Using Prague Prague Park and Ride Facilities (and other overnight parking options)
There are several “Park and Ride” car parks around the outskirts of Prague (as shown on the DPP website). They open 0400-0100. You can get up to date info on sites with Free spaces at http://en.tsk-praha.cz/wps/portal. Its the cheapest method of parking in the city for less than 7 days with a day costing CZK20 and a night costing CZK100. Just for your info, I use the terminology COVERED/OPEN/GUARDED/PATROLLED. All P&R close at night so after that time the location is locked/fenced and monitored by cameras which I call GUARDED. The P&Rs built into shopping centres are part of the building and have greater security as well as getting regular security visits which is what I call PATROLLED. COVERED is internal parking and OPEN is not. This is how the Prague P&R system works.
VIDEO: The process of entering, paying for same-day parking and exiting is now on my video guide to using Prague P&R https://youtu.be/9TCzeJLAho4
Coming from the South (Austria and Brno)
Chodov Park and Ride – COVERED/PATROLLED (south Prague on the D1 motorway towards Brno and Vienna) is accessed by the lower entry next to the motorway. If coming from Brno you get off at Sporilov and turn off as if you are going to the MOL petrol station. Sty to the right and you join a two lane road. Go under the bridge and turn left at the traffic lights. The P&R is the SECOND entry on your right. It’s part of a shopping centre so all locked up and patrolled 24/7. Transfer to town by Metro.
Opatov Park and Ride – OPEN/PATROLLED. (south Prague on the D1 motorway towards Brno and Vienna) is accessed by exiting D1 at Junction 2b Opatov/Haje and following signs for Opatov. AFTER the traffic lights stay in the right lane and take the next right. The P&R entry is now on your left. Transfer to town by Metro next to the P&R.
Coming from the North (Germany Berlin/Dresden)
Letnany Park and Ride – COVERED/PATROLLED (North East Prague at the base of D8). Just follow the signs for Letnany shopping centre or “Tesco” at the time of writing. You’ll see the P&R signs as you get closer. Transfer to Town by Metro.
Holesovice Park and Ride – OPEN/GUARDED – (next to the metro/train station). WARNING…..Do not park in the “Vinci Park” next to the police station as you’ll be charged CZK40 PER HOUR as opposed to the P&R rate of CZK20 PER DAY. See Warning below.
Warning: If you are thinking of using the Holesovice P&R note that Taxi drivers may direct you to the car park next to the police station. This is NOT the Holesovice P&R which charges CZK20 per day. Instead they’ll try an get you into the Vinci Park which charges CZK40 PER HOUR. The P&R signs are very clear and pictured above.
Ladvi Park and Ride – OPEN/GUARDED (North East Prague at the base of D8). Transfer to town by Metro.
Coming from the West (Germany Munich/Nurnberg)
Zlicin 1 and 2 Park and Ride – OPEN/GUARDED (west Prague at the base of D5 from Germany/Plzen). Zlicin 1 is closer to the metro. Zlicin 2 is a little further away but not much. Take the signs from D5 to Zlicin. After the traffic lights you’ll see the signs for the P&R on your right and the Metropole Shopping centre will be on your left. Transfer to town by metro. As you approach the IKEA turn you’ll see P&R signs showing available spaces at Zlicin and Nove Butovice.
Nove Butovice Park and Ride – OPEN/GUARDED (go past the Zlicin turn right to the very end of D5 and then turn left towards Nove Butovice). This is the smallest P&R in the city and fills up fast in the morning. I recommend Zlicin.
Coming from the East
Cerny Most 1 and 2 Park and Ride – OPEN/GUARDED (at the base of motorway D11) Car park 1 is closest to the metro and fills first. As you approach the area the signs show how many spaces are available at each. Transfer to town by Metro.
Depo Hostivar Park and Ride – OPEN/GUARDED (south east Prague) accessed via the Jizni Spojka with is the south ring road. Mainly for traffic coming from the Kutna Hora and Podebrady direction. Transfer to town by metro or tram.
Skalka 1 Park and Ride – OPEN/GUARDED (south east Prague – WARNING…..use only Skalka 1 as Skalka 2 is unguarded and not 24 hour accessible. Transfer to town by metro.
