Route map:  London to Prague by train

Lunch in London, breakfast in Prague!

UK to Prague by train from €88...

It's easy to travel from London to Prague by train, and it's both affordable & time-effective when compared to an afternoon of airport buses, airports, flights, taxis and then a hotel.  Take an afternoon Eurostar from London to Brussels and a high-speed train to Cologne, then the excellent Phoenix City Night Line sleeper train to Prague, arriving in the heart of Prague just after breakfast next morning.  The deluxe sleepers on this train even have a private shower & toilet, with breakfast included, served in your compartment.  Or take daytime high-speed trains from London to Berlin on day 1, stay overnight, then take a scenic daytime train with restaurant car from Berlin to Prague on day 2.  Or you can stop overnight in Cologne or Munich - indeed, the route via Munich can be the cheapest option, London to Prague from just €78, excluding hotel.  The choice is yours...

Train times, fares & tickets...

On this page you'll find a step-by-step guide to arranging train travel from the UK to Prague, with train times, fares & how to buy tickets:

  London to Prague via the Cologne-Prague sleeper  The most time-effective option.

  London to Prague by day trains with overnight stop in Cologne or Berlin, a leisurely option.

  London to Prague by day trains with overnight stop in Paris or Munich, the cheapest option.

  Visit Prague by train - the old town square

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

  London & East Anglia to Prague via the Harwich-Hoek ferry with a day in Amsterdam.

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

  London to Krakow & Prague in one trip

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

  Trains to Prague from other European cities

  Trains from Prague to other European cities

Other useful information...

  Useful country information: Currency, tourist information, time zone...

  Prague station information   Prague map, metro & tourist info

  Suggested hotels in Prague    Prague Open Top Bus Tour

  Travel insurance, EU Health Card & SIM cards  

  Holidays  & tours to Prague by train

On other pages...

  Amsterdam to Prague by sleeper train from €59

  Munich to Prague by train from €19

  Buying connecting train tickets from other UK towns & cities    

  Luggage on trains   Left luggage at stations    Send your luggage in advance    

  Taking your bike     Taking your dog

  General European train travel information

Sponsored links...

 


Useful country information

Train operator:

CD (Ceskι Drαhy):  www.cd.cz.  Online Czech tickets: www.cd.cz/eshop

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 30 Czech Koruna  Check current exchange rates

Tourist information:

www.czechtourism.com   Prague bus, tram, metro info  Prague 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:

14 December 2014.  Train times valid 14 Dec 2014 to 13 June 2015.


London to Prague

Option 1:  London to Prague using the City Night Line sleeper from Cologne to Prague ...

Lunch in London, breakfast in Prague...  This is the most time-effective and comfortable option, leaving central London mid-afternoon and arriving in central Prague in time for a late breakfast next morning.  It may even save you a hotel bill or two compared to flying.

London ► Prague

Prague ► London

By Eurostar to Brussels, then an ICE high-speed train to Cologne:  Watch the video.

High-speed ICE3 train from Brussels to Cologne & Frankfurt ICE3 second class ICE3 first class

An ICE to Cologne & Frankfurt waiting to leave Brussels Midi.  More ICE information.

ICE3 2nd class.   ICEs are perhaps the most comfortable daytime trains in Europe...

ICE3 1st class , with real leather seats.  All seats in both classes have power sockets.

Introducing the City Night Line sleeper train Phoenix from Cologne to Prague...

The City Night Line sleeper train Phoenix has a modern air-conditioned Czech sleeping-car with 1, 2 & 3-berth deluxe compartments with private shower & toilet, and 1, 2 & 3-berth economy compartments with washbasin.  There is a shower at the end of the corridor for passengers in economy sleepers, all sleepers have vingcard locks & power sockets for laptop computers & mobiles, and sleeper fares include a light breakfast.  The train also has air-conditioned German couchette cars (simple but comfortable flat berths with rug & pillow in 4- or 6-berth compartments) and ordinary seats in 6-seat compartments (not recommended).  There's no restaurant or buffet car, but feel free to take your own bottle of wine or picnic on board.  More pictures & information about this train.

