Means of transportation in Prague

The infrastructure of transportation in Prague, the center of the Czech Republic, is very advanced. Whether it’s a public transport or passenger transport, there are many options, which you could choose from. Compared to other European countries, some of those transport methods are rather cheap. In this section we will take a closer look at each one of these means of transport: the underground, a tram, a bus, a train, uber, taxi, personal vehicle and a public (shared) scooter. There are many more options, but these are the most regularly used ones. At the end of the section, we will provide you with additional information regarding special types of transport, such as wheelchair access, cyclists etc.

Table of contents of Means of transportation in Prague

The undeground

The Prague’s underground consists of three lines. Each one is represented with a signature color; line A with a green color, B with a yellow color and C with a red color. Since 1974, this transport is frequently used. The significance is also proved by a number of people, which use the metro. For example, in year 2018, over 430 000 000 passengers were transported. There are 58 stations in total, where “Můstek”, “Muzeum” and “Florenc” are the ones, where you could transfer between lines.

Frequency of arrivals

The frequency of arrivals is between 3 to 5 minutes, in rush hours the frequency is 1 minute. It doesn’t matter when you arrive, because the next metro will be appearing soon enough.

Reliability

You can always count on the fact, that the metro will arrive on time and won’t have any complications.

Safety

Someone might find it dangerous when travelling by “underground tunnels”. However, you have to keep in mind that there is nothing that could block the way to the metro and so, there is a little chance of an occurrence of a complication. Moreover, you don’t have to worry about driver’s mistake, because metros are mostly driven by computers.

Long distance travelling

Prague is relatively spacious, nevertheless, a metro will take you wherever you wish to be, even across whole Prague.

A cramped place

If you suffer from claustrophobia, then travelling using this method may not be the option. Narrow tunnels and stations, which are constructed underground, are not suitable for everyone. Furthermore, most of the population use metro, so the metro will be considerably cramped, especially during rush hours.

Buying a ticket beforehand

Unlike other means of transport, you are not able to buy a ticket once you are inside the metro.

An encounter with “peculiar individuals”

Due to its character, metro attracts many “odd individuals”. During your travel or waiting for a metro, you might be disturbed by a…let’s say eccentric behavior of certain citizens.

Out of signal

Most of the metro trajectory is under the ground, which is why there will be a problem with a signal.

Transportation with metro is fast and simple. It’s important to count with a high concentration of people at stations and inside the metro. If we talk about time, simplicity, distance and comfort, then this type of transportation is one of the most practical ones.

Trams and buses

We will describe you both methods simultaneously, because there are hardly any differences between these two. Beside the look and technical properties, like the fact that trams use railways and buses travel on roads, the main difference is that trams move mostly in the central parts of Prague while buses transport people in the edges of Prague, where there is not a large transport demand like in the center. In both cases, a basic ticket will be enough. Trams and buses will take you to places, where metro is not able to. As for interior, the constitution of trams and buses are basically the same. There are seats available, spots for standing + a place for a carriage and wheelchair (note that it’s not always available, more information can be found on timetables).

Transporting to every location

Trams and buses will take to places, where you will have a hard time travelling with other means of transport.

Frequency of arrivals

Although the frequency is not as high as in metro’s case, it is still more than enough. Especially during rush hours, where the frequency is around 5 minutes (however, not every line).

Payment is possible inside the vehicle

After getting on the vehicle, the payment terminal will be available for you. The payment is also possible by card

Sufficient comfort

During rush hours, the vehicles are rather crowded, on the other hand most of the trams and buses are relatively new and well equipped.

Nothing stands in the way of trams

Trams have their own railway, which you will definitely find appreciate, especially when there is a traffic jam. During these times, the trams don’t have to solve a thing as they have their own “road”.

Lots of stations

Although it’s a positive thing when getting on, it will certainly turn into a negative option if you must travel far. The trams will stop by a lot of stations so you have to keep in mind, that the travelling time might be longer than you expect.

Shortage of free seats

Especially when travelling by tram, you will regularly encounter a situation, where you w ill not be able to sit on a seat. The vehicle is not large compared to a metro, so standing most of the time is not rare.

Homeless people

Exclusively in trams, which move around a center, homeless people are often seen. The trams provide them with necessary backing and even though the “Dopravní podnik” company is trying their best to resolve this situation, there is not much they can realistically do.

