Visit Prague by train - the old town square

 

No flight needed!

Prague's historic old town square is just 15 minutes walk from Prague Hlavni station where you arrive by train from London...

 

Railbookers holidays to Prague by train

small bullet point  Holidays to Prague by train

UK to Prague from £65 each way...

It's easy to travel from London to Prague by train, and affordable too.  Take an evening Eurostar from London to Brussels from £78 return, then travel Brussels to Prague next day from €46.90 each way.  Or take a mid-day Eurostar from London to Paris & a high-speed TGV to Karlsruhe, then an excellent Czech sleeping-car overnight to Prague, arriving next morning just 15 minutes walk from Prague's historic old town.  Or take daytime high-speed trains from London to Berlin on day 1, stay overnight in the German capital, then take a daytime train along the scenic Elbe valley from Berlin to Prague on day 2.  The choice is yours...

Train times, fares & tickets...

This is a step-by-step guide to train travel from the UK to Prague, with times, fares & how to buy tickets:

small bullet point 

London to Prague by day trains via Brussels - usually the cheapest option

small bullet point  

London to Prague via the Karlsruhe-Prague sleeper - the most time-effective option, starting 11 December

small bullet point  

London to Prague via the Zurich-Prague sleeper - a time-effective option

small bullet point 

London to Prague by day trains with overnight stop in Cologne or Berlin - easy & scenic

small bullet point 

London to Prague by day trains with overnight stop in Paris or Munich - also great options

small bullet point 

London & Cambridge to Prague via the Harwich-Hoek ferry - the ferry alternative...

small bullet point 

London to other Czech destinations:  Brno, Ostrava, Karlovy Vary, Cesky Krumlov, Plzen...

small bullet point 

London to Krakow & Prague in one trip

small bullet point 

Scotland & the North to Prague by ferry from Hull or Newcastle

small bullet point 

Buying UK train tickets to connect with Eurostar

International trains to & from Prague...

small bullet point  Trains to Prague from other European cities

small bullet point  Trains from Prague to other European cities

small bullet point  Prague to Budapest by train from €21

small bullet point  Prague to Vienna by train from €14

small bullet point  Prague to Salzburg by train from €14

small bullet point  Prague to Krakow by train from €19

small bullet point  Prague to Munich by train from €15

Other useful information...

small bullet point  Useful country information: currency, dial code...

small bullet point  Prague city map, metro & tourist information

small bullet point  Prague Hlavni station information  

small bullet point  Suggested hotels in Prague

small bullet point  Travel insurance, Curve Card & VPN

small bullet point  Holidays  & tours to Prague by train

small bullet point  Luggage on trains   Left luggage at stations    

small bullet point  Taking your bike     Taking your dog

small bullet point  General European train travel information

Interactive map:  Click a route...
Route map:  London to Prague by train

large bullet pointUseful country information

Train operator:

CD (Ceské Dráhy):  www.cd.cz.

All-Europe train times Eurostar times & fares

 

Railpasses:

 

Beginner's guide to European railpasses    Buy rail passes online

Time zone:

GMT+1 (GMT+2 from last Sunday in March to last Saturday in October).

Dialling code:

 

+420

Currency:

£1 = approx 29 Czech Koruna. €1 = approx 26 Czech Koruna.  Check current exchange rates

Tourist information:

www.czechtourism.com   Prague bus, tram, metro info  Prague city map  Recommended guidebooks

Hotels in Prague:

Finding a hotel or hostel in Prague  Hotel reviews: www.tripadvisor.com

Visas:

UK citizens do not need a visa to visit the Czech Republic.

Page last updated:

11 January 2023.  Train times valid 11 December 2022 to 9 December 2023.


large bullet pointLondon to Prague

Option 1:  London to Prague via Brussels...

This is usually the cheapest option, although not as time-effective as option 2.  Eastbound, you can leave London in the evening after the close of the business day, stay overnight in Brussels arrive in Prague the following evening.  Westbound, you can leave Prague on the early train and travel all the way to London in a single day if you like.  Other routes may break up the trip better or have even better scenery, this involves a day-long ride across Germany with 3 changes, but the ICE trains from Brussels to Frankfurt & Nuremberg are top-notch.  Take a good book and treat it as a chill-out trip!

London ► Prague with overnight stop in Brussels...

Prague ► London in a single day...

Prague ► London with overnight stop in Brussels, every day...

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets...

Have your trip arranged as a package...

What's the journey like?

1. London to Brussels by Eurostar...

Eurostar trains link London & Brussels in just 2 hours, travelling at up to 300 km/h (186 mph).  There are two bar cars, power sockets at all seats and free WiFi.  Standard Premier and Business Premier fares include a light meal with wine (or breakfast, on departures before 11:00).  There's a 30-minute minimum check-in at London St Pancras (45-minute minimum in Paris, Brussels & Amsterdam) as all border formalities are carried out before you board the train.  More information about Eurostar including check-in procedureSt Pancras station guide.  Brussels Midi station guide & short cut for changing trains in Brussels.

Eurostar e320   Eurostar e320 first class seats

A Eurostar e320 at St Pancras.  More about Eurostar.

 

Standard Premier/Business Premier.  Larger photo.

Eurostar e320 2nd class   Eurostar e320 cafe-bar

Standard class seats.  Larger photo.

 

One of two cafe-bars, in cars 8 & 9.  Larger photo.

2. Brussels to Frankfurt & Frankfurt to Nuremberg by ICE...

Germany's superb ICEs have a bistro-restaurant car, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.  In 1st class, bistro orders are taken at your seat.  The Brussels to Frankfurt train calls at Liège, where you can admire the impressive station designed by celebrity architect Santiago Calatrava, and at Cologne Hbf, where you'll see Cologne Cathedral to the right as you approach, right next to the station.  Immediately after leaving Cologne Hbf, the train crosses the long Hohenzollern bridge over the Rhine before joining the 300km/h high-speed line to Frankfurt.  More information about ICE3 Brussels Midi station guide Frankfurt (Main) Hbf station guide.

ICE3M to Cologne & Brussels, boarding at Frankfurt (Main) Hbf

An ICE3M from Brussels at Frankfurt (Main) Hbf.  More information about ICE Advice on changing trains in Brussels.

2nd class on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE3M train   1st class on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE3M train

2nd class seats on an ICE3M.  Larger photo.

 

1st class seats on an ICE3M.  Larger photo.

Erdinger Weissbier on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE train   Restaurant car on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE3M train

Proper china, metal cutlery.  I recommend the Erdinger Weissbier!  See current month's menu.

 

Restaurant car:  This is the small 12-seat restaurant area on an ICE3M.  Larger photo.

3. Nuremberg to Cheb by regional train...

Although only a regional train, it is air-conditioned with 1st & 2nd class.  It's a tilting train, it tilts into the curves.  You'll find tips and more scenery & train photos on the Brussels to Prague via Cheb page.

The regional train from Cheb, arrived at Nuremberg

Nuremberg...  German regional train from Nuremberg to Cheb, at Nuremberg.

2nd class on the Cheb-Nuremberg regional train   1st class on the Cheb-Nuremberg regional train

2nd class seats on the German regional train.  Larger photo.

1st class seats on the German regional train.  Larger photo.

Scenery between Nuremberg & Cheb   Scenery from the train between Cheb & Prague

Scenery between Nuremberg & Cheb, courtesy Arnaud Loneux

 

Hills & forest between Cheb & Prague.  Courtesy of Arnaud Loneux.

The easy & relaxed interchange at Cheb station...  The red train on the right is the German regional train arrived from Nuremberg.  You cross to the blue Czech train on the left about to leave for Prague - although always check the departure boards as sometimes a faster train to Prague goes from an adjacent platform.  More information on the Brussels to Prague via Cheb page.

Cheb station, en route from Brussels to Prague

4. Cheb to Prague by Interjet train...

Czech Railways' latest Interjet carriages operate on the Cheb to Prague route from 2022, with refreshment trolley, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.

The morning express from Prague to Cheb

An Interjet train at Prague Hlavni...

2nd class seats on a Prague to Cheb Interjet train   1st class seats on a Prague to Cheb Interjet train

2nd class on an Interjet train with power outlets & free WiFi.  Larger photo.

 

1st class on an Interjet train with power outlets & free WiFi.  Larger photo.

Watch the video guide...

This video shows what the trains & scenery are like.  It's a westbound journey from Prague to London, but trains & scenery are the same in either direction!

