Prague Travel Guide

 

About Prague - Arriving to Prague by train

If travelling from nearer destinations or from neighbouring countries, for example from Berlin, Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest or Cracow, train might be a good and quick solution to get to Prague. The density of Czech railway system is – when compared with other European countries – good and lots of connections are available.

Some local trains have some troubles with cleanness from time to time; but this is not a problem on international or higher quality trains. The largest carrier is state owned company Czech Railways (České dráhy), that operates almost all connections in the Czech Republic. At the time, competitors operate trains only on some regional and local trains.

Services include trains of superior quality SuperCity (SC), international trains (EuroCity, EC and InterCity, IC) – to use all of these trains, you need to buy ticket supplement. Other trains are Rapid (R), Fast (Sp) and Ordinary (Os).

What ticket to buy

Usually, there is no need to book domestic rail travels in advance, you can buy a ticket (jízdenka in Czech) just a few minutes before your trains departs. However, you need to have a valid ticket before you get on the train, buy it from the cash desk (pokladna) at the train station.

For international and higher quality trains, it is better to buy a ticket in advance. You can also buy a ticket and seat reservation (místenka), and for overnight trains you can buy couchette (lehátko) or sleeper (lůžko). The latter is more comfortable.

Czech Railways offers wide range of discounts and rail passes for almost all groups of passengers. The amount of offers is so wide so even the Railways employee sometimes do not all know of them.

Fare discounts

Customer/client fare (In-customer card) is intended for all passengers regardless of age. If you buy In-customer card for 600 CZK that is valid three years you are entitled to a "client fare" that is around 60 % of normal fares, so you can save substantial distance when you travel a lot. The In-customer card (or possibly other documents for proving the title to customer fare) can be purchased in any booking office at Czech Railways stations and stopping points. While applying for a In-customer card the passenger must submit a photograph 35 x 45 mm, 600 CZK and an ID card issued by a state administration body (e.g. a passport). While using higher-quality EC and IC trains the passenger shall pay in addition to the ticket for customer fare a fixed supplementary charge.

Return journey reduction is granted to any passenger: it can be bought on every day and it is valid regardless of the distance till midnight of the following day.

Group reduction is granted in 2nd class only for a common journey of 2 persons at minimum and 30 persons at maximum. The first and second passenger pay customer fare for passengers over 15 years of age (15+) and every additional passenger (up to 30th person) pays customer fare for a child (15-), which is approximately half of the price paid by the first passenger.

Other discounts are available for juniors and there are also discounts for frequent travellers.

TIP: Prices by kilometers in the Czech Railway site could be found here.

Rail Passes

For those who plan to travel across Europe by train, and plan to visit and stop in many place throughout the continent, some kind of rail travel passes can be less expensive than buying single tickets. But if you travel only throughout the country this would not be a better bet.

If you wish to go to Prague and then to Cracow, Berlin, Vienna, Rome, Paris or Budapest you would be probably interested in one of the following long-term passes: InterRail Pass, that gives you unlimited number of journeys within certain number of days, EuroDomino, that gives you three to eight days within a month of unrestricted train travel within a particular country (or countries). Non-European could also buy one train pass for nearly the whole Europe.

TIP: Find your train via online timetable.