Weekend arrivals

During weekends, when people don’t travel much, the time period between bus arrivals is quite long. You might have to wait for a bus up to 40 minutes or even longer. To avoid that, check the schedule so you are not surprised later on.

Trams and buses are overall, a convenient public transport. They offer fair prices and they will take you to your designated places in a relatively acceptable time.

Trains

Even though trains don’t appear to be an ideal mean of transport at first glance, the opposite is the truth. If you want to travel a short distance and you are in need for high frequency arrivals, then this is not the best choice. However, if you need to travel further away and you plan your way beforehand, a train could be an actual option. For example, travelling from main station to “Smíchov” quickest by a train. Wondering why? A train doesn’t need to stop anywhere, and nobody is not blocking its way. The tariff for public transportation in Prague includes this method of travelling as well. This means, that if you have this tariff (MHD tariff), you can take advantage of it to the fullest and occasionally travel by train. It’s not a typical means of transport, but it might still come in handy sometime.

Transportation between city areas, which are further away

With tariff PiD (“Pražská integrovaná doprava), the train will take you to your desired place within Prague in a short amount of time. Of course, only if there is a station.

The speed of transportation

Nothing stands in train’s way, so the travelling speed is great.

Comfort

Someone might not agree with this, but the interior is relatively good. Compared to the cramped metro or bus, a train will at least give you some personal space and a seat to sit on.

The rate of arrivals and departures

If you were used to arriving at a station and a transport will arrive within a couple of minutes, then here you will bump into quite an obstacle. The frequency of trains is nowhere near a couple of minutes.

Getting on is more complicated

Trains are primarily made for a long distance travelling, so getting on is not as easy as everywhere else. Mostly getting on a train requires walking around a whole station before finding your train.

A train is not your typical everyday mean of transportation. Nonetheless, if you are in a vicinity of a train station and a train just happens to travel in a direction you need to go, then using this transport you can save a couple of minutes. Especially when you often travel like this and you know the whole process.

A photo of main train station in the main area

Uber

Lately, the uber service is very requested, so let’s explain how it all works. First, you have to sign up at uber company. Then you select your desired location in your mobile app. After sending the request, you have to wait until a driver accepts your request and then your and the driver’s location along with the estimated arrival will be displayed in the app. When you arrive to your destination, the price will be automatically calculated via the app and the payment will proceed as you have previously selected. Payments are possible by a payment card, cash, google play or PayPal. Generally, everyone can become an uber driver. However, customers rate every driver, so you can easily find out whether he or she is reliable or not. Thanks to this rating system, drivers are motived to behave accordingly, so they can obtain a lot of customers. Then again, the system also reverses its roles, so drivers also rate customers. It’s a well thought out structure.

Easy reservations

Although at first you will have to make some time to sign up, but then reserving a ride will take you a couple of minutes at most.

A price

Compared to a taxi, uber is a one-sided winner.

Driver’s ratings

Thanks to the rating system, you will have more information about your driver. Therefore, the uber service is relatively safe.

Numerous payment methods

In comparison to other means of transports, Uber allows you to by Card, cash, Google play and PayPal.

An estimated price before entering a vehicle

By adding your requirements, the app will calculate your approximate price, which you will have to pay for the ride. The calculations are fairly correct.

Picking up a customer is quick

Thanks to the popularity of this service, a driver will swiftly arrive at your location.

An option of choosing a vehicle

Uber offers numerous types of vehicles, so it’s only up to you whether you choose a cheaper one or you opt for a more luxurious type of vehicle and enjoy a more comfortable ride.

Plenty of drivers to choose from

Uber drivers come from different corners of the world and various ethnical groups. On the other hand, taxi drivers often feel like they are all the “same”.

A bad driver

Everyone has to start somewhere, so if a novice driver picks you up, you could bump into some complications. Unlike taxi drivers, who are tested in driving skills, knowledge of locations etc., becoming an uber driver doesn’t require such exams.

Not available everywhere

At some locations, uber service may not function properly due to the lack of drivers. In Prague, this situation rarely occurs, however smaller cities might detect this problem.

A trading of positive ratings

Some drivers will state that they will give you a positive rating only if you do the same for them. To avoid this predicament, where you will get a bad rating and face complications in the future, you’d rather accept his terms. This leads to the increased number of untrustworthy drivers. Unfortunately the system can’t predict the circumstances in which the ratings are being made.