Back to top


Option 2:  London to Prague using the Karlsruhe - Prague sleeper

This is the most time-effective way from the UK to Prague.  From the timetable change on 11 December 2022, a new overnight service with sleeping-car & couchettes links Zurich with Prague, routed via Basel, Karlsruhe & Dresden - in addition to the existing through sleeping-car from Zurich to Prague via Linz & Ceske Budejovice listed in option 3.  From London or Paris it's fastest to pick this new sleeper up in Karlsruhe.  It's a comfortable option, some sleepers have an en suite toilet & shower, breakfast included...

London ► Prague starting 11 December 2022

Prague ► London starting 11 December 2022

How to much does it cost?

How to buy tickets...

How to buy tickets by phone...

Have your trip arranged as a package...

What's the journey like?

1. London to Paris by Eurostar...

Eurostar trains link London & Brussels in just 2 hours, travelling at up to 300 km/h (186 mph).  There are two bar cars, power sockets at all seats and free WiFi.  Standard Premier and Business Premier fares include a light meal with wine (or breakfast, on departures before 11:00).  There's a 30-minute minimum check-in at London St Pancras (45-minute minimum in Paris, Brussels & Amsterdam) as all border formalities are carried out before you board the train.  More information about Eurostar including check-in procedureSt Pancras station guide.

Eurostar e320   Eurostar e320 first class seats

A Eurostar e320 train at St Pancras.  More about Eurostar.

 

Standard Premier/Business Premier.  Larger photo.

Eurostar e320 2nd class   Eurostar e320 cafe-bar

Standard class seats.  Larger photo.

 

One of two cafe-bars, in cars 8 & 9.  Larger photo.

2. Paris to Karlsruhe by TGV Duplex...   See the video

In Paris it's an easy 7 minute 500m walk from the Gare du Nord to the Gare de l'Est for the TGV to Germany.  Sit back with a glass of red and enjoy the ride - book an upper deck seat for the best views.  The train is equipped with power sockets for laptops & mobiles at all seats in both classes, and a cafe-bar serves drinks, snacks & microwaved hot dishes.  The train soon leaves the Paris suburbs behind and speeds across a vast wide open plateau of woods & farmland at up to 320 km/h (199 mph), past picturesque French villages of the Champagne region.  An hour or two later, the train leaves the high-speed line and slowly meanders through pretty wooded hills, the countryside eventually flattening out towards Strasbourg.  On leaving Strasbourg, look out for Strasbourg cathedral on the left with its famously missing second tower.  Minutes afterwards you rumble across the river Rhine into Germany.  Paris Gare de l'Est station guide.

TGV Duplex at Paris Gare de l'Est

TGV Duplex at Paris Est. These impressive 320 km/h double-deck trains link Paris & Germany, a relaxing journey with reading book & glass of wine.  Book an upstairs seat for the best views...

TGV Duplex cafe-bar   TGV Duplex upper deck 2nd class seats

Cafe-bar on upper deck in car 4, serving tea, coffee, soft drinks, wine, beer, snacks & microwaved hot dishes.

 

2nd class seats on the upper deck.  There's a mix or tables for 4 and unidirectional seating.  360º photo.

First class on board a TGV Duplex   An TGV Duplex to Munich at Paris Est.

1st class on upper deck, a club duo on the left, a club quatre on the right.  360º photo.

 

A TGV Duplex.  The 1 near the door indicates 1st class, a 2 indicates 2nd class.

3. Karlsruhe to Prague by Czech sleeper train...

This has a modern Czech sleeping-car with 9 standard compartments with washbasin and 3 deluxe compartments with a compact en suite toilet & shower.  Each compartment can be sold with 1, 2 or all 3 beds in use, as single, double and T3.  There are toilets and a shower at the end of the corridor, and each compartment converts from beds to a private sitting room for the evening & morning parts of the journey.  There is a power socket for laptops & mobiles.  Bedding and towels are provided.  The doors have card-key locks like hotels.  A very safe, civilised and comfortable way to travel!  More information about this train.

This train also has couchettes, basic bunks with rug & pillow, you can book a bunk in either a 6-berth or less crowded 4-berth compartment.  Clean sheets and a pillow are provided, the doors have a normal lock and security lock or chain, there are several European-type 2-pin 240v power outlets in each compartment.  Toilets and washrooms at the end of the corridor.  Couchette compartments are not segregated by gender, as you do not normally get fully undressed, but women can book a berth in a women-only compartment.  More information about this train.

The Prague to Zuirch sleeping car boarding in Prague

A Czech sleeping-car of the Comfortline type.

Czech Railways standard (economy) 2-berth sleeper   Standard (economy) sleeper in day mode   City Night Line deluxe sleeper, private toilet & shower   Comfortline sleeper corridor

Standard sleeper set up as a 2-berth, with blind down & washstand open.  Each room can be used with 1, 2 or 3 beds.  Larger photo.

 

The same sleeper with berths folded away & seats folded out, washstand closed.  Very similar to a deluxe, but without the shower & toilet.  Larger photo.

 

Deluxe sleepers are virtually identical to standard, a bit more floorspace & compact shower & toilet instead of washstand.  Larger photo.

 

Just like a hotel, the corridor in a Comfortline sleeping-car.  There's a shower at end of the corridor for standard sleeper passengers.

Couchette car 6-berth   RDC couchette car

6-berth couchettes.  There are also 4-berths.  Larger photo.

 

Couchette car on the inaugural departure from Prague, leased from RDC as CD don't have enough 200km/h couchette cars of their own.  Photos courtesy of @_wrzlbrnft_

Back to top


Option 3:  London to Prague using the Zurich - Prague sleeper

This is very similar to option 2, it takes only a little longer but it's just as comfortable.  As this sleeper also serves Ceske Budejovice, it's useful if you're heading to Cesky Krumlov, which is just 45 minutes down a branch line from Ceske Budejovice.

London ► Prague

Prague ► London

How to much does it cost?

How to buy tickets...

How to buy tickets by phone...

  • It's better to book online to avoid additional phone booking fees and so you can see for yourself which departures are cheapest for each stage of the journey.  Most ticketing agencies only work office hours on weekdays, but online booking is possible 24/7.  However, if you want to book by phone, see my list of UK ticketing agencies with phone numbers & opening hours.

Have your trip arranged as a package...

  • Railbookers are a train tour & holiday specialist who can put a trip together as a package, with rail travel, hotels & transfers to your specifications.  As you're booking a package, they'll also take care of you if anything happens such as a strike or delay.  One of their most popular trips is Ultimate Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest with train travel from the UK - it can be customised to include train travel back to the UK as well, just ask them.  Also a top seller is their holiday to Berlin & Prague with travel to & from London by train.

    UK flag  UK call 0207 864 4600, www.railbookers.co.uk

    US flag  US call free 1-888-829-4775, www.railbookers.com.

    Canadian flag  Canada call free 1-855-882-2910, www.railbookers.com.

    Australian flag  Australia call toll-free 1300 971 526, www.railbookers.com.au

    New Zealand flag  New Zealand call toll-free 0800 000 554 or see website.

  • Byway (Byway.travel) is a UK-based eco-holiday firm with a 5-star TrustPilot rating.  If you're nervous about booking train travel yourself, book a UK-Prague train trip through Byway as a package, including hotels and starting from any British station you like.  Byway includes package protection, a 100% Covid refund guarantee, free disruption and re-planning and on-demand WhatsApp support while you're away.  They can build a trip to your requirements if you email them or use this contact form.  When you book, please say you heard about them from Seat 61.

  • Escorted tours:  If you'd like to travel with a convivial group of travellers escorted by a professional tour guide, the operators to check are Great Rail Journeys (www.greatrail.com, in the UK call 01904 527 120) and Rail Discoveries, www.raildiscoveries.com, 01904 730 727.  Both have various escorted tours from the UK to Prague by train, with departures on a variety of dates.

What's the journey like?

1. London to Paris by Eurostar...

Eurostar trains link London & Brussels in just 2 hours, travelling at up to 300 km/h (186 mph).  There are two bar cars, power sockets at all seats and free WiFi.  Standard Premier and Business Premier fares include a light meal with wine (or breakfast, on departures before 11:00).  There's a 30-minute minimum check-in at London St Pancras (45-minute minimum in Paris, Brussels & Amsterdam) as all border formalities are carried out before you board the train.  More information about Eurostar including check-in procedureSt Pancras station guide.

Eurostar e320   Eurostar e320 first class seats

A Eurostar e320 train at St Pancras.  More about Eurostar.

 

Standard Premier/Business Premier.  Larger photo.

