Taxi Drivers, Prague
1. NEVER NEVER NEVER take the taxi standing at main tourist spots - train stations, Castle, Old City Sq., Wenceslas Sq. - you can be charged 10 times more than real price should be.
2. Don't think that meter will guarantee fair price - they have "turbo switch" installed - price on the meter will run like crazy. If you notice that - ask to stop, pay and get out. Do not refuse to pay - they can block the door and using radio get colleagues to come and "sort out" with you. Ask for the printed check (they obliged to give it) with marked start/end points. Using it you can complain later.
3. If possible do not catch taxi on the street. If you really need the taxi - hotel/restaurant should arrange for it - or call taxi operator - that will assure that driver will not cheat you because the trip is on record. Good idea is ask the operator about price for the trip.
"AAA taxi" is a most reliable company (tel. 14014), you can order them on Internet, via SMS as well.
4. If you want to agree on "flat rate" - be sure you know how much is the realistic price so you do not pay more than meter would show. Hotel reception should be able advise on that.
At some taxi stops there are posted listings with approximate prices to different main spots in the city.
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.
BE CAREFUL WHEN YOU TAKE A TAXI.
Be sure you are taking a AAA taxi (222 333 222), they speak english and you are going to pay what is fair.
I just went to prague on december, a cap ride is from 300 to 400 kc inside the city, dont pay more.
Look at the taximeter and be sure they are charging the right tariff (number 1 is on the day and number 2 on nighs) never pay if you notice the taximeter is on tariff 3. You can see the number on the top left in the taximeter.
Never trust in rusian drivers, once I had to pay 800 kc for one single ride inside the city (and he was trying to charge me 1000), you better take another cap.
BE CAREFUL WHEN YOU TAKE A TAXI.
You can call to AAA taxi (222 333 222), they speak english and their prices are fair.
Taxi price from Air port to center is about 650 Kc but you can use Bus + Metro and reach to your destination very cheap(About 26 Kc).
10 Jan 09
Our taxi driver charged us fairly (from the train station to our hotel), but a couple of notes may help you avoid unnecessary drama and know what to expect:
Be prepared for the possibility of riding in a not-so-well-kept vehicle. Not every taxi is a luxury car, as in any city in the world, but ours in particular was a death trap. I had no good seatbelt, and my door could not be opened from the inside. Not really a warning, but just to let you know what you could encounter.
Also, it is good if you know another language other than English, preferably a European one. I was travelling with a German friend, and I am fluent in Spanish and competent in German. Just for my sake, to avoid the possibility of being taken advantage of by the taxi driver, I didn't speak a word of English, not even with the driver, and I switched between German and Spanish with my friend. (The driver spoke only a little German.) I also never mentioned it was my first time in Prague, and tried to act as unimpressed as possible (which was difficult in a city so beautiful!) when the driver was pointing out "points of interest." Yeah, I know it sounds extreme and paranoid, but when we got to the hotel, the clerk told us stories about how English native speakers were being charged in the neighborhood of 45 Euros for what should be a MUCH cheaper trip.
Also, if you have a metro pass, you may also want to consider taking the subway to the train station (I can't remember if it goes to the airport). It was a quick trip from our hotel to the station, not so much of a hassle, and, or course, the cheapest way.
Have fun in that wonderful city!
As Prague authorities put strict regulation on taxi service in 2003 (and situation with taxi is improoving), fraudulent drivers found a way how to evade the law. They aren't taxi now, but so-called "contractual personal transport", which is not regulated. If you dont want to be cheated:
-never use a car without yellow sign clearly stating TAXI
-never use a car without big white pricelist sticked on the door
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.
Every taxi driver who picks up off the street should display a sticker on the side of his cab. This will tell you the amount he charges per km or per minute. He is legally obliged to stick to this.
If he does not (and there are plenty who will refuse to) or gives you an outrageous price do not get in the cab.
Never hail a cab from Valckavske Namesti. They tend to be mafia run.
Instead call AAA taxis who are reliable, speak English and have NEVER let me down.
Taxi Driver in Prague will generally charge you as much as they can. But even with that they aren't as bad as their reputation. Do they overcharge for the city they are in - yes in many cases - but usually what they are charging is 10-15 Dollars for a short cab ride. Compared to some larger cities its not as bad as it seems. Obviously old town square is the magnet for the worst of the bunch. Some good natured haggling will usually get you down to a high priced ride rather than a rip-off.
And its important to note that there are many honest taxi drivers in Prague - AAA taxi's seem to be the best - they use the meter and my experience with them was good.
One of the best deals is a transporation service that runs from the airport to Prague - direct to your hotel is 360 crowns or drop off at Namesty Republic is 90 crowns - if you need to meet someone at the airport go down to Nam Rep and take the minibus to the airport - leaves every half hour and 3 bucks to the airport is a steal.
drivers in prague are very aggressive. use extreme caution when crossing cross walks. the drivers will stop at a stop light but will ignore cross walks with out a traffic signal. also at a intersection watch for turning traffic. i think the drivers in prague learned to drive in rome.
I was constently warned about hailing taxi's on the steets of Prague. If you need a cab make sure you book one through your hotel and never ever hail one from the street or a restaurant or a pub. Friends of mine took one from the old town back to their hotel and the driver took them all over the place. When they questioned him and threatened to call the police he sped off like a bat out of hell...
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 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!
taxis are unregulated in prague so cheating tourists is favorite pastime in the central city. only use a taxi that is metered or negotiate the price before you enter the taxi. i found the yellow AAA taxis honest. it is best to go to a good hotel and have the desk call you a taxi in the tourist areas.
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.