Taking Czech Public Transportation With Your Dog
Taking advantage of the inexpensive transportation option with your dog is really easy in the Czech Republic. Maybe not as streamlined and intuitive to figure out (as a foreigner) as say … Switzerland… but it’s pretty darn amazing.
The reason I say this, has nothing to do with its pet friendliness; because it IS very pet friendly. No, our caveat has more to do with some areas being tougher to get to with public transport than you might think. For example we needed to rent a car to drive from Prague to Český Krumlov. It was no big deal, wasn’t that expensive and they had NO issue with me being a part of the journey; but it’s still more than taking the bus or train. The one bus option took WAY too long and we didn’t like the schedule and to our utter dismay there was no direct train or even a manageable train option.
But as far as we could see, ALL public transport was pet friendly. The Czech Republic follows the same approach as their fellow European Union members Italy, Austria and France. Taking Czech public transportation with your dog has a few rule mind you!
Taking the Train
Dogs must be on a leash or in a carrier. Small dogs in carriers travel for free. If the dog is on leash NO MATTER THE SIZE then the dog will need to pay a full ticket fee. But that isn’t really a big deal given how inexpensive the train is in the Czech Republic. Seriously. I got on a train without my carrier one day and Mom paid my ticket on the train proper. It was really not a big deal.
Dogs can’t be near prams with children inside (unless the same owner). The care taker is responsible for any injury, damage, or mess left by the dog.
Interestingly, the Prague Public Transport regulations states that dogs on leash or in a carrier must be muzzled but in the entire time we were there we never once saw a muzzled dog. And I saw a LOT of dogs!
Note: One confusing rule concerns the purchasing of tickets for trains: if the station has a ticket office (pokladna), and it is open – then you’re expected to buy your ticket there. If not, you can purchase it on the train. However, if the station has a ticket office and you buy a ticket on the train you will be charged a penalty fee.
Taking the Tram
Small dogs that fit in a carrier (purse size) that CLOSES may travel on the tram for free. A dog not carried in carrier is charged the full adult fare as required for the length of the journey regardless of size. Again, prices are very reasonable so it’s not a huge issue.
The driver may signal you to enter via the door at the rear – so be prepared for that.
Taking the Bus
Saw big dogs and small dogs on the bus. From what I could tell the rules were the same as for trains or trams.
We did take some “minivan” shuttles and small dogs it seems travel free. I have no idea if big dogs would be allowed or charged a fee but given that they are privately owned and want to fill the minivan up before going (example: from train station to a castle) I suspect they would be ok with it if other passengers were.
Note: Taking an intercity bus is not covered by public transport fares. You can buy the tickets from the driver. It is also possible to get a top-up swipe card from most bus companies, which you then top-up on the bus. The problem with these cards is that they can only be used for their particular bus company and one route may have several.
Taking the Subway/Metro
Small dogs ride for free just as on the tram and train. Big dogs require an adult ticket. Basically it’s as above.
Taking a Taxi
Normally pets are allowed but it really is up to the driver. We never had issues, not once. In fact some of our best “meet a local” chats were with proud cab drivers, especially in the smaller towns.
We had such a good time taking the river boat tour. As far as we could tell most of the boat tours were pet friendly. We never struggled or had to find another option. Small dogs seem to go for free but I forgot to enquire about big dogs. Sorry.
Note that with ALL transit, if your dog is ill behaved, aggressive, jumping up, noisy, overly wet or even just smelly, you will be asked to get off. No refund. Don’t argue, it’s not worth it. You are better to get off and trying to board the next available train, tram, bus etc.
In review: We found the Czech Republic public transportation system to be VERY pet friendly! But then, we found the entire country to be pet friendly! From castles you can tour indoors with your dog, to community theatre, museums, weddings and more. In fact they are so pet friendly that we even found a movie theatre called “Cinema Aero” that will let you bring dogs to the movies with you! I am SO bummed we never made it. I would have liked to try that!
How pet friendly is public transport in your area?