Dinner in Cologne before you board?  For a traditional German meal before boarding the sleeper to Prague, try the excellent Brauhaus Sion (www.brauhaus-sion.de), 5 minutes walk from Cologne hauptbahnhof, or the Malzmuehle restaurant (www.muehlenkoelsch.de), 10-15 minutes walk from Cologne Hauptbahnhof.  Alternatively, there's a restaurant inside Cologne Hauptbahnhof itself in the catering passageway, the Schweinske, www.schweinske.de.

A 1 2 or 3 bed sleeper on the Cologne-Prague overnight train

1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper: The most civilised option, economy with washbasin or deluxe with shower & toilet.

  4-berth couchettes on the sleeper train to Prague

4-berth couchettes:  Ideal for families, much more space per person than 6-berth couchettes.

  6-berth couchettes on the sleeper train to Prague

6-berth couchettes:  A very economical option, far better than a seat for just a few euros more...

  The Kopernikus sleeper train to Prague...

The Phoenix rises...  At Prague Hlavni, the sleeping-car attendant on the Phoenix greets passengers for Cologne.

More pictures & information about the Amsterdam to Prague sleeper train.

How much does it cost?

 1. London to Cologne

 by Eurostar + Thalys or ICE

 Fares for Eurostar+ICE start at €59 (£49) each way.

 Fares for Eurostar+Thalys start at £56 one-way or £103 return

 Fares vary like air fares, so book in advance to get the cheapest prices.

 Child, youth, senior Eurostar fares

 

 2. Cologne to Prague

 by City Night Line sleeper...

In a

seat

In a couchette

Economy sleeper

Deluxe sleeper

6-berth

4-berth

3-berth

2-berth

single

2-berth

single

 Savings fare one-way from:

€43 (£36)

€59 (£49)

€69 (£58)

€84 (£70)

€104 (£87)

€144 (£120)

€134 (£112)

€174 (£145)

 Savings fare return from:

€86 (£72)

€118 (£98)

€138 (£116)

€168 (£140)

€208 (£174)

€288 (£240)

€268 (£224)

€348 (£290)

 Full price one-way:

€153

€168

€178

€193

€213 

€253

€303

€343

 Railpass supplement*

€12

€27.50

€37.50

€55

€75

€115

€75

€115

 Children under 15**

€4

€20

€30

£71

€65

€105

€65

€105

 Child under 6 without berth

Child under 6 sharing a berth travels free

Berths are sold individually, so one ticket means one bed.  The other beds in your compartment will be sold to other passengers.

If you want sole occupancy, simply book 1 ticket in a 1-bed sleeper or 2 tickets in 2-berth sleeper or 4 tickets in 4-berth couchettes, etc.

* This is the supplement you pay if you have a railpass, a 1st class pass is required for deluxe sleepers.

** Children under 15 travel free if accompanied by a fare-paying adult, but must pay the berth supplement shown here.

Savings fare = advance-purchase fare, price varies, limited availability, no refunds, no changes to travel plans.

Full price = fully flexible, refundable, buy any time.

How to buy tickets online...

Anyone from any country can buy tickets this way, at the cheapest prices bought direct from the train operators.  Booking for Eurostar opens 120 days ahead and at times up to 180 days ahead, booking for the other trains opens 92 days ahead, but I strongly recommend waiting and buying all tickets together, doing a dry run first on all websites to check prices & availability before booking for real.  Hotel accommodation can be booked before booking your trains risk-free if you use a site such as www.booking.com with free cancellation.

How to buy tickets by email...

How to buy tickets by phone...

Have your trip professionally arranged...


Option 2:  London to Prague by daytime trains with hotel stop in Cologne or Berlin

You may prefer to use daytime trains, and although London to Prague is too far to go in one day, you can easily break the journey up with an overnight stop in either Cologne or Berlin.  Indeed, this can be the cheapest option, setting aside the cost of a hotel or hostel for a night. By all means go one way by sleeper, the other by day trains with a stopover.  Or one way with stopover in Cologne, the other with stopover in Berlin.

How much does it cost?  London to Prague from €88!

How to buy tickets online, with hotel stop in Cologne...

How to buy tickets online, with hotel stop in Berlin...

How to buy tickets by phone...

Have your trip professionally arranged...

What's the journey like?