Eurostar e320 2nd class   Eurostar e320 cafe-bar

Standard class seats.  Larger photo.

 

One of two cafe-bars, in cars 8 & 9.  Larger photo.

2. Paris to Zurich by TGV-Lyria...

All TGV-Lyria trains are now 320km/h (199 mph) double-deck TGV Duplex like the one shown below.  TGV-Lyria trains have 3 classes:  Standard class (2nd), standard premiere (1st class) and business premiere (1st class with hot meal & drinks included in the fare).  There's a cafe-bar car selling drinks & snacks.  There are power points for mobiles & laptops at all seats in all classes.  Lyria is a consortium of the French and Swiss national railways.  More information about TGV-Lyria.

TGV-Lyria train from Paris to Switzerland, at Paris Gare de Lyon

TGV-Lyria TGV Duplex train. This is the 16:22 TGV-Lyria boarding at Paris Gare de Lyon.  More information about TGV-Lyria.

TGV Duplex cafe-bar   TGV Duplex upper deck 2nd class seats

The cafe-bar on the upper deck in car 4, serving tea, coffee, soft drinks, wine, beer, snacks & microwave-style hot dishes...

 

2nd class seats, this is upper deck seating.  There's a mix or tables for 4 and unidirectional seating.  360º photo.

First class on board a TGV Duplex   A TGV-Lyria Duplex at Paris Gare de Lyon

1st class on upper deck, a club duo on the left, a club quatre on the right. Larger photo.

 

A TGV-Lyria boarding at Paris Gare de Lyon.  You enter on the lower deck, with 9 stairs up to top deck.

3. Zurich to Prague by sleeping-car.  More information about the Zurich to Prague sleeper.

This modern Czech sleeping-car has 9 standard compartments with washbasin and 3 deluxe compartments with a compact en suite toilet & shower.  Each compartment can be sold with 1, 2 or all 3 beds in use, as single, double and T3.  There are toilets and a shower at the end of the corridor, and each compartment converts from beds to a private sitting room for the daytime parts of the journey.  There is a power socket for laptops and mobiles.  All necessary bedding and towels are provided.  The doors have card-key locks like hotels.  A very safe, civilised and comfortable way to travel!  Do not obsess about getting a deluxe - In the standard compartments the beds and the decor are exactly the same as the deluxe ones, the only difference is that the compartment floor space is a fraction smaller (though not so you'd notice) and there's a washbasin instead of an en suite toilet & shower.  You can of course use the shower at the end of the corridor - you access it using the same card key that opens your compartment door.  See more photos, tips & information about the Zurich to Prague sleeper.

The Zurich to Prague sleeping car boarding at Zurich HB

The Zurich-Prague sleeping-car, at Zurich HB.

Czech Railways standard (economy) 2-berth sleeper   Standard (economy) sleeper in day mode   City Night Line deluxe sleeper, private toilet & shower   Comfortline sleeper corridor

Standard sleeper set up as a 2-berth, with blind down & washstand open.  Each room can be used with 1, 2 or 3 beds.  Larger photo.

 

Same sleeper with berths folded away & seats folded out, washstand closed.  Very similar to a deluxe, but without the shower & toilet.  Larger photo.

 

Deluxe sleepers are almost identical to standard, a bit more floorspace & compact shower & toilet instead of washstand.  Larger photo.

 

Just like a hotel, the corridor in a Comfortline sleeping-car.  There's a shower at end of the corridor for standard sleeper passengers.

Back to top


Option 4:  London to Prague by day trains with overnight stop in Cologne or Berlin

Like option 1, this uses daytime trains rather than sleepers, with an overnight hotel stop in either Cologne or Berlin.  This breaks up the journey more evenly than stopping overnight in Brussels as in option 1, and it involves fewer changes so is simpler than option 1.  It offers the chance to stop off in Cologne or Berlin, there's lovely scenery along the Elbe river between Berlin & Prague (see the video below!), and it uses high-quality mainline trains throughout with cafe-bar or restaurant car, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.  On the down side it usually costs a bit more than option 1, but not always that much more.

London ► Prague with overnight stop in Cologne

London ► Prague with overnight stop in Berlin

Prague ► London with overnight stop in Cologne

Prague ► London with overnight stop in Berlin

How much does it cost?

  • London to Brussels by Eurostar starts at £52 one-way or £78 return in standard class, £115 one-way, £199 return standard premier (1st class).

  • If overnighting in Berlin...

    Brussels to Berlin starts at €27.90 each way in 2nd class, €69.90 each way in 1st class.

    Berlin to Prague starts at €18.90 each way in 2nd class, €27.40 each way in 1st class.

  • If overnighting in Cologne...

    Brussels to Cologne starts at €18.90 each way in 2nd class, €49.90 each way in 1st class.

    Cologne to Prague starts at €27.90 each way in 2nd class, €69.90 each way in 1st class.

  • Booked as a through ticket with overnight stop, only possible using bahn.de as explained below...

    Brussels to Prague starts at €46.90 each way in 2nd class, €79.90 each way in 1st class.

  • Fares are dynamic like air fares, so for the cheapest prices book early and avoid busy times such as Fridays or Sunday afternoons.

How to buy tickets...

  • Buy tickets at www.raileurope.comThis way, you can book all your tickets together in one place.

    Anyone from any country can use www.raileurope.com, in plain English, overseas credit cards accepted and fares shown in multiple currencies. There's a small booking fee.  Who are Raileurope.com?

  • If you're overnighting in Cologne, book like this:

    First book your ticket from London to Cologne.  If you're returning, book London to Cologne as a round trip because Eurostar return fares are significantly cheaper than two one-ways.  Add this to your basket.  Then book from Cologne to Prague one-way for the following day, add to basket, and (if returning) book from Prague to Cologne one way for the day prior to your Cologne-London journey, add this to your basket and check out.

  • If you're overnighting in Berlin, book like this:

    First book your ticket from London to Berlin.  If you're returning, book London to Berlin as a round trip because Eurostar return fares are significantly cheaper than two one-ways.  Add this to your basket.  Then book from Berlin to Prague one-way for the following day, add to basket, and (if returning) book from Prague to Berlin one way for the day prior to your Berlin-London journey, add this to your basket and check out.

  • If you're overnighting in Cologne on the way out, Berlin on the way back (or vice versa), book like this:

    First use www.raileurope.com to run some dummy enquiries to find the combination of trains you want from London to Cologne and from Berlin to London.  Then book London to Brussels & back and add to basket, to benefit from Eurostar's round trip discount.  Then book one-way tickets from Brussels to Cologne, Cologne to Prague, Prague to Berlin and Berlin to Brussels on the trains you want, adding each ticket to your basket, then check out.

  • You print your own ticket, or after booking you can load the Eurostar ticket into the Eurostar app, and show the DB ticket on your laptop or phone.

  • When does booking open?

    Booking for Eurostar & onward trains to Germany opens up to 180 days ahead, but significantly less than this when the mid-December timetable change intervenes.  More about when booking opens.

  • Booking tips...

    Fares are dynamic like air fares, so book early for the cheapest prices and avoid busy days such as Fridays or Sunday afternoons.

    After booking you can use the Eurostar Manage Booking system to select an exact seat on Eurostar.

  • Seat reservations...

    A seat reservation is automatically included with every ticket on Eurostar.  However, seat reservations are optional on the Brussels-Cologne-Berlin ICE trains and Berlin-Prague EuroCity trains, if you want a reserved seat it can be added during the booking process for fee of around €4.50 each way.  A strongly recommend reserving a seat, especially on the busy Berlin-Prague route and on any route at busy periods.

A cheaper way to buy tickets...

  • This is a bit more work as it involves two websites, but it can be slightly cheaper for two reasons:  First, you don't pay any booking fee.  Second, you can use the Stopover feature at www.bahn.de to book a Brussels to Prague through ticket with an overnight stop in Cologne or Berlin which is cheaper than buying separate Brussels to Cologne/Berlin & Cologne/Berlin to Prague tickets.

  • Step 0, do a dry run on both sites to check availability & prices and to find a combination of trains that works for you.  I'd also check that your outward Eurostar and ICE are indeed a recognised connection by checking that they appear together when you run a London to Cologne enquiry at www.bahn.de - read the paragraph in the previous section about the 20-minute connection in Brussels .

  • Step 1, book the Eurostar from London to Brussels (and back, if returning) at www.eurostar.com and print your own ticket, or load it into the Eurostar app to show on your phone.  Eurostar return fares are significantly less than two one-ways, so if you're coming back, make sure you book this as a round trip.  After booking you can use the Eurostar Manage Booking system to select an exact seat on Eurostar.

