna. If you’re planning to use the public transportation system frequently during your stay, it may be more economical to purchase a 24-hour ticket for 110 Czech koruna or a 72-hour ticket for 310 Czech koruna. Since the tickets are time-based starting from the time you stamp them, you can use them to transfer to other forms of transportation as long as you stay within the allotted time frame. There are discounts for children 6-15 years old and seniors 60-70 years old. Children under 6 and seniors over 70 can travel for free. Tickets can be purchased from the yellow machines at the metro stations, newspaper shops, or via text message if you have a Czech SIM card.

Hours of Operation: The metro runs every day but the train times may vary depending on the day of the week or any big events happening in the city where additional transport services are required for security reasons. Generally, trains run every 2-3 minutes during peak times and every 4-9 minutes during off-peak times. Metro service begins at 5 a.m. and ends at midnight. 

Accessibility: While the Prague public transportation authority is working on improving accessibility in the metro, only about two-thirds of metro stations are wheelchair friendly. To transfer between lines, people with reduced mobility should change at the Muzeum stop for lines A and C and at the Florenc stop for lines B and C. There is no direct, wheelchair accessible exchange between lines A and B. Be sure to check DPP’s website prior to traveling for more information on which stations and entrances are barrier-free. Since many of the stations in the city center aren’t accessible, other forms of transportation may be more useful.

You can use the trip planner on the DPP website or app to plan your route and find out real-time departure and arrival information. However, keep in mind that the times shown don’t take into account the time you’ll need to move through the metro station.

How to Ride the Tram

Tickets for the tram are the same tickets used for the metro. They can be purchased at yellow ticket machines located at many of the stops or from the machines on every tram. If you're buying a ticket on the tram you will need to have a contactless credit or debit card. There are 21 daytime routes and 9 nighttime routes spanning the city, making this an easy way to get around at any time of day. Trams are, in general, more accessible than metro trains, but many high platform trams are still in use. The city is working on improving this, though, and the trams tend to alternate between high and low-level boarding to accommodate. The wheelchair ramp needs to be pulled out by the driver on the low boarding trams, so be sure to flag them as the tram is approaching so they know you’d like to board.  

How to Ride the Bus

There are numerous bus lines running throughout Prague day and night. The daytime buses begin service at 4:30 a.m. and switch to the night bus service at midnight. The same ticket used for the metro or tram can be used on the bus system. Additionally, tickets can be purchased from the driver but they will be more expensive. All of the Prague city buses are wheelchair accessible with a fold-out ramp at the center door entrance. As with the tram, you’ll need to flag the driver as they approach to let them know you’d like to board. While buses are more accessible than the metro or tram, the bus timetable is less reliable due to potential traffic restrictions.

Ferryboats

There are six public ferryboat lines that cross the Vltava River, two of which operate year-round. These are part of the public transportation network, so you can use the same ticket as the metro, bus, or tram.

The Funicular 

The first funicular was installed on Petřín Hill in 1891 and the modern version provides scenic views of the city. This popular mode of transport up the hill is also included in the Prague public transportation network and tickets valid on the other types of transport are valid on the funicular. The funicular runs year-round from 9 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., excluding closures in the spring and fall for regular maintenance. 

Taxis and Ride-Sharing Apps

Prague taxis have a reputation for ripping off tourists; using ride-sharing apps or calling a taxi company directly are better options than grabbing one on the street, especially in popular tourist areas. Uber, Bolt, and Liftago are all popular options in the Czech Republic so you usually won’t have to wait too long for one to arrive. Ride-share services also generally offer better rates than the standard taxi service.

Car Rentals

Renting a car is not the best idea in Prague unless you are planning to travel to locations outside the city center that are only easily accessible by car. It will likely be expensive, there may be parking restrictions in the city center, and it’ll often take longer to get places than public transportation due to traffic.

How to Get From the Airport

The public transportation system connects the city center to Prague Airport with a metro and bus combination journey. Bus 119 can be taken from the airport arrivals terminal to metro line A; bus 110 will take you to metro line B. There is also an Airport Express bus that directly connects Prague Airport with the main railway station. Public transportation tickets are not valid on the Airport Express bus so you’ll need to purchase one from the driver or order them in advance online.

Tips for Getting Around Prague

Familiarizing yourself with a new transportation network can be stressful at first, but keep these tips in mind and you’ll have no trouble navigating Prague on public transportation.

  • Be prepared to stand. Prague’s metro, tram, and bus lines can get very crowded during rush hour and late at night so you may have difficulty finding a seat. If you have found a seat but a senior, child, pregnant woman, or person with a disability comes on, it is polite and appropriate etiquette to offer your seat to them.
  • Know your exit. Some of the metro stops have multiple exits so it’s best to have an idea of where you need to go once you get off the train. Some stations, such as Můstek, are very large so you may end up way on the other side of Wenceslas Square if you take the wrong exit.
  • Make sure you’re at the right tram stop. The Palackého náměstí tram stop, for example, has two locations around the corner from one another. Make sure you’re waiting at the right stop and for a tram going in the direction you need to travel.
  • Know which timetable you need. Bus and tram timetables are posted at each stop with different schedules for weekdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. The Sunday timetable also applies if it’s a public holiday.
  • Stamp your ticket. Transportation tickets aren’t valid until you stamp them. Don’t forget to stamp it each time you’re using a new ticket and keep it easily accessible in case of inspection. 
  • Know the Czech name of your stop. Google Maps often translates the names of places and transportation stops from Czech to English. If it tells you that you want to get off the tram at Wenceslas Square, you’ll want to look and listen for the Václavské náměstí stop.
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