2) SECOND STEP: TRANSPORT
The second most important thing you will need to get used to if you want to travel is the transport.
It was one of the things most difficult to understand for me here, as the system in my country is so different. Also, if you are a forgetful and clueless person like me, you can make the mistake of taking the wrong train if you don’t know how the system works. Fortunately, after a few weekends traveling and asking people, I learnt to take trains, buses, trams and metros in Czech Republic!
Because I lived the experience and now I know how stressful can be to be lost in a train station, I would like to give you the main information in an easy and understandable way.
I will start with trams and metros. Here it depends on the time you spend traveling. For example, in the trams of Olomouc, you pay 14 CZK for 30-40 minutes. The most difficult thing is to buy the ticket in the machine as everything is written in Czech and you have different options. Usually the best option is always the first one if you are going to the city centre or around. You are free to change trams and metros (metro is only in Prague) as long as you don't exceed the time limit you have written in your ticket.
About trains and buses, first thing you have to know is that there are the normal buses and trains of Czech Republic, and, on the other hand, the private companies RegioJet and LeoExpress, that travel in and outside of Czech Republic.
IDOS is a very useful website to check every connections of normal buses and trains, and also trains or buses of RegioJet or LeoExpress, (but you have to see their website to buy the tickets).
It is very easy to use these websites as you have the option to see it in other languages, the difficult thing is after, you know, when you have to buy the tickets in the train station, take the right train and everything else...
An important thing you have to know is that hl.nádr (hlavní nádraží) is main train station.
Regarding trains, as I said, there are two kinds of companies in Czech Republic.
1) The Czech company is ČD.
So, for the private companies you have to book the ticket before by Internet or in the cash desk you will find in some train stations, usually in bigger cities than Prostějov. However, for the Czech company ČD, you can buy the ticket in every train station, or you also have to option to book it by Internet as the private companies. (Note: sometimes you will find that the desk to buy tickets is not open, so you can buy the ticket in the train at the same price. But if you buy the ticket in the train when the cash desk is open, you have to pay a bit more).
In my case, sometimes I did not have time to book it by Internet so I just bought a normal ticket in the station of Prostějov to travel with ČD. But for trips out of Czech Republic, like Poland, I took RegioJet and I book the ticket days before.
A few minutes before you are going to take the train, you just have to see the screen with the number of your connection and the company of the train, the time, platform and destination, and look for the train with the name of the company train that you chose.
Sometimes the trains are delayed so you will need to be patient in these situations, wait and not take the wrong train if it not the time yet (yes, that was one of my mistakes during my first month here).
Be careful with ČD: because not everybody speaks English in the train station of Prostějov probably they won’t understand you if you say ''return tickets''. So, if you want to by a return ticket, learn this Czech word: ''zpáteční''. In the ticket you have written when is the deadline you can use it for return, usually until next day. If you are not going to return to Prostějov until the next two days or more, simply buy a single ticket saying the name of the place you want to go.
Another important thing to know about this Czech company if you buy the ticket in the train station is that will only have written your final destination, but not that you have to change trains sometimes because the journey is not direct.
So you need you check that by Internet. For example: if you want to go Prague, in your ticket yo will see just Prostějov -Praha, but you have to stop in Olomouc to change the train that will take you to Prague.
On another hand, with RegioJet, for example, if you book the tickets by Internet, in the print paper you can see with more details about your journey and where you have to change trains.
With RegioJet and LeoExpress, the company I explained before, there are also buses and you can buy single ticket or return tickets by Internet or in the cash desk of the station, like with the trains.
For the normal buses, usually you can buy single tickets or return tickets at the bus station, and you also have the option to buy the ticket in the bus, but a single ticket, not a return ticket.
When you are checking your destination by Internet, you will find that sometimes here you can use the same ticket for trains and buses, when they are from the same company.
Maybe it is normal for you, but at least in Spain, a ticket for a train is just a ticket for a train and not for a bus. However, here you will find sometimes, for example, that if you want to go to Prague, you have the option to take a bus to Olomouc and after a train by using the same ticket (although this only happens in some occasions).
So this is the information I consider most important about the transport system here. Of course, you will learn by experience, and probably you will find something that is a bit different of what I explained here, but I think it is good to have the general information about it.
Hope it is useful for you.
By Elena from Spain