A bit of metro help?

Discussion in 'Travel Tips & Advice' started by rrc, Mar 20, 2006.

  1. rrc

    rrc Active Member

    Disclaimer: This is a pretty involved set of questions. I’m sorry.. just any help would be appreciated. Also, I visited www.dp-praha.cz already but would like some clarification..

    I will be moving to Prague at the end of April for a job. My biggest fear is surviving the first week. To that end, I need to:

    a) buy a one year unlimited metro pass

    b) use that pass to get from my flat to the office and back

    Now from the airport I assume I'm going to take AAA taxi (or another none-ripoff variant) to the flat. I also assume I'll take a taxi to buy the metro pass. So first question:

    What do I need to bring to the metro place, and where is it in relation to my flat (see below)? It would be great if I could walk to it..

    As for using it, I'd heard the biggest problem is people not "punching" the ticket before boarding the train.. that until it's punched it's not valid and you can get screwed by officials whose only English is "500 or police". So second question:

    What is all this punching business? I've read the instructions on www.dp-praha.cz but am still a bit confused.. you only do it once, forever? and how do I take a metro from:

    Apartment 20, Nosicka 18, Praha 10 ? Strasnice, 100 00


    Vaclavske namesti 11, 110 00 Praha 1

    And back?

    I’ve read it’s not complicated, but I also would like to be as prepared as possible.

    Lastly, I won’t have a working cell phone until I manage to get a plan set up over there (I’m thinking Vodafone) yet in the beginning I’ll be needing a taxi to run errands.. yet I won’t have a phone to call them. I’m scared to just flag one down because I’d read many horror stories. Any advice? I’ll try to look for the ones with “AAA” written on them.. will they be easy to find?

    Thank you all VERY much!
  2. Zeisig

    Zeisig Well-Known Member

    To survive the first week I suggest you to buy 7-day pass (280 Kč) or better 15-day pass (320 Kč) at the airport and to buy the long-term pass later (as there are more possibilities).

    From the airport you can use the public transport: bus 119 and metro A to the station Strašnická (cca 45 min.).
  3. Dana

    Dana Well-Known Member

    You can't do that in April. The DPP system is pretty screwy in this respect. They only let you buy a yearly pass for the calendar year (Jan. 1 - Dec. 31). You can't buy a yearly pass anytime and simply have it valid for one year from the date of purchase. Why? I have no clue. I was pretty mad last year when I came to the ticket office in March to buy a yearly pass (I was using quarterly passes before that) and was told that I can't and have to wait for nine months to buy one! I had to continue buying quarterly passes for the rest of the year, which is inconvenient and more expensive. By the way, you can buy a quarterly pass ANYTIME during the year and have it valid for 90 days from the date of purchase. You can't do the same with a yearly pass. The DPP doesn't want your money upfront for a year. Just one of those absurdities.

    You don't need to take a taxi to buy the metro pass. Why not buy a few individual tram/metro tickets before you get your (quarterly) pass? You can also take the bus and metro from the airport if you don't have too much luggage. Just take bus 119 from the airport to Dejvická metro and then take the metro to Strašnická. Very easy and it'll cost you 20 CZK. More at www.myczechrepublic.com/prague/airport_transportation.html. Watch out for pickpockets at the Dejvická metro station! They target tourists traveling from the airport there.

    You can buy a season ticket at many metro stations including metro Strašnická, which is within walking distance from your place. Opening hours: 6:30 a.m. - noon, 1 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. However, if you want to pay with a credit card, you have to go all the way to the main DPP ticket-selling office at Na Bojišti street near the I. P. Pavlova metro station (line C). The ticket offices at the metro stations are not set up to accept credit cards. If I remember correctly, the things you need to have with you to pick up your first season ticket are:
    - this form filled out in ALL CAPS - you can supposedly print it out from that page on your computer and fill it out at home. Otherwise the forms are available at any ticket office.
    - one current photo sized 3,5 cm x 4,5 cm (an ID-size photo)
    - money for the pass

    This only relates to individual, single-use tickets (those that cost 14 CZK or 20 CZK), not to season tickets. If you're traveling with a single-use ticket, you must punch it once you get on the tram/bus or as you enter the metro station to give it a time stamp. You don't punch a season ticket. A season ticket is simply valid for the time period you buy it for. More at www.myczechrepublic.com/prague/tickets_fares.html.

    Walk to Strašnická metro station. Get on a train that's going in the direction of Dejvická. Go six stops and get off at Můstek. You'll come out on Wenceslas Square.

    Again, why taxi? I live in Prague, don't have a car and never take a taxi. People take public transport to get everywhere. It's excellent, cheap and can even be faster. I absolutely wouldn't flag down a taxi on the street. You can call AAA from a pay phone, either using coins or a prepaid phone card. More at www.myczechrepublic.com/basics/telecommunications.html.

    Good luck!

  4. Zeisig

    Zeisig Well-Known Member

    The short-term passes (1,3,7,15 days) must be punched, too. It is maybe the problem.

