Prague’s public transport is easy to use, relatively inexpensive and gets you to almost any part of the city. Although the metro is the fastest mode of transport, you can’t see anything from it, unless you’re enjoying the quirky designs of many of the stations (see the “Prague Metro – a tourist attraction in its own right“ article). But if you travel by tram, you can combine a typical Prague experience with sightseeing. Tram stops are very close to any of our Prague apartments.
Trams have been operating in Prague since the 1890s, and their red and cream livery has become a very familiar feature of life in the Czech capital. Today, new rolling stock is being introduced, ensuring smoother, more user-friendly journeys. But somehow, the older trams have more character. Nostalgic route 91 trams, which date from the prewar period and operate in the tourist season along a route linking key sights, give visitors a taste of Old Prague life.
However, for locals, the unreconstructed Tatra T3 tram is the Prague tram, the most common type. You’ll see it everywhere, although increasingly in its modernised form, with electronic displays, low floors and new interiors. But the unrefurbished T3 , which keeps its red and cream livery and blue plates bearing the route number, lives on. It’s special partly because it offers passengers a glimpse into Prague life before the fall of Communism.
In addition, the simple grey or red plastic seats are a Czech design classic, and in winter they’re heated, which is a bonus if you’re waiting for a tram on a freezing evening. Sadly, while they may be more comfortable, the refurbished Tatras and newer trams lack heated seats, proving that modernisation doesn’t always mean progress.
You can often find the unreconstructed T3 on the 22 route, which conveniently is a favourite among tourists because it links the National Theatre, the Lesser Quarter and Prague Castle. But hurry, because Prague’s unmodernised T3s are disappearing fast!