Every time I come home from university, I opt to take the longer route home: 16 tram stops, 1 transfer, and a few walking and waiting in between. I know it sounds so impractical when I could just hop on Metro C and get home after 3 stops, but that’s no fun! I enjoy taking the tram home cause I get to do a little sightseeing of the different neighborhoods we have in Prague (Nusle is home, but Vinohrady is my favorite!:))
So far I prefer the metro in Vienna, London, and Istanbul compared to San Francisco. I definitely see why European public transportation is much preferred than American ones. Everything’s just more colorful, efficient, even a smidge cleaner! Prague’s public transportation system is no different. Trams and buses have schedules, arriving every 8 minutes or so. Keep in mind that the schedule is different on the weekends. All exchange students are adviced to purchase a transportation card or an Open Card. A monthly pass only costs around $12 for students. You can also purchase a 3-month pass, which should last for the whole semester. Of course, there’s your basic cars and bikes, but commuting by public transportation is very popular here.
First, there’s the underground Metro with lines A, B, and C. Perhaps the easiest and fastest option to get you anywhere around Prague. The hlavní nádraží or main station is the closest stop to the university. It’s only about a 7 minute walk to campus, although you can take the tram and get off on the next stop.
Then there’s the tramvaj or the tram which can be found in every block. Most of the exchange students live in the dorms, so taking the tram is the only option. It takes about 15 minutes for tram 9 to take you all the way to campus. The university is only 2 stops away from Wenceslas Square, so many students go to the center in between classes. Once the clock strikes (around) 12 midnight, trams are replaced by night trams. I’m sure you’ll experience taking the night tram after your first Nation2Nation party.
Lastly, we have the bus. Nothing too glamourous, but still efficient. I mostly see them running on the outskirts of the city. I don’t think I’ve ever been on the bus except when going to the airport. Buses 100 and 119 are the only lines that take you straight to the airport, so don’t look for the nearest Metro. Keep this in mind cause i’m sure you’ll be doing a ton of traveling once you get here.
So, I think that covers everything you need to know about commuting in Prague. For the most part, it’s been good and I really like it. It’s not like in San Francisco where you hear too many stories of people doing crazy things on the MUNI. Here, everyone’s quite polite and minds their own business. Even the night tram is pretty safe. Just make sure you’re bundled up, cause waiting for the 58 at 4am is not fun!!!