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 in neighboring countries to its north and east, 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.

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

Train Fares: Czech Republic

Map shows approximate costs, in $US, for one-way, second-class tickets. For first-class fares, add 50 percent.

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. (Dashed lines show bus routes, which aren't covered by rail passes.) Also, follow the links below for:

More tips for figuring out whether a pass makes sense for your trip
The basics on choosing among rail passes
More tips on how to save money by fine-tuning your rail pass
Advice on deciding between first and second class
Fare-estimate maps outside the Czech Republic
Answers to frequently asked rail-pass questions

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

Czech Republic Eurail Pass

Eurail Global Pass (33 countries) → read more about this pass

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

Extra tip: Keep in mind that if you string together more than one regional rail pass (such as a Germany Rail Pass and a Czech Republic Eurail 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?

Passes cover travel on all trains operated by the ČD (Czech Railways), which runs the vast majority of Czech trains, as well as trains operated by Regiojet (yellow trains that connect Prague to neighboring countries) and Leo Express (black and gold trains primarily running on the Prague–Košice route, and sometimes on to Kraków).

Passes also include a handful of minor non-train bonuses (described in materials that come with the rail pass).

Passes do not cover privately run Arriva (green trains) or GW Train Regio trains (orange/green trains that most notably handle the České Budějovice–Český Krumlov leg of any nondirect connections between Prague and Český Krumlov).

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.

What if I need help with my Rail Europe order?

All orders for passes and tickets are fulfilled by Rail Europe (not by Rick Steves' Europe). For customer-service questions, contact them online (or call 800 622 8600, but expect long waits and periods of unavailability at the call desk) — and keep in mind that refund options are fairly limited.