Taxi drivers in Prague try to take as much advantage as they can on making money on tourists. They could quite possibly double your fare without you knowing. Keep an eye on the metre. And if they want to barter with you from the airport into town, anything over 800 KC is a rip off. You can rent a whole shuttle van for yourself for around that.
I've just got back from Prague and want to share my experience with taxis with you.
We used taxis 3 times. To and from the airport and once from Prague centre.
The taxis to and from the airport were fine. We were directed to a taxi from the airport by uniformed staff and we were charged 700K to Prague. Going back to the Airport, a taxi was arranged by the hotel and that cost about 650.
The problem was when used a city centre cab (it had the yellow taxi sign). He only took us to the bottom of street and the meter read 700K. Although we had enough money to cover it alot was in coins which he refused to take and drove us off to a cash point. By now the meter was 800K. I took some money out of the machine and give him it. I was with my girlfriend and didnt want to get back in the cab to be ripped off again so we walked back.
In the end we'd paid 800K (about £20) for a 5 minute taxi ride and ended up being dropped off further away from the hotel than when we got in the Cab!
My advise; Dont get in a taxi unless you know for sure they have a good reputation and you know before hand how much you are going to be charged. Another good idea is to take the hotel number with you, when you need a taxi give them a ring and ask them to arrange it for you. Most the decent hotels have arrangements with local firms and taxi drivers will not risk this arrangement by ripping you off.
We used AAA Taxis to and from the airport. Both trips excellent. Go to the AAA booking stall in the arrivals hall. They quoted us a figure 462 Crowns for our hotel, Red Lion in Nerudova, but said traffic might vary this - we landed 2pm Friday. We were then escorted by a uniformed girl to a smart taxi with helpful driver(tie and white shirt!). Fare came to 500 C including tip.
On return on Sun evening we asked hotel to order AAA taxi which arrived in 5 mins - not quite so smart car but perfclty ok and fare came to 420 C inc tip. Fully recommend in all ways.
When I had my bag and passport stolen, I got a taxi from the old town square (not knowing at the time the police station was only 200 m away) I told the driver my bag has been stolen, can you take me to the police station ASAP, I get in and he drives the long way around, takes over 15 mins to get there and charges me 500 Czech crowns!
Prague cab drivers are known to rip off tourists with extraordinary high prices, but it is usually easy to avoid this if you arrange with your hotel to call a cab for a fixed price. In Prague, a taxi is rarely necessary except for airport transfer, as the main sights are all well in walking distance.
Make sure, if you are going to take a cab (taxi), that the car has a logo of a company on it and a taxi badge. Some people drive around the city with a light on the roof that says "taxi," but they do not work for any company and charge rediculous fares. Make sure to ask what the fare is going to cost you before climbing in.
Always ask first how much itz gonna be be4 u get on the cab...some taxi drivers like to take advantage of tourists that have no idea about the rates bla bla ..but to avoid this u can order a cab through reliable agencies as PROFI TAXI or etc...just to give u an example....taking a ride from the very center to suburbs...i mean that is still called "Prague" shouldn' t cost u more than 400 CZK...so if u will be taking a cab from Prague 1 to Prague 3 lets say it shouldn't cost u more than 200 CZK...so just always ask first otherwise it might happen that the bad guy...lol...i like this expression... asks for like 1000 CZK....
When we arrived at Prague airport taxi's were charging very expensive prices to go to our hotel which was only 15 minutes away. The best way to get from the airport to your hotel is to take the bus or the metro.
One taxi driver wanted to charge us 900 Czech korunas to take us to our hotel after we got off the metro as we didnt know where to go. Then we got hold of a map and found out the hotel was a 3 minute walk from the metro station.... im glad we didnt take the taxi we would of been ripped off big time.
