Saturday, June 12, 2021

How To Travel To Czech Republic

EuropeCzech RepublicHow To Travel To Czech Republic

By plane

Václav Havel Airport – located about 10 km west of the centre of Prague (Praha in Czech), is a hub of the Czech national carrier – Czech Airlines (ČSA), a member of SkyTeam.

Other international airports are located in Brno (with flights to London, Moscow, Rome, Bergamo, Eindhoven and Prague), Ostrava (flights to Vienna and Prague), Pardubice, Karlovy Vary (flights to Moscow and Uherské Hradiště).

There are several low-cost airlines to/from Prague (e.g. EasyJet from Lyon). Ryanair flies to Brno from London and Bergamo. Other nearby airports are Nuremberg (200 km) and Munich (320 km) in Germany. From Vienna there is a shuttle bus to Brno (260 km from Prague, 110 km from Brno) in Austria, Wroclaw (200 km) in Poland (which can be a good idea if you want to go to the Giant Mountains) and Bratislava (280 km from Prague, only 120 km from Brno) in Slovakia.

Airport Transfers

For transfers from Ruzyně Airport to the centre of Prague and beyond you can take

  • PragueTransfer minibus service. Prices vary from €25 for a team of 4 people to €180 for a team of 49 people.
  • Minibus service AirportShuttle.cz. Prices range from €9 for a single person to €3 per person for a group of 15 (i.e. €45).
  • Public bus transport Airport Express of Czech Railways. 50 Kč per ticket. This bus stops at Terminals 1 and 2. It connects with metro line A (station “Dejvická”) and Prague Central Station in 35 minutes.
  • Public bus lines Tickets can be purchased in the arrival halls of Terminals 1 and 2 or from the ticket machines at bus stops 32 Kč. Tickets can also be bought directly from the driver for 40 Kč. None of these lines go directly to the centre of Prague, but will take you to the nearest metro station, from where you can continue to the city centre. The ticket is valid for 90 minutes on all buses, trams and metros and must be stamped after boarding. The lines serving the airport are:
    • The 119 ends at the metro station Nádraží Veleslavín. Change to metro line A into the city.
    • 100 Ends in the west of Prague (metro station “Zličín”) in 18 minutes. Change to metro line B into the city.
    • 510 One night service every 30 minutes. Travels to the south of the city, but passes near the centre (stops “Jiráskovo náměstí” or “I.P. Pavlova”), which takes 42 minutes.
  • Authorised taxi service from the airport. Prices are 28 Kč per kilometre plus 40 Kč per ride.

By bus

The international bus service departs from many European cities, with direct connections from Germany, Poland, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Switzerland, Austria, etc. A good service is offered by Eurolines and the Student Agency. Cheap tickets from Poland are offered by PolskiBus. Almost all new long-distance bus companies in Germany as well as Deutsche Bahn offer buses from various points in Germany or Austria to Prague; an overview of the fares can be found on this German page. As the market is very new and still very volatile, some companies may stop operating or start new companies at short notice.

By train

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International train services run from most points in Europe with direct connections from Slovakia, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, Serbia, Belarus and Russia; in summer also from Romania, Bulgaria and Montenegro.

From Germany

EC trains run every two hours from Berlin or Hamburg via Dresden and Bad Schandau in Saxon Switzerland to Prague and Brno. Direct night sleeper trains serve Cologne, Frankfurt, Karlsruhe, Copenhagen and Basel. Cheap tickets to Prague (and sometimes Brno) are available on the Deutsche Bahn website if bought in advance. Prices start at €19-39 for a seat and €49 for a berth.

Deutsche Bahn operates non-stop express buses from Nuremberg, Munich and Mannheim to Prague, which are fully integrated into the German rail tariff. If you have an InterRail or Eurail subscription, please note that these buses require a reservation.

There are four daily trains from Munich to Prague, but they are slower than the above-mentioned bus due to the slow and winding (albeit picturesque) rail route along the south-western border of the Czech Republic. The cheapest is a Bayern-Ticket (€21 for one person, €29 for a group of up to 5) to the Czech border combined with a Czech domestic ticket .

If you cross the border on a local train (not EC or EN), you should use the Bavaria-Bohemia Ticket or the Saxony-Bohemia Ticket. Close to the border between the three countries Czech Republic, Germany and Poland, you can benefit from the uniform fare of the ZVON transport association.

From Poland

There is a direct EC train from Warsaw to Prague and Ostrava and direct sleeping cars from Warsaw and Krakow. The ticket for the day train costs between 19 and 29 euros if bought at least three days in advance. There is no such cheap offer for night trains, but you can use a tricky combination.

Apart from long-distance trains, there are only a few local trains. For long-distance travel, a semi-fast train from Wroclaw to Pardubice can be useful.

On local trains (not IC or EC) it is possible to buy a special cross-border ticket (Polish: bilet przechodowy) valid between Czech and Polish border stations (or vice versa) and costing only 15 Kč or 2 PLN. You can buy it from the train driver (or ignore it altogether if the driver doesn’t leave before you arrive at the other border station, which happens) and combine it with the national tickets of both countries. Near the border between the three countries, you can benefit from the single fare of theZVON transport system.

From Slovakia

As part of the former Czechoslovakia, trains run frequently between the Czech Republic and Slovakia. EC trains run every two hours from Bratislava to Prague and Brno and from Žilina to Prague and Ostrava. There is a daily train from Banská Bystrica, Zvolen and Košice to Prague and Ostrava. All these cities also have a direct night train connection to Prague.

The regular single ticket to Prague costs 27 EUR from Bratislava and 42 EUR from Košice. There is a (approx.) 30% return discount called CityStar. Slovak Railways also offer discounted SparNight tickets online and in advance – for example, the day train from Bratislava to Prague costs EUR 15 and the night train with sleeper reservation from Košice to Prague costs EUR 27.

From Austria

Railjet trains from Graz and Vienna to Prague and Brno run every two hours. There are two direct connections from Linz to Prague and two connections with change in České Budějovice.

Cheap tickets to Prague, Brno and Ostrava are available on the Austrian Federal Railways website, provided they are bought at least three days in advance. Prices start at €19 for Vienna-Brno, €29 for Vienna-Prague and Linz-Prague.

If you cross the border in a local train (not IC, EC), you can benefit from a reduced EURegio return ticket.

Inexpensive ticket combinations

International full fare tickets are quite expensive. If no commercial discount suits your needs, you can combine domestic tickets to save money:

  • Buy a German/Austrian/Slovak/Polish domestic ticket to the Czech border and then ask the Czech conductor at the border crossing for a Czech domestic ticket (the surcharge for buying the ticket on the train is 40 Kč). Remember that there is a substantial group discount for groups of 2 or more passengers. According to the Czech Railways website, international train drivers must accept payment in euros [www].
  • On weekends, instead of the standard domestic ticket, you can also buy a network ticket called SONE+ online for 600 Kč (valid for up to 2 adults and 3 children on a weekend day). You need to print this ticket online or show it on your laptop screen.

The names of the boundary points are:

  • from Berlin: Schöna Gr.
  • from Vienna: Břeclav Gr.
  • from Linz: Summerau Gr.
  • from Bratislava: Kúty Gr.
  • from Nuremberg/Munich: Furth im Wald Gr.
  • from Košice: Horní Lideč Gr. (trains via Vsetín) or Čadca Gr. (trains via Ostrava)
  • Warsaw and Krakow: Zebrzydowice Gr.
  • from Wroclaw: Lichkov Gr.

The Gr. signifies a boundary point to distinguish stations of the same name.

By bike

The Elbe Cycle Route crosses the German-Czech border.