Luckily for those traveling to Prague by air, Václav Havel Airport Prague is as gentle, easy-going, and as far from intimidating as its namesake. Passengers will be welcomed with Czech hospitality from the moment they step off the plane, and arrive in the city center quickly after. It’s even possible to grab your first, or last, pint of beer here. But what really makes this relatively small airport stand out from the rest, is how comfortable its amenities make passengers feel, whether they are waiting to board their flight home, looking for something to do on a layover, or traveling to the City of Spires as their final destination.
Václav Havel Airport Prague is quickly expanding to offer visitors a welcome arrival and kind departure, and is set to be one of the most innovative airports in the coming years as tourism increases.
Václav Havel Airport Prague Airport Code, Location, and Flight Information
Know Before You Go
Compared to airports in other European capitals, Václav Havel Prague Airport is on the small side. There are only two terminals; Terminal 1 is used primarily for travelers going to other countries in the European Union, while Terminal 2 is used for all other international destinations. Both are immaculately clean, extremely safe, easy to navigate, and should you need to, you can change terminals by walking outside and into the next building. Delta and American Airlines offer direct flights from the U.S. There are also direct flights to Doha, Qatar; Seoul, South Korea; and several cities in China.
Otherwise, all of the top European airlines fly to Václav Havel Airport Prague (especially smaller shuttle services, like SmartWings and Ryanair). It doesn't take long to clear security checks and flights are generally timed well enough that the arrival halls are not very crowded.
Václav Havel Airport Prague Parking
Because of its proximity to the city center (it takes about 20 minutes by car to reach Old Town Square), most locals do not utilize the airport parking options, instead opting to take public transportation, or hired vehicles. The airport has three official parking areas:
- Short-term parking based on minutes: This option is ideal for drivers picking up passengers who have arrived and are ready to leave, or for dropping off passengers with a quick goodbye. Parking at one of these Express lots is free for the first 15 minutes. However, if you're making multiple trips to the airport in one day, free parking is only available once every 24 hours. For stays between 16 and 30 minutes, it costs 100 Czech koruna. Each 30-minute interval beyond that costs an additional 100 Czech koruna. There are two Express parking lots, one for Terminal 1 and Terminal 2.
- Short-term parking based on hours: For 60 Czech koruna per hour, those wishing to accompany passengers to the check-in kiosks can choose this option. It’s the better option if your time at the airport will exceed the free 15 minutes the short-term parking lots offer. There are two hour-based lots. Economy, an outdoor lot in front of Terminal 2, and Comfort, a covered parking building in front of Terminals 1 and 2.
- Long-term parking based on days: Travelers with cars that are going out of town can book a parking space at one of three long-term facilities: the Basic lot, located outside, starts at 990 Czech koruna for seven days. The Comfort and Comfort VIP lots offer more protection and service, for 1,500-2,900 Czech koruna for seven days, respectively.
Driving to Václav Havel Airport is very easy; travelers can find their way to the Evropská motorway, and head west, which leads directly to the airport located at the edge of Prague 6. There generally is not a lot of traffic except for rush hour, so add on at least 20-30 minutes extra if your flight leaves between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m., or 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.
Public Transportation and Taxis
While Prague’s public transportation system is extensive, there is not a direct metro, train, or tram from the airport. The least expensive, and quickest way to get into the city center is by taking the Airport Express bus, which costs approximately 129 Czech koruna for a one-way trip, and brings travelers to Prague’s Main Railway station in 25 minutes. From there, travelers can take the C metro line, or a number of trams, to their final destination.
Taking a taxi or shuttle is definitely an option, and is fairly inexpensive depending on how many people are traveling together. Some taxis have a reputation for ripping off tourists, so taking an official airport taxi is the best bet. They are FIX Taxi, and Taxi Praha, which operate 24/7 and have set prices based on the mileage involved (prices are typically between 650 to 700 Czech koruna total). Taxis can usually be reserved online beforehand, but there are also sales counters at the arrivals hall of Terminals 1 and 2.
If you'd rather not take a taxi, you can also easily use a ride-share service like Uber, Bolt, or Liftago. Since there is no official ride-share pickup point, there can sometimes be a wait. Prague Airport Transfers is a reputable company that provides transparent pricing for shared shuttles, private vehicles, and more, to and from the airport.
