Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
Originally published August 24, 2018
What is train travel like in Czechia?
I had ridden on trains in Europe before, but this was to be my first time in the country of Czechia. I was going to a travel bloggers conference and therefore was given a free ticket by Czech Tourism courtesy of RegioJet railway services. I picked a business class ticket over a basic ticket therefore the following is a sponsored and honest review of my experience.
Prague Main Railway Station (Praha hlavní nádraží)
I used a taxi service I had prearranged through the hotel where I was staying in Prague. This was very convenient for me to be picked up and taken to the Prague main railway station. My driver dropped me off at one of the main entrances to the station. It was busy and crowded as it to be expected from most train stations. I glanced around to find where I would pick up my ticket from the RegioJet office.
Once I had ticket in hand it was a matter of navigating the maze of people, find a station map, figure out which platform to walk to, and learn some bit of reading the Czech language along the way.
From what I discerned, it seemed I was to depart from platform three. Glancing at the numbers on the wall, I picked up the pace to match the people rushing to the same platform. We scurried up an escalator like nervous ants on a trail. Young mothers with strollers and babies, deftly hopped on without missing a beat even though looking like they were already overloaded. I guessed they had done this many times before.
Meanwhile, I hauled my carry-on and made my way to car number five according to my ticket. I made sure I was at the right car showing the train attendant my ticket and he politely said “yes, this way” ushering me aboard.
I found my seat, and had the help of a young father nearby to hoist my carry-on up on the overhead shelf. So far, I was happy to find that my interactions with Czech people was pleasant since arriving in Prague the previous day.
Three hours went by easily to my final destination of Ostrava
Settling into my comfortable, leather business-class seat, I took a deep breath to relax. I was finally on my way to Ostrava!!! (Three exclamation marks is not my personal exclamation but there is another reason for it after the word Ostrava. You’ll read why in this post)
The RegioJet was a smooth train ride. Very comfortable and relaxing. I had a single seat against the window. There are however, 4-seaters, or closed cabins for families or groups. I got a great view of the countryside the whole way to Ostrava. I was served free water and had free Wi-Fi. Later, the attendant came around to offer snack choices, such as a light salad or sandwich, juice, coffee or some other type of drink. It was just like being on an airplane except no turbulence 😉
Easy to navigate the Ostrava main train station
When I got to the Ostrava main train station it was easy to exit the train car and head towards the station exit. There is an elevator or stairs (take your pick) and it took me about 5 minutes to find the Taxi queue which really had no line at all. When a taxi driver saw me peering at the taxi sign he came right over and spoke in English asking where I wanted to go, I told him the Park Inn hotel. He took my bag and off we went arriving in about 10 minutes to the hotel.
For me it was a seamless experience using RegioJet and I would recommend it as the ticket costs are very reasonable. The only caveat I have is to warn you to learn the Prague main train station layout and how to find where your platform is. In worst case you can walk over to the RegioJet counter where they will be happy to help you. I wish I had found them sooner but oh well, I did learn how to navigate the Prague train station which I chalk up to traveler experience.