By high-speed ICE to Berlin...

ICE2 first class ICE2 second class High-speed ICE train from Cologne to Berlin, at Berlin Hauptbahnhof

ICE2 1st class.

ICE2 2nd class.

ICE2 at Berlin.  More info about ICE

   

Treat yourself to lunch!

 

ICE2's elegant restaurant car...

 

ICE2's convivial bistro-bar car...

By EuroCity train from Berlin to Prague...

Most Berlin-Prague trains use Czech carriages, a few use German or (like the train below) Hungarian air-conditioned EuroCity carriages

  Lunch in the restaurant car of the Jan Jesenius from Berlin to Prague

The Jan Jesenius seen at Dresden...

 

The Hungarian dining-car on the Jan Jesenius...

Lunch in the restaurant car of the Jan Jesenius from Berlin to Prague   2nd class 6-seat compartment on the Jan Jesenius   1st class 6-seat compartment on the Jan Jesenius

Civilised! Lunch in the restaurant car...

 

2nd class compartment

 

1st class compartment


Option 3  London to Prague by day trains with hotel stop in Paris or Munich...

This is potentially the cheapest option, London to Prague from as little as €78.

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


London & E Anglia to Prague - the ferry alternative

  Boarding the Stena Line ferry from Harwich to Hoek van Holland for Amsterdam

London to the Netherlands by Dutch Flyer train & ferry...  Take a train from London's Liverpool Street station 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 new superferry Stena Hollandica is the largest ferry of its kind in the world.  See the Netherlands page and see the video...

  Standard inside cabin on the ferry

Cosy cabins:  The overnight Harwich-Hoek ferry is a floating hotel.  All passengers travel in a cosy private cabin with en suite shower & toilet and satellite TV.  This is the cheapest 2-berth cabin...

  Captain's suite deluxe cabin on the Stena Line ferry 'Stena Hollandica'

... and this is a Captain's Class cabin with double bed & complimentary bubbly in the minibar.

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.  It's also cheaper at short notice when Eurostar can be expensive.  This route is 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!), spending a day at leisure exploring Amsterdam, then travelling by late afternoon ICE train to Cologne for dinner, before boarding the overnight City Night Line sleeper train to Prague.  It's a great way to reach Prague and see Amsterdam on the way!

London, East Anglia & Harwich ► Prague

Prague ► Harwich, East Anglia & London

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets online...

How to buy tickets by` phone:  Special booking form


 Scotland & North of England to Prague via ferry   

  DFDS Seaways ferry 'Princess of Norway' about to sail from Newcastle.

DFDS Seaways Princess of Norway about to sail overnight from Newcastle to Amsterdam...

  A Commodore Deluxe cabin on DFDS Seaways

A Commodore deluxe cabin with minibar, satellite TV, shower & toilet.  See the video...

  A standard cabin on DFDS Seaways Newcastle-Amsterdam ferry.

A standard Seaways class cabin with shower & toilet on DFDS Princess of Norway...

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, as described above.  If you choose this option, see this advice on buying cheap connecting train tickets to London.  But there are some useful ferry alternatives which allow you to by-pass London, and spend a day in Amsterdam on the way.  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.  So take the overnight ferry to Holland, spend a day exploring Amsterdam, then take a fast ICE train to Cologne and the excellent City Night Line overnight sleeper from Cologne to Prague.  A wonderful combination!

Scotland & North of England ► Prague

Prague ► Scotland & North of England

Fares & how to buy tickets...


Other destinations in the Czech Republic...

  Typical Czech train at Prague

Above:  Czech Railways (CD) link all main towns & cities in the Czech republic...

You can easily reach anywhere in the Czech Republic by train, travelling from London to Prague as shown above, then using domestic Czech trains onwards from Prague.  www.bahn.de will give you train times within the Czech Republic, and www.cd.cz/eshop (click EN for English top right) will also give you fares and sell you tickets.  On all these routes, trains run regularly, at least every hour or two.  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.  Or you can buy online at www.cd.cz/eshop.  There are two main stations in Prague, Praha Hlavni (= central) near the city centre and Praha Holesovice which is a little further out.  Some trains leave from Prague Hlavni, others from Prague Holesovice, some serve both, so check which your train leaves from.  The sleeper trains from Frankfurt and Cologne to Prague both stop at Prague Holesovice ten minutes or so before arriving at Prague Hlavni, so get off at the one that's best for your onward connection.