Where to Eat and Drink
Within the airport, there are over 30 places for guests to find refreshment, and a variety of meal types based on budget, time, and dietary need. Travelers can pick up snacks and fast food in the arrivals hall of Terminals 1 and 2; past the security check, there are a wide range of casual and sit-down restaurants, including several options to grab one last pint while waiting for a flight.
- Starbucks, Burger King, KFC, Costa Coffee, and Rancheros, are a few of the global, fast-food options available in both terminals.
- Cafes, like Fresherie, So! Coffee, and Marché Mövenpick, provide lighter bites, sandwiches, salads, pasta, and healthy takeaway meals.
- Restaurace Praha, found in the public area of the airport, is a good choice for inexpensive lunch options, with meal options as low as 95 Czech koruna.
- There are four Pilsner Urquell restaurants, three inside the airport, and one in the public area, which provide fresh beer and Czech food, with a waitstaff and bar.
Where to Shop
If you’ve forgotten to pick up souvenirs from Prague, the airport provides no shortage of shopping options.
- There are several shops dedicated to Bohemian crystal, glass, and porcelain, as well as smaller shops with t-shirts, postcards, magnets, Czech sweets, and more, in both Terminals 1 and 2.
- We Are Food Lovers and Prague Chocolate are good choices for snacks and sweet gifts.
- For Czech beauty products, there are two Manufaktura shops, one in each Terminal.
- There are plenty of fashion and accessory shops in both Terminals, should travelers need to pick up items they forgot to pack.
- Duty Free shopping is also available in a few spots in both Terminals, and is the best place to pick up inexpensive cigarettes, alcohol, and global market beauty products.
How to Spend Your Layover
For most travelers, Prague will be their final destination, so there aren't many layovers in the airport. However, for those looking to occupy themselves during a connection, there is a relaxation zone located in Terminal 2 between Piers C and D. This area is best for those looking to sit comfortably and charge their devices, or use the Wi-Fi in peace. Terminal 1 has a small area to buy books and magazines, where travelers are welcome to browse in comfort, and for longer layovers (or just a quick rest and refresh), the newly constructed AeroRooms is available.
Families will find many facilities made for children of all ages, equipped with games, toys, and quiet areas they can use while waiting for their next flight.
Václav Havel Airport has three lounges and all are available to any class of passenger flying on any airline. Fees vary based on the lounge, but the cost includes up to 2 hours of access and pre-booking is not required.
- The Raiffeisenbank Lounge: For guests traveling within the Schengen Area in Terminal 2. Access to this lounge costs 850 Czech koruna and it has individual security checks, refreshments, TV, Wi-Fi, tablets for rent, newspapers, a children's corner, and showers.
- The Mastercard Lounge: For guests traveling to countries outside the Schengen area from Terminal 1. Access to this lounge costs 720 Czech koruna and it has refreshments, TV, Wi-Fi, tablets for rent, newspapers, a children's corner, an office corner with a printer, and showers.
- The Erste Premier Lounge: For guests traveling to countries within the Schengen Area from Terminal 2. Access to this lounge costs 720 Czech koruna and is has refreshments, TV, Wi-Fi, tablets for rent, newspapers, a children's corner, an office corner with a printer, and showers.
Wi-Fi and Charging Stations
Wi-Fi is available throughout the airport, for free, though connection can be spotty depending on where you are. The Relaxation Zone is the best place to connect, unwind, and recharge (literally). The area is a semi-private, free alternative to the lounge areas, is open 24 hours, and offers high-speed Wi-Fi internet access, as well as multiple phone and laptop charging outlets. Keep your European adapter handy, as most plugs are outfitted this way.
Václav Havel Prague Airport Tips & Facts
- The airport began construction in 1932, was finished in 1937, and its architecture and design became a model for similarly sized airports across Europe.
- The name of Prague Airport was changed from Prague-Ruzyně, to Václav Havel Airport Prague, on 5 October 2012, the anniversary of the day former president of the Czech Republic, Václav Havel, was born.
- There are several outdoor spotting platforms, indoor viewing terraces, and special fence holes on the perimeter of the airport, that allow aviation fans an up-close-and-personal experience with planes that are arriving and landing.
- The airport is set up for geocaching, where travelers can walk around the airport to find special clues using an app. Participants can win the Czech Wooden Geocoin when they are done.
- There is a post office at the airport where you can mail postcards for as little as 3 Czech koruna.
- A full scale model of the airport, made out of Legos, is located in Terminal 2.
- Avoid changing money at the airport; InterExchange kiosks are all over the airport, but the rates are high. It is wiser to change money in Prague.