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    CHEAP CAR HIRE IN PRAGUE

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    Car hire in Prague - Exploring the Czech Republic

    Vibrant and progressive, Prague has emerged in recent years as one of Europe's most appealing travel destinations. With its old churches, cobbled streets, statue-lined bridges and imposing hilltop castle, the city continues to attract increasing numbers of visitors from all four corners of the globe. Besides its exquisite 1,000-year-old architecture, the historic quarter (known as the Staré Mesto) is particularly interesting for its impressive central square - the Staromestské námestí - where an early 15th-century Astronomical Clock features the Twelve Apostles parading right across its face on the hour, every hour.

    This proud, valliant capital of the Czech Rebublic is also home to a fine selection of first-class museums, most notably the National Gallery (Národní galerie v Praze) housed across a rich cluster of magnificent palaces. For another kind of cultural experience, the city's Jewish Quarter in the Josefov area features a themed museum, cemetery and several excellent kosher restaurants. And no one can leave the city without visiting Prague Castle (Pražský hrad), the former home of Bohemia's many mighty kings, nor a leisurely walk across Charles Bridge, one of the world's most famous river crossings with dozens of unique points of interest along the way.

    Prague is also the perfect base from which to explore the wonderful central regions of the Czech Republic, including Křivoklátsko National Park, now a UNESCO biosphere reserve. A two-hour drive south of the city lies the historic and very picturesque town of Cesky Krumlov, which is particularly notable for its ancient castle and medieval central square. A comfortable drive east of the capital brings you to Kutná Hora, home to one of Europe's leading silver mines which in days gone by helped finance many of the town's enchanting buildings. A car hire in Prague will also provide you with quick and easy access to Bohemian Paradise (Ceský ráj), an area of outstanding natural beauty just about an hour's drive north-east of the city. Please consult our Czech Republic driving guide for road rules, driving distances and lots of other useful information about getting around the country by car.

    We strongly urge you to rent a car in Prague with Auto Europe for the chance to enjoy a memorable road-trip around one of Europe's oldest and most scenic countries. You can choose a small, economical vehicle for a few days' fun-filled city sightseeing in the Czech Republic's wonderful capital or hire something more luxurious for an exhilarating motoring adventure to Ostrava in the east or Brno, the country's second city. You can talk to one of our award-winning rental specialists on +44 123 3225 114 to get the best deal and/or ask for help with your booking. Before that, why not check out what other Auto Europe customers thought of their recent car rental experience in the city by seeing the ratings and comments they posted on our Prague car hire reviews page for additional peace of mind.

    How is the traffic in Prague?

    Travelling around with a car hire in Prague is fairly easy once you know where you are heading. There are two ring roads in the city, the Inner Ring Road (MO) that circles the centre and the Outer Ring Road (R1) where the motorways and major roads leading to Prague meet. Prague has motorway connections from five different directions, making it easy for visitors to leave the city and explore the rest of the country. The south-eastern motorway (D1) is the Czech Republic's oldest and most used with direct connections to Brno and Bratislava in neighbouring Slovakia. Be aware that the Czech Republic has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to drinking and driving, so you must not use the car if you have consumed even a small amount of alcohol. Please also remember to have your seat-belt fastened at all times and drive with your headlights on. The speed limit in and around the centre of Prague is 50kph, while outside the city you can drive at speeds of up to 90kph. On dual-carriageways the speed limit is 110kph, while on motorways you shouldn’t go any faster than 130kph. In Prague city centre, you'll need to keep an eye out for the many one-way streets in the Old Town and always give way to buses and trams who have the right of way.

    Where can I park my car hire in Prague?

    On-street parking is paid in Prague and many of the parking meters still accept coins. Avoid parking your car in the blue zones which are reserved for local residents only. Orange zones indicate a maximum 2-hour parking time between 8am and 6pm and green zones are for a maximum 6 hours parking time also between 8am and 6pm. Outside of these times, parking is unlimited and there are no such restrictions. Pay extra attention to other sign-posts on the street, otherwise, if parked in the wrong place, your car will very possibly be towed away. Paid or restricted parking zones are currently in force in districts Prague 1, 2, 3 and 7 and a viable alternative to city centre parking are the many Park and Ride facilities located on the fringes of Prague city centre.

