Visitors to Prague will appreciate the fast and easy to navigate public transport system the city offers. Comprised of metro, tram and bus; one ticket is good for all forms and will get you quickly and often scenically to nearly every spot in town. Unless you have plans to visit the outskirts of town, a bus probably won’t be necessary so we will concentrate on the tram and metro systems.
The Prague metro system is made up of three lines: A (green), B (yellow) and C (red). It runs from roughly 5am to midnight, seven days a week. Tickets can be bought inside all metro stations and MUST be stamped before descending in the yellow boxes pictured here.
Navigating the metro system is easy. Nearly all the metro stations have platforms on both sides, so you only need to go down one entrance. Once on the platform, you’ll see a large sign with all the stations on your particular line listed.
The station you are in will be marked. If your destination is to the left of your current station on the sign; head to the left. And vice versa for destinations to the right. If you have a metro map you can figure out which direction you need to go beforehand by noting the end station. Each line has a “switching” station if you need to go from A to B, etc. Follow the marked signs to transfer from one line to the next. You will not need to (nor should you) exit and your ticket will still be valid. (See below for detailed ticket information.)
While the metro is much faster, if you have the time, take a tram. You’ll be above ground and get to see lots of pretty sights, or at least some more of the city. There are a number of lines, and most destinations have at least a couple different trams stopping. Tram 22 is a popular one that hits a lot of the main tourist sights, as is 17, which runs along the river. Tram stops are usually across the street from each other. When looking at the tram schedule, you will see the name of the stop you are at underlined.
The stops below your stop are the ones that tram is going to. If the stop you want is ABOVE your stop, cross the street and wait on the other side – you need to go in the opposite direction. You must validate your ticket when you get on the tram, in one of the boxes pictured here.
The Prague transport system sells one trip, daily, weekly and monthly tickets. If you buy a one trip, you can choose from a Basic ticket (75 minutes, current price is 26 CZK) or a Limited (20 minutes, 18 CZK) ticket. The 20 minute ticket is only good for a maximum of 5 stops and you cannot make any changes (i.e. from the A metro line to the C.) The 75 minute ticket is for a longer time period and you are allowed to make tram and metro changes. If you are in town for a bit longer, and know you’ll be using public transport regularly, it’s wise to invest in a longer pass. The daily (24 hours, 100 CZK), 3 days (72 hours, 330 CZK) or 5 days (120 hours, 500 CZK) offers unlimited travel for the entire time period it is valid. Validate the ticket the FIRST time you get on the tram or metro. Do NOT stamp it again. For a full list of transport fares and rules, visit the Prague Transportation System’s website.
Tickets can be bought in all metro stations, near some tram stops (this is rare) and at Trafika’s. A Trafika is a small shop that sells magazines, cigarettes, candy and transport tickets. If you don’t have exact change (which the ticket machines require) but a ticket at a Trafika. The ticket machines have English instructions. Remember, just because you have a ticket, doesn’t mean you are legal. It must be validated, or the ticket inspector will fine you. Charge for riding public transport without having a ticket, or a properly validated one is 950 CZK. If a person shows you a badge while you are in a metro station or on a tram, show your ticket to the inspector.
Just arrived in town? Here’s how to get into the city. Unfortunately, the airport is the most difficult. You will need to take Bus 119 to the end of the line, which is the Dejvicka metro stop (A or green line). From there you can head into the center, (the Mustek or Muzeum stops are good) or onto your hotel if you have booked one. Buy a Basic ticket at the airport; validate it when you get on the bus, and it will be good for your entire journey. There are plans to extend the metro to the airport by 2018. If you arrive to Prague’s main train station, there is a metro station (C or red line) inside. Same with the main bus station, right next door is the Florenc metro station which is a both the yellow (B) and red (C) lines.