Traveling Around the Country and Abroad

Trains

The railway system of Czech Railways (ČD – České dráhy) is one of the densest in Europe. Trains go just about everywhere, and you can choose from many types of trains. Fares are calculated by the distance, but in many cases you can use various discounts. There are two kinds of train fares: “common fare” and “customer fare”. To obtain the customer fare you have to buy an In-customer card. You can buy it at railway station ticket offices, and you will need a passport-sized photograph.

Czech Railways offer a whole range of price reductions, for example for groups (minimum 2 persons to maximum 30 persons) or for return tickets. Moreover, there exists a special price reduction for an In-customer card holders for traveling from Brno to Prague or from Prague to Brno (and from/to other selected cities). Price lists and detailed information on price reductions and rail passes can be found at the ČD official website: www.cd.cz/eshop. You’ll find the train time schedule at www.idos.cz (English and German version also available).

There are two main types of train (vlak): rychlík trains are the faster ones, which stop only at major towns; osobní, or ordinary trains, stop at every single station on the line and the average travel speed is about 40 km an hour. Other fast trains go by the name of expres or spěšný. Faster trains are the international expresses – known as InterCity and EuroCity. The fastest and the most expensive are the SuperCity trains, where you pay the fare and the seat reservation.

First-class carriages (první třída) exist on all fast trains; tickets are more expensive but should guarantee you a slightly more comfortable seat on a busy train. For all international services (and any other trains marked with an “R” on the timetable), you can buy a seat reservation (místenka).

Buses

Buses go almost everywhere, and from town to town they are often faster than the train. Although not exactly executive travel, in most cases these will do if you want to avoid driving your own car. Bear in mind, though, that in rural areas timetables are often designed with the working and/or school day. During the week this can mean departures at 6 am, returning at around 3 pm, with completely different services at weekends.

In many towns and villages, the bus station is adjacent to the train station, though you may be able to pick up the bus from the centre of town.

A detailed railway and bus time-table is available both in English and German at the Website of IDOS Universal: www.idos.cz. (When searching connections, fill in the names of destinations in Czech, for example “Praha” instead of “Prague”). This site offers even combinations of train and bus connections to all destinations in the country, including the most peripheral villages.

Air Travel

Brno has an international airport, currently serving mostly for charter and cargo flights. There are following operational winter lines (4Q 2017):

  • Brno – London / Stansted (Ryanair)
  • Brno – Mnichov (bmi regional / Lufthansa)
  • Brno – Milano / Bergamo (Ryanair)

You can get easily to the Airport Brno –Turany (www.brno-airport.cz) by the bus line No. 76. This bus connection runs daily from 5:30 a.m. till 10:30 p.m. every 30 minutes. The duration is approximately about 20 minutes depending on traffic. You need the ticket for two zones. You can check the time table here: http://www.idsjmk.cz/jrady/E76.pdf.

Prague (200 Km, www.prg.aero) and Vienna (110 Km, www.viennaairport.com) are the nearest airports with comprehensively networked flights for all of South Moravia. Low-cost airlines are opening up new routes and chances to save money, particularly from Bratislava (www.airportbratislava.sk) and Prague.

Some of the more frequently used ticket offices (Low Cost):

  • EasyJet (www.easyjet.com)
  • Ryanair (www.ryanair.com)
  • Wizz Air (www.wizzair.com)

Taxis

Taxis are plentiful and fairly cheap for westerners. Beware, however, that foreigners are seen as easy prey by some taxi drivers (especially in Prague; Brno taxi drivers have a better reputation than those in Prague but it is good to have a basic feel for the price levels). Ensure that the taxi has its number, company name, and prices printed on the doors. If it does not, the driver is already breaking the law. Once in the taxi, make sure that the meter (taxametr) is switched on. At the end of the ride, the driver should present a receipt (potvrzení).

Here are some of the most reputable taxi firms in Brno:

  • City taxi (+420 542 321 321, www.citytaxibrno.cz)
  • Taxi Impuls (+420 724 006 666, www.taxi-impuls.cz)
  • Drink & Drive (+420 608 717 141, www.drink-drive.cz)

The most obvious place to get a taxi in Brno is in front of the main railway station (Hlavní nádraží) and on the corner of Česká and Joštova streets at the end of the Česká pedestrian zone.