    Prague Airport

    Located to the west of Prague, just a few miles from the city centre, Václav Havel Airport is a modern, spacious international airport with a wide range of on-site facilities and amenities. It was built in 1937 to replace the city's original Kbely Airport which opened in 1918 and today has three terminals with UK flights operating at Terminal 1 and flights from Schengen-zone countries arriving at Terminal 2. Although there are no train or metro stops at Prague Airport, regular bus services link the terminals with two underground stations with a journey time of around 30 minutes. Passengers who rent a cheap car in Prague with Auto Europe can access the airport at Exit 2 on the R7 motorway. Inside the airport, passengers can chooose from a wide range of shops, cafés and restaurants, including the ever-popular Subway, KFC and Burger King, as well as a well-stocked supermarket called Billa. A free Wi-fi Internet service is offered in all parts of Terminals 1 and 2. Many of the world's top car hire companies operate at Prague Airport with reception desks inside the Arrivals Hall and vehicle pick-up points adjacent to the terminal building.

    Prague Airport (BRU)
    Telephone: +420 220 111 888
    Address: Aviatická 2, Prague, Prague 161 00, Czech Republic
    Website: www.prg.aero

    What to do in Prague

    One of the world's best-preserved capital cities, Prague is a well-established tourist destination with a plethora of first-class museums and cultural attractions to offer. Blessed with a town plan laid out more than a thousand years ago, its historic quarter is a good place to take an early-morning coffee and soak up the city's unique atmosphere before embarking on a full day's sightseeing activities.

    • Prague Castle: Originally built in in 880 AD, Prague's magnificent fortress and most iconic monument is the largest of all the world's ancient castles. Located in the city's Hradcany district, it contains many of the city's top sights, including St Vitus Cathedral, St George's Basilica, the Powder Tower, Old Royal Palace and Golden Lane. The views from the castle walls are outstanding and stretch as far as Prague's perimeter and beyond.

    • Charles Bridge: Built in 1357, Charles Bridge is famous for its many old statues that line the way along its 600-plus metre span. Look out for the Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV and John of Nepomuk, the country's most revered saint, which was unveiled in 1683. The views from the bridge are superb, especially when lit up at night, and the chance for a selfie in front of its Gothic gates is irresistible to most visitors!

    • National Museum: Spread across a number of venues, the National Museum (Národní Muzeum) dates back to the early 1800s. Besides its many pieces relating to music and the arts, the museum's vast collection includes millions of items covering mineralogy, zoology, anthropology and archaeology. Don't miss the fascinating Roman section with artefacts from the 1st and 2nd centuries AD, nor the many rare finds from the Bronze and Early Iron Age periods.

    • St Vitus Cathedral: Located within the confines of Prague Castle, St Vitus Cathedral is the largest and most important Christian church in the Czech Republic. Founded on the site of a Romanesque rotunda built in 925 AD, it houses the tombs of a number of saints and Bohemian kings.

    • National Gallery: Prague's National Gallery (Národní galerie v Praze) is spread across some of the most striking architectural landmarks in the city centre. The main part of the collection is located inside Veletrzní Palace, where some fine works by the likes of Monet and Picasso can be found. Close by, Sternberg Palace houses many of the museum's most important pieces of European art from the Classical era with a number of masterpieces by El Greco, Rubens, van Dyck and Rembrandt.

    • Prague Zoo: Inaugurated in 1931, Prague Zoo is one of Europe's top zoological attractions with over 4,200 animals representing around 650 different species. Besides an indoor tropical jungle, young visitors can enjoy pony rides, feed some of the animals and have some frenetic fun in the zoo's excellent adventure playground.

