“Prague’s inexpensive and efficient transport system is the best way to move around the city. It is run by Dopravní podnik Prahy (DP) , and the network includes the metro, trams, buses and the funicular railway (lanovka), which carries passengers from Újezd in the Lesser Town to the top of Petrín Hill. Public transport is an integrated 24-hour system.
Tickets (jízdenky) must be purchased in advance and stamped on entering trams and buses and the transport area of the metro. These are valid for all forms of public transport and can be purchased at station ticket machines, most tobacconists, information centres and any shops displaying the red and yellow DP sticker. Travel passes valid for 24 hours, three days, one week and 15 days are also available.
Dishonest taxi drivers are the blight of Prague, and the authorities wage a constant crusade against the droves of dodgy cabbies. With a current estimation that one in two journeys is overcharged, here are some tips on how to avoid being ripped-off: use a reputable company such as AAA (tel: 2223 33222); avoid cabs waiting outside stations and major tourist attractions; make sure your taxi is legally registered; a permanent yellow roof lamp should be fixed and the company name, licence number and rates should be printed on both front doors; try to ascertain the fare price before getting into the cab; make sure that the rate on the taximeter corresponds to the price list posted in the car; and remember that if a driver refuses to give you a printed receipt, you can refuse to pay the fare.
Motorists in Prague must always give way to buses and trams, and it’s worth remembering that at night the traffic lights controlling some junctions turn to “flashing orange”, meaning nobody has right of way. Much of the historic centre has been pedestrianised to discourage driving, and parking availability is a problem here and throughout the city. There are three parking zones – orange for stays of up to two hours, green for stays up to six hours and blue for residents only. Park and Ride lots (signed P+R) have been set up near metro stations around the city; they are secure and charge a flat rate.
Car hire is expensive in Prague and not really practical for anything other than for trips out of town. Clients must be over 21 years and must have held a full driving licence for at least a year. A valid national driving licence, an International Driving Permit, a passport and a credit card for the deposit are required. Car hire prices generally include collision-damage waiver, theft protection and third-party
Bicycle hire and group tours of Prague are available in the summer from City Bike, Králodvorská 5 , located not far from the Old Town Square. Passport or ID is used as a deposit. Booking is possible through the website.”