The Prague Parking Meter and Finding Places to Park
Prague Central Car Parks
There are a few resources around that show places for Prague parking but my favourite is mapy.cz. Click on the How to use Mapy.cz page and switch to the “Dopravni” map. You’ll then be looking at a map of central Prague with a number of icons on the screen. The map is in “Dopravni” mode i.e. transport. The coloured lines show the amount of traffic i.e. green is moving well and red is very slow. Hover your mouse over any parking icon to find the name of the car park. Click the icon to find the actual address, how many free places (listed as VOLNO in green) and the rate by hour/hodin, den/day and month/mesic.
Public Street Parking – The Prague Parking Meter
If you have found a parking space i.e. that’s not got a blue line running next to it (which means it’s reserved for residents), then it’s time to pay your parking fee. You’ve found the machine and now you are looking at a blank screen with a keyboard, payment options and ticket chute just like pictured here.
The buttons you will use are:
- Far Left – White button (on/off button)
- Second Left – Two Flags (changes the language, press once for English)
- Green Button (confirm action i.e. it’s the OK button).
- Far Right – Orange Button with left arrow (this is the “Backspace” button to make corrections i.e. if you type in your registration with a mistake).
- Red Button with the X (cancels the transaction and returns to the tariff page).
- Blue Button with + (indicates that you will use a credit card).
- Blue button with ++ (increases parking time to required duration).
Let’s Get Started
Press the “ON” button (that’s the white button bottom-left) on the parking meter keyboard to wake up the machine.
Hopefully you will not get the screen pictured below. It means that the meter is out of order. A Czech person would call the number on the screen and report the fault. They then give their registration number so they get the maximum available parking time but that may require you to speak Czech. You could look for a space in another rank or you just leave the car and take a chance. I’ve only ever seen an out of order station once i.e. when I took this picture.
First Screen and Changing the Language
When you first turn on the machine the default screen is the Tariff page, but it’s going to be in Czech. So to understand the following instructions we’ll change the language by pressing the button with the two flags (second from the left). Press once for English.
Check Tariff and Conditions
The screen will look similar but you’ll notice it’s now in English (example above). On the right side it is showing you the charge per hour and what days or times of the day are chargeable. It may also say if there is a minimum payment required. So in the picture it was telling me that payment is required Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm and it’s CZK20 per hour. If you agree with the charge then you press the GREEN button or the Number 1 on the keyboard.
Entering your Vehicle Details
Now you will enter your Vehicle Registration number (your number plate) with no spaces and when finished, check the number is correct (use the orange button to backspace any errors) and then press the GREEN button.
Select Payment Type
Now you have the payment option. This is important because you need to set the parking time. You’ll see the screen below which looks like the Tariff screen that you saw earlier but there are two options:
USING COINS: The machine accepts all Czech coins. If using Euros it accepts only the EUR1 and EUR2 coins. At this point you just put the coins in the slot and for each coin the parking duration time will increase to the desired duration which you can see on the screen. In the example below I put in CZK40 which was good for two hours but because it took me up to the end of the parking period it gave me an end time of 8am on the following day. If it all looks ok then you press the GREEN button.
USING A CARD (Mastercard or Visa): You now press the BLUE button with the +. Then you press the BLUE button with ++ as many times as you require for the correct parking duration (at the time of writing pressing ++ once adds CZK10) and it looks exactly like the sceen above i.e. you are just adding time. Then you press the GREEN button. Then you insert your card/PIN or use the “Contactless” option. There is then a short “In progress” message followed by a “Payment Accepted” message after which the ticket is printed.
Take Ticket and Display
The very last things on the screen will be a confirmation of the time that you are paying for, “Printing in Progress” and “Take Your Ticket” messages. Your ticket is now in the little compartment underneath where you would have used your “contactless card”. Display inside the car on the dashboard.
NOTE: when I talk about “tickets being printed”, this is not as important as correctly entering your vehicle registration as the enforcement is based on number plate recognition.
Hope that helps and when I get around to doing a video then I’ll update the page. In the meantime check the Parkujvklidu website if you want general information about parking in the city.