Brussels Tourism & Transportation Tips
Brussels National Airport (www.brusselsairport.be) is less than 20 minutes by train from the city center. "Airport City Express" trains depart from level-1 (basement) of the airport terminal building four times an hour (from 6 am to just before midnight) and stop at each of the city's three train stations: Brussels Midi, Central, and North.
An airport bus station can also be found below the Arrivals Hall (take elevators and escalators in the Diamond Area). Metered taxis outside the Arrivals Hall cost about € 30 for a trip to the city center. (Taxi for wheelchair users: Taxi Hendriks, Tel: +32 2 752 98 00)
Getting Around Brussels ... by foot, tram, bus or underground
While many sites in Brussels can be reached by walking, if you plan to take the metro, purchase one-way tickets at the metro stations and newsagents (best to have exact change for most ticket machines!). Books of unlimited 12-hour passes are also available. Tickets need to be stamped at the ticket barrier. For a map of the Brussels metro, click on www.stib.be/netplan-plan-reseau.html?l=en
Trams and buses in Brussels stop only when requested. Discounts include five- or ten-journey tickets and a two-person ticket for the weekend. Purchasing a "Tourist Passport" reduces the price for admission to a number of city attractions and includes a two-person weekend travel card. PLANITRAM is the public transport system of trams, buses and metro.
Brussels Sightseeing info
Brussels is headquarters to the European Union and NATO. There are 80 museums to discover. One hour train ride away from Brussels is Bruges (Brugge), one of the most charming and best preserved medieval cities in Europe. Also consider a visit to Antwerp (40 minutes by train), located on the River Schelde, with its 20 museums, diamond district, and the largest Gothic Church in Belgium.
Prague (Praha) Tourism & Transportation Tips
Ruzyně International Airport (airport website) is 20 km northwest of Prague's center. While the largest airport in the Czech Republic, it is not yet accessible by tram or metro, so plan to take a bus (or taxi) to connect with the metro system at Dejvická station, the end point of the metro's Green Line "A". You need buy only one ticket (since it will work for both bus and metro) and validate it only once (on the first transport you board, whether bus, tram or metro).
- City buses to the City Center and metro system depart from Terminal North 1 or 2. Purchase a ticket for 26 Czech Koruna (CZK) = US$1.50 at the arrivals lobby, from orange ticket machines or from news agents. (Note that extra large suitcases may require their own half-price tickets costing 13 Czech Koruna.) Here are 4 popular bus options:
- Bus route 100 brings you to Metro Yellow Line "B" at Zliĉín for a 15-minute trip to Mustek subway station (in town center).
- Bus route 119 takes you to Dejvická metro station, where you can change to Metro Green Line "A" for a 20-minute trip. If you are heading for the main/central train station, transfer from this Green Line "A" to Red Line "C" at Muzeum stop ... and continue one stop until you reach the Hlavni Nadrazi stop, right underneath this main/central train station.
- Bus route 179 is a longer but more interesting connector with Yellow Line B.
- From midnight until 3:30 a.m., Night Bus Route 510 runs to Divoká Šárka, whence Tram # 51 will take you to Dejvická metro station, or all the way to the city center at Namesti Republiky or Wenceslas Square.
- Airport Express Buses are the quickest way to get to Prague's main/central train station. They leave every 30 minutes from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. The 45-Koruna fare (US$3) includes not only travel from the airport, but also the transfer from Holešovice railway station to Prague Main/Central Station (via Czech Rail).
- A taxi from the airport to central Prague will cost from 650 to 1000 CZK = US$36 to US$55.
Note: Brno International Airport lies 200 kilometers southeast of Prague. The city of Brno is in the south of Moravia, one of the Czech Republic's 3 provinces.
Prague (Praha) Train Stations
Best to reserve an international train a few weeks before traveling to Prague, especially in summer. Most international trains arrive and depart from Praha Hlavni Nadrazi (which translates literally from Czech as "Prague Main Station" but is often called "Prague Central Station" and often abbreviated as "hl.n."), in the neighborhood of Nove Město. This station offers the most complete range of facilities, including train information, currency exchange, showers, lost and found, day-use lockers, and fast food. (Note: At night you should use caution and not take strolls in the parks outside the station.)
International trains often pass through Prague's other railway stations: Praha Holesovice and Praha Smichov and Praha Masarykovo Nadrazi. Subway lines serve all these stations and are easily accessible.
Prague Tram and Underground
Prague's public transit system allows for use of the same ticket on trams, subway cars or buses. For about 20 Koruna (US$1) you can ride for 75 minutes on any of these forms of transport. A 40 Koruna ticket allows for 180 minutes of travel. Tickets are available at any coin dispenser or tobacco shop. At major subway stations, tickets for longer periods (24 hours, 3 days and 7 days) can be bought. Be sure to time-stamp your ticket when boarding bus or tram, or at the entrance to subway stations. 500-Koruna fines are possible for unstamped tickets or freeloading.
Budget tip: Consider the Prague Card for 740 Koruna (US$37), which gives you 4 days of travel, free entry to over 50 museums, other discounts, and a guidebook.
Prague Sightseeing information
Today the capital of the Czech Republic and home to 1.2 million people, Prague has been the center of the "Czech" world and Bohemian life for over 800 years. The Stare Mesto and Mala Strana districts, lying on either side of the Vltava River, together form one of Europe's best preserved old city centers. Most every street will attract your eye with its stone walkways as well as Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture.