Tuesday, June 1, 2010


České dráhy, Czech Railways, also known as “ČD”, has one of the densest railway networks in Europe.

Going by train is pretty convenient, although a lot of my friends prefer to go places by bus. The price of a train ticket isn't too bad domestically. It's not even that bad when you cross the border in to Austria or Slovakia. But beyond that it does seem to get kind of expensive...relatively speaking. I think once you start crossing multiple borders then each country taxes the seat in order to get its cut. The trains must be feeling the pinch from all of the low-cost airlines.

When you buy a train ticket, it is good for two months. So you can travel whenever you want. The tickets are open seating so it's first come, first served. You can pay a little extra and get a seat reservation. The reservation will be for a specific seat, on a specific train, at a specific time. You don't have as much flexibility but you at least know for sure that you won't have to stand the entire trip, if all of the seats are full.

Last week I was able to pick up my In-karta card. It took three weeks before I could go to the main station to pick it up. I paid 990 Kč (~$50) for it and the card is good for three years. The price is cheaper if you're under 26 or a senior citizen. It gives me a 25% discount on tickets and a 50% discount on seat reservations. The discount applies to domestic tickets, in addition to, tickets for Germany, Slovakia, Austria, Hungary, Poland and Slovenia. The good news is that within the next couple of months my card will have already paid for itself.

As far as train schedules go, the easiest thing is to go to IDOS. Luckily, you can click on the British or German flags at the bottom of the screen to change the language displayed. One thing that drives me mental is that when you look up a route within the ČR, the website displays the cost of the ticket - both the full price and the In-karta price. But if you search for an international trip then you either have to go to the train station, or call customer service, for the quote. Unfortunately, my Czech isn't good enough yet to really talk on the telephone so I end up going to the train station or having a friend my the call for me.

EDIT: I was at the station today, June 5th, and found out that my In-karta discount is good for Romania as well. Yeah!


  1. There is a way to find international prices, but it's a separate website: http://jizdenka.idos.cz/IT.aspx

    You need to enter your to and from stations obviously, but it seems to work best if you start typing then choose the names from the suggestions that pop up below.

  2. Thanks for the tip! I never understood why I could not get a price on-line for an international ticket.