    For the case you are curious, the yellow boxes in trams (etc.) contain small needle printers with an inked ribbon, which print date and time (+ some codes). From this time point the ticket is valid for the relevant time slot (exactly). After exspiration you must punch another ticket immediately (which can be problematic in the metro trains).

    I still recommend you to buy the short-term ticket, to punch it in the bus and to get some time for buying the season ticket.
  5. rrc

    rrc Active Member

    This is a TON of help! Thank you all VERY much! From what you said, I definitely think I'll be TRYING to use public transport over the taxis.

    The reason why I was so into taxis is because I can't afford to screw up on my first week of work - bad impression. I even managed to get lost trying to use the DC metro for the first time in my life.. and that's all in English AND one of the easiest metros around too!

    Am I allowed to carry two big suitcases and one carry-on onto the bus? I'd LOVE to take the bus and save 500Kc+

    So it looks like at the airport I will buy a 7-day short-term pass, punch it on the bus, get to my flat. Then 6 days later before work I'll walk to Strašnická station (with cash and photo) and buy a 90 day pass. From what Dana and Zeisig said I don't have to punch this 90 pass thing. Okay.. whew

    Again, thank you to everyone.. I'm much less nervous now. I'm sure after the first day or two I'll get a better handle on the public transport system.
  6. Zeisig

    Zeisig Well-Known Member

    You are allowed to carry only ONE big object (bigger than 25x45x70 cm) for free, so you must buy an additional ticket (10 Kč) for every additional big object. The ticket is valid for max. 240 min. and must be punched, too.
  7. gementricxs

    gementricxs Well-Known Member

    You can 3 luggages at maximum and weight af all 3 together have to be 50kg at most. And it's for free. But if some of your luggage is bigger than 25x45x70cm you had to buy special ticket for it.
  8. Zeisig

    Zeisig Well-Known Member

    If you have a short-term pass, you are allowed to carry 1 "big" object (but not "too big", of course) for free.

    Also I think that I can carry more than 3 small packets or bags.

    Such rules and regulations are usually confusing.
  9. magan

    magan Well-Known Member

    Believe me, you will have no problems with public transportation. You will LOVE it like everyone else.

    Taxi drivers cannot be trusted. Especially those standing in front of the airport. AAA are English speaking, but you have to phone them. They are not in front of the Arrivals but standing near by. You can ask operator how much it will (approximately) cost. They are only taxi which I trust.

    NEVER catch taxi on the street, there is no limit how much they will charge you - they will know how clueless you are.

    Public transportation is very easy - three month pass is great bargan and for all city transportation: trams, Metro, buses even lift up the Petrin Hill. You will have time to practice before you go to work.

    When are you coming to Prague?
  10. Dana

    Dana Well-Known Member

    Yes, you're right, sorry.

    Rob, if you have so much luggage, you may want to take a taxi. It sounds like it would be a pain trying to carry all that luggage to the bus, on the metro and then home from the metro station. The AAA taxis are not allowed (I think) to park right outside the terminal. Their stand is very close to the exit from the arrivals terminal. Actually there's a new terminal now, so I'm not quite sure where you'll come out. But if you call AAA, the operator will tell you exactly where their taxi stand is and it's for sure going to be easy to find.

  11. rrc

    rrc Active Member

    > You are allowed to carry only ONE big object (bigger than 25x45x70 cm) for free, so you must buy an additional ticket (10 Kč) for every additional big object.

    I will make sure to buy an additional ticket along with my 7-day pass.. that should cover my second large suitcase. Maybe I'll buy a second additional ticket for my carry-on just in case..

    > When are you coming to Prague?

    I fly out April 28th at 8pm from Philadelphia. I get to London the next day, kill 5 hours waiting for my connecting flight, then get to Prague at 5pm or so on Sunday.

    I actually have my first day of work the next day. This is why I'm a bit nevous, because I won't be able to "have time to practice before you go to work." as you mentioned. That's why I'm so appreciative of the exact route help that you guys provided for me!
  12. rrc

    rrc Active Member


    That is a pretty good point. A big problem for me now is that I don't know how heavy these suitcases will be; I have yet to decide what stays and goes with me. I also forgot there's a bit of a walk from the metro to the flat.

    It says on this website that I can expect to pay about 600 Kc, $25 for the ride. I suppose that isn't too bad considering how much trouble it will save.

    Well at least now I have options! I know how to take the bus/metro if I decide to do that, and I know all the taxi info if I decide to use that.

    One thing is for sure: this move is going to be crazy!
  13. Zeisig

    Zeisig Well-Known Member

    Every move is crazy and every change is a change for the worse. After all mom is the best woman and Fatherland is the best country in the world, so why to leave them?. :wink:
  14. magan

    magan Well-Known Member

    rrc you can buy almost everything in Prague, expecially toiletries, so don't take stuff like shampoo, soap.... you can buy it in Prague. Also electric toohbrush and stuff like that wouldn't work. Have suitcase on good size wheels.
  15. there is a new ticket office at the airport, where you can buy the monthly, quarterly passes, ie from 28th for 30 days. take the bus/metro and taxi from strasnicka metro, extra 100Kc. have the czech cash and passport size photo with form ready. good luck.its easy

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