Getting Around Prague
The best way to get around Prague is on foot or by public transportation. Exploring this city on foot is a treat for the eyes, plus many of the most noteworthy attractions are within walking distance of one another. What's more, several of the city's top guided tours are walking tours. There is an extensive public transportation system that includes bus, tram and subway lines.
To get into the city from the Václav Havel Airport Prague (PRG), you can take the No. 119 bus to Nádraží Veleslavín metro station on the green line (line A) to the city center. You could also spring for a taxi, which will cost you about 450 to 560 koruna (about $20 to $25) to the city center, but be aware that many taxis have a reputation for overcharging.
Numerous and compact, the historic districts of Prague are best explored with your own two feet. There is a lot to see, so your legs will probably grow tired. When this happens, hop on public transit to whisk you back to your hotel or off to the next neighborhood. If you want a little hlep navigating on foot, consider signing up for one of the best Prague tours, many of which require nothing but your own two feet.
There are three, color-coded underground metro lines, which operate from around 5 a.m. to midnight. Metro Line A (green) offers access to the most tourist attractions, so it may be convenient to select a hotel near one of the stations on this line. Ticket and transfer fares can be confusing, so make sure to buy the correct ticket. A basic ticket costs 32 korun (about $1.40) and allows 90 minutes of unlimited travel throughout the network of buses, trams and subways. Short-term, 30-minute tickets, which cost 24 korun (or about $1) are available as well as 24-hour passes (110 korun or about $4.90) and three-day passes for 310 korun (about $13.75). When purchasing tickets from machines, make sure you have coins (most don't accept notes).
Tickets must also be stamped (or validated) at the machines on board for trams and buses or at the station (most are near escalators or stairs) for metro rides. Since there are no turnstiles or barriers to entering the train, it can be easy to make the mistake of not validating your ticket. But you'll want to be sure to stamp your ticket before getting on the metro, or else you might find yourself subject to a fine. If you're carrying large bags, you'll want to factor in an additional 16 korun (about $0.70) for luggage transport.
The numerous tram lines service practically the entire city. Unlike buses, you'll never have to hail a tram, as they make every stop. You'll most likely spend the majority of your time on either the No. 22 or 23: Deemed "the tourist trams," these two service popular attractions like Prague Castle and the National Theatre. They're also notorious for attracting pickpockets, however, so keep your valuables close when riding. Trams operate between 4:30 a.m. and midnight (there are night routes, but they don't run as frequently and service is limited). You can use the same tickets on the tram as you use on the metro.
Prague's bus system covers the outskirts and will be of little help during your stay. However, the bus does come in handy for getting to and from the airport. From the airport, you can take bus No. 119 to Nádraží Veleslavín metro station and then take the Line A (green) into the city. The bus uses the same types of tickets as the metro and the tram.
There is no need to rent a car if you plan on staying in the city: The roads are frustrating and parking is expensive. But if you want to explore outside of Prague, you'll find a car might come in handy. You will find rental agencies scattered throughout the city and at the Prague airport. And here's a tip: Many of the local car rental agencies offer lower rates than the international firms. Also, you will need an international driver's license if you are planning to rent a car. You must obtain your international driving permit before leaving the U.S. You can apply for one here.
If you need to get somewhere quickly, a taxi is your best bet, but ride with care. Drivers have been known to swindle unsuspecting tourists. Consult with your hotel concierge on appropriate fares for top points around the city. If you can, ask your hotel or the restaurant you're dining at to call you a cab – they will connect you with a trustworthy company. If you must hail a cab from the street, make sure to agree upon a price before getting into the taxi and look for visual cues that it's official: Cabs must have a yellow roof lamp that is permanently installed; "TAXI" must be printed in black letters on both sides. The driver's name, license number and rates should be printed on both front doors. It's also a good idea to write down the address of your destination before you head out to assist with the language barrier. AAA Taxi and City Taxi are two reputable companies in Prague. If you'd rather use your smartphone to connect with a reputable driver, you can use apps like Uber and Liftago.
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