Olomouc can be reached easily from Prague. Trains take about three hours and leave from Prague's main station every two hours or so. It's a pleasant ride and costs about $15 one way. Once you arrive at the station you can hop on a tram outside the front foor and reach the center in mere minutes.
For up-to-date train schedules, try the website below.
Going to Olomouc
There are frequent trains from Brno, Prague and Prerov to Olomouc. Trains are usually cheap and comfortable in Chez Republic. If you want to fly to Olomouc, than nearest airport would be Brno. Skyeurope (www.skyeurope.com) fly from London Standstead and price is reasonable as well.
Olomouc is around three hours from Prague airport.
Moving on from Olomouc
Poland- there is a train that comes to Olomouc directly from Warsaw. The train from Krakow is more complicated and takes between 4-6 hours with all the changes. There is bus service between Olomouc and Krakow taking about 4 hours. Generally, transportation links with Poland are unfortunately not very good.
Slovakia- All of the Prague trains from Slovakia stop at Olomouc. You can get good direct connections from Poprad, Zilina, Bratislava, Trencin.
Vienna- change trains in Breclav- Fast train to Vienna takes about 3 hours.
Budapest- change in Breclav- train takes about 5 hours.
Prague- Bus service to Prague goes through Brno, a fairly significant detour, its easier and faster to go by train in this instance. The train to Prague takes about 2.15 hours if you go on the Pendolino. The cheaper trains take only 20 minutes or so more, so the savings is minimal.
How to get to Olomouc & explore the town
You can get easyly by train or with your own car to Olomouc, but unfortunately the highway ends in a distance of about 70 km west of Olomouc, in Vyschov.
It is certainly the best to search for a parking in the outskirts - I found mine next to the orthodox church and from there you can reach all places of interest easyly walking or by tram. I made it all walking, because otherwise you will miss many interesting houses.
click here for a town-map of olomouc
It might take some time to load (2-3 min),
but that tourist-map is really great
and includes many great panorama-views !
The othodox church is not shown on this map
it is about 500 meters to the right from the cathedral !
- Arts and Culture
TAKE A TRAM!
Trams seemed to be everwhere in Olomouc! There were old and new ones, quite a lot with people standing. Trams will take you to most of the sights and are quite cheap to use.
Single tickets or 24 hours tickets can be purchased in stores marked with a sticker of City Public Transport (MHD) These are usually information centres, tobacconists and news stands. There are ticket machines at tram stops or for a little extra, you can buy your ticket from the driver.
If you have bought your ticket, you must validate it in the time stamp machine as you enter the tram
Prices in 2013
14 CZK (20 CZK when bought at the driver, try to have the correct amount of money
46 CZK The ticket is valid for 40 minutes from validation.
- Budget Travel
This is where you arrive by train
Right in front of the railway station you find the tram into the center. Tram tickets can be bought from the ticket machine or from the public transport office in the railway station. Otherwise tickets can be bought at kiosk throughout town.
At the train station
You get off the train and Olomouc's lovely train station and walk out front on a beautiful sunny day ready to discover the city. You look and see that there are plenty of trams, but you suddenly realize you haven't a clue as to where any of them is going. There is no real map showing the routes.
a. Ask a local- the younger people usually speak at least some english/german
b. there is no tourist office in the train station- this would be massively helpful.
c. make sure that you have the full name and address of your hotel/pension and the address handy. Make sure that when you make your reservations that you specifically get instructions on how to get there on public transport. This is something that does not seem to be commonly listed on the websites I saw.
d. Though public transportation is good in Olomouc the websites I saw didn't offer much help unless you already knew the city.
Olomouc is not large, so even if you get lost, you wont have far to go.
Trains from Olomouc
Olomouc is a major train hub. Train from Prague will take about 3 hours. You can get the faster, more luxurious Pendolino train, that takes a half hour less and costs more. I wouldn't bother unless you are in a big hurry. Price difference is about 100 Czk depending on level of service
If you are traveling with someone there are discounts available for the second (or more) person, make sure to ask about these
Best way to see the old town is by walking around. It is rather small town so no problems to catch all major sites just by walking. Just remember, have a comfortable shoes for walking, the street are made of old style stones and not so easy to walk with the high heels.
Don't bothered with the local Czech girls, they grow up here, they are used to it and can walk it also on the ice ;-)
I would say that for the tourist the train would be the best choice of the way to get to this city. Just few hours of ride from Prague and the Czech train service is good with excellent modern trains.
When I was in Czech I had a company car and so I was driving straight to the city centre ;-)
I had no problem to find parking place somewhere near the city centre and I did the rest of the sightseeing by foot.
No Polish-Czech border soon???
Poland and Czech are going to enter European Community in 2004. Does it mean that the border will not exist more? If both countries sign so called Schengen Treaty yes.
I wander what do they do with all this huge border infrastructure + people who are working there?
Easy to walk around
You do not need taxi to get around Olomouc - the Old Town is compact and partly closed to traffic, it's easy to walk around.
But if you want to get to NOVI JICIN or STRAMBERK (especially in a group of 3-4 persons to divide the expences) consider getting a taxi.
Prices (autocechak tel. 068-5313627 mobile tel.0603-823 133, 0603-448 641; http://www.autocechak.cz/) :
1. Nadiezda Eliasowa (car-Pegeaut on the pic) number 890111; entry - 9Kc (Czek korun), 1km-20Kc, stops:6Kc/min.
2. Roman Smekal number: 890080; 9/19/4 Kc (cheaper but smaller car).
I didn't get a taxi to Novi Jicin and Stramberk but my Czech friends after 3rd mug of Budejovicki Budvar (I drank orange juice that time - I was a driver :-) said that I should bargain, bargain and once more bargain BEFORE trip with taxi driver for a special, discount price and that the price should be at least 2-3 times lower then from taxometer.
My simulation: From Olomouc to Novi Jicin is 65 km + 65 km back = 130km (x19kc=2470Kc) + 3 hours of stopping (180x4Kc=720Kc) = 3190Kc (102 Euro/US$ or 66 Pounds sterling). If believe my friends I should negotiate at about 1100-1600Kc (36-52 Euro/US$ or 23-33 Pounds sterling) or even lower. Novi Jicin-Stramberk-Novi Jicin (10+10km+2hours in Stramberk) 869 Kc (28 Euro/US$ or 18 Pounds sterling) full price that is about 290-435KC (10-14 Euro/US$ or 6-9 Pounds sterling) after negociations.
Park the car and walk along!
If you plan to go to Olomouc by car the best thing you can do is to park it in some private parking house and to walk around the cobblestone streets of the old town. You cannot park the car along the central streeets, or you'll get a fine and your wheels blocked by the police!
At the end of Sokolska (maybe in Kozeluszka, I don't remember well), close to the tram deposit, there is a private parking with cheap prices for the whole day.
The local trams it few kind of lovely shapes and colours can be the easy way to get to some of the further sites, such as the cathedral if you find it too long for you to walk it.