Welcome to the PragueTouristGuide.com online travel tourism information resource to Prague and the Czech Republic country. PragueTouristGuide.com features travel tourism information for both Prague tourist and business visitors alike who wish to travel to Prague and beyond.
The Praha Ruzyne airport is located northwest of the outskirts of Prague, some 20 kilometers from the city center. In addition to taxis and buses (No. 119 from the Dejvicka Metro station, No. 100 from Zlicin Metro station or No. 179 from the Nove Butovice Metro Station) you can also use our taxi offer.
CSA (Czech Airlines) (420) 239 007 007, www.csa.cz
the Czech national carrier, offers the only direct flights from New York (JFK) to Prague, with six flights a week most times (daily flights during the busiest season). British Airways ( 420) 239 000 299, www.britishairways.com
Delta (420) 224-946-733, www.delta.com
Budget flights in Europe
www.cheap0.com is a unique resource to help you make the most of budget flying in Europe.
International trains arrive at and depart from either of two stations : Hlavní nádrazí (Main Station) or Nádrazí Holesovice (Holesovice Station). Both are on line C of the metro system and offer a number of services, including money exchange, a post office, and a luggage-storage area.
Hlavní nádrazí, Wilsonova trída, Praha 2 (tel. 972-241-860-2), is the grander and more popular station. From the train platform, you'll walk down a flight of stairs and through a tunnel before arriving in the ground-level main hall. Wenceslas Square is a convenient five-minute walk from the station (best not undertaken late at night), or you can take the subway (Line C) one stop in the Háje direction to Muzeum. Metro trains depart from the lower level, and tickets, costing 8Kc to 12Kc, are available from the newsstand near the metro entrance.
Nádrazí Holesovice, Partyzánská at Vrbenského, Praha 7 (tel. 972-224-666), Prague's second train station, is usually the terminus for trains from Berlin and other points north. To reach the city center, take the metro (Line C) four stops to Muzeum
Prague contains two smaller train stations. Masaryk Station, Hybernská ulice (tel. 221-111-122), is primarily for travelers arriving on trains originating from other Bohemian cities or from Brno or Bratislava. Situated about 10 minutes by foot from the main train station
Smíchov Station, Nádrazní ulice at Rozkosného (tel. 224-617-686), is the terminus for commuter trains from western and southern Bohemia. Note that trains arriving from the west usually stop at Smíchov station, on the west bank of the Vltava, before continuing to the main station.
The state-run rail system is called Ceské dráhy (CD) (420) 221-111-122 information
The Central Bus Station-Florenc, Krizíkova 4-6, Praha 8 (tel. 129-99 for timetable info), is a few blocks north of the main train station. Most local and long-distance buses arrive here. The adjacent Florenc metro station is on both lines B and C. Florenc station is relatively small and doesn't have many visitor services. Even smaller depots are at Zelivského (metro line A), Smíchovské nádrazí (metro line B), and Nádrazí Holesovice (metro line C).
Several bus companies run direct services between major Western European cities and Prague.
Kingscourt Express (420) 224-234-583, www.kce.cz has several departures a week between London and the Czech Republic
Eurolines (420 ) 602 387 672, www.eurolines.cz offers service between Czech Republic and many other cities in Europe.
Prague is well served by major roads and highways from anywhere in the country. On arriving in the city, simply follow the signs to centrum (city center). During the day traffic can be heavy, especially on the approach to Wenceslas Square. Pay particular attention to the trams, which enjoy the right-of-way in every situation. Parts of the historic center of Prague, including Wenceslas Square, are closed to private vehicles.
You can park in Prague in parking places which have a blue and white sign which contains the letters P+R (Park and Ride), in guarded parking places near some metro stations, in public garages (e.g. Palach square (Palachovo nám), Shopping center Kotva, Wilsonovo railway station.), or in stopping places for buses- maximum 10 Minutes (e.g. Opletalova street (Opletalova ulice)and the embankment Edvarda Beneše), in parking places for caravans and campers or in scarce parking spots throughout the city. Be aware that you are not allowed to park anywhere that requires a permit.
+ If you park incorrectly, the police will put a piece of paper on your windshield and affix a "boot" to a wheel of you car. In this case, call the number written on that paper or call 158 and a policeman will remove it - only after you pay a fine of at least 800 Kč. In another case, if you do not find your car parked where you left it, call 158, it might have been towed away by traffic police for wrong parking. Either way, you will need to contact the police.
To see Prague properly, there is no alternative to walking. And the walking couldn't be more pleasant -- most of it along the beautiful bridges and cobblestone streets of the city's historic core.
Finding an Address -- You'll find that street signs are emblazoned on red Art Nouveau frames, usually bolted to buildings, th e blue tags mark the street address (usually). House numbers generally increase as you get farther from the Vltava or the square from which the street begins.
Note that Prague street names always precede the numbers, like Václavské nám. 25. Ulice (abbreviated ul. or omitted) means "street," trída (abbreviated tr.) means "avenue," námestí (abbreviated nám.) is "square" or "plaza," most is "bridge," and nábrezí is "quay."
