Prague main station:  Location map

small bullet point  Overview

small bullet point  The old station

small bullet point  Platforms

small bullet point  Ticket offices  

small bullet point  Left luggage

small bullet point  CD lounge

 

small bullet point  For a coffee:  Fantova Kavárna

small bullet point  For a meal:  Restaurant Zvonice

small bullet point  Supermarkets

small bullet point  Nicholas Winton memorial

small bullet point  Hotels near the station & in old town

small bullet point  Walking to the sights, metro, taxis

 

small bullet point  Prague Holesovice station

small bullet point  Masarykovo & Smichov stations

On other pages:

small bullet point  Trains from Prague to other European cities

small bullet point  Trains from other European cities to Prague

small bullet point  General information for European train travel

Station overview

Prague has one main station, Prague Hlavni Nadrazi - Hlavni Nadrazi simply means main station in Czech, often abbreviated to Praha hl.n.

It's right in the city centre, only 15 minutes walk from Prague's historic old town & 20 minutes walk from King Charles Bridge.  The station is a perfectly safe place to be even late at night.  It's a through station, not a terminus - trains head north for Berlin, south for Munich, Vienna & Budapest.

The platforms and original Art Nouveau station of 1901-1909 sit on top of a shallow hill (level 0).  However, in 1972-79 a modern entrance and glitzy split-level underground concourse - part station, part shopping centre - were built into the side of the hill with a new main entrance at the foot of the hill, next to a small park with easy level access to the city.

You walk in through this modern main entrance at the foot of the hill, level -2.  After passing the escalators down to the metro and some initial retail units, you can either walk down a slight slope to the various ticket offices at the back of this modern concourse, or up steps or travelators to an upper level concourse with more retail units, called level -1.

3 passageways (southern, middle & northern) then lead from this upper level concourse underneath all the tracks, with escalators & stairs up to each platform.

It's entirely possible to walk into the modern station entrance, through the glitzy two-level retail concourse, under the tracks and directly up to your train without ever realising that there's a classic Art Nouveau station above you, peaceful, almost empty and largely unnoticed.  To get to the wonderful main hall of the old station building with the great Fantova Kavárna coffee shop, either go to platform 1 and walk into it directly from the platform or go to the upper level of the glitzy modern underground concourse (level -1) and look for the escalators to the historic station building on level 0 above.

The Man in Seat 61 says, "Do make the effort to go upstairs and have a look at the old station and perhaps have a tinkle on the public piano.  Indeed, the Fantova Kavárna in the station's original entrance hall is the best place to wait for your train over a coffee away from the hustle & bustle below.  It's worth reading up on the station and its connection with President Wilson of the United States at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Praha_hlavni_nadrazi"

The modern station

Main entrance to Prague Hlavni station

The main entrance to Prague Hlavni at the foot of the hill in a small park with easy access to the city.  The old town is 15 minutes walk away.  This is level -2.

Inside Prague Hlavni station

The main concourse, inside the main entrance on level -2.  Part station, part shopping centre, built in 1972-79.  Departure boards show the time, destination & platform of all trains.  The ticket offices & CD Lounge are at the rear of this level -2.  The Billa supermarket is also on this level.

You can see the short travelators which take you up to a smaller retail floor, level -1.  From here, 3 broad passageways (north, centre & south) lead under all the tracks, with stairs & lifts or escalators up to each platform (level 0).

The station has plenty of shops & kiosks to buy coffee, snacks and supplies for the journey.  There are no such outlets on the platforms themselves.

Toilets (10 Kr) and hot showers (40 Kr) are available on level -1.

The historic station 1901-1909

Overview of Prague Hlavni

The old Art Nouveau station designed by architect Josef Fanta and built in 1901-1909...  In the photo above, the modern main station entrance is out of shot to the left, down at the foot of the hill.  The modern station concourse is underground, directly beneath the car park visible on the left of the photo.  So many people pass straight through onto their platform without realising that the original Art Nouveau station sits right above them!  This photo was taken from a 5th floor room at the nearby Esplanade Hotel.  You can read up on the station's history at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Praha_hlavni_nadrazi.

