Prague has one of the best public transportation systems in Europe. The metro, trams and buses are used by two-thirds of Prague's population and cover the majority of the city and outskirts. Especially the metro makes getting around town a breeze since it enables you to cover long distances in a matter of minutes. If you can't continue to your destination on foot, you'll be able to catch a tram or bus from near the subway station.
If you're going to be staying in Prague for a few days, you may want to buy a tourist pass that will enable you to use any type of mass transit as many times as you want within the indicated time period for which your pass is valid.
The Prague metro carries around 400 million passengers a year. It is fast, efficient, clean, and easy to use. Its three lines consist of about 50 km of tracks (running mostly underground) and some 50 stations.
The lines currently are:
Line A (Green) - running east to west from Depo Hostivař to Dejvická
Line B (Yellow) - running east to west from Černý most to Zličín
Line C (Red) - running north to south from Ládví to Háje
There are three transfer stations in the city center where two lines intersect:
Můstek (lower end of Wenceslas Square) - lines A and B
Muzeum (upper end of Wenceslas Square) - lines A and C
Florenc (main bus station) - lines B and C
These are transfer points from one line to another. Each transfer route is clearly marked. Trains run from 5 a.m. till midnight in 2-3 min. intervals during peak hours and in 4-10 min. intervals in the off hours. The time elapsed from the moment when the previous train left the station can be seen on the clock at the head of the tracks. All underground stations are equipped with escalators, most of them allow access to disabled persons.
Once on the train, the following announcements can be heard:
The Prague metro is only about 30 years old and is mostly Russian-built. By 2008, all carriages are to be replaced by new ones built by Siemens. An extension by new stations and two new lines (D and E) is planned for the future.
Trams (tramvaj) cover a large area of the city (with 500 km of tracks) and are used by some 300 million people a year. Daytime trams run from 4:30 a.m. till midnight in 8-10 min. intervals (8-15 min. on weekends). Night trams (numbers 51-58) run from 00:30 a.m. till 4:30 a.m. in 40 min. intervals.
Trams 22 and 23
Trams 22 and 23 follow one of Prague's most scenic routes, passing by the National Theater to Staroměstská and Malostranská metro stations, and continuing up to the Belveder, Prague Castle and Pohořelec, with some stunning views on the way.
Nostalgic Tram no. 91
The Nostalgic Tram no. 91 (nostalgická linka č. 91) is a historic tram that runs on weekends and holidays from the end of March through mid-November. The tram leaves from Vozovna Střešovice every hour from 12:00 noon till 6 p.m. and continues through the city center. The ticket costs 25 Kč for adults, 10 Kč for children and seniors over 70
Buses (autobus) mostly cover the outskirts of Prague. Daytime buses run from 4:30 a.m. till midnight in 6-8 min. intervals in peak hours, 10-20 min. intervals in the off hours, and 15-30 min. intervals on weekends. Night buses (numbers 501-512) run from 00:30 a.m. till 4:30 a.m. at 40 min. intervals.
Funicular Railway to Petřín
The funicular to the top of Petřín hill starts at the Újezd tram stop (trams 6, 9, 12, 20, 22, or 23) in Malá Strana and runs daily from 9 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. (11:20 p.m. from November to March) in 10-15 min. intervals. To take the funicular, use the transfer public transit ticket for 20 Kč (see Tickets, Fares, Schedules).
Prague ZOO Chairlift
The chairlift at the Prague ZOO runs from April to October, every day except Mondays and Fridays, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. It costs 15 Kč (children under 6 ride free).
Unfortunately for Prague, its taxi drivers have become a scar on its reputation. Fortunately for you, getting around Prague by public transportation is so easy and convenient that you may be able to simply forget about the existence of taxis. Taking a taxi is a good choice when: you are traveling with a lot of luggage, it is freezing cold, you need to get to a distant part of Prague, or you need to travel at night when the metro isn't running and the trams and buses run less frequently.
Although the situation is getting better (and the City of Prague is working on it), many Prague taxi drivers are still as rude and dishonest as ever and will try to rip you off if you're a foreigner and "don't know the ropes". Luckily, there are more and more reputable taxi companies that you can rely on for good service and fair rates.
Here are some tips that might save you nightmares and a few hundred crowns:
linka (A, B, C) - line (A, B, C)
metro - subway
přestup - transfer
stanice metra - subway station
trasa - route
vstup - entrance
výstup - exit
Placený prostor, označte si jízdenku - Paid area, punch your ticket
Vlak přijíždí do stanice - Train approaching the station
Ukončete prosím výstup a nástup, dveře se zavírají. - Please finish exiting and boarding the train, the doors are closing.
Příští stanice: [name of station] - Next station: [name of station]
Přestup na linku A/B/C - Transfer to line A/B/C
[name of station], přestupní stanice - [name of station], transfer station