Train from Prague
When going to Plzen from Prague, taking the train is an ideal way of transpotation. There is a train every hour from the main train station in Prague and a train going back to Prague every hour. There is no need for booking the ticket in advance.
It will take 1 hour and 50 minutes and it costs 101 CZK (4,1€ or 5,3$) per person for a one-way ticket if you are travelling two people together (That's what we did). The price of the ticket can be even cheaper if you are travelling more people together.
When buying the ticket it is IMPORTANT to ask for a group ticket if you are not travelling alone. It is making the trip much cheaper and to buy the return ticket is also a good idea. There is not a specific time on the ticket, therefore you can take the train back at anytime (the same day).
- Budget Travel
In my personal opinion there is no reason to use public transportation in Plzen central part at all, it is not big one, the way from bus and train station to old town is not so long and complicated too.
Plzen old town is just around main square of Republics and St. Bartholomew Cathedral, every main spot is reachable by foot, except Pilsner brewery, that is about 1 kilometer (or less) away from old town.
Train to and back
To go forward to Plzen I took train from Beroun (it is about 35 kilometres from Prague and few from Karlstejn). It was impossible to take train directly from Karlstejn to Plzen, but to re-sit in Beroun.
My coming back to Czech capital was a direct train. The cost of a ticket was 145 Czech koruna (Kc), it is around 5,6 euros. The prices of public intercity transportation in Czech Republic is still not expensive, train ride is more expensive than bus.
Local transport in Plzen runs every some minutes until late in the night. It's no problem if you miss your bus or tram as the next one will follow almost immediately. I never waited longer than 3 minutes for the tram taking me to my pension.
Just for reasons of comparison: In Chemnitz, the city I live, the average frequency is perhaps 10-12 minutes, in Kassel, the place I was born, it's nowadays 20-30 minutes...
Apart from the comfortable running frequencies, the transport is also pretty cheap. A single ticket costs 12 Kc, a day ticket 40 Kc.
Always have a marked ticket with you when you're on trams, buses, and trolley buses. You can buy tickets 1. from orange or grey machines around town with correct change or 2. from tabak stands around, usually close to stops. (you can say 'listek na tramvaj, prosim' to the attendant and offer 12 crowns.) Tickets are 12 Kc and should be marked as soon as entering the mode of transport. There are little apparatuses that you put the ticket in and pull forward to mark it.
Alternatively, "Plzen Visitor's Passes" (special cards) can be bought from the info center on the main square and loaded with credit. You can scan your card on the transport and get a paper ticket from there. The ticket usually has some kind of coupon for food on it that you can redeem later. You don't have to mark the card or buy tickets with it. If you are asked for proof you just show your card and the inspector scans it.
If you change the transport, even from bus to bus or tram to tram, you need a new marked ticket. Sorry, Charlie.
For a longer stint a "Plzen Pass" can be bought and one month costs 350 Kc. This is a process and takes longer. A transport office can be found on Tylova street at Tylova 12.
Fast Affordable Bus from Plzen-Prague-Plzen
Leaving from the Main Bus Station on Huslova street, Student Agency is the best way to travel from Plzen to Prague and back again. It is a giant yellow bus with grasshopper antennae protruding from the front sides. You can't miss it.
Why it's great? Clean! Leather seats in the front! Lot's of space to move around. Free drink! (Capuccino, Tea, Hot Chocolate) Free newspaper or magazine (in Czech)! There are tv's in the bus. They usually play Czech and Slovak music videos on "Ocko" tv or "Friends" with English subtitles. They let you borrow headphones and if you don't want to watch tv you can listen to the radio.
Price? 70 Kc ($3.23) one way. 52 Kc ($2.40) if you are a student under 26 and can prove it.
The first stop from the main bus station is on Rokycanska street, still in Plzen. The next stop is Zlicin in Prague, at the first metro stop on the left on the yellow line. If you want you can stay on the bus until the next stop, main bus station in Prague, Florence.
Plain Clothes Inspectors on Public Transport
Always have your marked ticket and you won't have a problem. Randomly, ticket inspectors in everyday garb will flash you their badge. Don't feel offended, they are asking everybody there. Show them your marked ticket or present your travel card and you're ok. If you don't have anything to show be prepared to pay a fine on the spot.
I witnessed some tom-foolery one day at a tram stop from a tram behind. A young woman was being pulled off the tram and struggling with ticket inspectors. I assume she was trying to ride without a ticket. She tried to run several times but to no avail. Needless to say, I did not want to be her.
Buy a ticket and mark it, come on, it's cheap.
This is where you arrive if you come by train
In front of the railway station to the left there is a money changer and to the right a tourist office.
When taking a train make sure to wait in the right section of the platform. We had to run a long way because we were waiting in the wrong section and the train stopped only a short time.
Local vs Express
Well, we thought it would be nice to take the slow local train to see the sites of rural Czech. Oh hell no! It took hours and at every stop new people were coming in and out of the compartment - overall a headache.
It was especially terrible when armed guards came and yelled at us for putting our feet on the seats with shoes on. The other guy in our compartment (after a long unairconditioned day's work) took his shoes off so he could strech out and relax. When we opened the window (which a lot of czechs dont like drafts) he closed it, needless to say we had to swich compartments, as it would be another hour before Plzen.
Three tram lines run in Plzen, making it easy to get to where you need to go. Most of the trams were probably built at the Skoda works right in Plzen! I was fortunate to be able to buy a month pass as a student for 110 Kc (about $4.00). A one ride ticket cost 8 Kc. Monthly passes cost 270 Kc. There is also an extensive system of buses to ride as well.
You can easily get to Pilsen...
You can easily get to Pilsen by coach or rail. There are direct rail connections to Germany and France from Pilsen and to other European countries via Praha (Prague). Overseas visitors can fly to the international airport in Prague - Ruzyne (about 80 km from Pilsen).
The Main Railway Station in Pilsen is to the east of the town center and can be reached by taking No 1. and 2. tram or No. 12. and 16. trolleybus to the department store Tesco and the Central Bus Station is to the west in Husova ul. Seat reservations are advisable. You can find more information about trains and buses connections here.
Local Public Transportion-
The municipal transport network comprises trams, buses and trolleybuses and connects the city with the suburbs. All public transport operates from about 5 a.m. to 11 p.m., for the night service only buses are available (every line is scheduled to run about once an hour).
Monthly, quarterly and yearly season tickets for use on all forms of transport are available. The fare in Pilsen is 8,- CZK for a single ride. You can buy strips of tickets from newspaper kiosks and some other shops or slot machines. Timetables can be found at bus and tram stops.
How to reach Pilsen
Can by one day trip from Prague. By train, by bus. If you are in car you can visit also the Kozel castle (15 km south est from Plzen).
If you are travelling to the Czech republic by car from Germany, you can stop in Plzen for a half day.
We arrived via train from...
We arrived via train from Prague for 82 kc ($2.25). The trains leave Prague nearly every hour and arrive at hlavni nadraszi train station in Plzen two hours later.
It's quite a compact city and easily explored on foot.
There are trams
Trams are very useful to get into the center although it is not so far to walk from the railway station.
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