Parking in Prague
A complete guide
Many people (especially non-Pragueans) say they wouldn't want to drive in Prague because the traffic is quite heavy, the drivers are often rude and generally - like any other major city - it requires a certain level of driving experience. However, it's not the driving itself in Prague that's the problem, it's the parking. The number of parking spaces, especially in the city centre, is severely limited, the number of cars far exceeds the city's parking capacity, and finding a free space that doesn't risk some sort of ticket or dent on your car can be quite a challenge. So we've put together an overview of what you need to know about parking in Prague, including tips on the best places where to park in Prague.
Parking zones Prague
Prague is divided into 22 city districts, and the rules for parking in each district can vary to some extent. However, what they all have in common is the existence of parking zones - blue, purple and orange. The specific parking zone is always indicated on a sign with the letter P and marked directly on the road with a blue or white stripe. The purpose of the parking zones in Prague is to regulate parking for the benefit of residents of Prague so that they can park their cars within walking distance of their homes, properties or businesses, and for visitors, so that they do not stay in the area longer than strictly necessary to make room for other drivers.
1. Blue zones in Prague (so-called resident parking)
Parking in the blue zones in Prague is only for residents with a valid parking permit issued based on permanent residence, property ownership, or the location of the business in the area. Others can use these spaces only on a limited basis (max. 3 hours) and the parking fee must be paid online via the Virtual Parking Hours app or at mpla.cz/praha (there are no traditional parking meters). However, parking prices are higher than in the purple and orange zones. Outside of parking zone opening hours, which vary from one district to another, parking in the blue zones can be free. Blue zones are easily identifiable not only by the blue stripe on the traffic sign but also directly on the road.
2. Purple zones (mixed parking)
Indicated by a purple stripe on the traffic sign and white horizontal markings on the road, or blue horizontal markings. Only holders of a valid parking permit can park here without restriction (see Blue Zones), others can use them for a maximum of 24 hours, after paying the parking fee at a parking meter or online in the Virtual Parking Hours app. The basic operating hours of the parking zone (and therefore when payment is required) are 8 am - 8 pm, outside of which there is no parking regulation and evening/night parking is free. However, the rules - as well as the price of parking - again vary from one section to another and if the hours of operation are not indicated on the road signs, it is assumed to be 0:00 - 24:00. Parking must therefore always be paid.
3. Orange zones (visitor parking)
Recognisable by the orange stripe on the road sign and the white horizontal stripe on the road, this zone is for short-term, time-limited parking as indicated on the sign (e.g. max 2 hours). Parking here can be done after paying at a parking meter or via the Virtual Hours web app. Again, the price varies - the new system allows parking prices to be changed dynamically, e.g. according to the busyness of the areas. The same applies to opening hours as for other zones; outside of these hours, usually in the evening and at night, parking is free. The exact time can again be determined from the traffic signs.
Cheap Parking Prague: P+R parking
Another option and quite cheap parking in Prague offer P+R ("park and ride") car parks on the outskirts of Prague with good connections to public transport. They should serve especially non-Prague residents who come to Prague for work. The price in the guarded parking lots is 50 CZK/day or 100 CZK/day - depending on the distance from the centre or the zone it falls into. Unguarded car parks (zone 0) are free of charge, but the parking time is limited to 12 hours. Those who do not have a public transport subscription must purchase a ticket together with the parking fee - it can be checked when leaving the car park.
An overview of Prague's P+R car parks
Zone 0: Běchovice, Běchovice střed, Braník, Kotlářka, Nové Butovice (B), Skalka 2 (A), Troja
Zone 1: Černý Most (B), Depo Hostivař (A), Chodov (C), Letňany (C), Opatov (C), Radotín, Rajská zahrada (B), Zličín (B)
Zone 2: Holešovice (C), Prague Congress Centre, Ládví (C), Skalka 1 (A)
The letter in brackets indicates the metro line where the car park is located.
After the metro closes (i.e. between 01-04 am) the paid parking lot closes and the fee for not picking up the car is CZK 100 plus the normal daily parking fee for the previous and following day, i.e. CZK 200 in total.
K+R car parks ("kiss and ride") can also be found at some railway stations, underground stations and bus stops, but these are only for short stops to get in and out of the car. They cannot be used for long-term parking.
How to pay for parking in Prague
Parking can be paid either at a parking meter (cash, sometimes by credit card) on the MPLA website or in the MPLA.IO app. In the blue zones, you can pay only via MPLA. Another application that is primarily used to facilitate travelling around Prague, but also allows payment of parking fees, is Citymove. However, the only official Prague parking app is MPLA.IO. In addition, you can use it in some parking lots in Prague and also in many other cities in the Czech Republic.
Paying for parking via the Prague Parking App:
Virtual Parking Hours app
For payment, you need to enter:
1. selection of the parking zone (when the location service is enabled, the system will offer you which zone you are in)
2. the registration number of the car
3. parking time
4. payment card number and other information necessary to make the payment.
The parking time can be extended if necessary with one click.
Parking in Prague: How much does it cost?
The price for parking varies according to the type of zone and the specific location, usually 40, 60 or 80 CZK/hour, however, in some places, an hour of parking can cost 20 CZK or even just 10 CZK. The exact rate can be found directly in the MPLA.IO app or on maps.cz, where when searching for parking options in the desired location, the parking details always include the zone designation and type, operating hours (i.e. when you have to pay), payment method and hourly rate.
Parking exemptions - who can park for free in Prague?
Motorcycles and scooters are exempt from the obligation to pay a parking fee in paid parking zones - they can park in all zones (but not on the pavement) for free. If certain conditions are met, including, for example, registration of the car, electric cars and hybrids can currently park for free in the blue and purple zones. The orange zone, which is intended primarily for visitors - non-Pragueans, is not covered by this exemption. However, it is possible that in the future the free parking exemption for electric vehicles will only apply to vehicles registered in Prague, i.e. commuters would not be covered.
Tips for free parking in Prague
In some of the outskirts of Prague, paid parking zones have not yet been set up and parking is therefore free. As of July 2022, this includes the Prague districts of Stodůlky, Jinonice, Zličín and Řepy.
Overnight, on weekends or public holidays, parking is also free in some paid parking zones outside the opening hours of the parking zone. The operating hours are always indicated on the relevant traffic signs.
Free parking in Prague is also available in some shopping centres, but in most cases, it is limited in time, usually to 2-3 hours. We recommend checking the current parking options directly on the website.
Examples of shopping centres with free parking in Prague
|Prague 3||Atrium Flora|
|Prague 4||Westfield Chodov, Arkády Pankrác, Novodvorská Plaza, DBK Budějovická,|
|Prague 5||OC Nový Smíchov, Galerie Butovice, Metropole Zličín|
|Prague 6||OC Šestka|
|Prague 7||Centrum Stromovka|
|Prague 8||OC Krakov|
|Prague 9||Centrum Černý Most, Galerie Harfa, NC Fénix, OC Letňany|
|Prague 10||OC Eden|
Parking in the Prague center. Is it possible?
If you are looking for parking in Prague Old Town (or in other words - parking in Prague 1), prefer covered or guarded parking or want to book a parking space in advance, we recommend using the portal Bezpecneparkovani.cz, where you can also book a parking space. You can also reserve a parking space in advance with Mr. Parkit Prague, which operates several garages right in the centre of Prague
All information about parking in Prague including news is available as well on the website Parkujvklidu.cz. And last but not least: if you happen to park incorrectly and discover a boot on your car, it is essential to call 156, the Prague municipal police.