Old historic station entrance

The old station entrance hall & Fantova Kavárna (Fanta's Cafe), level 0...  You can reach the old station building either via escalators up from the upper level of the modern concourse below, or you can walk straight in off platform 1 which is on the same level.  The photo above shows the original station entrance hall, its doors now largely unused - outside these doors, the old station forecourt is now a busy multi-lane cross-Prague freeway with a car park on the other side.  Larger photo.  The Fantova Kavárna (Cafe Fanta) is in the centre of this photo, the best place to wait for your train...

Platforms

Prague Hlavni has 8 platforms, numbered 1-8 starting at the west side nearest the main entrance and city centre.  Note that each platform number refers to an island platform with a track either side, which would count as two platforms in the UK.  Platforms 1-6 are underneath the beautiful double-arched trainshed shown below.  Platforms 7 & 8 are on the far side of the arched trainshed from the main building and have their own canopies.  Departure boards clearly show the destination of each train.  The platforms are non-smoking.

Tip:  There are no kiosks or shops on the platforms so buy any food or drink you want before heading to your train.

Prague Hlavni platforms

Ticket offices

All the ticket offices are located together at the rear of level -2.  Walk in through the main station entrance, walk to the rear of that level, down a shallow slope.

At the main Czech Railways (CD) ticket office you can pay in koruna or in euros, with cash or cards, open from the small hours of early morning until after midnight.  You'll find plenty of ATMs in the station.

Private operator Regiojet has 3 small clearly-marked ticket offices all on level -2, with varying opening hours.  Leo Express also has a ticket office, close to the main CD one.

Main ticket office at Prague Hlavni

Main Czech Railways (CD) ticket office, for advance bookings & international tickets, located at the rear of level -2.

Domestic ticket office

CD domestic tickets for today, located at the rear of level -2, to the left of the main ticket office.

Leo Express ticket office at Prague Hlavni   Regiojet ticket office at Prague Hlavni

Leo Express ticket office, for Leo Express tickets to Ostrava & Krakow.

 

Regiojet ticket office for Regiojet tickets, they also sell German Bayern-Böhmen-Tickets.

CD Lounge

There is a CD Lounge with free WiFi located at the rear of level -2 near the main CD ticket offices, open 06:00-22:30.  It can be used by all 1st class passengers and holders of 2nd class tickets for higher-quality trains such as EuroCity, EuroNight, Ex, REx, IC & SuperCity trains.  However, it is somewhat underwhelming compared to first class lounges in (say) Germany - it's fairly basic with just a water dispenser and kids corner.

Tip:  I recommend waiting for your train in Fanta's Cafe, upstairs in the quiet and relaxed former entrance hall of the original historic art nouveau building.

CD lounge at Prague Hlavni   CD lounge at Prague Hlavni

CD Lounge Courtesy of Paul Blackmore.

 

CD Lounge, to the left of the CD ticket office.

Left luggage lockers & office

Luggage lockers:  There are plenty of left luggage lockers in a locker room on level -2, the same level as the main entrance, near the start of the northern passageway under all the tracks to the platforms.  In other words, when you walk in the main entrance, go to the far left-hand side of the concourse.  See prices.

New lockers have been installed, each row has a modern touch screen control panel with English language facility.

There are two locker sizes, Large = 50cm x 53cm x 70cm, Xtra Large = 50cm x 70cm x 85cm.  You pay with a contactless bank card or CZK cash.

Staffed left luggage office:  This is on level -1, just inside the southern passageway under all the tracks towards the platforms.  In other words, when you walk in the main entrance, go to the far right-hand side of the concourse, up to level -1 and into the passageway towards all the platforms.  It's then on the left-hand side of the passageway.  The luggage office takes euros and CZK in cash.  See prices & opening hours for left luggage.

Luggage lockers at Prague Hlavni   Staffed left luggage office

The left luggage lockers.

 

The staffed luggage office.

For a coffee: Fantova Kavárna

The Fantova Kavárna (Cafe Fanta) is the best place to wait for your train over coffee or a bottle of beer and maybe something to eat.  Think of it as the station departure lounge!  It's located in the original entrance hall of the historic art nouveau station and named after the station's architect, Josef Fanta.  Apart from the historic surroundings, it's quiet & relaxed up here, an oasis away from the hustle of the busy retail areas below.  Simply head up the escalator from modern retail level -1 into the old station entrance hall on level 0, or you can walk into the old station entrance hall off platform 1.  The Fantova Kavárna was previously Cafe Coffee Day which closed in January 2020, but a new owner took over the premises from 12 June 2020.

