Guide for getting around Prague
Getting around Prague is as easy as 1,2,3 when you have a few tips on navigating the public transit system. No need to take expensive taxis while you visit Prague. Just read the following article and you’ll be able to get around town on your own.
The Prague transportation system is cheap, quite clean, very efficient even during flood periods, and seldom behind schedule. And, the best part of the public transit in Prague is that it is easy to figure out – even for tourists! Any place that you’d like to visit most likely has a public transit stop within a short walking distance. There are buses, trams, metro lines, and even trains that run between the center and the suburbs. All of these modes of transit accept the same tickets, as long as you are in the central zone, for example, you can take a metro and then switch to a tram as long are you are within the valid time frame. 30 minute tickets cost 24 CZK and 90 minute tickets are 36 CZK.
Where to buy tickets? All metro stations and some tram stops have yellow automats for purchasing tickets. You must have Czech coins, though, because these machines do not accept paper money. You can also buy the public transit tickets from local Tabak (news and tobacco) shops. In shops, you can pay with bills. You can even pay with Euros, but you will receive Czech Koruna back in change. For the basic 24 CZK ticket, it will be about 0.93 EURO.
How to exchange currency? For the quickest currency exchange and best exchange rate, it is advisable to withdraw money from an ATM/Bankomat. The safest ones are located within actual bank branches. But, you can also take cash from your home country to an exchange office. Usually, you will lose money when purchasing local currency because of commission and fees. But, these offices are convenient and abundant in Prague. The rates change, but currently they are about 19 CZK /1USD and 25 CZK /1 EURO.
How to get to your destination? Prague’s public transportation department has a very handy website for looking up connections! www.dpp.cz is in Czech, English, and German. To select a different language click on the British or German flag on the homepage. To find your route, from the drop-down tab “Transport around Prague” select “Journey Planner”. From there, insert your starting a ending points then “Search” and it will pull up all the options on connections for you to your destination! It includes any possible switches and the times each mode of transit departs.
How to read a transit schedule? Schedules are posted on the red posts marking transport stops. On the schedule, the stop where you are will be bold and underlined. The subsequent stops are listed below with the travel time on the left of the stop names. Previous stops are listed above. If you see your stop above your current location, just cross the street to head in the opposite direction! The timetable is on “military” time or the 24 hour system. So, 3 pm will appear as 15:00. Check the time, look at the table and find the hour. The first column is workdays, second column is weekend (some have a third column in which case second is Friday and third is the weekend and holidays). Once you’ve found the correct hour, scan right to find the minutes when your tram, bus, or metro will arrive.
Traveling with children or wheelchair? If there is a symbol of a wheelchair above the minute, the vehicle will have a low entry platform to make it accessible for strollers/prams and wheelchairs. All vehicles accept strollers/prams, but you need to enter at the correct door in order to have space to park once on board. For trams and metros, enter at the end of any of the cars. For buses, enter in the middle. For a longer, more convenient exit period, press the red button with a stroller or wheelchair symbol to ensure the driver waits for you to fully disembark. For a wheelchair, when you push this button, the driver will come unfold the platform for you to make a ramp to exit the bus. Some models – the ones that aren’t specifically for handicapped access – don’t have these special buttons. In which case, merely press the black button above the doors 2 times in succession for the same results.
Now that you know how to manage the public transportation system, go have fun exploring Prague!
Written by Rebekah Sramkova