Traveling in Prague is convenient because you have several options for public transportation. You can take the metro or subway, which is the easiest, fastest, and most affordable way to get around the city center and to reach popular tourist spots.
If you want to take in the views of the city, you can take a bus or a tram to get to your destination. Rail transport is also available, but this mode of transportation is ideal for long-distance travel or if you’re going to suburban areas. If you want a more laid-back means to go around Prague, you can also travel via ferry boat that courses through the Vltava River.
Where to Purchase Tickets
Prague public transport is an integrated service, which means you can use the same tickets for the metro, trams, buses, funicular, and even the ferryboats.
You can purchase Prague Integrated Transport (PID) tickets from vending machines located at the entrance of metro stations and some bus or tram stops. PID tickets are also available at train stations, but only in stations that are larger and closer to Prague.
Keep in mind that for the PID ticket to work, it must be validated using the stamp machine or validator that you can find near the vending machines. If you’re taking a bus or tram, you can see the stamp machine inside. The stamp machine has a slot where you must place the ticket for it to be stamped and validated. When you hear a beep, that means your PID ticket has been validated. After removing your paper ticket from the stamp machine, always check if there’s a stamp of validation on it to avoid paying for violation fees. PID tickets only need to be validated once.
PID tickets are also available in the Litacka app. Do note that you need an internet connection to purchase tickets and have them validated. One advantage of using the Litacka app is that it only shows which trains and buses are integrated into the PID network. This is more convenient as some buses and trains, especially coaches traveling long distances, don’t accept PID tickets.
The price of a PID ticket depends on the number of hours it is valid and the number of zones you can travel using the PID ticket. There are 13 zones in the PID system. Prague covers four tariff zones, while the remaining nine zones cover areas in the Central Bohemian region. For example, if you plan to travel within Prague, you can purchase the PID ticket with a 90-minute validity and coverage of four zones. It costs 40 CZK for adults (18 to 65 years) or 10 CZK (6 to 18 years old, students up to 26 years old, and seniors 65 to 70 years old). If you plan to travel longer within these zones, you can purchase a ticket with a longer validity period. PID tickets are free for children under six years old and adults above 70 years of age.
Traveling from the Airport to the City Center
Vaclav Havel Airport Prague, the international airport in Prague, is about 17 kilometers away from the city center. There are no subway lines that travel to and from the airport. To get to the city, you can take a bus, hire a taxi, or book a private car from the hotel you’re staying at.
Taking a bus is the least expensive option. You can choose between two routes. The first one is via Bus 119, which takes you from the airport to Nádraží Veleslavín metro station (line A). The second route is via Bus 100 that travels to Zličín metro station (line B). You can find both buses at terminals in the Prague airport.
If you want to take a faster route, you can take the Airport Express bus that brings you to the Hlavní Nádraží station (main train station) in about 33 minutes. If you’re traveling at night, you can take the Bus 510 and get off at Štěpánská. You can then take tram no. 51 to reach the city center.
Modes of Transportation
As mentioned earlier, there are several ways for you to go around Prague. You can travel using the integrated public transport system or hire a taxi.
Metro or Subway
The Prague Metro, which started its operations in 1974, comprises a total of 61 stations and three lines.
- Line A (Green) – 17 stations from Depo Hostivař to Nemocnice Motol
Line A takes you to tourist spots such as the Prague Castle, Wallenstein Garden, and Charles Bridge. You can also take Line A if you’re going to Old Town, New Town, Wenceslas Square, and the National Museum.
- Line B (Yellow) – 24 station travels from Černý Most to Zličín
If you want to go to shopping areas in the city center, you can take Line B to get to the Palladium shopping center, the Nový Smíchov shopping mall, and Petřin Park.
- Line C (Red) – 20 stations from Letňany to Háje
You can take Line C if you want to reach the main train station of Hlavní Nádraží. If you take Line C and go down at the Vyšehrad station, you can reach the historic Vyšehrad Castle.
Transfer stations are located Můstek (Lines A and B), Muzeum (lines A and C), and Florenc (lines B and C).
The subway operates daily from 5:00 am to 12:00 midnight. Trains arrive at two- to three-minute intervals during peak hours and at four to nine-minute intervals during off-peak hours.
The Prague tram network is about 150 kilometers, making it one of the largest tram networks in Europe. The daytime trams (Tram 1 to 26) run from around 4:30 am to 10 minutes before midnight, while the night trams (91 to 99) begin from midnight to around 5:00 am.
The following are some of the busiest tram lines and the popular spots that you can visit when you take them:
- Tram No. 9 – National Theater, Wenceslas Square, Lesser Town, Vinohrady Quarter
- Tram 17 – Žižkov Tower, Dancing House, Charles Bridge
- Tram No. 22 – Prague Castle, Újezd, St. Nicholas Church, Peace Square, Loreta
- Tram No. 23 – Vinohrady Quarter, Summer Palace Belvedere
You can take a bus if you’re traveling outside Prague or in areas not serviced by the metro and tram lines. Bus lines operate daily from 4:30 am to midnight. Intervals vary during peak hours, off-peak hours, and weekends.
- Peak hours – 6 to 8 minutes
- Off-peak hours – 10 to 20 minutes
- Weekends – 15 to 30 minutes
Night buses 501 to 513 operate from midnight to 4:30 am and arrive at 30- to 60-minute intervals.
Train or Rail Transit
There are three railway stations in Prague. At the city center is the main train station, Hlavní Nádraží station, which you can take if you’re going to other European countries including Germany, Poland, and Hungary. Three stops from the main train station is the Nádraží Holešovice station, which you can also take when traveling to European cities like Vienna, Berlin, or Budapest. Prague’s older railway station, the Masarykovo Nádraží, travels to towns outside Prague.
Take note that not all railway trains are part of Prague’s integrated transport system. Only the train lines with the S label are included in the PID system.
Waterway transport is part of the city’s PID system, which means you can use a PID ticket to get on a ferry boat. Ferries travel through the Vltava River. Ferries on the P1 and P2 lines operate the entire year, while ferries P3 to P7 only run from April to October.
The Petrin funicular is one of Prague’s main tourist attractions. It is composed of two tracks. One starts at the base of Petrin Hill in Újezd Street, while the other runs from the summit and travels down to the base. Both funiculars make a stop halfway through at the Nobozizek Restaurant. The top of Petrin Hill offers many tourist attractions, including the Petrin Lookout Tower, Petrin Gardens, Czech Hikers’ Pavillion, and the Astronomical Observatory.
The daily operating hours are from 9:00 am to 11:20 pm, with 10- to 15-minute intervals. Since the Petrin funicular is integrated into the PID system, you can use PID tickets to gain access to the cliff railway.
You can book a taxi by phone or by web. Avoid hailing a taxi on the street, especially if you’re in a tourist spot, as some taxi drivers may overcharge.
If you’re going to the airport, you can go to the front desk of any hotel and ask for assistance to book a taxi.