We all use local apps when at home, so why not seek them out when travelling? Local knowledge usually outweighs information provided by tourists on sites like TripAdvisor. Thus, if you’re spending any considerable amount of time in the Czech Republic, these six apps will make navigating the country and your life a little easier. Of course the one downside most of them have is that they’re all in the Czech language, however with a little perseverance, it’s easy enough to navigate around the sections that aren’t self explanatory.
If only every country had an integrated transport app like this! Up to date information and route planning for trains, buses and public transport throughout the Czech Republic. GPS will identify your nearest stop; just enter your destination, and you’re provided a list of possible routes, times (including connections), distance, cost, delays, and a map of the route. Assuming you have a Czech mobile number, you can use the app to buy SMS tickets for various cities too. The only downsides are the adverts (which you can remove for a fee) and an internet connection is required (although taking a screenshot gets around this issue). One of the most convenient apps that I’ve ever used, a must have for anyone that intends to use public transport.
2. Czech Republic – Land of Stories
One of the many apps that has been developed by the official portal of Czech Tourism (more information available here). This particular offline app is available in 12 languages, and is a slimmed down version of their website. Contains offline information and location details for the major sites, events, and tours that are worth considering when visiting Prague. A number of popular Czech cities are also covered, in addition to lesser known destinations such as Litomyšl, Telč, Mikulov, and Kroměříž. Unfortunately there are very few restaurants and hotels listed for destinations other the Prague.
3. Můj vlak
This app, released by České dráhy, is superb should you want to travel around the Czech Republic by train. Provided you have created an account with ČD (which is free) and you have an internet connection, you can purchase tickets and seat reservations, and obtain real-time updates on train locations. The ticket is saved as a QR code, which can be scanned by the ticket inspector, and if you buy tickets online using your computer, your ticket will automatically appear in the app. Furthermore, you can download offline timetables for several countries, which is incredibly useful if you’re on a backpacking trip across Europe. I’d previously used the Deutsch Bahn app for searching train times as the coverage is more comprehensive, however the offline usefulness of Můj vlak certainly gives it some stern competition.
Welcome to the Czech version of MAPS.ME, which I’d recommended in a previous post covering free travel apps. They’re very similar, as both apps use the same data from OpenStreetMap, however Mapy.cz is more focused on outdoor activities in the Czech and Slovak Republics. Whilst the ‘get directions’ option requires internet access, you can find how long it takes to get from A to B when travelling by river (canoe), bike, or cross country skiing, in addition to the standard options of by foot or by road. You can also download country maps for offline viewing. One of the best features is the detailed route information on all hiking and walking trails in the Czech and Slovak Republics, of which there are over 40,000 km of trails in the Czech Republic alone. These are incredibly easy to follow when you’re out and about, as they are clearly identified with coloured ribbons on a white background, which are painted onto trees, rocks, lamp posts etc. I frequently use this app when out hiking, especially should I wish to change my route or find somewhere to eat. An excellent app.
5. Student Agency
One of the main bus and train carriers in the Czech and Slovak Republics; easily identifiable by their bright yellow buses. As these services are often very busy, it’s best to book ahead either online, or via the app. Like the Můj vlak app, you need to sign up for an account, and you can then select journeys, book tickets, choose seats. Nothing fancy, but does everything that it’s meant to.
This app is probably more geared towards locals than tourists, or at least to those spending a reasonable length of time in the country. The company provides delivery of fast food, takeaway, and restaurant meals from a variety of outlets for a small delivery fee. Simply choose your cuisine and restaurant, and place your order via the app (or website). You can pay by card, or using cash or food vouchers.