Getting around Prague
Prague's inexpensive and efficient transport system is the best way to move around the city. It is run by Dopravní podnik hlavního mĕsta Prahy (DPP) (tel: +420 2961 91817; www.dpp.cz/en), and the network includes the metro, trams, buses and the funicular railway to the top of Petrín Hill.
You need to buy tickets (jízdenky) in advance and stamp them on entering trams and buses and the transport area of the metro. These are valid for all forms of public transport and are available from station ticket machines, most tobacconists, information centres and any shops displaying the red and yellow DPP sticker. One- and three-day passes are available.
Dishonest taxi drivers have traditionally been the blight of Prague. Things have partly improved, but it’s still wise to use a reputable company such as AAA (tel: +420 2223 33222) or CityTaxi (tel: +420 2572 57257).
Avoid cabs waiting outside stations and major tourist attractions. Taxis should be legally registered, with a permanent yellow roof lamp and the company name, licence number and rates printed on both front doors. It’s also a good idea to ascertain the fare before entering the car.
Motorists in Prague must always give way to buses and trams, and parking spots are hard to come by around the centre. There are three types of street parking zone: orange for stays of up to two hours, green for stays up to six hours and blue for residents and businesses only. Park and Ride car parks (signed P+R) have been set up near metro stations around the city. They are secure and charge a flat rate.
Car hire isn’t really practical for anything other than trips out of town. You must be over 21 years and have held a full driving licence for at least a year. Bear in mind that the Czech Republic has a zero tolerance approach to drinking and driving, regardless of how little alcohol has been consumed. A valid national driving licence, International Driving Permit, passport and credit card for the deposit are required.
Car hire is available at Václav Havel Airport, American Express offices and many large hotels. Major companies include Avis (tel: +420 2218 51225; www.avis.cz) and Hertz (tel: +420 2253 45021; www.hertz.cz).
Bicycle hire and group tours of Prague are available in the summer from City Bike, Králodvorská 667/5 (tel: +420 7761 80284; citybike-prague.com), near the Old Town Square.
Homeport PrahaKola (prahakola.cz) is a small bikeshare system, with a handful of stations in the city centre.