Czech Your Surroundings – Navigating Prague
Prague is a winding city with fairy tale-like cobblestone roads and beautiful, colorful buildings, easy to get lost in. Here’s how to navigate.
On a map, Prague looks like an average sized city. However, looks really can be deceiving. As I learned in my first few days here, most of the city is easily walkable. Prague 1 especially, which is great since this is where a majority of the amazing historical sites can be found. While at times the cobblestones can be a bit precarious, since they get super slippery in the rain and there are often loose or missing stones, walking is a great way to get around. There are plenty of unique landmarks to use as a guide. Every time I thought I was lost, I’d turn a corner and recognize something. The best one to know if you get lost is the Vltava river, since it runs right through the middle of Prague. To find it, just ask “kde je řeka vltava“ and you’ll be pointed in the right direction. It’s also helpful to download an off-line Prague map on Google Maps for directions on-the-go without eating up a lot of data.
The Prague trams are one of the most efficient public transportation systems I’ve had to pleasure of using. One downside to this efficiency is that if you’re not standing at the tram-stop as it pulls up, then you will miss the tram. However, another one should be there in just a few minutes. They also do not like to stop for pedestrians, so it’s usually worth it to wait for a crossing light. From where I live in Prague 1, there are three trams that go to the stop closest to AAU, called Malostranska. Another helpful stop to know is Narodni Trida, which will take you to a mall with a Tesco.
One important tip is to make sure you take a tram heading in the correct direction. You can double check yourself with the electronic stop list on board. At each stop, a voice announces (in Czech) the name of your stop, and the name of the next stop – so make sure you don’t accidentally get off a stop early like I did once. Apps like Google Maps and DPP and IDOS can tell what tram to take and what time it will arrive at your stop. If you need to get around at night, there are night trams that run from midnight to 4:30 am. These will be different tram numbers and more infrequent, but it means you’ll never be stuck anywhere.
If you need to get somewhere fast, the Metro is a good option. It operates from 5:00 am until midnight. Metro stations are where you can purchase tickets which can also be used for trams and busses. There are three lines, t he A,B and C, and they each have a connection with each other. The metro also has a Malostranska stop.
If all else fails, useful phrases include: “Prosim vas” (excuse me), “nemluvím česky” (I don’t speak Czech), “Promiňte“ (I’m sorry), “mluvíš anglicky?“ (do you speak English?) and “Kde jsem?“ (where am I?)
Uber also exists in the Czech Republic and is fairly cheap. With all of these options, it’s very difficult to get lost in Prague
Lindsay G. is the Spring 2018 MOJO Blogger in Prague, Czech Republic. She is currently a Junior studying Screenwriting at Chapman University.