Prague Central Train Station
Navigating Prague’s Main Station
Both arriving and leaving Prague by the Main Station can be somewhat confusing, but it isn’t as bad as first impressions usually suggest. The station is very large with three main levels including North and South platform areas. Entrances to the station are on two levels that include a lower level with sidewalks coming in from the park (above photo) and an upper level for street drop offs, pickups and parking access. The central area incorporates a large core with three split levels. After you adjust to its size and the lack of signage in English it’s actually pretty easy to figure out.
Locating Your Train And Getting To The Platforms
The station has numerous large displays showing the current timetable for the next hours trains. This display shows:
- The Trains Service
- The Train Number
- The Train Name
- Train Destination
- Via Cities
- Scheduled Departure Time
- Platform – S for North Platforms and J for South
- Estimated Delay If Any
Exits from the platform area can be by stairs, escalator or elevators (elevators in North side only) with two large passageways leading from the platforms to the main concourse.
There is no food sold in the platform area and smoking is not permitted.
UPPER CONCOURSE – MAIN FLOOR (The Central Concourse)
Station directional signs list this as the train station historic area.
On this level are the public restrooms (Use requires 20 kc or 1 Euro) along with cambio/currency changing office and a large display showing the current train timetables. There are automated ramps to the lower concourse, a cafe, a Burger King and drink/snack vending machines (Czech coins only).
LOWER CONCOURSE – (The Central Concourse) PARKING/STREET ENTRANCE LEVEL
This level has a larger display showing the current timetable for the next hour. Included in this main concourse are fashion shops, a bookshop and Metro ticket machines but ATMs are found on the next section below.
GROUND CONCOURSE – (The Lower Concourse) INFORMATION / TICKETS, LOCKERS AND BUDGET CAR RENTAL
Getting to this level is via a ramp or stairs. Here on the far north side of the station are tourist information that also sells city metro tickets. Shops include a chocolate shop, a coffee shop and a Budget Car rental office. Opposite the shops are windows for domestic trains and on the left a glassed area for international tickets with an ATM nearby. At the far end is supermarket.
Shown at left:
The Main Concourse has three split levels with train schedule boards on each:
The Central Concourse – provides access to the other levels along with shops and food outlets.
The Lower Concourse – Accessed by stairs in the middle that go down to the glass enclosed ticketing area.
The Upper Concourse – Accessed by moving ramps up to a central area with access to the train platforms off to the left for South and to the right for North.
The Prague Main Station Neighborhood
The Prague Main Station is located in the center of Prague between the Old City and the New City (while it’s called the New City it is actually around 500 years old) and only a couple of blocks from Wenceslas Square. That square is the real heart of Prague that includes the main shopping district, the National Museum and is the location of some of the most dramatic events in modern Czechoslovakian history.
The birth of the independent Czechoslovakian state was announced there in 1918. It is also where in 1969 Jan Palach, a student of history and politics at Prague’s Charles University, set himself on fire protesting the installation of a Soviet puppet government. Also in 1989 it was where massive demonstrations led to the overthrow of the communist government. Over 100,000 Czechs filled Wenceslas Square night after night calling for independence. Called the Velvet Revolution from November 17-27, 1989, a free and independent Czechoslovakia was declared on the square on November 27th.
Please Note: Caution is recommended if walking out of the station at night using the park exit. While Prague is considered a very safe city there are unsavory characters that seem to gather in the park outside the train station at dusk.
The Lego Prague Train Station
In the Central Concourse at the Prague Main Station is a huge model display of the station made completely with Legos.