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A train on an Ex service has arrived at Praha hl.n station

Czechia by train

This guide to taking trains within and to/from Czechia (The Czech Republic) will tell you the less obvious things that are worth knowing about the tickets, the trains and the stations.

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The Prague to Decin route is the most scenic Czech rail journey The Prague to Decin route is the most scenic Czech rail journey
Restaurants are available on the EC trains Restaurants are available on the EC trains
Rail history beautifully restored at Prague's main station Rail history beautifully restored at Prague's main station
The ticket office at the main station in Prague The ticket office at the main station in Prague

Introducing Czech rail travel:

Exploring Czechia/The Czech Republic by rail is highly recommended as all of the country's most beautiful towns and cities are connected by train.

Czechia has no high speed lines, but many of the trains are smart and comfortable, the trains used on RJ and SC services have a wow factor and many of the other express trains used for EC and IC services have been refurbished.
New trains are also gradually being introduced on the Regional services and routes.

Compared to Western Europe, the train tickets are generally great value for money; so hop on board, particularly as more often than not, you won't be spending more than the equivalent of an extra €5 if you book last minute at the station.
A last minute ticket booked at the station for a 3hr journey on a very smart Railjet train can cost the equivalent of only €15!

If you would like help with planning a train journey within or to/from The Czech Republic, or want to add some Czech destinations to a European train travel itinerary, take a look at ShowMeTheJourney's new Concierge Service.

Temporary Covid 19 changes:

CD is the Czech national rail operator and its Covid 19 on board information page for travellers is available here; it's particularly worth paying attention to the specific types of face coverings, which are currently mandatory.

Domestic Train service changes:

All express trains services within The Czech Republic have now resumed as have the on-board catering services.

International services:

The entry requirements into other countries when travelling on international trains can be looked up here

All international daytime services have resumed, as have all overnight services with the exception of the direct sleeping cars to Russia.

Good to know about the trains:

Th seven things worth knowing re: train travel within and from/to The Czech Republic:

(1) The national rail operator in Czechia/The Czech Republic is České dráhy (CD).

(2) The four main rail routes in Czechia are:

  • Praha - Pardubice - Olomouc - Ostrava
  • Praha - Pardubice - Brno
  • Praha <> Plzen
  • Praha <> Decin

and CD operates trains which depart at least once an hour on these routes, but on other long-distance routes, trains every other hour can be the norm.
So it's worth looking up the departure times on the CD website before heading off to catch your train, even if you will be buying tickets at the station.

(3) On some long distance routes to/from Prague/Praha (including the Praha – Kosice, Praha - Ostrava and Praha - Brno routes) other private train operators compete with CD trains.
The main competitors to CD are Regiojet and Leo Express.

So it can be possible to save money and time by comparing the prices and times of all the trains on these routes.
The best method of comparing the cheapest prices AND assessing all the ticket options, is to look up the journeys on the respective websites of each of the train service operators.

(4) Other operators and not CD provide some of the local train routes in Czechia, including these routes popular with tourists:

  • Ceske Budejovice <> Ceske Krumlov
  • Plzen <> Most
  • Cheb <> Frantiskovy Lazne.

(5) Express trains operated by CD include:

  • Supercity (SC) tilting trains (of the Pendolino class of trains)
  • Railjet trains, used on the Praha – Pardubice - Brno – Breclav route (these trains continue beyond Breclav to/from Wien and Graz in Austria)
  • Ex trains - the coaches which have yet to be refurbished tend to be used on these slower long-distance services.
  • IC trains - now modernised and particularly comfortable (also used for some of the international EC train services from/to The Czech Republic).

A few IC services, on routes they share with the international EC trains, also convey restaurant cars, which have an excellent reputation, for reasonably priced, quality meals.

Those tilting 'Pendolino' trains are also used for IC services in the Praha - Plzen route.

(6) International EC trains, most of which are operated by České dráhy (CD), can travel long distances within Czechia/The Czech Republic.
And on these journeys from Praha to Decin, Brno and Ostrava, the ticketing terms are the same as on the IC services.
CD tends to use its updated coaches for these trains, but the big plus of travelling by the EC trains is that they convey restaurant cars.

(7) The trains which stop at all stations on a route are the 'Os' services.

Exterior of a Regiojet train Exterior of a Regiojet train
A SuperCity train A SuperCity train
An EC (EuroCity) train operated by CD An EC (EuroCity) train operated by CD
A Railjet train operated by the Czech national rail operator, CD A Railjet train operated by the Czech national rail operator, CD

Train ticket summary:

CD's generally excellent ticket booking website has now been fully translated into English.