The lack of knowledge regarding locations

Uber drivers have an access to GPS and they will also, most of the times, transport you to your desired location. However, you have to keep in mind that uber drivers are mostly people, that work part-time, unlike taxi drivers, which treat it as their full-time job. This means that they may sometimes lack the knowledge of your location and when this situation arises, it is hard to come to a positive conclusion.

Uber is an attractive option, which can be used in Prague or in other larger cities. The app is the only thing you need for uber and is very intuitive. Mainly because of the incitation of taxi drivers, some towns try to regulate uber drivers. The key reason is that their experience and knowledge is next to none. Despite all of that, the uber service attracted a lot of people because of its structure and simplicity.

Taxi

Are you looking for a more personal type of transport? Are you sick of being cramped in a metro? Are you somewhere in a remote area and you need to get from point A to point B? The answer to these questions (and many more) is simple, use taxi. Calling a taxi is possible everywhere in Prague and the driver will pick you up within a couple of minutes. If you are in a center, you find a taxi vehicle at every corner. Some people love taxi service, others despise it. To have a more objective opinion, let’s take a look at the whole concept.

A usable transport, wherever you may be

Unlike other means of transport, taxi will pick you up exactly where you need it. This is a huge plus when you are in a remote area or you have health complications and public transport is a no go for you.

Privacy

A taxi driver aside, the whole vehicle is “yours”.

A taxi will transport you exactly where you need to be

With taxi, you don’t have to take into account public transport stations.

Luxurious environment

Taxi cars are usually well equipped therefore, your travelling experience will be very pleasant (the same can’t be said about metro, tram…).

Experienced drivers

Every taxi driver had to pass a difficult exam before being accepted. On top of that, they really know Prague well.

High prices

The fees are very expensive, thus it is recommended to check the prices before using this service, so you won’t be surprised.

You don’t know the driver

Although the taxi driver is a professional and had to pass exams before becoming a driver, there is still a possible danger, especially when you are alone. If a pretty woman calls a taxi, they might start to act inappropriately. Fortunately, such cases rarely occur.

Unfair treatment

Prague’s taxi drivers are well known for their unfair conduct, but it is not always the case. Most drivers treat customers fairly and the amount you pay is the actual price you should pay. However, the small group of crooked drivers pull the whole reputation of taxi drivers down. Unfair drivers focus on tourists, therefore if you are a local, they might not even transport you. They raise the prices incredibly high so sometimes a foreigner has to pay a hefty amount of money for a short distance transport.

Taxi service is a very comfortable and convenient type of transport. On the other hand, it’s a relatively expensive option. However, if you are willing to pay for it, it is another great way to move around in Prague.

A personal vehicle

There is also an option of using your own vehicle as nobody forbids it. It is a very comfortable option and on top of that, you can take a lot of things with you. With increasing number of vehicles, larger European cities try to regulate the numbers in the area. However, Prague doesn’t do anything of this, so you can freely move around in Prague. With the large number of pros, there are also numerous cons, therefore, you have to consider whether this is an ideal option for you or not.

Privacy

You will not find another means of transportation that offers as much privacy as an own car.

Transportation of baggage and heavy objects

If you are in need for transporting larger objects, without a car you will have a hard time. Imagine taking a metro with three big luggage. Sounds unrealistic, right?

Always ready for usage

You don’t have to care for things such as metro schedules or stations. You can always leave a car in your vicinity and if you need it, you can use it with no restrains.

Transporting more people

If you use your car to drive to work, you can take your colleagues with you. This way, you can all enjoy the time and on top of that, you all will save some money.

Parking

The parking lots around the center and its vicinity are full of vehicles. The number of cars is way higher than the number of parking spots, therefore sometimes, even if you arrive at your desired destination without a complication, you will have to leave your car far from your location because of the lack of parking spots.

A consumption of fuel

The consumption of fuel can’t be considered low, especially if you move slowly in a center. If you take the price into an account, then a short-distance trip can be quite costly. The final cost is nowhere near as low as the cost when travelling with metro or tram.

Traffic complications

If there is a traffic accident on your way, or If there is a traffic jam, the travelling time will drastically increase. When these cases occur, there is nothing you can do beside the patient waiting.

