How to ride like a local in Prague and in Czechia?

What kind of bike should I ride in Prague?

Although you may find some riders on fixies and road bikes, cobblestones, tram-rails and hills make mountain bikes the most practical. That’s why a good cross or hybrid bike is recommended. Due to cobblestones, the bicycle needs to be resistant. Choose a bicycle with at least 5 transmissions in the hub, or with universal 3 x 7+ derailleurs set. An e-bike can really help in hills. Of course, the choice really just depends on your personal riding style! For frequent parking on the street, an old, second-hand, or refurbished bicycle is highly recommended.

How to park in the city?

If you want to park your bicycle on the street, buy a good “U-Lock” and lock both frame and front wheel. If the bicycle is nice or expensive, combine your “U-Lock” with a cable to lock both wheels and the frame. Bike racks are unfortunately still not so common in Prague, so light-posts, traffic signs and red and white traffic railings are commonly used. You should only be careful not to create an obstacle for pedestrians.

In the Prague Main Train Station (Praha hlavní nádraží), there are currently no free bicycle racks. There are only two storage spaces available. One is the classical České dráhy luggage storage for 100 CZK /bike/day. And since 2018, there are few yellow storage boxes called „CubeSave“ in the entrance hall. They cost 250 CZK/bike/8 hours and 350 CZK/bike/day. For parking your bike outside, there is a bicycle stand available in the park in front of the Main Train Station. You can also find a non official suitable railing in the south of first platform.

How to deal with quirky traffic rules?

For complete information, see Road Code Specifics page. In short,

  1. Riding on sidewalks is illegal, but most people do it occasionally. Dismount the bike if it is inconvenient for pedestrians.
  2. You are obliged to use bike lanes and dedicated cycle paths when existing,
  3. You don’t have right of way on bicycle crossings, and
  4. one-way streets are not generally bidirectional for cyclists. It must be allowed by specific signs.

There few some places in Prague where you are likely to be fined for not dismounting: Výtoň, for example (crossing of A2 and A23). Also, dismount your bike at busy tourist locations where riding is not permitted (Karlův most, Pražský hrad, most paths in parks, etc.).

How to ride among pedestrians?

In the city center, it’s allowed to cycle on most pedestrian zones. They often make good shortcuts but avoid Staroměstské náměstí (The Old Town Square), which is almost always overcrowded unless it is in the early morning. The same rule applies to The Náplavka (a segment of riverbank between Mánes and Vyšehradský tunel). It gets very busy on afternoons if the temperature exceeds 20 degrees.

Karlův most (Charles Bridge) does not allow cycling, use Mánesův most (Mánes Bridge) instead. To avoid cobblestone areas on the right side of the Vltava, go on main streets where there is more traffic (Národní, Revoluční, Jindřišská) and travel is usually faster.

What about bike in public transport?

You may take your bicycle on the metro anytime for free, but try to avoid overcrowded hours/cars. You can stay with your bike by the front and the rear doors of every wagon except the first door of the whole train. You can also use trains in Prague when traveling with Prague Integrated Transport tickets (zones “P”, “B” and “0”). You can find more details and rules for metro, trams, ferries and funiculars on the dedicated page.

How to dress?

In the city center it’s quite normal to see all kinds of cyclists: lycra-clad suburban riders, hipsters on fixies, people on mountain bikes, and urban ladies on city-bikes. But if you dress more formally and leave your helmet, you will look rather exotic after you get 5 km from the city center.

What about bike sharing?

If you want to ride a bicycle in the city center occasionally and not worry about maintenance, you want to use a bikesharing system. As of 2021, four bicycle sharing companies operate in Prague. More details available in our bikesharing in Prague section.

How do I get there?

If you want to ride somewhere, we recommend planning ahead. Unfortunately, Prague is not a city where all streets are adapted for cycling. Only small percent of streets has a bike lane, cycle path or is a pedestrian zone – although it is slowly improving.

So, before going, check your directions. You can use the app Na kole Prahou (Prague by bicycle), (with touristic mode turned on) or our map, which has the most details including bike lanes, streets with contra flow bicycle lanes and bike stands, all with photos included.

For more infromation, check out our article called Maps and Routing.

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Are you interested in cycling around Prague or the whole country? Check our other English articles or don’t hesitate to ask us. If you want to be in picture, follow us on our social media.

About Městem na kole

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