Getting around Prague by public transport

Getting around Prague

Public transport in Prague is one of the cheapest and most highly integrated systems across Europe. With a mix of metro, buses, trams, taxis, Uber, funicular and ferries, wherever you want to be and whatever you want to see: getting around Prague using public transport is simple and easy. 

In this blog, we outline how to use public transport in Prague so you can spend more time at the attractions, and less time getting there.

Public Transport in Prague – buying your ticket

The beauty of getting around Prague on public transport is that it can all be done on one single ticket (with the exception of Uber or taxis).

To get from the airport to your hotel destination, as soon as you disembark your flight at Prague International airport, you will find Prague public transport counters on the arrivals concourse at terminals one and two. 

These terminals are manned from 7.00am to 10.00pm. Outside of these hours, you will find ticket vending machines at all airport bus stops.

In Prague City, look for the yellow ticket vending machines at metro stations, some bus and tram  stops, Trafika stores, tourist information centres and newsagents. 

Most vending machines take only Czech coins, while some of the new ones accept contactless credit cards.

You can also purchase tickets via your smartphone by texting DPT31 or DPT42 to 902 06, with confirmation usually arriving within one minute, or 

You can also download the ‘Lítačka’ app to your phone for long-term ticket purchases and transport schedules.

Trams and some buses offer the option to pay onboard via contactless credit card. It is not possible to buy a ticket from the driver. 

Public Transport in Prague – types of ticket

In Prague, your ticket price is not based on journey or distance, but on the length of time you use any of the public transport services.

For getting around Prague on your city break, the short stay 30-minute ticket is the most popular. Tickets available are for 30-minutes or 90-minutes, or 24 or 72-hours. 

For adults aged 16 years to 60 years, prices are as follows:

  • 30 minute ticket: 30CZK. Usually covers one journey.
  • 90 minute ticket: 40CZK 
  • 24 hour ticket: 120CZK 
  • 72 hour ticket: 330CZK 

Children 15 years and younger and seniors over 65 travel free, while seniors 60-65 pay a small nominal fee. 

Please be aware: All tickets must be activated before your first journey at one of the numerous validation machines you will find in the metro stations or when you board buses and trams.

If you are stop-checked with a current but unvalidated ticket, you could still receive a not inconsiderable on-the-spot fine.

If you are visiting Prague long term, from one month to one year, 30-day, 90-day and 365-day tickets are accessible. These are available as non-transferable (using photo ID), or transferable, and cost:

  • 30-days non-transferable: 550 Czech Koruna 
  • 30-days transferable: 1000 CZK 
  • 90-days non-transferable: 1480CZK 
  • 90-day transferable: 2700CZK 
  • 365-day non-transferable: 3650CZK 
  • 365-day transferable: 7800CZK 

More info:

Public Transport in Prague – getting from the airport

On your arrival at Prague Airport, you have the usual transport options of public buses, Airport Express coaches, hotel or tour operator shuttles, taxis or Uber pick-ups. There is no metro or rail station at the airport.

It must be said that, although more expensive, a tour or hotel shuttle from the airport to your hotel of choice is the simplest and less stressful of the airport options, especially so if you arrive late evening or have large suitcases. 

Most daytime buses stop running after 11-30pm, with just one night time option.

If a taxi is your choice, only choose one from a designated taxi rank and ask any of the airport personnel if they have airport approved taxi companies. Ubers are not allowed to tout, so be prepared for a short wait after you have contacted them.

If public service buses are your option, purchase your ticket and make your way to the bus stop. Depending on where your hotel is located, the following run approximately every 15 minutes and are the main routes to get you from the airport to the city, although other routes are available.

  • Bus 119: Runs from 04.20am to 11.45pm from outside the terminal and takes you to the Nádraží Veleslavín Line A metro station. You can then transfer to the Metro using the same ticket to complete your journey, with the route terminating at the top of Wenceslas Square. Total journey time to the city centre  is around 35 – 45 minutes depending on destination.
  • Bus 100: Runs from 05.45am to 11.39pm from outside the terminal and terminates at the Zličín metro station. From here, transfer to the metro system to get you into the city to complete your journey. 
  • Airport Express: A dedicated service tied into airport arrivals and departures. Public transport tickets cannot be used on this service. Instead, tickets are purchased from the driver, cash only, and cost around 60CZK. The route takes you from the airport to the main train station, where you can transfer to the metro using your standard ticket to complete your journey.
  • Night Bus 910: The Prague Metro is closed from half-midnight until 04.30am. If you find yourself having to get from the airport to the city during these hours, the night bus is a good option. Leaving every 30 minutes, it will get you to the city centre in around 35 minutes, from where you can join one of the city’s night-time bus or tram services to complete your journey. You can use your public transport ticket for this journey.

Luggage is frowned on when using public transport in Prague, and even aircraft cabin luggage and small backpacks incur a luggage charge of around half the cost of your ticket. If you have luggage suitcase size or over, consider one of the other options.

Means of transport in Prague

1. Getting around Prague – Metro

Clean, cheap, fast and regular, Prague’s metro system began operating in 1974. Today it has over 65km of track and 61 metro stations, which are regularly increasing. It is hoped that in the near future, the metro will run right into Prague airport.

Like metro systems the world over, with passenger numbers totalling over 500 million a year, it is also horrendously busy during peak travel hours.