Traffic Channels from Brno to Main Destinations

Prague

  • By fast train: about 20 times/day; you can get to Prague in about 3 hrs. Be sure to check the timetable beforehand – some rides are longer by 30 minutes or more.
  • By bus: Frequent connections running all day (takes 2 hrs 30 minutes).
    Direct Brno–Prague coach lines are mostly run by:
    • Student Agency (+420 800 100 300, www.studentagency.cz, ticket office: Hotel Grand Old Bus Station)

The station of the Student Agency company is located by the main Brno railway station, opposite the Hotel Grand (Benešova st.) – the so-called “Old bus station”. The price of a one-way ticket is around 200 Kč.

The Brno main railway station (Brno hlavní nádraží) and the Central Bus station (ÚAN) in Zvonařka are only about a five minutes walk from each other and close to the centre of Brno.

Bratislava (Slovakia) – 110 Km

  • By fast train: about 10 times/day (the fastest takes 1 hour 30 minutes – EC trains)
  • By bus: frequent services all day long (takes approximately 2 hrs)
  • By car you can get there in 1 hour 30 min.

Vienna (Austria) – 127 Km

  • By fast train: four times a day (1 hour 45 min – EuroCity trains)
  • By bus: nine times a day (2 hours 30 min)
  • By car you can get there in 2 hours

Public Transport in Brno

Brno has an excellent public transportation system. 11 lines of trams (tramvaj), 42 lines of buses (autobus) and 12 lines of trolley buses (trolejbus) during the day and 11 night lines will take you almost everywhere in the city within a few minutes.

There are two zones in Brno (100 and 101) and other zones in the surroundings of Brno. In any case, if you travel just in Brno, you don’t need to watch the zones because the tickets in Brno are for both of zones 100+101. For travelling in the surroundings of Brno, the best way is to buy a map of the zones for better orientation (public transportation offices in Brno). For general information, see the line network map on the inside cover of this booklet.

Trams, trolley busses and busses run usually from dawn until around midnight, some bus lines run all the night, at 60 or 30-minute intervals (signified by a blue-yellow number on the bus stop and the digit starting with numer 9).

From 11:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. at every hour on the hour, all buses leave in all directions from the Brno main station. However, there are differences between weekdays and weekends. Nighttime buses goes more often and till 6:00 a.m. only on Saturday, Sunday, holidays and 31/12.

Tickets

Tickets must be bought beforehand from tobacconists, or from the yellow ticket machines scattered around the city (usualy at the station). It is also possible to buy them from the drivers, but this will include a surcharge of a few extra Crowns. The tickets must be validated in the electronic devices once you are on board. There are no conductors, only plain-clothes inspectors, who will fine anyone without a ticket.

Tickets costing 20 Kč are valid for 15 minutes (without possibility of changing the line), tickets costing 25 Kč are valid for 60 minutes (with the possibility of changing the line), presuming that the regular fare applies to you (i.e. you are not below 16 years of age, you do not accompany a child of 3 years of age or less, or are not a holder of special pass for disabled or retired people). The same tickets are valid for the city’s buses connecting the centre and suburbs. You should also buy a special ticket for oversized luggage.

Other tickets are available – from a 1-day ticket (90 Kč), 5-day ticket (250 Kč), 14-day ticket (420 Kč) and a 1-month ticket (750 Kč). Anybody can use these types of tickets for zones 100+101.

You may also be interested in purchasing a pass – choose from a one-month pass (550 Kč), quarterly pass (1,370 Kč) or one-year pass (4,750 Kč). You can buy these passes at public transportation office in the center or in some local selling stands, and you will need passport-sized photo. The pass is related to one’s name and can’t be used by a different person.

The public transportation office at Novobranská 18 will give you complete information about Brno mass transport. Open: workdays from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Sat from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., dpmb@dpmb.cz, www.dpmb.cz.

Apart from Brno, other cities and towns in South Moravia do not have such an elaborate system of public transport, although most sizeable towns (over 10,000 inhabitants) have a few local public transport bus lines (no trams or trolleybuses).