Even though you will only typically be saving at most the equivalent of only €5, by booking tickets for Czech journeys on trains operated by CD online, buying tickets on the website can be simpler than trying to book in person with a ticket clerk, who may not speak English.
Though journeys by the slower 'Os' services aren't sold on the CD website.

When making train journeys in Czechia/The Czech Republic, limited numbers of advance discounted, known as 'Bound' tickets are only available on these routes:

  • Prague ↔ Olomouc
  • Prague ↔ Ostrava region / Zlín region
  • Prague ↔ Brno
  • Prague ↔ Hradec Králové
  • Prague ↔ Plzeň
  • Prague ↔ České Budějovice
  • Brno ↔ Olomouc
  • Brno ↔ Prostějov
  • Brno ↔ Uherské Hradiště
  • Brno ↔ Zlín

The CD website also sells tickets for direct international trains from/to The Czech Republic (and some journeys which require a change of train) and it tends to offer competitive prices for these journeys.

Seat reservations:

Reservations are compulsory on the SuperCity (SC) trains, but are optional on all other long distance trains operated by CD within Czechia - and on the EC trains for journeys within Czechia.

They are also mandatory when travelling to Poland by EC train, but not on the EC trains to Germany and Hungary and Slovakia - or on the Railjet (RJ) services to Austria.
Though they are recommended on the EC trains between The Czech Republic and Germany.

Child tickets:

On CD's trains within Czechia children aged 5 and under travel for free and Children aged 6 – 15 travel at half-fare.

For travel on a Saturday or Sunday CD sells Group Weekend Tickets and these can be a great deal when travelling with kids, because up to three children aged under 15 can travel with up to two adults, with the entire party being covered by the one ticket.

A Group Weekend ticket, a 'Skupinová víkendová jízdenka', which entitles the users to travel for a whole day anywhere in the Czech Republic, on any train costs only CSK 679 = approximately €27.
Regional Group Weekend tickets are also available at cheaper prices.

So when travelling with children at weekends check at the ticket office whether one of these tickets will save you money.

Bike tickets:

Tickets are required if you want take a standard (non-folding) bicycle on to a train.

Using rail passes:

Eurail and InterRail passes can be used for journeys in Czechia on trains operated by CD - and now ALSO on the Leo Express and RegioJet trains.

The Ticket For Summer

The national rail operator CD sells a national rail pass, the Ticket For Summer / the Jízdenka na léto, which can be used for unlimited travel on any of its trains between July 1 and Aug 31st for periods of 7 days or 14 days.

It's great value for money, it's cheaper than one country Eurail and InterRail passes, and can be booked online or at stations - the basic price for a 7 day pass is CSK 790 = approx €31 and the basic price is of the 14 day pass is CSK 1190 = approx €47.
The only additional extra costs will be the compulsory seat reservations if you want to travel on a SuperCity train, but they're easily avoided.

The Ticket For Summer is valid only in 2nd class, but if you want to travel in 1st class on a particular journey, you can purchase a 1st class upgrade at a ticket counter.

However to book this pass online you need to use the special tickets page on the Czech language version of the CD website - you're looking for the 'Jízdenka na léto' ticket.
Slelect the 'zakladni' basic price, choose 7 days or 14 days and use the calendar to select the first day on which you want to use your pass - and then click the 'Koupit' button.
Then on the page you are taken to, translate it into English, using the flags at the top right of the page.

Leave the mobile number box blank as CD can't seemingly handle the input of international; mobile numbers.

Or you can pick up the 'Ticket For Summer' at the ticket counter when you arrive in the Czech Republic.

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Praha / Prague / Prag

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Praha / Prague / Prag to Bratislava by train
Praha / Prague / Prag to Brno by train
Praha / Prague / Prag to Budapest by train
Praha / Prague / Prag to České Budějovice / Ceske Budejovice by train
Praha / Prague / Prag to Dresden by train
Praha / Prague / Prag to Frantiskovy Lazne by train
Praha / Prague / Prag to Hamburg by train
Praha / Prague / Prag to Karlovy Vary by train
Praha / Prague / Prag to Košice / Kosice by train
Praha / Prague / Prag to Kraków / Krakow / Cracow by train
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Praha / Prague / Prag to Mariánské Lázně / Marianske Lazne by train
Praha / Prague / Prag to München / Munich by train
Praha / Prague / Prag to Oloumuc by train
Praha / Prague / Prag to Plzeň / Plzen by train
Praha / Prague / Prag to Warszawa / Warsaw by train
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