Ground Transportation for Czech Republic

Options for traveling within Czech Republic for a 21-day period


Outline

  1. Car
  2. Train / Bus / Air
  3. Other Options
  4. Estimate of total ground travel expenses

Car

Per my travel book:

            Drivers who rent a car in the CR must be at least 21 years of age and must hold a valid driving license and credit card. Recommends brining along a sat-nav device and downloading the most recent European maps, as most of the CR is covered by most sat-nav systems. “Roads, including the most important highways, such as the D1 motorway between Prague and Brno, are in the midst of a long-term rebuilding process, and delays, traffic jams and long detours are more the norm than the exception…driving in the Czech Republic is not ideal, and if you have the chance to use alternatives like the train and bus, these can be more relaxing options.” “All drivers, if stopped by the police, must be prepared to show the vehicle’s registration, proof of insurance (a ‘green’ card), and a valid driving license. Visiting foreigners, including EU nationals, are required to show a valid passport. In lieu of paying tolls, all motorists are required to display a special prepaid sticker on care windscreens; these can be bought at large petrol stations. A sticker valid for 10 days costs 310 Koruna, for 30 440 Koruna ($19.19 USD), and for a year 1500 Koruna.” (Baker and Wilson)

            Based on the above information: Renting a car for 21 days: $345.20, including rental protection, only have to be older than 21 years old so no extra insurance for age applicable. The car we rented is a Skoda Citigo, which takes petrol for fuel and uses about 4.1L/100km. Currently the price of 1L (1/4 gallon) of petrol in Prague is 34 Koruna or $1.48 USD. The Skoda Citigo has a 35L fuel tank capacity. The rental company rents the car to us with a full tank of gas and requires that it must be returned with a full tank as well, so at the very most, if we run the tank completely dry, the total approximate petrol cost for the 21 days is 1190 Koruna or $51.90 USD.­­ All foreign drivers must display a special prepaid sticker on the windshield (this is in lieu of paying tolls, as Czech nationals do). The 30-day sticker made the most sense financially to purchase, which is 440 Koruna or $19.19 USD.

Renting a car...

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Train / Bus / Air

My mass transit options are...          

            Air: “Czech Airlines runs a handful of flights weekly from Prague to the eastern city of Ostrava, but the country is small enough that air travel is usually impractical. There are no flights between Prague and Brno.” “The CRs national carrier is Prague-based Czech Airlines. Many national carriers, particularly   from Europe and the Middle East, operate regular flights to and from Prague. These include EasyJet (www.easyjet.com), EuroWings (www.eurowings.com), Ryanair (www.ryanair.com) and WizzAir (www.wizzair.com). Departure tax is included in the price of the ticket.” (Baker and Wilson). Due to the small size of the country, there were no flights available, even on the Czech Airlines website. This factor makes air travel not an option.

            Boat: “There’s no regularly scheduled water transport along the Vltava River, though several companies operate pleasure cruises on the river.” (Baker and Wilson). Travel by boat is not the best option, using the metro is a much better option financially and availability-wise.

            Bus: ”Long-haul and regional bus service is an important part of the transport system in the CR. Buses are often faster, cheaper and more convenient than trains, and are especially handy for accessing areas where train service is poor, such as Karlovy Vary and Cesky Krumlov.” “Several bus companies offer long-distance coach service connecting cities in the CR to cities around Europe. For travel to and from Prague, nearly all international buses (and most domestic services) use the city’s renovated and user-friendly Florenc bus station.” (Baker and Wilson). “As Prague’s Metro and tram service are so good, buses are not used that often. The Prague bus service mainly covers the outskirts of the city. Prague’s bus service is quite regular during the day with buses running from 5am until around midnight every day. Bus fares are also very cheap. Prague also has night buses which run when the day buses stop, from midnight to 5am, and the buses rune very half hour or so. Night service is provided by bus numbers 501 to 513.”(Prague City Transport). Travel via bus is not the best option for travel within Prague as well as the trams and metro are more available, reach more destinations, are comparable in price, and are faster.