A required concentration during driving

It is a common sense, that every driver has to pay attention when driving. This means, that you can’t do anything else, unlike in metro, where you can do some work or play a game on a mobile phone, because you are not in charge of driving.

Unlike with other means of transportation, driving a car requires you to focus on your surroundings thus leaving no time doing other activities. On plus side, a car lets you have a privacy and you can take whoever and whatever with you. This means that you have to consider whether this is the best choice for you or not. If yes, then we wish pleasant journeys with your car!

Shared scooters (koloběžka)

Recently, shared scooters are on a rise. Contrary to this statement, many people hate and vandalize this transport. Now, let’s take a closer look on this topic. Since 2018, you can find white-black-green scooters made by an American brand Lime. In order to use the scooter, you need to download a “Lime” app and add a payment card so you can pay for the service. If you want to rent a scooter, open a Lime app and via the map, you will be able to find a location of all the scooters. You can drive the scooter only in an area, where Lime operates. After you reach your destination, just park the scooter in a nearby place, where it won’t hinder anyone and turn off the app. The whole process from renting till the payment is done via the app, which everyone is able to use. Unfortunately, the scooters are accepted poorly by the public. For example, vandals throw them into the river. The usual argument is that scooters give off an unethical vibe and people behave recklessly and ride it down the street at high velocity. Let’s take a look at pros and cons of this service, so we can make a clearer picture of it.

A mean that will get you everywhere

Although Lime’s area of operation is only a certain part of Prague, the area where you can rent the scooter is wide, therefore getting to the final destination should work out just fine.

Freedom

If you want to avoid traditional public transport, a scooter will serve you well. On top of that, as you ride down the streets, you will feel the joy of the ride and clear your mind.

Travelling with it may be fun

After a long stressful day, a little exercise should be a must, so why not getting home with a little bit of exercise?

Environment

Travelling by scooter is definitely more ecological than by, let’s say, a car.

The simplicity of borrowing a scooter

Everything you need to borrow a scooter is in the app. Whole process is quick and intuitive, especially when you are doing it regularly.

People’s reactions

As we have mentioned above, most of the people don’t view scooters as something positive, therefore, it’s possible that they won’t make pleasant reactions by seeing you.

Bad weather

For example, when it’s raining, it’s not that comfortable. Sometimes, it could even be dangerous as the streets may be slippery.

Damaged scooters

Scooters are often damaged, at least appearance-wise. Sometimes, they also may not function properly. There are cases, where somebody intentionally damaged the scooter so they could injure himself.

Although scooters are not so popular, it is a good thing that Prague has another mean of transportation. We believe that if the opposition starts to be more mindful of scooters and users start to pay more attention to their and the other’s safety, then the society will slowly accept this new type of transport.

School lines

In Prague, there are even school lines, which during working days, transport students to various schools. Up to date schedules of school lines can be found here

Transportation of cyclists

If you are travelling with your bicycle, you will surely welcome this feature the transportation company (dopravní podník) prepared.

  • In metro, the transportation of bicycles is for free. Every first and last entrance to the wagon has a spot specifically for bikes. The doors are marked by a bicycle symbol.
  • Trams also allow transportation of bikes, however only on certain sections and in a direction outside of Prague’ center. Before you enter a tram, check the timetable whether it has a bicycle symbol or not. The appearance of the sign indicates, that transportation of bikes is allowed. A space for bikes is shared with a place for baby carriages.

More information about transportation of cyclists can be found on thispage

Disabled people

In most cases, the transportation is barrier-free, which means that even if you use a wheelchair, you can still travel via public transport.

  • Metro – on 38 stations (out of 58), there is an elevator, therefore all that’s left is to get on a metro. Spots reserved for people on a wheelchair are marked on doors, which make it easy for you to enter the right place.
  • A bus, tram – You can use only a selected number of bus (trams). The timetable on every bus (tram) stop displays whether it is adjusted for people on a wheelchair or not.
  • Taxi, uber – if you have a wheelchair that can be folded, then there shouldn’t be any problem.

There is also a special bus line for people, who use a wheelchair, pregnant women and people with children below the age of 3. Entering one of these buses requires ZTP, TP, or ZTP/P card. The line is called H1 and has a special schedule.

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