If you’re new to Prague, then it’s probably best to get your bearings as soon as possible and to understand the common ground that takes place throughout the city. Especially when it comes to public transport, there is definitely an unsaid yet understood language across everyone to work together and make the entire “transit process” as smooth as possible. There are always a few people out of the loop, and boy do they get some crude looks from locals but, hey, we all have to start somewhere, right?
Let’s start with the trams. When the tram pulls up to the station, do not stand directly in front of the doors unless you want to get trampled on when everyone comes out of it. This is something that I do not understand. It’s clear that people will be exiting, so it only makes sense to move aside and give them some room. Wait until everyone exits, and then go ahead and jump on. Easy, and everyone is happy although they will never smile to show it.
After some trial and error, I also noticed that there is a seat system in the trams. To avoid any conflict, always sit in the middle of the tram, and if possible, the seat closest to the window. If you ever sit in the front of the trams, be prepared to get up as soon as you sit down because you better offer your seat to the elderly man or woman who gets onboard at the next stop. If you don’t, they will stand right next to you and glare until you do move. Sometimes, the feisty ones full of angst will even grab you by the shirt and force you to move while screaming some Czech at you, you know, in case you were looking outside the window and did not see them enter. Also, you may have to get out of your seat to offer it to others if you’re sitting on the outside end (no matter where you are in the tram). So to avoid conflict all together, it’s best to just stand or to claim the inner seats next to the windows. Don’t make it more complicated than it already is.
As for the metro, it’s a lot more low-key. The same enter and exiting rules apply, where you should definitely not just stand like a barricade in front of the doors while they are opening. This is true for when you are already inside the metro as well. Let people out, damn it! You’d be surprised how often this actually happens, though. Some people don’t get it and this article is here to provide some insight one reader at a time (hopefully).
Inside the metros, feel free to sit wherever you like. However, if all seats are full and an elderly person comes on board, then of course, offer it up. Also, try your best to not make eye-contact or it gets a bit weird. It’s harder than you think though, when you’re sitting directly in front of people and have no where to look.
That’s it folks. Good luck, try not to upset people, and happy traveling!