  • Step 2, book from Brussels to Prague at the German Railways website www.bahn.de, but first click Stopover, enter Berlin Hbf and a stopover duration of (say) 12 hours: I have set up this special link for you, by all means adjust the departure time & stopover duration to get the trains you want either side of Berlin.  If you prefer to overnight in Cologne, specify Cologne Hbf instead.

    This will get you a Brussels to Prague through ticket with an overnight stop in Berlin (or Cologne) included, which is what you want.  With German Railways a return is simply two one-ways, so you may find it gives you more control to book Brussels to Prague one-way first, then Prague to Brussels one-way as a separate booking.

    You print your own ticket or can show it on your laptop or phone.  I recommend registering when prompted so you can log in and check your bookings or re-print tickets at any time.  An advantage of booking direct with www.bahn.de is that you can select an exact seat on ICE trains from a seating plan.

How to buy tickets by phone...

  • It's better to book online to avoid additional phone booking fees and so you can see for yourself which departures are cheapest for each stage of the journey.  Most ticketing agencies only work office hours on weekdays, but online booking is possible 24/7.  However, if you want to book by phone, see my list of UK ticketing agencies with phone numbers & opening hours.

Have your trip arranged as a package...

  • Railbookers are a train travel specialist who can put together a UK-Norway trip for you as a package, including rail travel, hotels & transfers.  You'll find a range of suggested tours & holidays on their website which can be varied or customised to your requirements.  As you're booking a package, they'll take care of you if anything happens to one part of the itinerary such as a strike or delay.  One of their most popular trips is Ultimate Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest with train travel from the UK - it can be customised to include train travel both ways, just ask.  Another top seller is their holiday to Berlin & Prague with travel to & from London by train.

    UK flag  UK call 0207 864 4600, www.railbookers.co.uk

    US flag  US call free 1-888-829-4775, www.railbookers.com.

    Canadian flag  Canada call free 1-855-882-2910, www.railbookers.com.

    Australian flag  Australia call toll-free 1300 971 526, www.railbookers.com.au

    New Zealand flag  New Zealand call toll-free 0800 000 554 or see website.

  • Byway (Byway.travel) is a UK-based eco-holiday firm with a 5-star TrustPilot rating.  If you're nervous about booking train travel yourself, book a UK-Prague train trip through Byway as a package, including hotels and starting from any British station you like.  Byway includes package protection, a 100% Covid refund guarantee, free disruption and re-planning and on-demand WhatsApp support while you're away.  They can build a trip to your requirements if you email them or use this contact form.  When you book, please say you heard about them from Seat 61.

  • Escorted tours:  If you'd like to travel with a convivial group of travellers escorted by a professional tour guide, the operators to check are Great Rail Journeys (www.greatrail.com, in the UK call 01904 527 120) and Rail Discoveries, www.raildiscoveries.com, 01904 730 727.  Both have various escorted tours from the UK to Prague by train, with departures on a variety of dates.

What's the journey like?

1. London to Brussels by Eurostar...

Eurostar trains link London & Brussels in just 2 hours, travelling at up to 300 km/h (186 mph).  There are two bar cars, power sockets at all seats and free WiFi.  Standard Premier and Business Premier fares include a light meal with wine (or breakfast, on departures before 11:00).  There's a 30-minute minimum check-in at London St Pancras (45-minute minimum in Paris, Brussels & Amsterdam) as all border formalities are carried out before you board the train.  More information about Eurostar including check-in procedureSt Pancras station guide Brussels Midi station guide & short cut for changing trains in Brussels.

Eurostar e320   Eurostar e320 first class seats

A Eurostar e320 train.  More about Eurostar.

 

Standard Premier/Business Premier.  Larger photo.

Eurostar e320 2nd class   Eurostar e320 cafe-bar

Standard class seats.  Larger photo.

 

One of two cafe-bars, in cars 8 & 9.  Larger photo.

2. Brussels to Cologne by ICE3...

Germany's superb ICEs have a bistro-restaurant car, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.  In 1st class, bistro orders are taken at your seat.  50 minutes after leaving Brussels the ICE calls at Liège, where you can admire the impressive station designed by celebrity architect Santiago Calatrava.  As you approach Cologne Hbf you'll see the twin towers of Cologne Cathedral on the right, next to the station.  More information about ICE3 Brussels Midi station guideCologne Hbf station guide.

ICE3M to Cologne & Frankfurt, boarding at Brussels Midi

An ICE3M to Cologne at Brussels Midi.  More information about ICE Advice on changing trains in Brussels.

2nd class on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE3M train   1st class on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE3M train

2nd class seats on an ICE3M.  Larger photo.

 

1st class seats on an ICE3M.  Larger photo.

Erdinger Weissbier on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE train   Restaurant car on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE3M train

Proper china, metal cutlery.  I recommend the Erdinger Weissbier!  See current month's menu.

 

Restaurant car:  This is the small 12-seat restaurant area on an ICE3M.  Larger photo.

3. Cologne to Berlin by ICE2...

ICE2 trains have a restaurant car, bar car, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi. In 1st class, bistro orders are taken at your seat.  Immediately after leaving Cologne Hbf, the train crosses the Hohenzollern bridge over the Rhine.  It passes through the industrial Ruhr via Wuppertal & Hamm.  After leaving Hannover, the train passes non-stop through Wolfsburg - look out for the original Volkswagen factory on the left, built in 1938.  The train then travels at up to 280 km/h (174 mph) on the high-speed line to Berlin Hbf, where it arrives at the low-level platforms.  More information about ICE2Cologne Hbf station guide Berlin Hbf station guide.

ICE second class   High-speed ICE train from Cologne to Berlin

2nd class seats.  Larger photo.

 

An ICE2 at Berlin Hbf...

ICE2 restaurant car   ICE2 bar car

Restaurant car.  Larger photo.

 

Bar car.  Larger photo.

ICE2 at Berlin   ICE first class

Boarding an ICE2 at Berlin Hbf...

 

1st class seats.  Larger photo.

4. Berlin to Prague by EuroCity train See photos, tips & info for the Berlin to Prague train ride.

EuroCity train from Berlin to Prague about to leave Berlin

The first class car of the EuroCity train to Prague boarding in Berlin...

First class on Prague to Budapest traiin   2nd class compartment on Prague to Budapest traiin

1st class seats...

 

2nd class seats in a compartment car...

Czech restaurant car on a Berlin to Prague train   Lunch in the restaurant car between Berlin & Prague

So civilised!  A meal in the Czech restaurant car as the Berlin-Prague express snakes along the beautiful Elbe river south of Dresden.  Most Berlin-Prague trains use Czech carriages like this, a few use Hungarian air-conditioned carriages.  See more photos, tips & info for the Berlin to Prague train ridePhoto courtesy of Philip Dyer-Perry.

Scenery along the river Elbe

Between Berlin & Prague the train runs along the pretty river Elbe, or Labe in Czech.  One of Europe's major rivers, the Elbe eventually flows into the North Sea at Cuxhaven near Hamburg.  Watch for river boats, even the occasional paddle steamer.

Video guideBerlin to Prague by train

Back to top


Option 5:  London to Prague by day trains with overnight stop in Paris or Munich

This is potentially the second cheapest option, London to Prague from as little as €74.  Like option 1 it involves daytime trains rather than sleepers with an overnight hotel stop, this time in Paris or Munich.

London ► Prague with overnight stop in Paris

London ► Prague with overnight stop in Munich

Prague ► London with overnight stop in Paris

Prague ► London with overnight stop in Munich

How much does it cost?

  • London to Paris by Eurostar starts at £52 one-way or £78 return in standard class, £115 one-way, £199 return standard premier (1st class).

  • Paris to Munich starts at €39.90 each way in 2nd class or €69.90 each way in 1st class.

  • Munich to Prague starts at €15 each way in 2nd class or €35 each way in 1st class.

How to buy tickets

  • Step 1, book the London-Paris Eurostar at www.eurostar.com.  You print your own ticket or can use the Eurostar app on your phone.

    Booking opens up to 180 days ahead for Eurostar, 120 days ahead for Paris-Munich and 90 days ahead for Munich-Prague.  I'd wait until booking is open for all trains so times can be confirmed before buying a non-refundable Eurostar ticket, unless you're prepared to take a calculated risk.  All these fares are dynamic like air fares, cheaper in advance and on less popular days or dates, more expensive on the day.

    If you're travelling from a town or city north of London, see advice about buying domestic tickets to London to connect with Eurostar.