Open 08:00-20:30 every day.  If you have any feedback, or if these hours change, do let me know.

Fantova Kaverna (Fanta's Cafe), Prague Hlavni

Fantova Kavárna, the best place to wait for your train, in historic surroundings away from the hustle of the modern station.

Cafe Fanta, Prague   Cafe Fanta, Prague

For a meal:  Restaurant Zvonice

There's nowhere inside the station that stands out, the Restaurant Šalanda inside the main entrance is OK but gets so-so reviews.

A better option is a 2-minute 190m walk across the park in front of the station to the Restaurant U Staré Pošty (www.ustareposty.eu), a pub-restaurant with good Czech food & beer, see walking map.  It's open every day until late evening.

Also consider an 11-minute 850m walk to the delightfully-restored Masarykovo station to eat at the excellent and relatively inexpensive Restaurant Masarycka (www.masaryckarestaurace.cz), see walking map.

Or take a 5 minute 450m walk to the remarkable Restaurant Zvonice (www.restaurantzvonice.cz), see walking map.  This is located on the 7th & 8th floors of a historic gate-tower housing a bell that dates from 1518.  Don't worry about all the steps, there's a lift!  It's usually open until midnight so ideal if you're catching a sleeper.  It's expensive by Czech standards, but not by western standards, the food and wine are great and it's quite an experience - you won't regret eating here.

Restaurant Zvonice food   Restaurant Zvonice in a Prague gate tower   Restaurant Zvonice in a Prague gate tower

Restaurant Zvonice on the 7th & 8th floor of a Prague gate tower.  The centre photo shows the bell, visible through a window in the floor beneath my table.

Supermarkets

BILLA supermarket:  If you need to stock up for your journey, there's a decent-sized BILLA supermarket in the station on level -2.  After walking in through the main station entrance, head for the far right corner of that level.

PONT minimarket:  There's also a much smaller PONT minimarket just inside the main station entrance on the left-hand side, level -2.

REgiojet office & Billa supermarket

Another of the 3 Regiojet ticket offices on level -2, and on the right in the background, the Billa supermarket.  Those escalators lead up to the southernmost of the 3 passageways under all the tracks (level -1), with stairs and/or escalators up to each platform (level 0).

The Nicholas Winton sculpture

Towards the southern end of platform 1 is an easy-to-miss sculpture dedicated to Englishman Sir Nicholas Winton MBE, dubbed 'the British Schindler' who arranged the escape of 669 children from the Czech Republic to the UK by train & ferry on the eve of World War 2.  It is also dedicated to the many Czechoslovakian children who could not be rescued, and died in concentration camps.  This sculpture's opposite number (two of them, in fact) stands at Liverpool Street station in London where the children arrived.  See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicholas_Winton & en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kindertransport.  Do go along and pay your respects!

Nicholas Winton Kindertransport plaque, Prague   Nicholas Winton Kindertransport sculpure, Prague

Hotels near the station

Location, location, location...  If you're staying one night between trains, book a hotel near the station, there are some good ones just across the road.  If staying longer, go for one in the heart of the old town close to all the sights.  Hotels across the road from Prague Hlavni station with good or great reviews: 

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).

...and in the old town

Hotels on or close to the old town square with good or great reviews:

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

Personal recommendationThe 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 calibre to be.  Great location, great staff, nice rooms, excellent breakfast, and it has a spa and swimming pool.  Check prices for your dates...

 

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

 

Room at the Carlo IV Hotel.

Walking to the sights

It's a 14-minute 1.2 km walk from the station to Prague's famous old town square, see walking map.

It's a 22-minute 1.8 km walk from the station to the Charles Bridge via the old town, see walking map.

Metro

Prague Hlavni has a metro station underneath it on Metro Line C, also called Prague Hlavni Nadrazi.  It's the best way to transfer to Holesovice station, but you'll find walking a better way to reach the old town as it only takes 15 minutes.  The escalators down to the metro station are just inside the main station entrance.

