If you are landing at Vaclav Havel Prague Airport and not sure of the ideal way to get into the city centre, we have put together all the acceptable alternatives and our recommendations. Prague is famously known for its dubious cab drivers but also has good public transport and a few fantastic private shuttle companies. With our advice, transport from the airport won’t be stressful.
Prague Airport is situated about 17 kilometers from the city center. It takes about 25 to 30 minutes to get there when there is no traffic. If you travel further and travel in traffic, the journey can take up to 60 minutes. The rush hours are usually during working days in the morning from 7am to 10am and in the late afternoon from 4pm to 7pm. During those rush hours it is a good idea to add 20 minutes to your travel time.
Out of all options, we also don’t recommend taking a public airport taxi because for the same and even very often much lower price you can get a much better service with a private transfer or Uber Black.
Prague Airport Transfers focus on private airport pickups and all their drivers are hand-picked and well-trained. For a slightly cheaper price than an airport taxi, €22, you will get a private professional driver with excellent English and knowledge of Prague. The driver will be also waiting for you with a welcome sign at the terminal lobby for up to 60 minutes at no extra charge. If the flight is delayed or arriving early, your driver will be monitoring the flight schedule and will manage pickup accordingly. The best thing is you will land and go right away with no waiting as your car is always ready. The service has excellent ratings. Just Google ‘Prague Airport Transfers sro’.
UBER or Bolt
The second recommended option is taking an Uber or Bolt. Uber is now a reliable service which is becoming much more popular than regular taxis. Uber drivers are usually waiting within a 5-minute distance of the airport, so the waiting times are short. But during peak times it can take up to 15 minutes before a car arrives. The cost with UberX is just around €15. For UberX you get assigned mostly smaller compact cars, which are fine for max. four travellers with two bags (for comfort with bags recommended only for two travellers). For Uber Select, you get ordinary larger cars, most fine for four passengers with three bags, and the price is slightly higher than Uber X. Uber Black is for luxury rides with a professional driver, where you get assigned cars like Audi A6 or Mercedes E-class for a price of approx. €35. The disadvantage of using Uber or Bolt compared to Prague Airport Transfers is you need to wait for your car and sometimes chase it in the parking lot. It is important to note that the drivers’ quality as well as vehicle models vary significantly, but the highest risk is that prices may go up during the rush hours and sometimes you will end up paying more for an old, small car compared to the classic taxi. Bolt offers similar pricing to Uber but only two car types: Bolt and Comfort. Pricing and cars are very similar to UBER. Most drivers work for both applications.
If saving money is important and travel time and comfort are not top priorities, the cheapest option to get from Prague Airport is by public transport, which is very cost-effective and quite easy to use. The bus stops are in front of each terminal (just follow bus signs). A single ticket valid for 90 minutes costs 32 CZK (about €1,30) and is transferable – meaning you can use it for the bus, tram or metro. If you carry larger bags like suitcases, you might need an extra ticket, which costs half of the price of your ordinary ticket 16 CZK. Most convenient is bus no. 119, which terminates at Nádraží Veleslavín and from there you can transfer to metro line A, in the direction of the Depo Hostivař. According to the address where you need to go, you might continue to downtown and get off either at Malostranská (Lesser Town), Staroměstská (Old Town) or at Můstek (New Town). The bus goes in intervals every 6 to 8 minutes and operates from 4:23 am to 23:42 pm every day. Another option is to take the bus no. 100, which goes to Zlíčín (metro line B), or bus number 191 which goes directly to Anděl in Smíchov district.
There is also an AE (Airport Express) bus which links the airport and main train station in just 35 minutes. The bus stop is at the parking lot right in front of Terminal 1. If you are arriving at Terminal 2, you need to walk about 5 to 7 minutes to Terminal 1. Tickets cost 60 CZK (about €2,50). The AE bus operates at 15- to 30-minute intervals from 5:30am to 22:00pm, daily. You can use this bus even if you are not connecting to the train and just transfer to the metro (line C). The train station is not far from Wenceslas Square and you can even consider 10 to 12 minutes’ walking.
A good compromise between a cheap public transportation and a private car might be a shared shuttle bus. It costs just €12 per person (€19 for group of 2 persons) and will get you from the airport directly to your hotel or apartment address. But if you are traveling with more than 2 individuals, you probably won’t save much, and a taxi or Uber might represent better value. There is also a cheaper version of this shuttle bus that costs just €5.50 per person, but it only goes to the city center (Narodní třída). The two shuttles are very comfortable, typically a Mercedes Benz minibus with air conditioning and comfortable seats. The journey takes from 30 to 60 minutes depending on the amount of traffic and the number of stops.
If you planning to rent a car for your stay in Prague, it makes sense to arrange rental at Prague Airport. Opposite Terminal 1, next to the Marriot hotel, you will find the P COMFORT building with various rental companies like SIXT, Hertz, Avis Car Rental and Budget Car Rental, along with a few local ones like Dvořák Rent a Car or Czechocar Car Rental. Offices are open from 8:00am to 22:00pm. This option makes sense only if you are planning to use a car for driving outside of Prague, otherwise due to the parking restrictions in the city center and often traffic, it doesn’t make much sense.
Yellow Regiojet bues have a stop at Terminal 1. They offer routes between the airport and Hradčanská stop in Prague 6. Due to the 1-hour intervals they are not the best options for connecting to the city center, but they are very useful if you are travelling to other cities from Prague Airport.