The formalities of entry and stay of tourists and expats are not constraining
Rail is an option with fast, comfortable services from Paris, Cologne and Berlin.
The two rail terminals have direct rail links to more than 20 European cities, including Munich, Vienna, Berlin and Paris.
Prague is well connected by rail, with trains from major European cities such as Paris and Berlin. The city is also on the Orient Express' London-Paris-Venice route, with an increasing number of special rail tours for those who want to avoid flying.
The main railway station is Hlavni Nadrazi, near the eastern end of Wenceslas Square. There are also Metro connections at the railway station.
The rail link from London is via Cologne or Berlin. You can catch an afternoon Eurostar to Brussels, a connecting train to Cologne then the Kopernikus sleeper train to Prague.
Alternatively, take an early-evening Eurostar from London to Brussels, the overnight sleeper to Berlin then a EuroCity train from Berlin to Prague. Check if the direct service from London St Pancras to Cologne is available.
Many visitors will fly to Prague, as there's a wide range of budget airlines with services to the city. Most budget airlines service Prague and flight times from London, Paris or Berlin are under two hours. There are also flights from New York, Los Angeles, Toronto and Sydney, and Prague has direct flights to and from most major European cities.
CSA, the national Czech airline, is a member of the Star Alliance along with Delta, Air France and Alitalia. Many budget carriers also have flights to Prague from a range of UK airports.
Praha Ruzyne International Airport is about 20km northwest of Prague. There is no rail link from Prague airport to the city but a choice of municipal buses, shuttle mini-buses, private car services and taxis. Bus #119 goes to Dejivka metro (Line A Green) and runs every 10min. Get tickets from the news stand or from the machine at the front of the airport terminal.
Take care not to use unlicensed taxis. Many Prague hotels will arrange an airport pick-up at a reasonable price.
Prague is also included in many central European tours also featuring Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest. Coaches arrive at Prague's Florenc bus terminal and are the vehicle of choice for many on a budget. Two Metro lines (red and yellow) connect Florenc with stations throughout Prague.
If driving your own car, make sure you have registration documents; a red warning triangle for breakdowns; first-aid kit; replacement bulbs; a spare tyre; and display a national identification sticker. You need an International Driver's Licence if you are staying in the Czech Republic for more than a month.
The most direct route from Britain is by the Eurotunnel to Calais then via Lille, Brussels, Cologne, Frankfurt and Nuremberg. You can cross into the Czech Republic at the Waidhaus - Rozvadov border. Overall, it's about 1,000km from London to Prague.
For car drivers: the motorway stamp, report of police force in the event of accident, 0 alcohol tolerance, etc.
Motorway stamps fee (2012)
Type of Vehicle
|A, B, C car and motorbike under 3,5 t||
Cobbled streets, tram lines and traffic make car driving in Prague difficult, but there is parking near most metro stations.
To go further
Prague has a cheap and efficient transport system that includes the metro, trams, buses and a funicular on Petrín Hill.
While most central Prague tourist attractions can be reached on foot - though it is a steep climb up to the castle - the city has an excellent public transport system. It covers most of the main sights and is cheap.
Buy a 24-hour, 3-day or 7-day pass and you can use the tram, bus, metro and funicular network. Tickets must be bought at newsagents and metro stations in advance. Validate your pass at the machine on board each time and sign it on the back. Inspectors (not in uniform but carrying a badge) do inspect regularly and there are hefty fines for a missing or invalid ticket.
While facilities are improving, public transport isn't really geared to the disabled. The trams are relatively old and not modified for wheelchair use. Cobbled streets also make wheelchair use difficult.
A free guide listing barrier-free venues can be found at the Prague Association of Wheelchair users - it's at Beneditktska 6 - and there's information also at the Tourist Information offices.
The Prague tram system adds great character to the city. Most trams have a vintage feel but they are heavily used. They are generally more useful for city break visitors than the Metro.
Tram lines are always being repaired somewhere! This means trams do get re-routed. Check out the latest changes in the Prague Post. Re-routed trams are printed in yellow on the timetables. Standard routes are in white.
They don't have the character of trams but the bus network fills in the routes where trams don't run. Both buses and trams are banned from the narrow streets of the Old Town and the Jewish Quarter (Josefov). At some stops, you have to press the button to get off. There is an airport bus service
Prague Metro has three lines - Red, Yellow and Green - all converging near the city centre at Muzeum, Mustek and Florenc (for the main bus terminal). The Metro is useful for those staying away from the city centre. It is worth remembering that the airport cannot be reached by Metro.
After the metro closes at midnight, trams (#51 to #58) and buses (# 501 to #512) run every 40min.
Prague taxis do not have a good reputation, though many seem to have cleaned up their act. It is best to book a taxi through your hotel. Only use taxis with illuminated signs and make sure the meter is running when you get in.
A large number of horse carriages are available in the main tourist areas and they are a pleasant way to see the city. Alternatively, you can hire a vintage car. It's relatively inexpensive and a one hour trip is a good way to get your bearings often with an amusing commentary from the driver.
There's a wide range of car hire companies in Prague. Most will arrange delivery to a hotel or you can pick up at the airport. Local car hire firms tend to be cheaper. If using an international company, it's best to book before departure to the Czech Republic. You must be 21 or over and have held a licence for at least a year.
Parking is in short supply in Prague. Illegally parked cars are clamped or towed away while traffic offences can attract a spot fine.
The funicular operates from near the west end of Vitezna in Mala Strana and takes you up Petrin Hill. You can use your public transport pass.
The Vltava flowing through Prague is an attractive river and a cruise is a good way to see the city from a new angle - and a rest from all that walking. Catch boats at the Cechuv and Palackeho bridges. Rowing boats can also be rented near the Charles Bridge.
cd.cz - Ceské drahy, Czech Railway company
dpp.cz/en/ - Dopravní podnik - Public transportation in Prague
jizdnirady.cz - Buses & train routes and itineraries in the Czech Republic
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