This year we spent the long Easter weekend exploring Prague, the Czech Republic’s bustling capital city. Famous for its well-preserved historic buildings, fascinating architecture, and rich history, the city has definitely earned its place on any traveler’s bucket list. But typical of big cities everywhere, dealing with transportation and overnight accommodations can be a giant headache, the last thing you need when you’re on vacation. If you’re planning a trip to Prague, hopefully these tips on driving in the Czech Republic, parking in downtown Prague, and options for inexpensive campgrounds in the city might save you a headache. It pays to KBYG: “Know Before You Go”!
- Road Vignette – Required for normal passenger cars <3.5 tons to drive on many Czech highways. A 10-day sticker costs CZK 310/€11/$13. You can buy it at service stations or roadside stands near the Czech border. It’s best to pay with a credit card, and make sure you’re not charged more than CZK 310. The vignette is a 2-piece sticker; write your car registration number on both halves of the vignette, stick the upper half to the bottom of your front window on the passenger side, and save the bottom half of the vignette.
- This Czech Motorway site has tons of good vignette info in English.
- Public Transportation – Public transit is cheap in Prague, as in €4 for an unlimited day pass to ride the Metro and buses in the city. You can also buy single-trip tickets or extended-stay tickets. Check with your hotel, pension, Airbnb, or campground host about where to buy transit tickets; our camp host sold them on site.
Parking In Prague
- If you’re driving, it is possible to park downtown just a few minutes’ walk from the Old Town Square and the castle. Your best bet is likely a secure, designated public garage or parking lot. Expect to pay anywhere from €1.50 – €2.25/hour, depending on proximity to the city center. Street parking downtown is almost exclusively reserved for residents and is marked off with blue lines.
- This list of parking resources was incredibly helpful!
- Parking Slovan (Garáze Slovan) – We found this place from the list above and parked there all day to visit Old Town, Charles Bridge, and nearby attractions. The attendant shorted us CZK 100 when we paid and we had to go back and ask for the rest of our change, which he gave us without question. If you park there, count your change or pay with the machine. Parking Slovan is about 10 minutes by foot from Prague Old Town Square and is a secure covered parking garage.
- Parkoviste Malostranské Náměstí – We also found this place from the list above and parked there to see Prague Castle and Petrin Park. I highly recommend it; the location there is excellent, just 5 minutes from the castle! The lot only has 74 spaces, so come early or have an alternate garage mapped in case it’s full. If you’re traveling with a dog (as we were), note that this is an uncovered parking lot that bakes in the sun. You’re allowed to take your dog inside the Prague Castle grounds but not in any of the buildings, so plan accordingly.
Campgrounds In Prague
- Most campgrounds in Prague are closed from October through the end of March. Boo, Prague!
- Camping Triocamp – This might be your only caravan/tent option if you’re staying in Prague during the winter or spring. Since it was the only campground we found in the city that’s open year round, we stayed for all 3 nights. Located on the northern outskirts, it’s 10 minutes by car or 30 minutes by public transit to Old Town. A single night of camping for 2 adults, a small tent, a dog, and a car costs CZK 500/€18.50/$21. It has heated bathrooms with flush toilets, free hot showers, no extra charge for dogs, Visa is accepted, and the camp host offers currency exchange for local koruna, though at an inferior exchange rate. WiFi is not currently included – it’s an extra €2 per day, is only valid on one device, and coverage is spotty throughout the campground. If we visit Prague again during the summer months, we’ll likely stay at Camp Herzog.
- Camp Herzog – If you’re planning to visit the Prague Zoo, this campground is just down the road. It offers all the amenities of Triocamp but is cheaper, still allows dogs, and WiFi is free.
- Caravan Camping Cisarska Louka – Located right on an island in the Vltava River not far from Old Town Prague, this campground is a nice option as long as you’re planning your stay well in advance. They require booking two weeks in advance. For all you “planners” out there, this might be a good option.