National bus transport in the Czech Republic
Although trains are a very popular mode of transport, the Czech Republic also has a very well developed network of buses which means that there are frequent bus connections between major cities as well as small villages. In most cases, travelling by bus is more convenient than travelling by train, however, it depends on the bus carrier.
The main bus hub in the Czech Republic is Prague; from the Florenc main bus station there are bus departures to all cities and villages within the country
as well as international departures. Florenc bus station is located in the centre
, next to the Prague metro and tram station. Besides the main bus station, there are several other bus station in Prague. After Prague, Brno is also important as a bus hub.
Local and regional routes are mostly operated by a public carrier; intercity, long distance and international routes are operated by many private bus companies.
International bus transport from and to the Czech Republic
The Czech Republic has very good connection with almost all European countries and its major cities. There are direct bus connections to Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Poland, Slovakia, the Netherlands, Ukraine, France, Croatia, Slovenia, the UK and more.
International routes to/from Czech Republic are mostly operated by some of the biggest European carriers; some Czech bus carriers operate various international routes and some companies have joined to run international routes.
Bus service quality in the Czech Republic
Local and regional buses operated by the public company are usually not in that great condition. Buses operating within the country are generally in very good condition, equipped with air conditioning; long distance buses usually also have Wi-Fi but this feature depends on the bus carrier.
On international lines, buses usually have televisions, some might have toilettes but on long distances buses make several stops along the way, approximately every three hours. Some bus carriers have onboard stewardesses and serve hot and cold drinks (depending on the bus company, drinks might or might not be charged).
It is more likely that drivers on international routes will speak a foreign language; within the Czech Republic it is rare to find a driver speaking English.
Bus ticket prices
The prices of bus tickets depend primarily on the bus company. Generally speaking, bus tickets are more affordable than train tickets whether in the Czech Republic or internationally; there are some low-cost bus companies, operating national and international routes, which offer really cheap tickets. Special discounts are also usual in the form of tickets for particular groups of passengers like children, students or pensioners.
Ticket reservation is also possible and even recommended in busy periods like weekends.
Tickets can be purchased at bus stations, on the bus from drivers or stewardesses, at ticket offices of bus companies; tickets from some bus companies can only be purchased online.
Carrying luggage is charged according to a company's luggage policy; it depends on the distance travelled and the size/weight of the luggage. Hand luggage is most usually free of charge, some companies even allow free suitcases but if they do not exceed the previously determined size/weight.
Transporting bicycles is generally not allowed, especially on international routes. However, it is best to contact a particular bus company prior to your travel. The same rule applies for transporting animals.