    Best day trips with my car rental in Prague

    Many of the Czech Republic's most interesting places are easily accessible with a car rental in Prague. Nowhere is more than a 2- or 3-hour drive away from the capital, including Cesky Krumlov (one of the most beautiful walled towns in Europe) and the ancient springs of Karlovy Vary, a world-famous spa town.

    Cesky Krumlov

    One of Europe's best-preserved walled towns, Cesky Krumlov is a comfortable two-hour drive south of the Czech capital. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992, its historic centre is clustered around an old castle built in 1240. The nearby St Vitus Church dates from the same period and house the tombs of several important Bohemian families, including the Schwarzenbergs and the Rosenbergs.

    Kutná Hora

    A leisurely 50-mile drive east of Prague brings you to the charming town of Kutná Hora, most notable for its magnificent cathedral, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The cathedral's beautiful interior has many splendid frescoes on the themes of mining (the town's silver mine was once the largest in Europe) and a very rare mural of the Vision of St Ignatius.

    Karlovy Vary

    Located 78 miles due east of Prague, Karlovy Vary is a lovely old town famous for its powerful hot springs. It was the Holy Roman Emperor Karl IV who first discovered the springs midway through the 14th century and they've been very popular ever since. The town is also famed for its Bohemian glass factory which has been producing vases, ashtrays, candlesticks and other glass products since 1856.

    Bohemian Paradise

    An hour's drive north-east of the capital lies Bohemian Paradise (Ceský ráj), a protected area of unusual rock formations, hills made of sandstone, natural bridges and basalt columns. Visitors exploring this unique part of the Czechia countryside will often stumble upon centuries-old castles and a succession of historical buildings dotted across the landscape.

    Klatovy

    Klatovy, a picturesque town about 80 miles south-west of Prague, is worth visiting for its well-preserved architecture, such as its 16th-century Town Hall and the striking white towers of a 17th-century Jesuit Church. Once an important place of trade and commerce, Klatovy is also famous for its catacombs which were built to hold the bodies of Jesuit priests in the 17th century.

    How to get around Prague

    Prague's public transport system works well in most of the main tourist areas, although very few buses are allowed to enter the historic districts such as the Old Town, New Town and Lower Town in order to reduce air and noise pollution. To reach these parts of the city, you'll need to transfer to the city's network of quieter and much cleaner electric-powered trams and metro trains.

    Bus

    Linked to Anděl B metro station, the main bus station for inner city routes is 5 Na Knížecí located on the west bank of the River Vltava, a short distance south of Prague's city centre. Buses generally terminate at metro stations or tram stops to facilitate onward travel to the city centre and other popular destinations, including Prague Airport.

    Tram

    The city has over twenty tram lines operating with 1- or 2-digit numbers, making it one of the most extensive in Europe. The Prague tram network covers all areas of the city centre and extends for quite some distance into the suburbs. The most popular tram routes for tourists are the number 9 which runs from Wenceslas Square to the National Theatre before crossing the river and numbers 22 and 23 which run from the National Theatre over the river then up towards Prague Castle.

    Metro

    The fifth busiest underground network in Europe, Prague's long-established metro system consists of three lines - A, B and C - with over sixty stations. Operated by the Prague Public Transport Company (ROPID) it inter-connects with the city's bus and commuter train networks as well as the popular Park and Ride car parks located in the outer environs of the city centre, enabling visitors to reach most parts of the Czech capital quickly and easily under their own steam. The journey by metro from one end of Prague to the other takes between 30 and 45 minutes, with waiting times never more than 10 minutes during the day (at night over the weekend the waiting time is around 20 minutes). Please note there is currently no metro station at Prague Airport, so to travel into the heart of Prague by public transport means taking a bus then a metro.

    Train

    The main train station in Prague is Praha hlavní nádraží which is located near Wenceslas Square (Metro: Hlavní nádraží on line C). Another busy railway station is located just outside the city centre at Nádraží Praha-Holešovice (Metro: Nádraží Holešovice also on line C).

    Useful links

    Prague Tourist Info