Hi, I would never visit Prague again after myself and my partner were completely conned by a Prague taxi driver. I had heard there was some sort of taxi scam going on there, so I said to my partner we would only negotiate fares before we got into a taxi. On our second night there we negotiated a price of 300 with the taxi driver, he drove us back to our apartment. My partner gave the taxi driver 500 kc, and he saw very clearly the taxi driver produce a wad of notes put the 500 in with the wad of notes and produce a 50 and stated to my partner, that is what you gave me. My partner said 'no way we gave you 500 and I just saw what you did' the driver denied, with that my partner said call the police then because I am not moving out of this taxi until the police arrives. The taxi driver got out and walked around to the back of the cab and dragged my partner out, and was laying into him. I intervened (natural instict to help defend my man) and I got a wallop in the mouth from the taxi driver, and I fell to the floor banging my head. I got up off the floor with blood oozing from my split lip there was blood all over my hands and down my jacket, my partner had by this time as you can imagine was fighting the taxi driver, good and hard, I staggered to a pub I saw and asked people to come out and help us, a few people came out and the taxi man jumped back in his cab and sped off. The police were called, but we had no recollection of what the cab number was as it all happened so fast, then an ambulance was called for me.. I did not go because they wouldnt let my partner come and there was no way especially after what had happened, and being a woman in a foreign city that I would go alone. This happened last Thursday the 16th February 2006 and I am sure that I am still in shock about it all. Prague is a very beautiful city but my opinion is there is a very big taxi scam going on out there, and as you can appreciate. I will never visit prague again. It holds too many bad memories for me.
Karen and Chris.
You really have to make sure the taxis are officially accredited, either to be recoginzed by the fact that they have the usual and well-known yellow taxi signs on top of the car, or you have to let the receptionist at your hotel call one for you. Usually they know the serious drivers and only work with these.
We took a taxi twice from our hotel (next to station) to the castle. The first time the taxi was called by the htoel staff an we paid 400 KR, the second time we went to the station were 2 cars were standing. We went straight to the taxi with the yellow sign on top, but the driver was standing outside his car and directed us to the other taxi, with no wign. As it was indicated by the other driver with the sign we didn't really bither until we saw the price we had to pay for the same trip: 900 KR
You really have to pay attention!!!!
Everyone you talk to will tell you about the taxi drivers... they are out to make a quick buck so be very weary when using them. if you have to try and talk to them in another language other than english.
to be honest you may as well take a bus or a tram because it's fast easy and it's a lot cheaper!
Taxi drivers are very happy to take you where you want - at a price. If you only learn three words of Czech, they should be Znapnete taxametr, prosim! (Turn on the meter please!) and ask before you agree to go for a rough fare. If you are paying in Euro make sure you have small notes - otherwise you might find that the cab driver doesn't have enough change - or better still, pay in Czech Crowns - they are after all the official currency!
Also, another tidbit about the taxi drivers....
One of my friends approached a taxi driver and asked him to give her a flat rate to get back to our hostel, he quoted her a price and she came back to tell us how much it was.
I wanted to try an experiment, so I went out to the same taxi driver and asked him in German how much would he charge for a flat rate fare, he quoted me at HALF the price he originally told my friend.
I know that it's a sad and unfair advantage for most travelers, but if you speak German, chances are you will get a much better deal!
Taxi in Prague can be a good way of getting around but they do tend to overcharge you. Although most of the taxi drivers have the price list and their accreditation put in a visible place inside the car, they usually drive with the taximeter off. So the price depends mostly on your negotiation skills but also of how much you know the average prices in Prague. You can get a bargain or they could overcharge you immensely.
So what to do?
I suggest you check the with several taxi drivers before you decide which one to take. Taxi drivers in main streets usually charge more than the ones just round the corner.
Also try this. When you approach a taxi driver and ask for a price, and he tells you lets say 10 euro, you say that the taxi driver down the street is willing to charge you, say, 6 euro. Then if he lowers his price, most likely he tried to fool you. If he sticks to his price, this this is probably more or less the accurate price. You can try to lower it but chances are, most of them will tell you pretty much the same.
Public transportation is inexpensive but maybe a bit complicated to use if you dont understand Czech.
I had 4 cab rides in Prague. One was a nightmare the other 3 were perfectly fine. In the nightmare the drivers meter was moving so fast you could hardly read the numbers flying by. In the end he wanted around $50 for a ride we took the day before for $7. We threw in about $10 worth of crown and got out of the cab. I don't suggest doing this anymore. Stories fly around about self locking doors and electric handles (not sure if it's true, but not worth trying).
Advice- Anytime you can, have your hotel call a cab for you. They will call a true cab company. If you can, grab a card from the company so you can use them again. Avoid cabs that look more like your uncle's old Nova hatchback.