Where do I pay for the tickets?
Generally, if you board a long-distance or an intercity bus, you pay the fare to the driver. If you are only going on a short trip, you may also need to pay the driver to get your ticket, but this is mostly common in smaller towns and villages. In large cities (Prague, Brno, and Pilsen) with integrated public transport, you have to buy tickets in advance. This ticket is then valid on almost all forms of transport in the given city as well as in the neighboring fare zones.
Fare prices may vary according to the type of transport and the age of the passenger. Students under the age of 26 with appropriate documentation – such as the ISIC student card or the Student ID card – are entitled to a 50% discount on fares throughout the Czech Republic. When traveling between cities, it is worth buying a ticket in advance. You can easily book a seat on a train or long-distance bus – sometimes even for free.
Prague: City of convenient connections
In the capital of the Czech Republic, public transport runs almost non-stop. Prague is the only Czech city with an underground railway system. It has three routes and three transfer stations. Trams and buses also have their night lines which usually run every 30 minutes.
You can buy tickets from ticket machines, newsagents, or via an SMS. At selected ticket offices, you can also purchase a long-term ticket, i.e., the so-called Lítačka or a subscription coupon. If you opt for a one-time ticket, don’t forget to mark it in the validator. In the subway, you will find the validators at the entrance, and in buses and trams, they are usually located on the handrails.
Find up-to-date information about Prague transport on the Prague Transport Company website, which is available in Czech and English.
Brno: Travel by a “šalina”!
Transport in Brno is integrated into the transport system of the South Moravian Region and consists mainly of trams and buses. Trams are called “šaliny” in the Brno dialect and if you want to pre-pay the fare, you can use the so-called “šalinkarta”.
A 15 or 60-minute ticket is sufficient for trips around Brno (in zones 100 and 101). Just like in Prague, you can buy tickets from newsagents or ticket machines, but if you don’t come across either of those, you can also pay by card directly at the “šalina” – and if your journey takes less than 15 minutes, you’ll get a partial refund.
The website of the Integrated Transport System of the South Moravian Region or the POSEIDON mobile app will make your travels around Brno much easier. More practical information about Brno transport can be found on the website for tourists.
Pilsen: A card not only for the tram, but also for the canteen or the library
Pilsen is mainly associated with the iconic trolleybuses, but you can also ride a bus or a tram in this West Bohemian city.
On all public transport, you can pay with a contactless card at the yellow payment terminals. You can also buy physical tickets from newsagents and ticket machines. In addition, since May 2004, residents of the city can obtain the Plzeňská karta, the use of which goes far beyond public transport. It can be used to pay parking fees or to buy food in school canteens, and it also works as a library card or as a discount card within the bonus program of the Pilsen Municipal Transport Company. If you prefer not to overfill your wallet, you can download a virtual version of the card in the form of a mobile app.
Updates regarding the public transport can be found on the official website of Pilsen city transport.