The system comprised three main lines, A (green), B (yellow) and C (red), with line D (blue) already in the pipeline, along with new stations.

The metro operates from 04.45am to midnight, with trains arriving every two to three minutes during peak hours and four to ten minutes during off-peak hours. 

There are three stations on the system where the different lines intersect, so you can change from one line to another, depending on your point of departure and destination.

  • Lines A and B intersect at Můstek station (lower end of Wenceslas Square)
  • Lines A and C intersect at Muzeum station (upper end of Wenceslas Square)
  • And lines B and C intersect at Florenc (main bus station)

All stations have escalators, but only around two-thirds are disabled friendly. Walking time between different lines is around two and five minutes. 

Your pre-purchased ticket is good for all metro services, or tickets can be bought on the day from the station ticket office or one of the many vending machines around the concourse.

2. Getting around Prague – Trams

With 21 daytime routes, nine night-time routes and over 500km of track, Prague’s city tram services cover all areas likely to be visited by weekend city breakers. 

Your pre-purchased ticket is good for all routes except one (see below), or you can buy one-off tickets from the onboard machine using a contactless debit or credit card.

The city fathers are currently upgrading trams to make the fleet wholly disabled-friendly. However, at present, they endeavour to alternate standard trams and upgraded trams on the majority of routes, so on the odd occasion wheelchair users may have to wait for the next tram along.

Trams run roughly every six to eight minutes and as you do with buses, be sure to flag down the one you need when you see your number approaching.

If you are visiting between April and November and staying over a weekend or Bank Holiday, you can pick up the Historical Tram (No 41 and 42). This tram specifically covers the old town area of Prague, passing many of the city’s most iconic monuments.

The vehicle operates from midday to around 05.00pm, and a separate ticket needs to be bought. Tickets cost 35CZK for adults and 20CZK for children. More info here.

3. Getting around Prague City – Buses

Prague’s city bus routes come alive at 04.30am until midnight, when the night services take over. Covering most city areas, they are clean and generally punctual, depending on the time of day. 

Getting around Prague’s city center by bus is not very convenient. There is no need to use bus routes at all. Buses are convenient if you are visiting the city outskirts.

Your multi-purposed pre-purchased tickets are suitable for all bus services. Remember to validate them. Most bus stops cater for several routes, so be sure to put your arm out to let the driver know you want him to stop.

4. Getting around Prague – Ferries

Known as the Czech national river, the River Vltava is the longest river in Czechoslovakia and flows through Prague before merging with the Elbe at Mělník. Seventeen bridges span the river as it meanders through the Prague countryside and town. 

Two permanent public ferries also operate year-round to get commuters from one side of the river to the other, with an additional four ferries operating from April through October. 

Using your pre-paid public transport tickets, you can enjoy a little time on the water on all these ferries, or buy a single 24-hour ferry ticket costing 110CZK.

Organised ferry cruises are also available, but have to be paid for separately. 

From short river cruises to longer cruises including a light lunch or an evening meal, they provide a whole new perspective on this delightful, historical city, and if time allows are well worth consideration.

More info:

5. Getting around Prague – The Funicular

One of Prague’s most popular visitor attractions is the quiet historical Petřín Hill with its look-alike Eiffel Tower constructed in the late 1800s. 

Close to Prague Castle and set in gardens of the same name, the views from the viewing platforms in the tower provide stunning photo opportunities across the skyline you won’t find anywhere else in Prague. 

You can enjoy a pleasant but arduous 25 minute uphill climb that wends its way through pretty gardens full of local flora and fauna to get to the tower. Or you can take the easier route, and use the funicular.

The original funicular was built in 1891 and has been modernised and upgraded several times over the years, with the current system operating since 1985.

The funicular takes around ten minutes to reach the top, a distance of 510 metres with a 130 metre ascent on a gradient of 29.8%.

If you are using a 24-hour or 72-hour public transport pass, you can ride the funicular using that ticket. Shorter, 30-minute or 90-minute tickets are no longer valid. 

One-off tickets can be bought from the vending machines at the stop points and cost 60CZK. The funicular is open from 08.00am to 11.00pm seven days a week.

6. Getting around Prague – Taxi and Uber

With its excellent, integrated public transport system and compact structure, there should be no reason to use a taxi or Uber in Prague except to transport bulky items, during bad weather, or in an emergency.

Like so many capital cities worldwide, Prague has its quota of undesirable ‘taxi’ drivers, whose sole aim seems to be to overcharge passengers, or drop them miles from their chosen destination.

To minimise your chance of being ripped off by a bogus driver, try not to hail a cab on the street. If you have to, only get in a cab with a fixed TAXI bar on the roof and company and driver details painted on both front doors (not a magnetic stick-on logo).

If you need a taxi, ask your hotel reception if they can call one, or give you the number of a taxi company they would recommend. As a visitor to a foreign country, it always pays to err on the side of caution.

Uber is a cheaper alternative to taxis. If Uber is your chosen mode of transport, then be sure to use a bonafide Uber app to organise your transportation. 

So there we have it. Five minutes in a tourist information office, or two minutes at a ticket vending machine will provide access to all the public transport in Prague you will need, to be able to fully enjoy this fabulous city.

Photo: Shutterstock

Leave a comment