Prague airport - Ruzyně

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Prague airport

The Prague–Ruzyně Airport is a symbol of national pride as much as it is a functioning international airport. Having first opened on April 5th, 1937, it represented the high level of expertise and professionalism of the Czech aviation industry, as well as reflecting the country’s love affair with flight.

Prague had an operating airport as early as 1919 in Prague–Kbely, which was a military airport that also served as the venue for a number of magnificent airshows between the two World Wars. Located about eight kilometres northeast of the city, Prague–Kbely is now a major aviation museum and through its ongoing work to recover and restore historic planes, it celebrates the role of the Czech Republic, then Czechoslovakia, in early aviation.

By the mid-1930’s it was recognized that the Prague–Kbely was no longer able to satisfy the demands of the nation’s capital and a new government run airport was developed at Ruzyně. Since the conclusion of World War II, the airport has continued to develop and welcomes in excess of 12 million passengers each year.

To access Prague–Ruzyně Airport there are a number of options available including buses and taxis. Unfortunately, although the airport is about twenty minutes from the city, there is no direct train connection, which means that bus services linking to underground stations of the metro are the most economic and reliable means of heading into the city. These connect to two different lines of the metro system and so offer a degree of flexibility to meet travellers’ needs in reaching accommodation.

There are also taxis available from the airport into the city, but this is a more expensive option. The cost of the journey should be around 650CZK ($US35), but it is important to take great care when dealing with the taxi services anywhere in Prague. Poor service and dishonest operators can lead to exorbitant charges and it is advised that travellers book a taxi through a reputable company prior to landing in Prague.

But rather than looking for ways of leaving the airport, most travellers know the tedium and sheer boredom of waiting in an airport for a flight; parents with small children perhaps feeling the minutes tick by even more slowly than others. In response to this, Prague–Ruzyně Airport has a number of facilities and activities to while away the waiting time.  These include the Lookout Terrace, the Children’s Corner and excursions through the airport.

The Lookout Terrace offers a relaxed, yet fascinating view of the operations of the airport. From high above the ground level action, waiting passengers can watch the precision and skill of airport staff and pilots as they land, maneuver and take off in the most state-of-the-art aircraft in the world.

There are two Children’s Corners in the airport that offer activities to occupy the smallest travellers. Any parent who has ever had to cope with a bored toddler will know that the Children’s Corner may be the single greatest innovation in any international airport.

But for those who would like to learn more about the running of the airport and how this amazing creature lives and breathes, there are regular excursions through the airport that take travellers behind the scenes into the operational centers of the airport. These tours can be arranged by contacting the airport or through the information center at the airport itself.

The Prague–Ruzyně Airport has been a place of great national pride in its celebration of Czech aviation, a scene of terrifying drama when the invading Soviet forces landed in 1968 and is today a welcoming endpoint to the journey of many a weary traveller. It is a treasure of the Czech people and a modern masterpiece of aviation management.

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