Taxi Drivers, Prague
Many taxis are a rip-off in Prague, however I found one that is fair-priced, reliable and very high-class (audi cars, etc.). The only thing is you should call 30 minutes in advance for a pick-up. They have meters that calculate the price, compared to many others which do not and may not even have a license.
The taxi company is called FEBA and the number is +420 724 777 930, I think, last time I checked.
Trust me you won't regret it!
All the usual advice applies to using taxis in Eastern Europe.
But in Prague, don't be fooled by the nice car and "I'll use the meter" line - they can set it at whatever rate they like.
The only way around this is to work out the distance you will be covering, get a rough price from the hotel and/or a local and set a price with a driver before you get into his cab.
Further tips :
1) Always ring for a taxi if you can (e.g from AAA cabs). Avoid the heavily touristed areas and the main railway station.
2) Only use taxis that have their rates posted on the outside of the cab
3) Discuss the price of the trip (or max. cost if using the meter) with the driver before actually getting into his cab.
4) When you get in - learn the name of the driver and write it down on a a notepad with the car reg. If he objects to this he will be dodgy. Get out and walk away.
5) Watch the meter is set right - its not too difficult to estimate a kilometer. If it's flying by then demand to stop and get out - paying only what is already on the meter.
6) Follow the route on a map so he dosn't follow the 'scenic route'.
7) If the price seems high ask for a reciept with the amount, taxi registration and drivers name written on it.
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!