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

You can buy tickets for train journeys wholly within the Czech Republic online at www.cd.cz/eshop, complete with seat reservation, at cheap Czech prices with no booking fees.  You sign up and are sent a activation email, you pay online and print out your own ticket.  Feedback from anyone who uses this system would be welcome.  www.cd.cz/eshop will also book daytime international trains (but not overnight sleeper trains) from Prague to neighbouring countries, including Krakow & Warsaw, Vienna, Budapest, Bratislava, Dresden & Berlin, also at cheap prices.  However, don't try and use the e-shop for journeys in the other direction (from countries outside the Czech Republic to Prague), as these tickets aren't valid unless stamped by the conductor on an outward journey from Prague.

Czech pendolino, 2nd class   Czech pendolino, first class   Czech Railways pendolino at Prague, about to leave for Vienna

SuperCity pendolino trains...  The pride of the Czech Railways, these modern 'pendolino' units operate the premium 'SuperCity' trains linking Prague & Ostrava (the Czech Republic's second city).  Left-hand picture = 2nd class, centre picture = 1st class, with similar seating, but carpeted.


Prague's railway stations...

Prague has two mainline stations, Prague Hlavni Nadrazi (main station) & Prague Holesovice.

Prague Hlavni station...

  Prague's central Hlavni station

Prague's main Hlavni station is just 15 minutes walk from the historic old town...

Prague's main Hlavni station is in the city centre, just 15 minutes walk from Prague's historic old town and 20 minutes walk from the famous Kings Charles Bridge.  It actually has a grand old station building, sitting on a hill overlooking the city, but you now head downstairs from the platforms to a modern undercroft which exits at a lower level closer to the city, so you hardly see the old building at all.

Prague Holesovice station...

Holesovice station is just outside the city centre, about 2km away and 3km from Prague Hlavni.  It sits astride the Berlin-Prague-Bratislava-Budapest line, so some through trains call there as it saves them having to head into Hlavni and reverse (although most trains now do serve Hlavni).  You can take the metro from Holesovice to the city centre or Hlavni station, see the Prague official public transport site www.dpp.cz or (probably more useful) www.prague.net/metro.


Visiting Prague

Click for map of Prague showing station

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  

Prague old town square with the old 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!


Holidays & tours to Prague by train

 

020 3327 0761 (UK)

1-800-408-3280 (USA)

1300 971 526 (Aus)

0800 002 034 (NZ)

 

01904 730 727 (UK)

 

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 tailor-made holidays & breaks to Prague by train...

Railbookers can tailor-make a flight-free holiday to Prague for you, with train travel, transfers & hotels included, for however long you like, leaving on any date you like.  For example, they offer a 6-night holiday to Prague, Vienna & Budapest with daytime train travel by Eurostar & TGV.  See the Railbookers Prague page for suggested itineraries & prices.  Indeed, they can arrange trains and hotels for a tour of eastern Europe to your own specification.  They take good care of their clients, and I have no hesitation in recommending them.

  UK call 020 3327 0761, www.railbookers.com

US & Canada call free 1-800-408-3280, www.us.railbookers.com.

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

  New Zealand call toll-free 0800 002 034 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.


Send your luggage in advance

Ride the trains without heavy luggage... 

Send your suitcase ahead by Luggage Mule from around £30 each way.


The European 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 have set up a private venture and published the first edition of a reborn European Rail Timetable in March 2014.  You can buy it online with worldwide shipping at either www.stanfords.co.uk or www.europeanrailtimetable.euMore information on what the European Rail Timetable contains.

A Traveller's Railway Map of Europe covers the whole of Europe from Portugal in the west to Moscow & Istanbul in the east, Finland in the north to Sicily & Athens in the south.  On the back are detailed maps of Switzerland, Benelux & Germany, plus city plans showing stations in major cities.  Scenic & high-speed routes highlighted.  Buy it online for £14.50 + postage worldwide (UK addresses £2.80) at www.stanfords.co.uk/Continents/Europe/Maps--Atlases/Europe-A-Travellers-Railway-Map_9789077899090.htm or (in the Netherlands) for €13 + €5.50 postage from www.treinreiswinkel.nl.