    Tip:  If you are making a round trip, London-Paris return fares are significantly cheaper than two one-ways so it's cheaper to book the Eurostar as a return.  All other trains are one-way ticketed so it makes no difference how you book, and it can be easier to book one way at a time.

  • Step 2, book the Paris-Munich journey at German Railways www.bahn.de.  You print your own ticket or can show it on your phone.

  • Step 3, book the Munich-Prague train at Czech Railways site www.cd.cz, as this is the only site that sells these cheap fares.  You print your own ticket or can show it on your phone.

What's the journey like?

1. London to Paris by Eurostar...

Eurostar trains link London & Paris in 2h20, travelling at up to 300 km/h (186 mph).  There are two bar cars, power sockets at all seats and free WiFi.  Standard Premier and Business Premier fares include a light meal with wine (or breakfast, on departures before 11:00).  There's a 30-minute minimum check-in at London St Pancras (45-minute minimum in Paris, Brussels & Amsterdam) as all border formalities are carried out before you board the train.  More information about Eurostar including check-in procedureSt Pancras station guide Paris Gare du Nord station guide.

Eurostar e320   Eurostar e320 first class seats

A Eurostar e320 at St Pancras.  More about Eurostar.

 

1st class:  Standard Premier or Business Premier.

Eurostar e320 2nd class   Eurostar e320 cafe-bar

Standard class seats.  Larger photo.

 

One of two cafe-bars, in cars 8 & 9.  Larger photo.

2. Paris to Munich by TGV Duplex...   See video guide

In Paris it's an easy 7 minute 500m walk from the Gare du Nord to the Gare de l'Est for the TGV to Germany.  Sit back with a glass of red and enjoy the ride - book an upper deck seat for the best views.  The train is equipped with power sockets for laptops & mobiles at all seats in both classes, and a cafe-bar serves drinks, snacks & microwaved hot dishes.  The train soon leaves the Paris suburbs behind and speeds across a vast wide open plateau of woods & farmland at up to 320 km/h (199 mph), past picturesque French villages of the Champagne region.  An hour or two later, the train leaves the high-speed line and slowly meanders through pretty wooded hills, the countryside eventually flattening out towards Strasbourg.  On leaving Strasbourg, look out for Strasbourg cathedral on the left with its famously missing second tower.  Minutes afterwards you rumble across the river Rhine into Germany, before heading on to Stuttgart & Munich.  Paris Gare de l'Est station guideMunich Hbf station guide.

TGV Duplex at Paris Gare de l'Est

TGV Duplex at Paris Est. These impressive 320 km/h double-deck trains link Paris with Nice, Marseille, Munich, Barcelona & Switzerland...

TGV Duplex cafe-bar   TGV Duplex upper deck 2nd class seats

Cafe-bar on upper deck in car 4, serving tea, coffee, soft drinks, wine, beer, snacks & microwaved hot dishes.

 

2nd class seats on the upper deck.  There's a mix or tables for 4 and unidirectional seating.  360º photo.

First class on board a TGV Duplex   An TGV Duplex at Paris Est.

1st class on upper deck, a club duo on the left, a club quatre on the right.  360º photo.

 

A TGV Duplex.  The 1 near the door indicates 1st class, a 2 indicates 2nd class.

3. Munich to Prague by express train.  More information about trains from Munich to Prague

The Czech EuroCity train from Prague to Munich

Smart modern air-conditioned cars on the train from Prague to Munich...

2nd class compartment   2nd class open saloon car

Choose a 2nd class compartment car...

 

...or a 2nd class open-plan car.

Beautiful scenery from the Prague to Munich train

Sit back and watch beautiful Czech countryside roll past...

Back to top


large bullet pointLondon to Prague via Harwich

The comfortable ferry alternative to Eurostar...

You might prefer to travel by train & ferry to reach Prague, for example to avoid the Channel Tunnel if problems affect the Eurostar service or if you suffer from claustrophobia.  The ferry option is often cheaper than Eurostar, especially at short notice when all the cheap Eurostar fares have sold out.  It's also handy if you live in East Anglia as you can travel direct to Harwich avoiding London.  Indeed, you may simply prefer a relaxing journey, cruising overnight on the Stena Line superferry in a luxury en suite cabin with shower, toilet, satellite TV and free WiFi (see the video!), lunch in Amsterdam, a pleasant evening in Berlin, then a scenic train ride to Prague next morning, along the Elbe river valley.  A great way to reach Prague, four capital cities in one trip!

London, Cambridge & Harwich ► Prague

  • Day 1, travel from London to Amsterdam overnight by Stena Line Rail & Sail...

    You leave London Liverpool Street at 18:45 Mondays-Fridays, 19:36 Saturdays or 20:00 Sundays by direct train to Harwich International.

    You leave Cambridge at 19:47 Mondays-Saturdays or 19:45 on Sundays by direct train to Harwich International.

    At Harwich, the station is right next to the ferry terminal and you walk off the train into the terminal, check in at the Stena Line desk and walk straight onto the Stena Line ferry to Hoek van Holland. 

    The ferry sails at 23:00 and arrives at Hoek van Holland at 08:00 Dutch time next morning.  All passengers travel in cosy private cabins with en suite toilet, shower & satellite TV.  Deluxe Comfort class & Captains class cabins are also available, and there's free WiFi in the lounges, bars & restaurants on 9 deck.  You can get on board the ferry before 9pm, have a late dinner in the restaurant and settle into your cabin.

    On arrival at Hoek van Holland, the metro station is right next to the ferry terminal.  On arrival at Hoek van Holland you walk down the gangway, through passport control and out of the ferry terminal straight onto the station.  Take the frequent metro train to Schiedam Centrum and change onto for an InterCity train to Amsterdam Centraal, arriving 10:25.

    See the Stena Line Rail & Sail page for full details.  Rail & Sail tickets are valid not just from London but from any Abellio Greater Anglia railway station, for example, Cambridge, Norwich or Chelmsford.

    Spend some time in Amsterdam, left luggage lockers are available at Amsterdam Centraal.

  • Day 2, travel from Amsterdam to Berlin by Intercity train, leaving Amsterdam Centraal at 15:00 and arriving Berlin Hbf at 21:25.

    By all means take an earlier train and enjoy an evening in Berlin, the 11:00 from Amsterdam arrives Berlin at 17:25, the 13:00 arrives at 19:25, see the timetable here.  The Reichstag is only 10 minutes walk from Berlin Hbf, the Brandenburg Gate just 15 minutes walk.

Prague ► Harwich, Cambridge & London

  • Day 2, evening, travel from Amsterdam to London overnight by Stena Line Rail & Sail...

    You leave Amsterdam Centraal on the 18:35 Dutch intercity train to Schiedam Centrum where you change onto the frequent metro train to Hoek van Holland Haven.  At Hoek van Holland, the metro station is right next to the ferry terminal.  You check in for the ferry then walk up the gangway onto the ship.

    The ferry sails at 22:00 and arrives at Harwich International at 06:30 next morning, UK time.  All passengers travel in a snug private cabin with shower, toilet & satellite TV.   At Harwich, you walk off the ship and onto the station to take a train on to London arriving 08:48-08:59 (day 3 from Prague) or to Cambridge arriving 09:41 (10:39 on Sundays).  See the Stena Line Rail & Sail page for full details.

How much does it cost?

  • London or Cambridge to Amsterdam starts at £55 per person each way, plus cabin.

    Cabins start at £34 for a single berth cabin or £45 per cabin for a 2-berth, and are compulsory on the night sailing.

    The fare covers the train from London, Cambridge or any station on the Greater Anglia rail network to Harwich, the ferry, and onward Dutch metro & trains from Hoek van Holland Haven to any station in the Netherlands, see the Netherlands page for full details of fares and cabin types and costs.

  • Amsterdam to Prague starts at €37.90 each way in 2nd class or €69.90 each way in 1st class.

How to buy tickets...

  • Step 1, buy a Rail & Sail ticket from London or any station on Greater Anglia to Any Dutch Station as shown on the Stena Line Rail & Sail page.

  • Step 2, now book your trains from Amsterdam to Prague at the German Railways website www.bahn.de like this:

    To get Amsterdam to Prague with an overnight stop in Berlin, enter Amsterdam Centraal to Prague then click Stopover, enter Berlin Hbf as a via station with a stopover duration of (say) 14 hours.  I've set this link up for you, just enter your date of travel and the number of passengers.  Adjust the stopover duration and departure time as necessary to get the trains you want between Amsterdam & Berlin and (the following morning) Berlin & Prague.

