Transport and Driving in Czech Republic
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It is very easy to get around the Czech Republic as the country offers many different transport options including trains, subways, trams, buses, taxis, air travel and ferries. It is not necessary to own a car and this can even be an inconvenience in big cities such as Prague, where parking is extremely limited and car break-ins have been known to occur.
Public transport in Czech Republic
The Czech Republic has an integrated public transport system which includes trams, metros, buses and ferries. This system has a universal ticketing infrastructure and tickets can be bought online or at the station. Trains also serve to connect Czech cities but they are not integrated into the same system as these other forms of transport.
If expats cannot find a train route to a city or village in the Czech Republic then a bus will most likely get them there. Most other European countries can also be reached by bus from the Czech Republic.
Trains are not included in the Czech Republic's integrated transport system and thus are not part of its ticketing system. The national rail carrier is České dráhy and there are two private rail companies in operation, RegioJet and LEO Express.
The biggest and busiest railway station in the Czech Republic is Praha hlavní nadráží, situated in Prague. This station offers long-distance travel to several neighbouring countries (including Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Poland) and regional services to most large cities in the Czech Republic.
There are several rail options depending on one's purpose for travel, including night trains, express trains, and nostalgic trains (historic steam train journeys).
The Czech Republic has several tram systems in various cities, the most developed of which is in Prague. Each tram stop has a list of trams and their routes.
Taxis in the Czech Republic are infamous for taking advantage of foreigners. If unable to speak Czech then expats should write down their destination to avoid wrong routes as a result of mispronunciation.
It's best to arrange a taxi with a reputable company beforehand – otherwise, if hailing a taxi on the street, use officially registered taxis. These can be identified by their yellow roof lights bearing the word "TAXI". A taxi from a legitimate company will also have the company name, as well as the taxi's licence number and rates, printed on both doors.
Alternatively, rideshare apps such as Uber and Liftago operate in the Czech Republic. Many expats prefer using these apps as it gives them more control over routes and service prices while diminishing language barrier issues.
Air travel in the Czech Republic
There are close to 100 airports in the Czech Republic, six of which are international airports. The main airport is Václav Havel Airport Prague and the country's flagship carrier, Czech Airlines, is based there.
It's possible to travel within the country by plane, but this can be expensive and the country's small size renders it unnecessary.
Driving in Czech Republic
Road signs are mostly in Czech and driving is on the right-hand side of the road. Cars in the Czech Republic must have their lights on at all times. Expats holding an EU driving licence can use it in the process of buying a car. The licence is valid across the whole of the EU. However, drivers from other countries will need a Czech licence as well as a certificate of insurance (‘Green Card’).
Roads in the big cities are in good condition but the trams, narrow streets, and lack of parking might make a journey less than pleasant.
Cycling in Czech Republic
Cycling is more commonly viewed as a sport and recreational activity than as a means of transport in the Czech Republic. Expats used to getting around by bicycle are likely to be disappointed with the lack of cycle-friendly roads and sidewalks, although there are a handful of cycle paths in some public parks. The hilly terrain of the country, and Prague in particular, can also be a challenge for cyclists, along with its picturesque cobblestone sidewalks.
In some cities, there are bicycle-renting schemes where bicycles can be picked up at one location and dropped off at another. Some trains allow bicycles to be brought on board and may even provide bicycle racks for storage.
Expats should note that the country's zero-tolerance policy for drinking and driving extends to cycling.
Walking in Czech Republic
Travelling by foot in the Czech Republic is usually not necessary thanks to its excellent public transport infrastructure.
When crossing the road, keep a sharp eye out for approaching cars or trams, as trams have right of way even at a pedestrian crossing.