            Tram: “Prague is the only Czech city with an underground metro. Tickets generally cost from 12 Koruna to 32Koruna per ride, depending on the city and duration of the ticket.” (Baker and Wilson). “The trams may be a little slower but are a marvelous way to get around-you can see much more. Each tram stop gives a list of stops for each tram route and a timetable for it.” (Prague City Transport).

            Train (Metro): “The Czech rail network is operated Ceske drahy (www.cd.cz). Train travel is generally comfortable, reasonably priced and efficient. Trains are particularly useful for covering relatively long distances between major cities, such as between Prague and Brno, or Prague and Olomouc.Two smaller private operators, RegioJet (www.regiojet.cz) and LEO Express (www.le.cz) operate daily high-speed trains from Prague to the Moravian cities of Olomouc and Ostrava, with the possibility to connect to onward coach service to Slovakia and Poland. Timetable information for all trains is available online at IDOS (http://jixdnirady.idnes.cz).”  “The Czech national railway forms part of the European rail grid, and there are decent connections to neighboring countries.” (Baker and Wilson). “A speedy way to get around Prague, the Prague Metro or underground is clean and efficient. Metro operates daily from 5am to 12pm, on Fridays and Saturdays one hour longer. Green color=line A, yellow color=line B, red color=line C” (Prague City Transport).

Train ticket Prague to Budapest overnight for 2 people plus a 6-person couchette: approximately $145.40 (130 Euro)

Metro ticket within Prague: It makes the most sense to purchase a 30-day unlimited use ticket rather than purchasing a ticket each day. This costs 550 CZK per ticket ($23.99USD)= $47.98 total for 2 people (Prague Public Transportation).

*Based on the above information, the option that makes the most sense for mass transit travel within Prague is to use the Metro. Outside of Prague, it makes the most sense to use a train to travel as the European rail grid makes traveling to other countries very easy.

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Other options

            Bike: “the cycling infrastructure, such as dedicated cycling trails and a network of bike-rental and repair shops, is slowly improving but still not adequate. A handful of large cities, including Prague, do have dedicated cycling lanes, but these are often half-hearted efforts and leave cyclists at the mercy of often ignorant and aggressive drivers. It’s possible to hire or buy bicycles in many major towns, though not all. Rates average from 400 Koruna to 600 Koruna per day. A helpful website for getting started and planning a cyclist route in the CR is Cyclists Welcome (Cykliste Vitani; www.cyklistevitani.cz) (Baker and Wilson).

Bike rental for use in Prague city center (no cars allowed in city center): $18.52 for 2 people for regular bikes (3 hours), $76.42 for 2 people with e-bikes (4 hours)

            Taxi: “cheap and reliable supplement to the public transport systems. The going rate varies from city to city, but as a rule of thumb count on 40 Koruna plus 28 Koruna per kilometer and 6 Koruna per minute while waiting. In Prague, companies with honest drivers, 24 hour service and English-speaking operators include AAA Radio Taxi, ProfiTaxi, and City Taxi. You could also use Uber (available in both Prague and Brno or a locally based alternative Liftago runs cars in Prague.”

            Hitchhiking: Popular way of moving from town to town, but can be dangerous. The book’s authors do not recommend it.

            Walking: “Walking is the best way to see the centers of most Czech cities as the centers of many towns and cities are closed to vehicular traffic.” (Baker and Wilson).

*Based on the above information, the best way to get around the city center is to rent bicycles.

Estimate of total ground travel expenses

The total cost of traveling within [Czech Republic] for a three-week period is...

Total ground travel expenses:

            Car: $416.29 including gas and required sticker

            Train: $145.40

            Metro: $47.98

            Bike rental: $18.52

            Total: $628.19

Works Cited:

https://www.prague.fm/city-transport/

https://www.prague.fm/5862/public-transport-tickets/ : public transport ticket prices-valid on tram, metro, bus, and the Petrin funicular and allows for transfers between lines and types of transport.­­

Baker, Mark, and Neil Wilson. Prague & the Czech Republic. 12th ed., Lonely Planet, 2017.

Currency Conversion References:

1USD=22.84 Czech Koruna

1USD=0.89 Euro

 


Submitted by Samuel Dameron on 3/7/19.