    If can't get your head around this, just use www.bahn.de to book Amsterdam-Berlin as one ticket and then Berlin-Prague as another ticket next day, although that usually costs a little more.

    Booking opens up to 6 months ahead.  I recommend registering when prompted so you can log in and check your bookings or re-print tickets at any time.  You print your own tickets or can show them on your phone.

What's the journey like?

Step 1, London to Amsterdam by train & ferry...

A train takes you from London's Liverpool Street station or from Cambridge directly to the ferry terminal at Harwich.  You walk off the train, into the terminal, get your boarding card & cabin key at the Stena Line check-in desk and walk straight onto the overnight ferry to Hoek van Holland.  The superferry Stena Britannica is the largest ferry of its kind in the world.  Have a late dinner in the restaurant, retire to bed in a private cabin with en suite toilet & shower and satellite TV.  At Hoek van Holland, you walk off the ship, through passport control and straight onto the station for the frequent metro train to Schiedam & Rotterdam.  Change at Schiedam Centrum for a Dutch Railways (NS) train to Amsterdam CentraalThe journey from London to Holland is explained in detail on the Stena Line Rail & Sail page See the video...

Captain's Class cabin on Stena Line ferry   Stena Line ferry from Harwich to Hoek van Holland

Captain's Class cabin on the Harwich-Hoek ferry with double bed, complimentary minibar with sparkling wine, tea & coffee making facilities, hairdryer.  Larger photo.

 

Boarding the Stena Britannica at Harwich.  She's a floating hotel to Hoek van Holland, with easy rail connections on either side of the Channel.  Restaurants, bars, shop, kennels, cinema...

Metropolitan restaurant on the Stena Line ferry   Standard outside cabin on Stena Line ferry

Dinner before bed?  Metropolitan à la carte restaurant.

 

Standard outside cabin.  Larger photo.  360º photo.

Step 2, Amsterdam to Berlin by Intercity train:  You then take a comfortable Intercity train from Amsterdam Centraal to Berlin HbfSee the Amsterdam to Berlin InterCity page for photos, tips, and what to see along the way.

A DB InterCity train

A German Intercity train.  More information about Intercity trains.

Beef ribs and Spatburgunder red wine on the Amsterdam to Berlin InterCity train   Inside the Amsterdam to Berlin bistro car

Dinner in the bistro.  The beef ribs were delicious...

 

Bistro car.  See current month's menu...

2nd clas seats on a DB Intercity train

2nd class seating is usually in open-plan saloons like this, most seats unidirectional, but with some tables for 4.  Sometimes you'll find 2nd class compartment cars with side corridor and ten 6-seat compartments  Larger photo.

Step 3, Berlin to Prague by EuroCity trainSee photos, tips & information on the Berlin to Prague EuroCity trains.

EuroCity train from Berlin to Prague about to leave Berlin

The first class car of the EuroCity train to Prague boarding in Berlin...

First class on Prague to Budapest traiin   2nd class compartment on Prague to Budapest traiin

1st class seats...

 

2nd class seats in a compartment car...

Czech restaurant car on a Berlin to Prague train   Lunch in the restaurant car between Berlin & Prague

So civilised!  A meal in the Czech restaurant car as the Berlin-Prague express snakes along the beautiful Elbe river south of Dresden.  Most Berlin-Prague trains use Czech carriages like this, a few use Hungarian air-conditioned carriages.  See more photos, tips & info for the Berlin to Prague train ridePhoto courtesy of Philip Dyer-Perry.

More cliffs along the river Elbe

Scenery along the Elbe river between Dresden & Prague...

Back to top


 large bullet pointScotland & the North to Prague

If you live in the North of England or Scotland, the fastest option is to take a train up to London and travel from London to Prague using Eurostar & onward trains as described above.  If you choose this all-train option, see this advice on buying cheap connecting train tickets to London.  But there are some useful ferry alternatives which by-pass London.  DFDS Seaways run an excellent daily overnight cruise ferry from Newcastle to Amsterdam, and P&O Ferries run a daily overnight cruise ferry from Hull to Rotterdam.  You can take the overnight ferry to Holland, hop on an Intercity train to Berlin and spend a pleasant evening there, then take a scenic train ride along the Elbe river valley next morning to downtown Prague.  A wonderful combination!

Scotland & the North ► Prague

  • Day 2, travel from Amsterdam to Berlin by Intercity train, leaving Amsterdam Centraal at 15:00 & arriving Berlin Hbf at 21:25.

    By all means take an earlier train and enjoy an evening in Berlin, the 13:00 arrives 19:25, see the timetable here.  The Reichstag is only 10 minutes walk from Berlin Hbf, the Brandenburg Gate just 15 minutes walk.

Prague ► Scotland & the North

  • Day 1, travel from Prague to Berlin by EuroCity train in 4h18 with great scenery along the Elbe river valley, see the timetable here.  Take any train you like, they run every 2 hours, for example leaving Prague Hlavni at 16:25 arriving Berlin Hbf at 21:01, with restaurant car.

  • Stay overnight in Berlin.  Top choice here is the InterCity Hotel Berlin Hbf (my favourite), only 200m from Berlin Hbf's main entrance, relatively inexpensive with great reviews, or if you're in the money, the excellent 5-star Steigenberger Hotel just outside the station.  If you're on a budget, the cheaper 3-star Motel One Berlin-Hbf is behind the station or use www.hostelworld.com.  Of course, if you really want to push the boat out, the famous Hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin is next to the Brandenburg Gate just 17 minutes walk away.

  • Day 2, travel from Berlin to Amsterdam by Intercity train, leaving Berlin Hbf at 08:33 and arriving Amsterdam Centraal 14:49, see the timetable here.  Allow plenty of time for the transfer from Amsterdam to the ferry, don't risk any tight connections.

  • Day 2, travel overnight by cruise ferry either with P&O Ferries from Rotterdam to Hull or with DFDS Seaways from IJmuiden (near Amsterdam) to Newcastle, whichever is most convenient for where you live.  Next morning (day 4) transfer to the station and take a train home.

    For details of timetables, fares & how to buy tickets from Amsterdam to the UK via these ferry routes, see the Hull-Rotterdam page or the Newcastle-Amsterdam page.

Fares & how to buy tickets...

  • Step 1, check ferry times & buy the ferry ticket at www.dfds.co.uk (Newcastle-Amsterdam) or www.poferries.com (Hull-Rotterdam). 

  • Step 2, check train times and buy a train ticket from your local station to Hull or Newcastle as shown on the UK page or using www.nationalrail.co.uk

  • Step 3, Amsterdam to Prague by train starts at  €37.90 each way in 2nd class or €69.90 in 1st class.  Book this at www.bahn.de as follows:

    To get Amsterdam to Prague with an overnight stop in Berlin, enter Amsterdam Centraal to Prague, then click Stopover, enter Berlin Hbf as a via station with a stopover duration of (say) 12 hours.  I've set this link up for you, just enter your date of travel and the number of passengers.  Adjust the stopover duration and departure time as necessary to get the trains you want between Amsterdam & Berlin and (the following morning) between Berlin & Prague.

    If can't get your head around this, just use www.bahn.de to book Amsterdam-Berlin as one ticket and then Berlin-Prague as another ticket next day, although that usually costs a little more.

    Booking opens up to 6 months ahead.  I recommend registering when prompted so you can log in and check your bookings or re-print tickets at any time.  You print your own ticket or can show it on your laptop or phone.

What's the journey like?

Step 1, sail overnight by cruise ferry from Newcastle to Amsterdam (DFDS) or Hull to Rotterdam (P&O), with private en suite cabins, restaurants, bars, cinema, a floating hotel.  If travelling with DFDS from Newcastle, a transfer bus takes you from IJmuiden ferry terminal to Amsterdam Centraal next morning.  If travelling with P&O from Hull, a transfer bus takes you from Rotterdam Europoort ferry terminal to Rotterdam Centraal, from where frequent Dutch trains run to Amsterdam Centraal.

Princess of Norway (now Princess Seaways) at Newcastle   A standard cabin on DFDS Seaways Newcastle-Amsterdam ferry.

DFDS Seaways Princess of Norway (now Princess Seaways) about to sail overnight from Newcastle to Amsterdam.  The ferry also has deluxe Commodore class cabins with minibar, satellite TV, shower & toilet.  See the video...

 

A standard Seaways class cabin with shower & toilet on DFDS Princess of Norway from Newcastle to Amsterdam.

