Category Archives: GETTING AROUND

Train travel in the Czech Republic

Train travel in the Czech Republic, Copyright Leo ExpressFrom Prague, travelling to secondary cities and visiting the Czech Republic is quite easy.

And even though travelling by bus is one of the most popular means of transport, train travel remains the most comfortable option and is quite often cheap.

Train operating companies in the Czech Republic

If you’re planning on catching a train, you will travel with one of the 3 companies currently operated in the coutry : České dráhy (on a regular train or Pendolino, the local fast train), Leo Express or RegioJet. This last one is a subsidiary of Student Agency that offers bus and train connections in the Czech Republic but also offers travel agency services.

České dráhy

The national railway operator offers the best connections and has the most developed network in the country. It is still today the first operator in terms of passengers, as the market was liberalized only recently. Though, even if the comfort aboard trains and the prices of tickets are reasonably good, České dráhy offers a lower quality of service and more expensive tickets than its competitors. Thus, you would probably only consider this option if you’re going to small cities that are not serviced by the other two train operators.

Leo Express

With its first commercial journey at the end of 2012, this train operator has only recently entered the market. Leo Express offers great comfort and is probably the operaor that offers the best seat in “Premium” class, which is the equivalent of their 1st class. Its network remains very limited as they only offer train travel to slightly more than 10 destinations in the country.

Three travelling classes are offered:
– Economy, their lowest class, where you still get a wi-fi internet connection!
– Business (half way between 1st and 2nd class): you will benefit from a number of services such as a free wi-fi connection, free snacks and beverages.
– Premium, equivalent to a premium first class, where you will benefit from all Business class services, larger space with a comfortable seat allowing you to be in a sleeping position. Moreover, you will be offered a free meal as well as free drinks.

RegioJet

Founded in 2009, Regiojet stands out thanks to its prices and the value for money it offers to its clients. Even though launched only 4 years ago, they already offer a relatively dense network that covers most of Czech Republic’s main cities.

On board, you will enjoy great comfort but also free drinks. Regiojet offers 3 travelling classes:
– Standard, equivalent to a regular second or economy class. You travel in a 6-seat compartment and benefit from free wi-fi as well as free beverages.
– Relax, that can be compared to a first class
There, you travel in a regular “open space” car. Even though the seat design is not as advanced as in other countries in Europe such as France and their fast trains (TGV), you will enjoy the same quality of comfort. As in Standard class, you will be offered free hot and cold beverages, and the prices for meals and snacks are extremely cheap.
– Business, where you get more space than in Relax class, and share you compartment with 3 other people. The seat and services provided are comparable to those in Relax class, the only difference being the space between seats. Furthermore, you have more privacy as you travel in a 4-seat compartment.

Your next travel in the Czech Republic

The two new companies that recently entered the market have innovated a lot and have improved train travel standards. Travellers have definitely benefited from their entry on the market, both financially and in terms of comfort! Thus, if you’re planning on catching a train in the Czech Republic soon, we would definitely advise you to go for one of these two companies, RegioJet probably being slightly better than Leo Express.

Prague historical tram (line 91)

Prague historical tramIf you’d like to travel in time and discover the old part of Prague, you may hop on Prague’s historical tram (line n°91) that goes from Výstaviště Holešovice to Vozovna Střešovice in 38 minutes.

You don’t have to go all the way from the first stop to the last, and will be able to hop on at your nearest stop, and hop off at any time. Still, you’ll note that these trams only run on week-ends and bank holidays, from 1pm to 5pm, with one departure per hour. You can check the timetable and stops on DPP’s official website.

During your tram ride, you’ll have the opportunity to pass by Republic’s square (Náměstí Republiky), Wenceslas square (Václavské náměstí), the National theatre (Národní divadlo), Národni avenue and Prague castle (Pražský hrad). Tickets, that you can buy on the tram, cost 35 CZK per adult (approx. 1.4 €) and 20 CZK (approx. 0.8 €) for children up to 15 years of age, handicapped people and seniors (older than 70).

If you’re planning a special event, a birthday, a trip with friends or a corporate event, you may also privatize the whole tram, and rent it on an hourly basis. Prices start at 3,800 CZK an hour (for a 24 people group) and you can also book a jazz band to entertain your guests. For more information, have a look at Prague historical tram rental page.

Prague taxi companies, some tips!

You may wonder why we dedicate a post to taxis in Prague… well it’s just for you to avoid the occasional rip off that you may experience if you’re a tourist.

How to avoid the occasional bad experience

Well, it’s true, things have improved a lot, and you can already see the change at Prague airport. Now, when you get out of the airport, you can easily get the company “AAA taxi” or “111 taxi” which are efficient and reliable. All of their taxis use taxi meters, so at least you know you’re paying what you should. You can also use the “Airport taxi” services that will charge you a fixed fee, all fees being given before you get in the taxi. It will generally cost you between 500czk and 600czk, which is around 20-25 EUR.

Still in the centre, it can happen that you catch a taxi from a random company and sometimes drivers, when they see you’re a tourist, will charge you twice or three times more.  So just make sure every time you get in a taxi, to check whether the taxi meter is on! If the driver argues that it is out of order, it is simply that they intend to charge you the “tourist price”.

Reliable taxi companies in Prague

In any case, if you use companies such as “AAA taxi”, “111 Taxi”, “Nejlevnější taxi”, “Profi Taxi” or “Kuryr”, you can sit back and relax – you’ll be all fine! And don’t worry, most of the taxi companies are reliable, but always better to be cautious!

Two last tips:
– if you’re really on a shoestring budget, pick  “Nejlevnější taxi” which is the cheapest option in Prague. Their cars are pretty good and the service is of good quality.
– if you feel more comfortable having English speaking drivers, you’d rather go for “AAA taxi”, even though it is slightly more expensive.