Czech Republic Rail Passes and Train Tips

By Rick Steves

Are rail passes a good value for the Czech Republic?

Since point-to-point train tickets are cheap in the Czech Republic, as they are throughout Eastern Europe, a rail pass isn't likely to save you much money. The main reason to buy a rail pass in this region is to avoid the hassle of buying tickets as you go. If a rail pass happens to match the countries you plan to visit, it can be a smart choice.

How do I see whether a rail pass makes sense for my trip in particular?

Use this map to add up approximate pay-as-you-go fares for your itinerary, and compare that cost to the price of a rail pass for the number of days you expect to spend on the train. Also, follow the links below for:

What are my options for rail passes that cover the Czech Republic?

Choose one of the passes below to check prices and to buy your pass (orders are fulfilled by Rail Europe).

Single-country Czech Republic Eurail Passkey details

European East Passkey details

Austria–Czech Republic Eurail Passkey details

Czech Republic–Germany Eurail Passkey details

Czech Republic–Slovakia Eurail Passkey details

Central Europe Triangle Passkey details

Eurail Select Passread more about this pass

Eurail Global Passread more about this pass

Rail shopping cart: Have an order underway? Review and complete it here.

Extra tip #1: The European East Pass meets or beats the price of an Austria–Czech Eurail Pass, but covers two more countries as well (Hungary and Slovakia).

Extra tip #2: If you string together more than one regional rail pass (such as a Germany Rail Pass and a European East Pass), you'll use a day from each pass when crossing the border between them.

Do I need to make seat reservations on Czech trains?

For the most part, you can hop on nearly all Czech trains with just your rail pass in hand. Only overnight trains, and some international routes, require reservations (as indicated in online train schedules).

What do rail passes cover in the Czech Republic?

Virtually all trains within the Czech Republic, as well as the following extras:

  • Express buses to/from Prague and several German cities are covered by both Czech and German rail passes, but require a paid seat reservation (you'll pay a higher fee if your pass only includes one of the countries).
  • Other bonuses described in materials that come with the rail pass

Any tips for buying point-to-point train tickets in the Czech Republic?

If a rail pass doesn't pencil out for your trip, see our general tips for buying point-to-point tickets.


Czech Republic Rail Passes: Key Details

Single-country Czech Republic Eurail Pass: This pass offers either 3, 4, 6, or 8 days of train travel within a one-month window, whereas multi-country passes offer a two-month window of travel. The 7 p.m. rule for night trains does not apply with this pass.

European East Pass: Covers nearly all trains in Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary (but isn't accepted on Austria's "WestBahn" brand private trains).

Multi-country Eurail-brand passes: These passes are only available in second class for travelers under 26, and offer a two-month window of travel (whereas the single-country Czech Republic Eurail Pass, the European East Pass, and the Central Europe Triangle Pass are all available in second class to all ages — hooray! — but allow travel within only a one-month period).

Austria–Czech Republic Eurail Pass: Since the European East Pass covers trains in more countries for about the same price, it's a better buy than this pass. Getting the Austria–Czech Eurail Pass only makes sense if you're planning to spread your train travel over a period longer than 30 days.

Czech Republic–Germany Eurail Pass: If you're mostly traveling by train within Germany, and your only Czech leg of train travel is between the German border and Prague, you're probably better off skipping this pass and just buying (before boarding) a train ticket between the border and Prague (should cost about $20 each way).

Czech Republic–Slovakia Eurail Passes: On just this pass, the half-price deal for kids extends for those up to age 14, and kids up to age 6 ride for free.

Central Europe Triangle Pass: Covers three train trips in a circle of either Vienna–Budapest–Prague or Vienna–Salzburg–Prague (choose your cities at time of purchase). If these specific routes fit your trip, then this pass saves money over buying separate train tickets between these cities. You can start at any listed city and travel in either direction to return to your starting point via the most direct route. For instance, Prague–Salzburg travel is covered via Linz (6/day, 1 direct, most with 2 changes), but not via Germany. Not valid on "WestBahn" brand private trains. This pass is pre-validated for your specified one-month travel period, and cannot be refunded after the first day of validity.