Buy a metro ticket from the yellow metro ticket machines, they have a touch screen with English language facility and you can pay with a contactless bank card.  You only need the cheapest '30-minute' ticket - remember to validate it in the little yellow validator machines at the entrance to the metro.

For metro & tram information see www.dpp.cz/en, click the UK flag for English and for a metro map use their search facility.  Or try www.prague.net/metro which is perhaps more useful.

Taxis

For a taxi fare calculator see www.taxifarefinder.com/main.php?city=Prague-Czech-Republic.

Prague old town square

Prague's old town square at night, with the astronomical clock & cathedral.  Just 15 minutes walk from the station.


Prague Holesovice station

Prague Holesovice is a secondary station in the north of the city, see location & city map.  It has 5 platforms.  Frankly, it is as ugly as Prague Hlavni is beautiful!

Holesovice sits astride the Berlin-Prague-Vienna/Budapest line and until 2010 many trains on this axis used Prague Holesovice as it saved them going into and out of Prague Hlavni over a very congested section of line.  That busy section was upgraded in 2010 and now almost all trains now serve Prague Hlavni in the city centre (although many also still call at Holesovice).

These days you shouldn't normally need to use Holesovice (thank goodness), but occasionally one or two cross-Prague trains use Holesovice and don't serve Hlavni due to trackwork - the time they lose due to trackwork is made up by not going into Hlavni and changing direction to come out again.

Station facilities

Holesovice has domestic & international ticket windows, ATM, bureau de change, taxi rank.  There are no longer any left luggage lockers - even though signs still exist, leading to a dead end!  There is a small cafe, a bakery and a small store.  There's a MacDonald's across the road.

Prague Holesovice station

Prague Holesovice station with the eastern entrance to the retail passage in the foreground.  The passenger facilities are all in the long station passage connecting the retail passage with the platforms, running under the office block.  The tracks are just visible at far right, behind the office block on a viaduct above ground.

Prague Holesovice concourse

Retail passage.  Here you'll find the metro entrance, a cafe, shop & pizza place.  In this photo, we've walked in through the east entrance.  The west entrance is visible at the far end.  If we walk half way along and turn right, we enter the station passage.

Prague Holesovice concourse

Station passage.  This is a long passageway connecting the retail passage with the platforms.  It runs under the office block and under all the tracks, with a gentle slope and steps up to each island platform - if you have wheeled luggage, use the slopes!  The ticket windows are in this passageway on the right, as you can see.

Prague Holesovice platforms

Platforms.  Here you can just see the slopes down from the platform to the station passage below, ideal if you've wheeled luggage.

How to transfer between Holesovice, Hlavni & city centre

Holesovice is 2.5 km from the old town (a 32 minute walk) and 3 km from Prague Hlavni (a 38 minute walk).

The easiest way to transfer between Prague Holesovice and Prague Hlavni or the city centre is by metro.  Nadrazi Holesovice station is on metro line C, just 3 stops from Nadrazi Hlavni, it only takes a few minutes.

Buy a metro ticket from the yellow metro ticket machines, they have a touch screen with English language facility and you can pay with a contactless bank card.  You only need the cheapest '30-minute' ticket - remember to validate it in the little yellow validator machines at the entrance to the metro.  The Prague public transport website is www.dpp.cz or see www.prague.net/metro.

A taxi between Holesovice & Hlavni will cost around €10.

A metro train at Praha Hlavni

Above, a metro train to Holesovice is about to leave Praha Hlavni station.


Prague Masarykovo station

Prague Masarykovo is a beautiful little terminus in the city centre just north of Prague Hlavni.  However, most visitors are unlikely to need it.  It is served by local and regional trains which Prague Hlavni station hasn't the capacity to handle.  It's been lovingly restored, and hosts an excellent restaurant, the Masarycka (www.masaryckarestaurace.cz).  It's an 11-minute 850m walk between Prague Hlavni & Masarykovo station, see walking map.

Prague Masarykovo station   Prague Masarykovo station

Prague Smichov station

Prague Smichov is another of Prague's secondary stations, serving the south west of the city.  Many southbound trains call here immediately after leaving Prague Hlavni, but most visitors are unlikely to need to need it.


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