VIDEO: The process of entering, paying for same-day parking and exiting is now on my video Guide to Using Prague P&R
Entering the car park
Green “Volno” means spaces available
Red “Obsazeno” means it’s full and you’ll need to wait.
There are motorway signs on D1, D5, D8 and D11 which show how many spaces are on the closest two P&R sites. In my experience if the number is in single figures then you will find that the entry is “coned” i.e. blocked and you have to wait at the barrier until the Park and Ride “ticket man” gets off his arse to let you in. Bear in mind that the ticket dispenser will be on the left side of the car. Make sure you do not park in any reserved spaces for disabled or, in some cases, resident parking. These will be clearly marked.
At the entry barrier you press the button and get a small “credit card” sized ticket with a magnetic strip on one side and date/time info on the other.
The Park and Ride Ticket Machine
NOTE: Flashing red light and/or the words MIMO PROVOZ mean out of order. There are payment machines on each of the stairs/lifts areas of internal parking or the exit of external parking. Make sure that you have the right money (in coins) and 50Kc coins are often rejected for some reason. If the transaction is cancelled by the machine i.e. if you’ve had a coin rejected too many times then the word “STORNO” appears on the screen, any money already deposited is returned and your card is returned. You then have to start again.
You can pay for parking for the day at anytime i.e. I prefer to pay on my way to work because I know I’m coming back that evening and I can go straight to the car. If you are not sure whether you will return that day, pay when you are ready to leave. When you get back to the car park go to the machine and scan the ticket.
This next section will be clearer if you watch the P&R Video.
Press the button on the machine that says “20Kc”. Press the button marked “Vydej” (which means enter). Insert the ticket with the magnetic stripe (magnetic strip down) into the small blue machine that will have “Vlozte listek” or something similar on it’s display i.e. insert ticket. This smaller machine will be separate to the larger ticket machine. If the ticket is accepted OK then you will now be asked to deposit the requested money into the ticket machine. After the money is inserted you will get two paper tickets from the machine which you’ll see most people will leave behind. You should keep them as a receipt even though your parking card has been time stamped. You must keep the original magnetic stripe card for your exit from the car park.
If you make a mistake i.e you press a button of greater value than 20Kc you can press the button marked Storno/Cancel at any time. Once the card is stamped i.e. you’ve paid, you must leave the car park before it closes that night.
Leaving after staying OVERNIGHT
For this option you do not use the ticket machine as you have to pay the guy in the booth (Dispecnik). You will be charged the night fee plus the day fee for each period that you have stayed i.e. at present for two nights it would be 2×100 plus 3×20 i.e. 260Kc. My advice is to have the right money ready to pay and he will expect you to give him your type of car and registration number as he has a list of overnight stayers (Vauxhall drivers note, he knows it as an Opel) or just point to it on his list. The booth guy will validate the ticket and give it back to you. You can leave your car up to 14 days without issues.
Exiting the car park
Drive up to the exit barrier, insert the ticket with the magnetic strip (magnetic strip down) into the small machine. If all is OK, the machine keeps the ticket and the barrier opens.
What if the barrier doesn’t open?
You speak Czech? Normally this is caused when you don’t pay for the parking. There used to be a fault whereby it was possible to get travel tickets without presenting the parking ticket but, this was fixed. The common faults are that you have inserted the ticket the wrong way round (magnetic strip) or if the ticket has been folded/torn. Don’t worry, there will either be a booth with a man sitting in it who should spend some of his precious time to help you out or else, as is becoming more popular, you will find an intercom button on the exit machine. Just speak English to the machine for 30 seconds and hey presto the barrier magically opens.
How safe is it?
20 years ago you wouldn’t see a western make of car on the road. Likewise, a car with a “CD player” was a target. So lets wind forward to the present. Prague is stuffed with high performance cars with all the latest security and gizmos etc so thieves are not going to go out of their way to break into your car unless you’ve left something highly visible which is highly valuable. P&Rs are basically car parks which are locked at night so you take the same chance as any other car park you’ve ever been to.
Other Overnight Parking Options
DAN Security has a open-air car park close to Ladvi station on the red “C” line. Details at www.parkovisteladvi.cz. At the time of writing they charged 50CZK per 24 hour period for car parking and they publish lorry/truck parking rates as well.