The Prague Card (Prague Tourist Card)
What Does It Do?
Basically, for those prepared to do a little planning, it is a money saving way of exploring Prague with free entry to many attractions plus many discounted options.
How Long Is The Prague Card Validity?
The 2, 3, 4 day Prague Card versions are now available from the main city tourist centres. You can also Buy the Prague City Tourist Card Online and collect when you arrive at the airport or tourist offices.
IMPORTANT NOTE (Validity): The moment you collect the card you will be expected to sign it. There is a separate area for the date. You fill in the date of the first day when you intend to use it so then the validity of the card is based on consecutive days, not hours. So be aware that your time starts on that first day and not “x” hours from the time you first started to use it (see the tips and tricks below). So to be clear, if you buy a 2-day card and the first time you use it is any time on Monday, then the card is valid until 2359 on Tuesday.
How Much Does It Cost and Is It Worth It?
Details will be on the site but in general prices will start @46 Euros for a two day ticket for a child rising to @84 Euros for a four day ticket for an adult. It’s worth it so long as you can plan a good route and stick to it.
Does It Include Public Transport?
After February 1st 2019 the Public Transport part is OPTIONAL i.e. you buy it separately if you want it either from the place that sells the Prague Card or just buy the necessary regular DPP passes to cover your stay. If you are 60 or over then check the Exploring Prague Over 60 post because you can get discounted/free transport.
How Does It Work?
You can buy the Prague Card at any tourist information point. You decide the duration of the card. You’ll get a “chip-card” which you will use to enter attractions for the duration of the card. You’ll get an info-map showing attraction locations and you’ll be advised to download the CoolPass app for specific information about attractions. You then simply go to an attraction and at the ticket office you give them the card. They check it’s valid and give it back to you. If it’s FREE then you go in. If it’s discounted then you pay the difference and then go in. Pretty simple.
Who would use it?
Prague Card Primary offers: Most offers are free entry with a few tourist discounts and mostly to Museums, Galleries and main attractions but it is expanding more into “tour” discounts and transfer discounts etc.
Possible user: Primarily somebody on a long weekend trip who wants to visit the whole of the Prague Castle complex and the major museums/galleries on a free-entry basis. Somebody who is not bothered about using public transport but, wants it as an option. See the Prague card test lower down the page.
Tips and Tricks For Using Prague Card
- Start your first day as early in the morning as possible to make full use of the card.
- Spend time planning your route BEFORE you activate the card. Some attractions open early, others close late so you need to understand what you can fit into any given day. You’ll make savings by visiting a lot of places for a short amount of time. Be realistic about how much time you will want to spend at any given place.
- Separate “FREE” from “DISCOUNTED” so you know when you will need to pay something extra.
- Try to avoid using the card on Mondays as that is the day of the week when many museums close.
- This is not Skip the Line in that you still need to queue for the ticket office at any attraction because, as you’ll find below, your card has to be validated for that attraction.
- Carry some kind of ID.
I was aiming to recreate an average tourist user which meant visiting a concentrated list of main tourist attractions areas including the castle, some scenic points, galleries and museums etc. I was not intending to do any parachuting or doing tours so I didn’t want to be paying for tourist discounts that I would never use. The other main reason was that I hate carrying around a pocket full of small change so I went for the primarily “free entry” Prague Card options (you’ll find this out when you keep having to fish out between 10kc and 50kc in small coins because the tourist attraction cashier “doesn’t have change for a note”).
How I used my Prague Card:
This test was a long time ago but the rules are still the same i.e. lots of places and a little time in each. I did not buy the optional 3 day public transport pass. I was only interested in the “free-entry” tourist attraction options and that is primarily why I bought this Prague card. I decided on a fairly standard tourist route i.e. a fair selection of Prague’s Top Attractions (Petrin, Prague Castle, Mala Strana, Charles Bridge, Old Town, New Town). I started at Petrin Tower (100kc) and mirror maze (50kc). I walked over to Strahov Monastery and then over to the castle where the card is valid for route B (250kc). I went in St Vitus Cathedral, Old Royal Palace, St Georges Basilica and Golden Lane. I walked back to the front of the castle and over to Sternberg Palace (150kc). I walked down the hill into Mala Strana and to the St Nicholas Church (100kc) then over to the Charles Bridge towers (95kc each). The Prague Card had now paid for itself. I walked to the Old Town Square town hall (250kc) then over to the Stone Bell house (90kc). After lunch I went in the Fine Arts Museum (50kc) and then went up to the National Museum in Wenceslas Square (150kc but, does not include special exhibitions). I only used it for one day and it had paid for itself within 6 hours. I imagine if you sat down and made a plan, that you could see a lot for free in a long weekend. I see no reason to buy the travel pass if you plan your route well.
You can Buy the Prague City Tourist Card Online and collect when you arrive at the airport or tourist offices. Just plan it well.