Prague is divided into 10 postal districts whose numbers are routinely included in addresses.
These Czech translations might be useful:
Old Town = Stare Mesto
Prague Castle = Prazsky Hrad
Charles Bridge = Karluv Most
National Theatre = Narodni Divadlo
Wenceslas Square = Vaclavske Namesti
Old Town Square = Staromestske Namesti
Little Quarter/Lesser Town = Mala Strana
A. Public transportation (MHD)
Public transportation in Prague includes a metro system (subway), trams and buses. Passengers must have a valid ticket. Tickets (jízdenky) can be bought at hotels, some newsstands marked TABÁK or TRAFIKA and from yellow coin-operated machines in the metro stations. Schedules and regulations in English are on the transportation department's official Web site Dopravní Podnik (www.dp-praha.cz). Hold onto your validated ticket throughout your ride -- you'll need to show it if a plainclothes ticket collector (be sure to check for his or her badge) asks you. If you're caught without a valid ticket, you'll be askedto pay a fine on the spot. Beware of pickpockets, who often operate in large groups on crowded trams and metro cars.
Tickets & Passes
The basic, transferable ticket costs 20 Kc. It permits one hour's travel throughout the metro, tram, and bus network between 5 AM and 8 PM on weekdays, or 90 minutes' travel at other times. Single-ride tickets cost 14 Kc and allow one 15-minute ride on a tram or bus, without transfer, or a metro journey of up to four stations lasting less than 30 minutes (transfer between lines is allowed).
A 1-day pass good for unlimited rides is 80Kc, a 3-day pass 220Kc, a 7-day pass 280Kc, and a 15-day pass 320Kc.
The passes can be purchased at the main metro stations, from ticket machines. A pass is not valid until stamped in the orange machines in metro stations or aboard trams and the required information is entered on the back (there are instructions in English).
More info and metro schedule at www.dp-praha.cz
On public transportation you are welcome to sit where you want, but remember that it is customary to allow older folks, pregnant women, and people with children to take your seat if they appear to need it. To exchange seats with one who is needy, get up and gesture to the one you want to give your seat to; it is pretty much language-free communication. On trams, there are signs with green crosses above a chair that indicate the seat is reserved for the old and infirm. People in wheelchairs are free when traveling with a companion. Children under 6 are free if they are accompanied by an adult. People with strollers need to board a tram in the back and use the space along the back wall for their stroller. Look for the stroller symbol outside the door of the vehicle to know where to board the tram or bus with a stroller. If you are traveling with a stroller and need help, simply pull at someone's sleeve and point to the stairs and your stroller. Most people are readily willing to help.
The Prague Metro network consists of 3 lines designated by letters and differentiated in colour:
green line (Dejvicka - Skalka)
yellow line (Zlicin - Cerny Most)
red line (Ladvi - Haje)
transfers possible at Muzeum station (lines A and C), Mustek station (lines A and B), Florenc station (lines B and C). Metro trains operate daily from 5am to midnight and run every 2 to 6 minutes. The most convenient central stations are Mustek, at the foot of Václavské námestí (Wenceslas Sq.); Staromestská, for Old Town Square and Charles Bridge; and Malostranská, serving Malá Strana and the Castle District.
Daytime operation is from 4:30 a.m. to 24:00 a.m. The most popular trams, no. 22 and 23 (ala the "tourist trams" and the "pickpocket express"), run past top sights like the National Theater and Prague Castle. Nighttime operation is from 00:30 a.m. to 4:30 a.m. and is provided by tram numbers 51 to 59 in the interval of 30 minutes. The central transfer-station for nighttime lines is Lazarska stop. Tram schedules are located at individual stops.
Daytime operation of buses is similar to tram operation. Nighttime service is provided by bus numbers 502 to 514 and 601 to 603. Bus schedules are located at individual stops. Buses tend to be used only outside the older districts of Prague and have 3-digit numbers. A refurbished old tram, No. 91, travels through the Old Town and Lesser Quarter on summer weekends.
The funicular makes the scenic run up and down Petrín Hill with an intermediate stop at the Nebozízek restaurant halfway down the hill, which overlooks the city. It operates daily from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. (April - September) and from 9 a.m. to 11:20 p.m. (October - March) with traffic intervals from 10 to 15 minutes. It requires the ticket or any of the same transport passes as other modes of public.
Rates for taxies are notoriously inconsistent. Rates for tourists are often much higher, therefore, set the rate and/or carefully watch the calculation by the driver. Rates are listed on the outside of the door of the taxi. Always ask for a receipt. The driver is obliged by law to give you a receipt. Be prepared to deal with some disobliging and irritated drivers when you ask for a receipt. If you must go by taxi, call reputable companies with English-speaking dispatchers. Best to declare where you are going before you get in the taxi.
B. Private transportation
The Prague city center is mostly a snarl of traffic, one-way streets, and tram lines. The Prague-Brno motorway is the most traveled. Czech roads are often narrow and in need of repair. The few superhighways that do exist are in good shape, so whenever possible, stick to them, especially at night. Roads can be poorly marked, however, so before you start out, buy one of the inexpensive multilingual auto atlases available at any bookstore.
