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Car Rental in Prague: Czech Capital City and Architectural Gem
Prague represents the bohemian in a myriad of ways, from the quirky art viewing and shopping opportunities speckling the city to the cultural landmarks of historic Bohemia. While you can certainly spend days exploring the nooks and crannies of this fascinating and multifaceted city, make the most of your vacation by also discovering the beautiful Czech countryside. Book your rental car today!
Tourist season in Prague spans the summer months, when the weather comfortably stays around room temperature. If you want to avoid the crowds and tourist prices, however, spring and fall are also beautiful times of year to explore the city.
Czech is the official language of the Czech Republic, a language very similar to Slovak, which is also widely spoken. Younger generations are speaking increasingly more English and older generations still understand Russian, though they may be disinterested in speaking it.
Prague is in the Central European Time Zone, UTC+1.
The currency is the Czech crown or koruna. Avoid currency exchange around tourist areas; instead you’ll find the best exchange rates around the train station or at banks, such as Česká spořitelna.
Automobile hire is available in 5 locations throughout Prague, including Václav Havel Airport Prague, downtown Prague, and at the central railway station.
Some excellent road trips from Prague include the medieval towns Cesky Krumlov (170 km southward) and Kutná Hora (80 km eastward), the castles at Karlštejn (40 km to the southeast) and Konopiště (47 km southward), and the colorful city of Karlovy Vary (126 km westward), where a dip in the hot springs is highly recommended!
As a Schengen country, the Czech Republic accepts visitors from many countries around the world visa-free for up to 90 days. Double check entry requirements for your nationality before you depart, as you may be required to apply for a visa in advance of your departure.
Driving in Prague
The highways to and from Prague, while perhaps not in the best condition, are fairly free of traffic, but this easy going changes dramatically once you get to the city. If you’re staying outside the city center, take advantage of park and ride parking lots to avoid the hassles of driving and parking downtown.
- Traffic drives on the right-hand side of the road in Prague, as throughout the rest of continental Europe.
- In the city: 50 km/h
- On rural motorways: 90 km/h
- On expressways: 130 km/h
- Roads are typically packed during morning and evening rush hours throughout Prague.
- A lot of street parking in Prague is restricted for residents or other local cars, but there are a number of public parking lots throughout the city, particularly near the central railway station and in Narodni. There are also a number of pay-and-display parking lots throughout the city, where you are typically required to pay for parking during work hours Monday through Saturday.
- There is zero tolerance for driving after drinking alcohol in the Czech Republic.
- Headlights are compulsory at all times.
- An international driver’s permit is recommended for travel throughout the Czech Republic.
- You’ll need to purchase a toll sticker to drive the well-maintained motorways. The fee for these stickers depends on the number of days you intend to travel the motorways. Ask your rental company if these stickers have already been provided for your car.
- Buses and trams have right of way throughout Prague. Yield to them at all times.
- The minimum driving age in the Czech Republic is 18, but you are required to have held your license for a full year before you will be permitted to rent. Some agencies may require you to be 21 years old, and you are likely to face young-driver surcharges until the age of 25.
- If you plan on driving south into Austria, you will need a separate vignette for the Austrian Autobahn, which you can purchase at gas stations near the border.
Cheap Car Rental in Prague
Automobile hire in Prague typically starts at around $11 a day. Here are some of the best deals in Prague:
- Volkswagen Up or similar (mini class) – $11/day
- Skoda Fabia or similar (economy class) – $13/day
- Ford Focus or similar (compact class) – $18/day
- Skoda Rapid or similar (intermediate class) – $20/day
- Ford Mondeo or similar (standard class) – $35/day
Note that prices vary depending on the availability of each specific car and the season in which you rent. For the most accurate offers, use the search bar above.
Tips for Renting a Car Inexpensively in Prague
There is very little seasonal variation in price in Prague. Instead, you can get the best prices by booking your rental car at Václav Havel Airport Prague, where agencies such as Firefly, Green Motion, and Dvorák Rent a Car offer unbeatable prices. For about $3 more a day, you can also book rental cars at cheap prices at the downtown and central railway station locations.
You can also save more than $1 a day by extending your rental period to over a week.