P&O Ferries Pride of Rotterdam   Cabin on P&O Ferries Pride of Rotterdam

P&O Ferries Pride of Rotterdam at Rotterdam Europoort.  The ferry also has deluxe class cabins with minibar, satellite TV, shower & toilet.

 

A standard outside cabin with shower & toilet on P&O's Pride of Rotterdam from Hull to Rotterdam.

Step 2, Amsterdam to Berlin by Intercity train:  You then take a comfortable Intercity train from Amsterdam Centraal to Berlin HbfSee the Amsterdam to Berlin InterCity page for photos, tips, and what to see along the way.

A DB InterCity train

A German Intercity train.  More information about Intercity trains.

Beef ribs and Spatburgunder red wine on the Amsterdam to Berlin InterCity train   Inside the Amsterdam to Berlin bistro car

Dinner in the bistro.  The beef ribs were delicious...

 

Bistro car.  See current month's menu...

2nd clas seats on a DB Intercity train

2nd class seating is usually in open-plan saloons like this, most seats unidirectional, but with some tables for 4.  Sometimes you'll find 2nd class compartment cars with side corridor and ten 6-seat compartments  Larger photo.

Step 3, Berlin to Prague by EuroCity trainSee photos, tips & information on the Berlin to Prague EuroCity trains.

EuroCity train from Berlin to Prague about to leave Berlin

The first class car of the EuroCity train to Prague boarding in Berlin...

First class on Prague to Budapest traiin   2nd class compartment on Prague to Budapest traiin

1st class seats...

 

2nd class seats in a compartment car...

Czech restaurant car on a Berlin to Prague train   Lunch in the restaurant car between Berlin & Prague

So civilised!  A meal in the Czech restaurant car as the Berlin-Prague express snakes along the beautiful Elbe river south of Dresden.  Most Berlin-Prague trains use Czech carriages like this, a few use Hungarian air-conditioned carriages.  See more photos, tips & info for the Berlin to Prague train ridePhoto courtesy of Philip Dyer-Perry.

More cliffs along the river Elbe

Scenery along the Elbe river between Dresden & Prague...

Back to top


large bullet pointOther Czech destinations

Train travel in the Czech Republic...

  • www.bahn.de will give you train times within the Czech Republic, and www.cd.cz (change the Czech flag to the UK flag top right for English) will also give you fares and sell you tickets.

  • There is one main station in Prague, Praha Hlavni, near the city centre, see the Prague Hlavni station guide.

  • Trains run regularly, at least every hour or two, from Prague to all the places shown in the Key Destinations section below.  You don't have to buy a ticket in advance, just book as far as Prague then buy an onwards ticket at the station when you get to Prague, this is easy - you can pay on board the train if you find the conductor immediately, and don't mind paying an extra CZK 40 (about €1.50).  Or you can buy online at www.cd.cz

  • Seat reservation is compulsory for the front-rank SuperCity Pendolino trains between Prague and Ostrava, but reservation is unnecessary on almost all other Czech Railways trains, so they cannot 'sell out', just turn up, buy a ticket and hop on.

Key destinations...

  • Ostrava: Prague to Ostrava by train takes about 3 hours 10 minutes, the fare is about 489 Kc (£16).  The best services are the tilting pendolino SuperCity trains, which are air-conditioned with bar car, see the photos below.  In addition to the regular Czech Railways (CD) trains, two private operators now link Prague and Ostrava, RegioJet (www.regiojet.cz) and Leo Express (www.le.cz).  Unlike CD's tickets, tickets for both Regiojet & Leo Express automatically include a reservation but are only valid on the specific train you book.

  • Plzen: Prague to Plzen by train takes about 1 hour 35 minutes, fare about 130 Kc (£4).

  • Brno: Prague to Brno by train takes about 2 hours 40 minutes, fare about 250 Kc (£7).

  • Cesky Krumlov:  Coming from the UK, you can get off the Zurich-Prague sleeper at Ceske Budejovice and catch the branch line train to Ceske Krumlov run by GWTR, see the London-Prague by sleeper section above.  Otherwise, travel to Prague.  Prague to Cesky Krumlov takes about 3 hours 40 minutes by train with one change of train at Ceske Budejovice, although there's now a direct train leaving Prague at 08:01.  The fare is about 250 Kc (£7).  Alternatively, you can travel from London to Linz in Austria (see the London to Austria page) then travel by local trains from Linz to Ceský Krumlov with one easy change at Ceske Budejovice.  Use www.cd.cz to find train times & tickets from Linz to Ceske Budejovice, pay for the GWTR local train either at the station in Ceske Budejovice from the green-and-orange GWTR ticket kiosk or on board the train from the self-service machines which take cash or contactless MasterCard & Visa. 

  • Karlovy Vary: Prague to Karlovy Vary takes about 3 hours 20 minutes by train, the  fare is about 250 Kc (£7).  However, if you're travelling from London, Paris or Amsterdam, change trains at Usti nad Labem, an hour before arriving in Prague, for a local train to Karlovy vary.  This will save time over going into Prague and out again.  Use http://bahn.hafas.de to find train times.  You'll find it easier to book to Usti nad Labem, then buy a local ticket to Karlovy Vary when you get to Usti.  Similarly, on your return journey, travel from Karlovy Vary to Usti nad Labem and pick up the sleeper to Cologne & Amsterdam, or the EuroCity to Berlin, there.

Buying tickets for trains within the Czech Republic:  www.cd.cz...

You can buy tickets for train journeys within the Czech Republic online at www.cd.cz, complete with seat reservation, at cheap Czech prices with no booking fees.  You pay online and print your own ticket or (for domestic journeys) you can show it on your phone screen.  www.cd.cz will also book international trains from Prague to neighbouring countries, including Vienna, Budapest, Bratislava, Dresden, Berlin, Munich, Krakow & Warsaw also at cheap prices.  It can also book inward international tickets to Prague, except for journeys from Poland and Ukraine.  Tickets to or from Germany, Austria, Slovakia or Hungary can safely be booked at www.cd.cz in either direction.

Czech Super City train at Prague

SuperCity pendolino trains...  These modern pendolino tilting trains operate the premium SuperCity services linking Prague and Ostrava, the Czech Republic's second city.  Reservation is compulsory and there's a cafe-bar & free WiFi on board.

 

SuperCity 1st class.  Courtesy of CD....

 

SuperCity 2nd class.  Courtesy of CD....


large bullet pointVisiting Prague

Click for map of Prague     Click for Prague Hlavni station info

It's an easy walk from Prague's main Hlavni station to the old town and the famous Charles Bridge, as you can see from the map.  For Prague bus & metro information see www.dpp.cz or see this link.  For Prague tourist information see www.praguewelcome.cz.

Main square and cathedral, Prague   The clock in Prague's main square   King Charles Bridge, Prague

Prague old town square with the town hall & cathedral.

 

Old town hall clock.

 

Crossing the King Charles Bridge...

No flights were involved in the taking of these pictures - Prague is just a train ride away from the UK!

Back to top


large bullet pointHolidays & tours to Prague by train

  Railbookers logo

0207 864 4600 (UK)

1-888-829-4775 (USA)

1-855-882-2910 (Canada)

1300 971 526 (Aus)

0800 000 554 (NZ)

  Rail Discoveries logo

01904 730 727 (UK)

  Great Rail Journeys logo

01904 527120 (UK)

If you want a holiday to Prague by train not plane, but would like someone else to organise all the train tickets and hotels for you, several specialist companies do just that, for a holiday with no airport hassles or whole days in cramped coach seats on motorways.  Railbookers offer tailor-made individual holidays with departure on any date you like, Rail Discoveries & Great Rail Journeys both offer escorted tours with specific departure dates.

Railbookers tours & short breaks to Prague by train...

Railbookers are a train travel specialist who can put together a tour or short break as a package, including rail travel, hotels & transfers.  Their website has a range of suggested tours & holidays by rail which can be varied or customised to your requirements.  And as you're booking a package, they'll take care of you if anything happens such as a strike or delay.  For example, they offer a 6-night holiday to Prague, Vienna & Budapest with daytime train travel by Eurostar & TGV.

UK flag  UK call 0207 864 4600, www.railbookers.co.uk

US flag  US call free 1-888-829-4775, www.railbookers.com.

Canadian flag  Canada call free 1-855-882-2910, www.railbookers.com.

Australian flag  Australia call toll-free 1300 971 526, www.railbookers.com.au

New Zealand flag  New Zealand call toll-free 0800 000 554 or see website.

Rail Discoveries, www.raildiscoveries.com, 01904 730 727...

