Do it yourself Sightseeing by Tram

Prague trams are a tourist attraction. This is not quite true as Prague residents use them to get to and from work. Tourists often stay put to take a free city tour. Dozens of tram lines crisscross the centre of Prague and fan out to the suburbs. It is very easy to compose your own tram city sightseeing tour. All you need is a day ticket and possibly a map of the tram network. In principle you can take any tram, but trams 17 and 22 pass most of Prague’s sights. Tram 7 is interesting if you want to take a look at the Vrsovice and Strasnice districts. You are guaranteed not to encounter any tourists here!

The Red Trams of Prague

Every tram enthusiast agrees: Prague has the most beautiful trams in the world. Not the new trams, which are also red and equipped with the latest technical gadgets such as air conditioning, electronic stop signs and WiFi. The true tram enthusiast looks for the serial number on the front and side of each tram. If it is 8000 to 9000, he gets in regardless of the route. Riding these trams is the goal in itself. The 7000 and 6000 series are also suitable, but almost all of them have been withdrawn from service. These trams were built from 1962 to 1989 and still operated in many former Eastern Bloc countries.

The red trams and comfort

The red trams with serial numbers 6000 to 9000 are outdated for several reasons
* High entry – a hurdle for mothers with strollers and the elderly
* All doors open at each stop – nice in summer but cold in winter
* Stops at every stop – inconvenient when you’re in a hurry
* Heating – under each seat there is a heating element adjusted for Siberian winters
* Windows – some cannot open (hot in summer, others cannot close icy wind in winter)

How to organize your sightseeing on the tram

Buy a 24-hour ticket. You can buy it from the machine at almost every tram stop or inside the tram. You pay with your credit card or debit card, or contactless. Your ticket is valid from the moment you stamp it. You will find yellow stamp machines in every tram. Stamp your ticket once and it is valid for the whole day. If you bought your ticket inside the tram it has already been validated. Do not stamp it again as this makes your ticket invalid.

Which trams have the most interesting routes?


Line 7: runs from the south-west via the Palackého Bridge to the south-east of Prague. The distance is just over 10 kilometers and the ride takes about 45 minutes. Get on at the starting point at the Radlická stop (also a metro station). The route leads across Palackého Bridge and if you want a good view of Prague Castle sit on the left. At the Svatoplukova stop the tram passes the enormous pillars of the Nusle Bridge.

Then the tram runs through the Vršovice district with typical Prague pre-war housing: blocks divided into apartments, often with shops at street level. It is an emerging neighbourhood and definitely worth getting off the tram and take a look around. Hop on again and get off two stops before the terminus, Zborov – Strašnické divadlo stop, and take a walk through the Strasnice district.

Line 22: runs from Namesti Miru (also metro station on line A) to Karlova Namesti then along Narodni Street and then crosses the Vltava River. It then continues its route via Karmelitska Street in Mala Strana after which it winds its way up to Prague Castle. Get off at Prazsky Hrad stop to visit the Castle. If you continue along, you will reach Bila Hora, which means White Mountain, via the Brevnov Monastery. Mountain is an exaggeration, hillock would be a better description as this ‘mountain’ is only 381 meters high. This was the place where in the seventeenth century the Bohemian army was defeated by the Catholic League, a military alliance of Catholic German principalities. More about Bila Hora here

Line 17: Get on at Kobylisy stop (also metro station on line C) line 17 runs from north to south and for a large part along the banks of the Vltava River, you will pass Troja Bridge, Vystaviste fairground, get off here for Stromovka Park. Get off at Staromestska to go to Old Town Square, you will pass the Dancing H at the Palackeho namesti stop. If you want to see the ‘sidliste’, the suburbs continue on to the terminus Libus.

Next article: Beware of Fast Moving Escalators!
Previous article: Hop on the historical tram 42

photos; Marianne Crone

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