Prague Culture Shock - Public Transport

A 12-part guide to the subtle - and not-so-subtle - nuances that make the Czech capital a more memorable experience

The public transport in this city is the best I've ever seen. The metros are incredibly fast, the trams go practically everywhere, and wherever they don't go, you can take a bus.

Personally, I prefer my Chevo-legs, but there is a system of etiquette you should follow when you're using the system:

1. Always let people off before you get on, unless you want a severe beating from an old lady.

2. Always let old ladies get on before you do, unless you want a severe beating. (Hey, they're tough!)

3. Always give up your seat to people whom you judge to be at least double your age or people with disabilities or injuries, unless you want… Oh, you get the point.

4. Let mommas with babies park their gargantuan, outsized, tractor-tire prams/carriages in the rear of the tram or metro car. It's also polite to help them load and unload their massive tank-buggies (if you can lift them). But don't expect any thanks. It's the Czech way, sometimes.

5. If you're wearing a backpack, take it off. This is so you don't bump into the old ladies that just kicked your ass for not giving up your seat, and it ensures no one will steal your stuff.

6. For metros and streets: It is proper to stay to the right side of all escalators in order to let fit people walk up or down the left side. However, I normally notice that the stupid people leaning across the escalator on the left side are Czechs, which is so irritating! Also, try to always walk on the right side of any street.

Very Important: The public transportation system isn't free. Always have a valid ticket, and always remember to stamp it in the little yellow boxes. These are on the buses and trams, and near the escalators in metro stations. I'd recommend buying a long-term ticket for the duration of you stay and keeping it safe somewhere, instead of forgetting to buy a single ticket and getting charged 500 CZK (around $22).

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