Planning to visit Prague with your car? This text is for you, then. From petrolheads, to petrolheads. Real practical pieces of advice that you won’t find in tourist guides or government texts. Everything you need to know about parking in Prague, condensed to one page.
Tl;dr: Install Citymove app, open the parking map and look for violet zones.
Parking in the Czech Republic
Parking zones don’t have a long history in Czechia. They started in the centre of Prague, than moved to other parts of Prague, then to other cities like Brno etc. But most smaller towns will have them only in the city center and most villages don’t have them at all. As a result, every city has a different system and different mobile apps used for parking. I’ll focus only on Prague here, Brno has it’s own article.
Parking in Prague
Most of the city is covered with parking zones. Only peripheral parts of the city allow unregulated parking. If you plan to stay in Prague for a few days, I recommend finding a nice safe, well lit, spot on the edge of Prague and use a public transport, which is actually very good. Otherwise, you will have to deal with the zones.
But don’t worry, they are not that expensive and are reasonably user friendly. Also, EVs are parking in Prague for free in 2023, but it might change in 2024.
There are three types of zones, but they differ pretty much just by price and “opening hours”:
- The most strict one is blue, which is intended for residents, but it is legal to park there for everyone, once you pay the parking fee. But in blue zones there are no parking machines, you have to use an app to pay.
- The other zones are violet and orange, but they only differ in details. Again, you have to pay parking fees in both, but they are usually cheaper, some might be free during nights or weekends.
The most expensive blue zones have a limit of 1 hour and cost 80 CZK per hour. Cheaper ones are 60 CZK, and reasonable ones outside Prague 1 (the municipalities are numbered), are 40 CZK per hour and allow longer stay.
How to make sense of the zones?
There are several mobile apps that will make your life significantly easier. Easypark or PID Litacka are ok, but I absolutely recommend Citymove. It has the best UI and plenty of useful information and it was developed by Škoda, so it is from the most trustworthy Czech brand, so there is nothing to worry about. Setting it up takes a few minutes, so do it before the trip, but trust me, it will pay off.
1) install Citymove on your phone 📲
2) register using your email or any other form
3) add a payment method – meaning your payment card. That is done through Comgate payment gateway. It will charge you 1 CZK to confirm the validity of the card, but you’ll get it back the next day.
4) then go to Vehicle license plates and add your licence plate
Once it is done, click on “Search” in the bottom bar and on “Parking”. Zoom in on your location (using the button in the right bottom corner) and you’ll see all zones on the map.
I recommend parking in those violet or orange ones. But even if you park in the blue one, you can just pay for parking through the app and go sightseeing. The only problem might be the limit on how long you can park there. The app will show you once you click on the zone.
If you don’t want to use an app, there are still some physical parking machines, but not in blue zones. So you’ll have to search for a street with this old relict. 🙂
How does the city know if you paid?
There are several cars (usually Renault Captur) driving around with cameras on their roof checking the number plates and comparing them to the database of paid parking. It used to be that they had to go through a street twice, usually in 10-15 minute intervals, and if in both cases the parking fee wasn’t paid, you’d get a fine – usually around 500 CZK.
These days I’m not 100% sure, some people say this isn’t the case anymore and the car can go around only once, so you have to be quick with the payment, but from legal point of view it doesn’t make sense, because you can always say you were on the way to a parking meter. So I’m 90 % sure, that they still have to drive around twice.
Anyway, the frequency of the car going through a street is also unclear. The provider says it check every street about three times per day, but, I have some information that say that on some days it doesn’t go through some streets at all. So you might be lucky.
Best spots to park in Prague
Anyway, If you want to walk through the city center, here are my recommendations for parking, that I’d use:
- the violet zone on Karlovo Náměstí – costs 40 CZK per hour and it is free from 8 pm to 8 am and during weekends. From there you can walk to Wenceslas Square, the old town and all the historical spots in the centre. If this place is full, search for violet zones nearby (but rather further from the centre) – U nemocnice, Kateřinská etc
- if you want to walk to the Prague castle and then to the rest of the old town, I recommend the violet zone on Na Valech/K Brusce. They cost 20 CZK per hour, unfortunately even during nights, but they are free during weekends.
- another good one are the violet zones on Janáčkovo nábřeží, where it costs 30 CZK per hour, but only from 8 am to 8 pm. Nights and weekends are free. From here it is really close to Kampa, Charles’ Bridge, National Theatre or to Jazz Dock.
- same conditions apply also to Italská/Španělská and the streets nearby, which are again close to Wenceslas Square
Parking in Prague shopping malls
You can also use shopping malls, which usually have 1-3 hours for free. Here’s a quick overview.
- Atrium Flora – 1 hour free during workdays between 7 am and 7 pm, after 7 pm or during weekends 3 hours are free. Additional hour costs 60 CZK. You can take tram or subway from there.
- Palladium – not recommended: very central location, but there is no free parking. Every hour costs 60 CZK, 1 day costs 1100 CZK
- Nový smíchov – short walk from Kampa or a few subway stations from the city center, this place offers 1 hour free parking during weekdays and 5 hours of free parking during weekends. Every other hour is 60 CZK. But, the garage closes at midnight!
- I should also mention 3 major shopping malls that are on the edges of the city, but with subway access, so these are good for those who want to leave their car and use public transport to get around the city.
These are Metropole Zličín (outdoor car park), Centrum Černý Most and Westfield Chodov. They usually have 3 hours for free and around 50 CZK per additional hour. But if you plan to stay longer than 3 hours, it might be cheaper to just use nearby P+R carparks. They are specifically created for the use with public transport.
If you plan to use public transport, you can buy the tickets with the Citymove app again. Most likely you’ll need 30 CZK ticket to get to the centre and again 30 CZK to get back to your car. Or you can buy one 120 CZK ticket valid for 24 hours if you plan to use public transport more than 4 times during 1 day.
The prices were updated in July 2023 and I don’t plan to update them that often. They might change a little bit, but not dramatically.
Parking in Brno
I’ve created a separate article for Brno. Read it here:
Parking in other cities
Other cities have their own systems and I don’t feel I have enough information. But they are usually more benevolent than Prague and Brno, maybe with the exception of Karlovy Vary and Mariánské Lázně – those are parking hells and it’s just better to book a hotel with private parking.
Published in 7/2023, last update in 8/2023