Rail Discoveries offers a 10-day escorted tour to Vienna, Prague and Berlin with 3* hotels and overland travel by Eurostar, sleeper train and EuroCity trains.  Check prices at www.raildiscoveries.com, then book online or call 01904 730 727.

Great Rail Journeys, www.greatrail.com, 01904 527120...

GRJ offers a 13-day escorted tour to Vienna, Budapest & Prague or a 12-day escorted tour to Berlin, Dresden & Prague, with 1st class train travel and 5* or 4* hotels.  Great Rail Journeys also offer holidays by train to other European countries.  Check the tour details & prices online, then call 01904 527120 to book or use their online booking form.

Back to top


large bullet pointEuropean Rail Timetable & maps

Thomas Cook European Timetable -  click to buy onlineTraveller's Railway Map of Europe - buy onlineThe European Rail Timetable (formerly the Thomas Cook European Timetable) has train & ferry times for every country in Europe plus currency & climate information.  It is essential for regular European train travellers and an inspiration for armchair travellers.  Published since 1873, it had just celebrated 140 years of publication when Thomas Cook decided to pull the plug on their entire publishing department, but the dedicated ex-Thomas Cook team set up a private venture and resumed publication of the famous European Rail Timetable in March 2014.  You can buy it online at www.amazon.co.uk (UK addresses) or www.europeanrailtimetable.eu (shipping worldwide).  More information on what the European Rail Timetable contains.

Rail Map Europe is the map I recommend, covering all of Europe from Portugal in the west to Moscow & Istanbul in the east, Finland in the north to Sicily & Athens in the south.  Scenic routes & high-speed lines are highlighted.  See an extract from the map.  Buy online at www.europeanrailtimetable.eu (shipping worldwide) or for £9.67 at www.amazon.co.uk (UK addresses).

Back to top


large bullet pointGuidebooks

Amazon logoPaying for a guidebook may seem an unnecessary expense, but it's probably only a tiny fraction of what you're spending on your whole trip.  You will see so much more, and know so much more about what you're looking at, if you have a decent guidebook.  The Lonely Planets and Rough Guides are about the best out there for independent travellers.  Both have everything you need - lots of background historical and cultural information, lots of practical information.  You won't regret buying one!

Click the images to buy at Amazon.co.uk

Lonely Planet Best of Prague - click to buy online   Lonely Planet Czech & Slovak Republics   Lonely Planet Eastern Europe - buy online at Amazon

Back to top


large bullet pointHotels in Prague

Apart from review score and price, I think the three key factors in choosing a hotel are location, location, and, erm, location.  For a longish stay, I'd book a hotel right in the heart of the old town on or near the Old Town Square where the action is.  For a shorter stay, especially if you are leaving on an early train, I'd go for a hotel near the station, so there's no time wasted in taxis, you can walk across the road and leave your bags, and it's an easy stroll across the road to the station when it's time to leave - but that's still easy walking distance to the old town and all the sights.

Hotels near Prague's old town square...

Ventana Hotel or Old Town Square Hotel (both 5-star), Grand Hotel Prague, Hotel Rott (both 4-star), Zlatý kůň Golden Horse (3-star).

Hotels near Prague Hlavni station...

MeetMe23 (3-star, a funky designer hotel with holographic receptionist!, Exe City Park Hotel (3-star), Chopin Hotel (3-star), Falkensteiner Hotel Maria (4-star), Esplanade Hotel (5-star, a top choice which I've used myself, this photo of Prague Hlavni station was taken from my room on an upper floor).

Personal recommendation:  Hotel Carlo IV

The Hotel Carlo IV is a grand 5 star hotel in the classic tradition, in an impressive 19th century building that was originally a bank.  It's an easy 3 minute stroll across the park from the station, an easy walk from all the sights, and being in Prague it isn't as expensive as you'd expect a hotel of this top calibre to be.  Great location, great staff, nice rooms, excellent breakfast, and it even has a spa and swimming pool.

Carlo IV Hotel, Prague   Room at the Carlo IV Hotel, Prague

Hotel Carlo IV, Prague, seen as you arrive from the station.

 

Room at the Carlo IV Hotel...

Find hotels at Booking.comMy favourite hotel search site: www.booking.com

www.booking.com is my favourite hotel booking site and I generally prefer booking my hotels all in one place here.  You can usually book with free cancellation - this allows you to confirm your accommodation at no risk before train booking opens.  It also means you can hold accommodation while you finalise your itinerary, and alter your plans as they evolve - a feature I use all the time when putting a trip together.  I never book hotels non-refundably.  I have also come to trust their review scores - you won't be disappointed with anything over 8.0.

Tip:  It can pay to compare prices across multiple hotel sites:  HotelsCombined.com is a price comparison site which compares hotel prices on Booking.com, Hotels.com, Expedia, Accor, Agoda and many others.  Though if there's not much in it, I prefer keeping all my bookings together in one place at www.booking.com.

Other hotel sites worth trying...

www.tripadvisor.com is the place to find independent travellers' reviews of all the main hotels.

Backpacker hostels: www.hostelworld.com...

www.hostelworld.com:  If you're on a tight budget, don't forget about backpacker hostels.  Hostelworld offers online booking of cheap private rooms or dorm beds in backpacker hostels in Paris and most other European cities at rock-bottom prices.

Back to top


large bullet pointTravel insurance & VPN

 

Staysure travel insurance

 

Confused.com logo

Always take out travel insurance...

You should take out travel insurance with at least £1m or preferably £5m medical cover from a reliable insurer.  It should cover trip cancellation and loss of cash & belongings up to a reasonable limit.  These days, check you're covered for covid-19-related issues, and use an insurer whose cover isn't invalidated by well-meant but excessive Foreign Office travel advice against non-essential travel. An annual policy is usually cheapest even for just 2 or 3 trips a year, I use an annual policy myself.  Don't expect travel insurance to bail you out of every missed connection, see the advice on missed connections here.  Here are some suggested insurers, I get a little commission if you buy through these links, feedback always welcome.

UK flagwww.staysure.co.uk offers enhanced Covid-19 protection & covers you even if the FCDO advises against non-essential travel.

UK flag

If you have a pre-existing medical condition or are over 65, see www.JustTravelCover.com.

UK flagYou can use www.confused.com to compare prices & policy features across major insurance companies.

 US flag If you live in the USA try Travel Guard USA.

 

Curve card

A Curve card saves foreign transaction fees...

Banks often give a poor exchange rate, then charge a currency conversion fee as well.  A Curve MasterCard means no foreign transaction fees and gives you the mid-market exchange rate, at least up to a certain limit, £500 per month as I write this.  The balance goes straight onto one of your existing debit or credit cards.  And you can get a Curve card for free.

How it works:  1. Download the app for iPhone or Android.  2. Enter your details & they'll send you a Curve MasterCard - they send to most European addresses including the UK.  3. Link your existing credit & debit cards to the app.  4. Now use the Curve MasterCard to buy things online or in person or take cash from ATMs, just like a normal MasterCard. Curve does the currency conversion and puts the balance onto whichever of your debit or credit cards you choose.  You can even change your mind about which card it goes onto, within 14 days of the transaction.

I use a Curve Blue card myself - I get a little commission if you sign up to Curve, but I'm recommending it here because I think it's great.  See details, download the app and get a Curve card - they'll give you £5 cashback through that link, too.

 

Express VPN

Get a VPN for safe browsing.  VPNs & why you need one explained...

When you're travelling you often use free WiFi in public places which may not be secure.  A VPN means your connection to the internet is encrypted & always secure, even using unsecured WiFi.  In countries such as China where access to Twitter & Facebook is restricted, a VPN gets around these restrictions.  And lastly, you can select the geographic location of the IP address you browse with, to get around geographic restrictions which some websites apply - for example one booking site charges a booking fee to non-European visitors but none to European visitors, so if you're not located in Europe you can avoid this fee by browsing with a UK IP address using a VPN.  VPNs & why you need one explainedExpressVPN is a best buy and I use it myself - I've signed up as an ExpressVPN affiliate, and if you go with expressvpn.com using the links on this page, you should see a special deal, 3 months free with an annual subscription, and I get a small commission to help support this site.

 

Anker Powerrbank

Carry an Anker powerbank...

With tickets, reservations, vaccination records and Interrail or Eurail passes now often held digitally on your mobile phone, it's vital to keep it charged.  I recommend carrying an Anker powerbank which can recharge your phone several times over if you can't get to a power outlet when you're on the move.  I never travel without one.

 


Back to top

Back to home page