Rules of the Road
All drivers must have valid driving licence and technical certificate. All vehicles must bear the distinguishing sign of their country of registration. Green card is recommended to all foreign drivers. Further information can be obtained from ÚAMK.
If you have car trouble, major highways have SOS emergency phones to call for assistance, located about every 1km (half mile).
Emergency roadside assistance is offered by the Central Automobile Club and the Autoklub Bohemia Assistance unit, both of which operate 24 hours.
The ÚAMK Emergency Roadside Assistance ( PHONE: 1230, www.uamk.cz) like AAA. They have joined a number of international motoring organizations such as AIT and FAI and have emergency service agreements with many European insurance companies and car manufacturers. You can recognize its bright yellow pickup trucks. If you're not near an SOS phone or are on a road without them, you can contact ÚAMK at tel. 1230.
The Autoklub Bohemia Assistance ( PHONE: 1240, www.aba.cz) unit offers memberships but also has set rates for helping nonmembers in emergency situations. It is not affiliated with other international auto clubs. Y ou can contact ABA at tel. 1240.
If you're stopped, expect to pay at least 1,000Kc for speeding. Those caught by the police should ask for some type of receipt (úcet in Czech, pronounced "oo-chet"). The minimum age required for renting is usually 21 or older, and some companies also have maximum ages; be sure to inquire when making your arrangements.
gasoline (benzín) in the Czech Republic costs much more than you're accustomed to paying.
Gas stations are easy to come by on major thoroughfares and many are open around the clock. M any have mini-markets with food and drink as well. At least two grades of gasoline are sold in Eastern and Central European countries, usually 90-93 octane (regular) and 94-98 octane (super). Lead-free gasoline is now available in most gas stations.
To rent a vehicle in Prague, you need a passport, an international drivers license, a credit card and an address and phone where you can be reached. Several major agencies have offices at the airport and also in the city. It's usually cheaper if you make a reservation for your rental car before you leave home.
Some credit card companies, including American Express, automatically insure cardholders against collision damage at no extra charge when they rent a car using the company's card.
If you are interested in automobile rentals more info.
There are two main tourist information offices in Prague.
1. Na Prikope 20, near to Wenceslas Square, Prague 1
2. Staromestska Radnice - Old Town Hall, Old Town Square, Prague 1
When traveling internationally, carry your passport even if you don't need one (it's always the best form of I.D.) and make two photocopies of the data page (one for someone at home and another for you, carried separately from your passport). If you lose your passport, promptly call the nearest embassy or consulate and the local police.
Before any trip, check your passport's expiration date, and, if necessary, renew it as soon as possible.
Visa requirements for tourists visiting Prague & the Czech Republic
Nationals of the following countries do not require a visa for tourism to the Czech Republic:
For unlimited period
EU countries - valid passport for the length of the visit Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland - must be valid for at least 3 months after the departure date from the Czech Republic.
For perion up to 90 days
E.U. countries, Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Bosna & Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Korea (Rep), Liechtenstein, Macau, Malaysia, Mexico, Monaco, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Paraguay, Salvador, San Marino, Switzerland, Uruguay, USA, Vatican, Venezuela - passport must have at least 9 months left to run.
For perion up to 30 days – Albania, Belize, Cyprus, Romania, Singapore
The most comprehensive source of information on Czech visa requirements is available at www.czechembassy.org
In Prague's center you'll feel generally safe and public transport, even at night, is used by everyone, young and old. Assaults are very rare Don't walk alone at night around Wenceslas Square -- one of the main areas for prostitution and where a lot of unexplainable loitering takes place. All visitors should be watchful of pickpockets in heavily touristed areas, especially on Charles Bridge, in Old Town Square, and in front of the main train station, be especially wary on crowded buses, trams, and trains ; beware over-charging in restaurants and double-pricing in hotels; and, watch out for Prague taxi drivers. Riding the metro or trams at night feels just as safe as during the day.
Alarmed? You should be. It is a serious problem. However, there is no real cause for concern about physical safety. Pickpockets do not attack or hurt their targets, they are extremely skilled in techniques intended to distract and confuse the one from whom they are stealing.
May to September is a good period to visit the heart of Central Europe. The average daily highs is the mid 20°Cs (mid 70°Fs). Rainfall is regular throughout the year with spring and the occasional summer thunderstorm. Many attractions are closed November through March.
The following are the normal daily temperature ranges for Prague:
January 25-36°F (-4 to 2°C);
February 27-37°F (-3 to 3°C);
March 32-46°F (0-8°C);
April 39-58°F (4-14°C);
May 46-66°F (8-19°C);
June 52-72°F (11-22°C);
July 55-75°F (13-24°C);
August 55-73°F (13-23°C);
September 50-68°F (10-20°C);
October 41-55°F (5-13°C);
November 36-46°F (2-8°C);
December 28-37°F (-2 to 3°C).