How to get to Prague – the best options to reach the Czech capital
Have you already decided to visit Prague? Congratulations! I don’t think you’ll be sorry. Prague is a gorgeous city that has so much to offer. But how can you get to Prague?
Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, is located right in the heart of Europe. You can reach Prague either by plane, train, bus or of course by car.
Let’s take a closer look at each way of transportation, as well as tips from local, for a trouble-free trip to Prague.
Travelling by plane
Prague has its own modern international airport – Václav Havel Airport Prague – that currently operates direct flights to approx. 115 destinations offered by 45 airlines. That makes Prague very reachable by plane from all over the world either by direct flight or with transfers.
For budget travelling, there are several low-budget airlines that operate in Prague such as RyanAir, EasyJet, WizzAir, Vueling and more. For overseas flights from the US, you can use services such as Delta Airlines, KLM and Air France.
Speaking of Brno, the Czech Republic has more international airports, such as those in Brno, Ostrava, and Pardubice. However, in comparison to Prague, they are much smaller and offer fewer flight routes and destinations (but you can also check them; they might operate just your destination).
If you can’t find any suitable plane route directly to Prague, you can also check nearby airports in other countries that have good train or bus connections to Prague. That might be Dresden, Nuremberg, Vienna, Bratislava or Wroclaw.
At the Prague airport
Václav Havel Airport Prague has two main public terminals. Terminal 1 (T1) handles intercontinental flights such as flights to the United States, Canada, South America or Asia as well as non-Schengen flights such as flights to the United Kingdom, Ireland, Ukraine, Romania and Turkey.
Terminal 2 (T2) operates European flights within the Schengen area. T3 is used for charter, cargo and private flights. T1 and T2 terminals are approximately just 5 minutes’ walking distance apart and are connected by the airport building. So you don’t need to worry about missing your flight if you arrive at the wrong terminal on your way back home.
The official website of Prague airport is prg.aero, where you can check arrivals, departures, and flight status. I recommend that you sign up for SMS notifications about your flight. Upon arrival, you’ll get a message with the number of a belt where you can collect your luggage. Upon departure, you’ll receive updates about the status of your flight including the opening of check-in, gate opening and gate number, last call and gate closure. I find it very practical and use it every time.
Already in Prague and trying to figure out how to get from the airport to the city centre?
How to get from Prague airport to the city centre
If you fly into Prague, you’ll land at Vaclav Havel Airport Prague in the Ruzyne district (northwestern edge of Prague). The best way to get to the city centre is to take public transportation because it’s fast, cheap and it runs every few minutes.
In most cases, taking bus 119 to the green line A metro stop Nadrazi Veleslavin will be the quickest option. Bus 191 will take you to the green line A metro stop Petřiny (but it will be a longer ride) or bus 100 will take you to the yellow line B metro stop Zlicin. From the metro stop you’ll be in the city centre in a few minutes.
You can also take a taxi – the official airport taxis with the airport agreement is Tick Tack or use services like Uber or Bolt. Uber will be the only official airport taxi starting in spring 2023.
For more information, you can check out my article The Best Way How to Get Around Prague.
Travelling by train
Are you travelling to Prague from a nearby country, or do you intend to visit multiple European cities at one time? In some cases, it might be more convenient to use a train instead of a plane. For example, from Vienna, Bratislava, and Dresden, the journey takes only a few hours, making it faster than a plane connection in many cases. You can also check direct train connections to Munich, Berlin, Kosice, Budapest, and Linz; the journey will be slightly longer, but it can still be more convenient than flying.
Prague Main Train Station is located right in the city centre, just a few minutes’ walk from Vaclavske namesti (Wenceslas Square). For international travel, you can take the Czech National Railways České dráhy or private railways RegioJet (my favourite one) or Leo Express.
The best way to check your train connections and routes is at Omio.com or Trainline.com. Check IDOS.cz/en for international and also all local train connections. Consider Interrail if you’re planning a longer train trip around Europe. It might be the right option for you.
How to get from the main train station
The main train station in Prague is called “Praha hl.n.” or “Hlavni nadrazi” and is located near the city centre. It is served by the metro line C stop “Hlavni nadrazi” as well as trams and buses.
Travelling by bus
When there is no direct railway or flight connection to nearby capitals and cities in other countries taking a bus may be the cheapest and sometimes also the fastest option. FlixBus, RegioJet, and other services are available to get you to other European cities. Omio.com is the best place to check your bus connections and routes. Are you looking for a combination of train and bus? Check IDOS.cz/en.
How to get from the bus station
The Florenc bus station, where most of the international buses or coaches terminate, is also close to the city centre and well-served by public transportation. There are two metro lines, the yellow line B and the red line C, trams and buses.
Travelling by car
Of course, you can drive to Prague. There are several highways that lead to the Czech capital city. Not all of them are directly connected to neighbouring countries. But it is an opportunity to take in the scenery along the way.
Czech highway electronic vignette
Czech highways are subject to tolls and you must pay for an electronic vignette. The Czech toll rates in 2023 are:
- 1500 CZK (60 EUR) for a year of validation,
- 440 CZK (18 EUR) for a month or,
- 310 CZK (13 EUR) for 10 days.
Please make sure to get the electronic vignette in advance via the official website edalnice.cz/en. It is simple and quick. Alternatively, you can find the official sales points and self-service kiosks here. Do not buy it anywhere else because it may be a tourist trap.
There are special “ECO rates” with prices reduced to half if your car is fueled in an environmentally friendly manner such as natural gas or biomethane (standard rates apply for LPG). The highways are completely free for electric vehicles, vehicles powered by hydrogen or hybrid vehicles, and historical vehicles. More information can be found at edalnice.cz/en.
Parking in Prague
There are no low-emission zones in Prague, so you can enter the city as well as the city centre. However, keep in mind that the vast majority of Prague has paid parking zones, so you will have to deal with parking (there are exceptions with no parking zones in the peripheries).
You have several options for dealing with parking in Prague. Either book accommodation with a private parking option, leave your car on the outskirts of Prague on one of many P+R parking spots (find out more here) and take public transportation to the city centre, or drive into the centre and use one of the more expensive parking garages.
You can also pay an hourly rate to park your car on the street, but the number of hours is limited (depending on the particular place). Find out more info on on-street parking on the official website parkujvklidu.cz/english.
Wondering what is the best way to get around, when you’re already in Prague? Check out my article The Best Way How To Get Around Prague for detailed information.