Guidebooks

Paying 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!  My own book, an essential handbook for train travel to Europe based on this website called "The Man in Seat 61", is due to be published in June 2008, and Amazon will let you pre-order now.

Click the images to buy at Amazon.co.ukLonely Planet Best of Prague - click to buy onlineLonely Planet Czech & Slovak RepublicsLonely Planet Eastern Europe - buy online at AmazonThe Man in Seat 61 book - click to buy online

 

 

 

 


Prague Open Top Bus Tour

Buy a ticket for Prague's hop-on, hop-off Open Top Bus...

City Sightseeing's red-and-yellow open top tour buses are now a familiar site in 100 major cities on 6 continents.  They do a hop-on, hop-off tour bus ticket for Prague and you can buy a ticket online before you go, redeemable on any day you like within 3 months of buying it, see www.city-sightseeing.com.


Find hotels in Prague

 

◄◄ Hotel search & price comparison.

www.hotelscombined.com checks all the main hotel booking sites at once to find the widest choice of hotels & the cheapest seller.  It was named as the World's Leading Hotel Comparison Site at the World Travel Awards 2013 and I highly recommend it, both to find hotels in even the smallest places and to check that another retailer isn't selling your hotel for less!

www.booking.com is my favourite booking site.  It's really clear and you can usually book with free cancellation and so confirm your accommodation at no risk months before train booking opens.

Suggested hotels in Prague near station & near the old town square....

Other hotel sites worth trying...

Backpacker hostels: www.hostelbookers.com...

Homestays: www.homestay.com...


Travel insurance & health card

 

 

Columbus direct travel insurance

Take out decent travel insurance, it's essential...

Never travel without proper travel insurance from a reliable insurer with at least £1m or preferably £5m medical cover.  It should also cover loss of cash & belongings (up to a limit), and trip cancellation.  An annual multi-trip policy is usually cheapest even for just 2 or 3 trips a year - I have an annual policy myself.  However, 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, Seat61 gets a little commission if you buy through these links, and feedback from using insurance for rail & ferry travel is always welcome.

In the UK, use www.confused.com to compare prices & policy features across major insurance companies.

If you have a pre-existing medical condition or are over 65 (no age limit), see www.JustTravelCover.com.

        If you live in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland or the EU, try Columbus Direct's other websites.

  If you live in the USA try Travel Guard USA.

Get an EU health card, it's free...

If you're a UK citizen travelling in Europe, you should apply for a free European Health Insurance Card, which entitles you to free or reduced rate health care if you become ill or get injured in many European countries, under a reciprocal arrangement with the NHS.  This replaced the old E111 forms as from January 2006.  The EHIC card is available from www.ehic.org.uk.  It doesn't remove the need for travel insurance, though.

Carry a spare credit card, designed for foreign travel with no currency exchange loading & low/no ATM fees

Taking out an extra credit card costs nothing, but if you keep it in a different part of your luggage you won't be left stranded if your wallet gets stolen.  In addition, some credit cards are better for overseas travel than others.  Martin Lewis's www.moneysavingexpert.com/travel/cheap-travel-money explains which UK credit cards have the lowest currency exchange commission loadings when you buy something overseas, and the lowest cash withdrawal fees when you use an ATM abroad.

You can avoid ATM charges and expensive exchange rates with a Caxton FX euro currency Visa Card, or their multi-currency 'Global Traveller' Visa Card, see www.caxtonfx.com for info.

Get an international SIM card to save on calls & mobile data...

Mobile phones can cost a fortune to use abroad, so consider getting a global pre-paid SIM card for your mobile phone which can cut call & data costs by up to 90%.  At the time of writing, www.roamsure.com claims a definite 25% saving within the EU and up to 90% saving in the rest of the world.  Incoming calls are free in 73 countries, including all of the EU, the USA, Australia & South Africa.  There's no contract or commitment, and at time I write this Roamsure is offering a global SIM card for free when you buy £20 of call credit.  Seat61 gets some commission to support the site if you buy airtime from Roamsure.

 


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