Transport and Driving in Czech Republic

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tram in pragueIt is very easy to get around the Czech Republic as the country offers many different transport options including trains, subways, trams, buses, taxis, air travel and ferries. It is not necessary to own a car and can even be an inconvenience in big cities such as Prague, where parking is extremely limited and car break-ins have been known to occur.
 

Public transport in Czech Republic


The Czech Republic has an integrated public transport system which includes trams, metros, buses and ferries (trains are not included). This system has a universal ticketing infrastructure and tickets can be bought online or at the station. Expats planning on staying in Prague for extended periods of time can save money by investing in a monthly, quarterly or yearly OpenCard which allows unlimited access to this system.

All tickets must be stamped. Traveling with an unstamped ticket incurs a fine, as does traveling with an expired ticket or without a ticket.
 

Metro

The Prague metro is the fastest means of transport in the city. It is comprised of three main lines with 57 stations and is convenient, clean and reliable, operating daily from 5am to midnight. Tram stops and bus stops often link with the metro for easy transfer; such stops are marked with an "M".
 

Buses

If expats cannot find a train route to a city or village in the Czech Republic then a bus will most likely get them there. Most other European countries can also be reached by bus from the Czech Republic.
 

Trains​

Trains are not included in the Czech Republic's integrated transport system and thus are not part of its ticketing system. The national rail carrier is České dráhy and there are two private rail companies in operation, RegioJet and LEO Express. 

The biggest and busiest railway station in the Czech Republic is Praha hlavní nadráží, situated in Prague. This station offers long-distance travel to several neighbouring countries (including Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Poland) and regional services to most large cities in the Czech Republic. 

There are several rail options depending on one's purpose for travel, including night trains, express trains, and nostalgic trains (historic steam train journeys). 
 

Taxis

Taxis in the Czech Republic are infamous for taking advantage of foreigners. If unable to speak Czech then expats should write down their destination to avoid wrong routes as a result of mispronunciation.

It's best to arrange a taxi with a reputable company beforehand – otherwise, if hailing a taxi on the street, use officially registered taxis. These can be identified by their yellow roof lights bearing the word "TAXI". A taxi from a legitimate company will also have the company name, as well as the taxi's licence number and rates, printed on both doors.

However, it is still much cheaper and usually safer to use trams, buses, subways and trains.
 

Trams

The Czech Republic has several tram systems in various cities, the most developed of which is in Prague. Each tram stop has a list of trams and their routes. Riding the Nostalgic Tram (number 91) is a great way to see some of Prague’s historical sites.
 

Ferries

Ferries have been sailing on the Vltava River in Prague for centuries. Today, six ferries are in operation. While the ferries are not the fastest means of transport, they offer beautiful views and an extraordinary traveling experience.
 

Air travel in the Czech Republic


There are close to 100 airports in the Czech Republic, six of which are international airports. The main airport is Václav Havel Airport Prague and the country's flagship carrier, Czech Airlines, is based there.

It's possible to travel within the country by plane, but this can be expensive and the country's small size renders it unnecessary.
 

Driving in Czech Republic


Road signs are mostly in Czech and driving is on the right-hand side of the road. Expats holding an EU driving licence can use it in the process of buying a car. The licence is valid across the whole of the EU. However, drivers from other countries will need a Czech license as well as a certificate of insurance (‘Green Card’).
 
Roads in the big cities are in good condition but the trams, narrow streets, and lack of parking might make a journey less than pleasant. It must also be mentioned that while the Czech Republic is known for its love of fine beer, this is a country with zero tolerance when it comes to drinking and driving.
 

Cycling in Czech Republic


Cycling is more commonly viewed as a sport and recreational activity than as a means of transport in the Czech Republic. Expats used to getting around by bicycle are likely to be disappointed with the lack of cycle-friendly roads and sidewalks, although there are a handful of cycle paths in some public parks. The hilly terrain of the country, and Prague in particular, can also be a challenge for cyclists, along with its picturesque cobblestone sidewalks.

In some cities, there bicycle-renting schemes where bicycles can be picked up at one location and dropped off at another. Some trains allow bicycles to be brought on board and may even provide bicycle racks for storage.

Expats should note that the country's zero-tolerance policy for drinking and driving extends to cycling.

Walking in Czech Republic


Travelling by foot in the Czech Republic is usually not necessary thanks to its excellent public transport infrastructure. Expats who do decide to walk should make an effort to avoid becoming a victim of opportunistic crimes like bag snatching and muggings by keeping valuable items concealed (or leaving them at home) and sticking to well-populated and familiar areas.

When crossing the road, keep a sharp eye out for approaching cars or trams, as trams have right of way even at a pedestrian crossing.

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Our Czech Republic Expert

Debbie Liebenberg's picture
South Africa. Czech Republic
Aspiring writer, journalist, amateur photographer, teacher, traveler, musician, gamer, cunning linguist, gardener, rookie... more

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