Driving

Road conditions in South Moravia are generally not bad – the region has one of the highest densities of motorways in the Czech Republic: D1 from Prague to Brno and further to Vyškov and towards Olomouc, although the stretch of D1 from Prague to Brno is notorious for traffic jams caused by many accidents due to heavy traffic. Still this tends to be the most convenient and fastest way of getting to the capital city. D2 from Brno to the south – via Břeclav to Bratislava. There is also a first stretch of high-speed (four-lane) road R52 from Brno to the south towards the Austrian border, which currently ends in Pohořelice (some 20 km south of Brno) but should eventually connect Brno with Vienna. If you want to travel on any motorway or high-speed road in Czech Republic, you will need a motorway tax sticker (dálniční známka) – see the map below for motorway and high-speed roads for which the sticker is required.

Tab. 18: Motorway tax stickers 2018 and 2019 (prices in CZK)

Motorway tax stickers

Vehicle

Validity

Total weight under 3.5 tons

Total wight 3.5 tons < > 12 tons

Total weight over 12 tons

1 year (R)

1,500

Electronic toll

Electronic toll

1 month (M)

440

Electronic toll

Electronic toll

10 days

310

Electronic toll

Electronic toll

Source : Czech motorway internet page, www.ceskedalnice.cz, 2018

Motorway tax stickers are available at all the border crossings and most post offices and filling stations in the Czech Republic. Failing to display the sticker will result in a hefty fine of several thousand Crowns. The second part of the sticker should be saved for control. On both parts of the sticker there should be the vehicle registration number.

Starting 1 January 2010, an electronic toll was imposed on all vehicles above 3.5 tons of total weight. The total weight of the vehicle, rather than that of the vehicle combination (trailers) as was the previous practice, is the main criterion in deciding whether the vehicle must use a highway sticker or a toll unit.

Speed limits are 130 kph on motorways (speeding runs you the risk of being fined), 90 kph on other roads and 50 kph in all cities, towns and villages. Rules and regulations are stringent, radar speed checks are common and spot fines are rather heavy.

The basic rules are:

  • driving on the right;
  • compulsory wearing of seatbelts; and children under 12 must travel in the back;
  • the “don’t drink and drive” rule is very stringent in the Czech Republic. It is against law to have any alcohol in your blood when you are driving whatsoever;
  • don’t overtake a tram when passengers are getting on and off if there is no safety island for them;
  • give right of way to pedestrians crossing the road at zebra crossings;
  • motor vehicles must use their lights night and day all year long;
  • cyclists up to 18 years of age must use an approved protective helmet;
  • a child weighing less than 36 kg or whose height does not exceed 150 cm can only be transported in an approved car safety seat;
  • driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs is considered a criminal offense;
  • when passing a cyclist, the driver must use turn signals to indicate lane changes.

Parking in Brno

As in many other cities, sometimes it is very hard to find a parking space in the centre. You can leave your car in one of the parking garages where you can rent a parking space for a longer period.

  • Parkovací dům Domini Park, non-stop, 361 parking places, drive-in from Husova street (official address: Panenská 1, Brno), 8. floor – parking places for cars with alternative drive (LPG, CNG)
  • Parking u Janáčkova divadlo, non-stop, 400 parking places, www.garazejanackovodivadlo.cz, www.jd-parking.cz, parking places for cars with alternative drive (LPG, CNG), charging stations for electric vehicles (ČEZ company)
  • Garáže Galerie Vaňkovka, 7:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m., 1,000 parking places, Ve Vaňkovce 1, www.galerie-vankovka.cz, parking places for cars with alternative drive (LPG, CNG), charging stations for electric vehicles (E.ON company)
  • Parkovací dům Pinki park, non-stop, 88 parking places, Kopečná 24, http://www.bkom.cz/kopecna/index.html
  • Parkovací dům Rozmarýn, non-stop, 208 parking places, Kounicova 2a, www.parkovani-brno-centrum.cz
  • Garáže Hotel Slovan, non-stop, 140 parking places, Mezírka 13, www.hotelslovan.cz
  • Regional Development Agency of South Moravia
    Královopolská 139
    612 00 Brno
    Czech Republic
    www.rrajm.cz

    Pavel Beránek
    +420 541 212 125
    pavel.beranek@rrajm.cz