Taxi rip-offs, Lisbon
I was reading the tips on this subject and I noticed that everyone talks about the airport taxis... The taxis that go around in Lisbon are just the same! They are always trying to "steal" money from you whether you are a tourist or not. That doesn't matter to them.
With luggage, from the airport you should never pay more than 10 euros, going to any place in Lisbon. If you cross the whole city during the day with no luggage, you shouldn't pay more than 7 euros. Have these prices in mind. I take the taxi several times and I always use those prices as a reference. If you are traveling at night add 2 or 3 euros.
Fun Alternatives: Always talk with the driver before getting inside the taxi. If you seem to know how much you should be paying they won't go for drives around the city.
I live in Lisbon and take the taxi to and from the airport only because I can drive there, and know my way around the city. If this is not your case,by all means, avoid the taxi drivers from the airport.
Unique Suggestions: Avoid these crooks by planning in advance and getting advice from locals. Go to www.cm-lisboa.pt and www.carris.pt for maps/transport info. Get a map at the tourist information kiosk.
Taking note of the license plate, getting a receipt and complaining to the police will have effect only after you leave. So, avoid the problem instead of dealing with it.
Fun Alternatives: At the airport, follow the indications for City Bus, and take it. The fare is €3 and it stops at 3 places (Entrecampos, Saldanha, Marques Pombal) where you can take the subway, trains or buses to most places in and out of the city.
If you are not carrying much luggage, instead of taking the citybus, walk 20 meters further down the street and take bus no. 22 or 45. They will both stop at Marques Pombal.
I'm ashamed to say that in my own city, in the place where I've been in countless times (airport), and in the service I've used many times in the past, I or rather, we (as I was with my husband when it happened) could still fall victim to an airport taxi driver's ruse.
We had just arrived at the airport from a longish trip, it was quite dark and we were just plain tired, so instead of the airport bus, we decided to take an airport taxi. It was going to be just a very short ride, around 5 minutes, as we just wanted to get to the Roma/Areeiro train station which is very close. From previous taxi rides to the station, I knew that the bill would be between 6 to 7 euros. The driver was a young man, quite enthusiastic, his taxi was a new Mercedes, nice-smelling inside with a GPS and all, we were glad to have the good luck to get into a comfortable taxi after a tiring day. So off we go, and before we knew it we had arrived. The driver pressed the taxi meter and then told my husband how much everything was. I was already half out of the car so didn't hear very well. Besides I was tired and only cared about getting home. The driver was pulling our two bags and my husband was handing him the money, and I was somehow surprised that for the 20 euro bill, my husband got back only a few little coins. But I didn't bother as it never crossed my mind that a driver here would even think of ripping off his own fellow Portuguese -- my husband was even chatting with him, it was pretty obvious we were no tourists.
It was only after he speeded off, that I asked my husband how much it was and he said about 16 euros! I was shocked and angry, now I realised why the guy was in a hurry to get out the bags and give back the change and drive away. Apparently, he had said that each bag in the trunk has a fee -- like 4 euros each! We were sort of robbed with our eyes open. And I had ourselves to blame for not paying attention... I admit we were tired, but we were also complacent trusting that we were in our own place and nothing like this could have happened. Thus, the driver must have sensed we were gullible at that moment.
It was my first time to have experienced this in all my years of taking the airport taxi, most of the drivers are honest. I certainly hope it was the last!
Unique Suggestions: Be aware that there is NO such ridiculous thing as a baggage fee in taxis, airport or any other taxi. The price to pay is exactly what is said in the taxi meter. To have an idea of how much to pay, consult the price indication posted on the taxi's left passenger window's side -- they are obliged to demand only what's provided by law as written in that notice.
Fun Alternatives: Take the Airport Bus, if you're getting off anywhere along the route the bus takes.
They will charge the tourist anything they wish. We were charged 20 Euros from the Airport to the Sheraton - a journey which took 8 minutes
Unique Suggestions: Best to ASK the average fair including the cost of transporting the luggage - before getting into the taxi.
I wish the Airport authorities would have some sort of method in trying to prevent this rip off. Watch for the Italian sounding taxi drivers.
Fun Alternatives: Would not recommend public transport to get from Airport to hotel - unless one has no luggage. Kind of unlikely for a visitor.
Some years ago, we would have a Taxi at the airport. Before taking the taxi, i went to the Tourist office and asked them how much the trip would cost. They told me NOT to pay more than.... so we went out to get the Taxi. I asked the driver how much, and he told me a higher price than the Tourist office had told me, so i said i wouldn`t pay that much. We got another one who took the right fare,
Unique Suggestions: If you want to make sure you are paying the right price in the Taxi, buy a "Taxi Voucher" at either the Tourist office at the airport or at the Welcome Center at Praca do Commercio.
ok...everything ok...the flight was nice...Lisbon is great from the sky...but after that...normally people get a Taxi here...this Taxi drivers like to do BIGGG trips trough Lisbon until you're in your Hotel...
Unique Suggestions: In my opinion is better to do some..."painting"... in your Lisbon Map...normally Turists go to the Downcenter...and you've some 4/5 different ways to arrive there!...see in the map yuor direction and do some different routes!
Fun Alternatives: difficult...you have the bus...but...ufffffffffffff....to bad from the airport. Try to find a friendly taxi driver...that speak english...but...after enter the taxi...always look to the taximeter!
BEware of the following taxi scam from the airport that we got caught in. He pulled away from the taxi rank (and police) then pulled over advising that the figure in the meter is the charge for each person. He could not (or claimed he could not ) speak English and in the confusion, we though that the figure he was pointing at was the fixed fee per person per person inc luggage and expected the mileage charge to be on top of that. There were 4 of us, he took us the long way around. The meter showed €11 (around the max you should expect to pay) and we were charged €42. Never again will we be stung like that.
Unique Suggestions: Simply say NO when the suggestion is made that the cost will be anything other than that displayed on the meter. Ask to be taken back to the taxi rank.
Advise that you will want a receipt and use your phone to photograph the meter. Make a point of doing this. You can use this in evidence if you need to make a complaint.
Photo his licence plate. If nothing else, it should spoil his day.
Fun Alternatives: On the way back we used uber. . At the immediate point of ordering, we knew what it would cost, who would pick us up, what vehicle we would be collected in and could see on the map his current location. We charged €7.5 for the same journey. The cost was charged to our credit card by uber, email confirmation, no money exchanges hands as the figure includes a tip. If we did have a complaint we would know exactly who we were complaining about and who to complain to.
For us, that in taxi driver in Lisbon has done a disservice to taxi drivers all over. We will never use a taxi again if we have the option to use uber.
Another alternative is to take the metro, it takes you via via Liberdade to the centre of town for less than a taxi.
Some taxi drivers like to go for a longer walk than is indeed necessary, specially from the airport... Just pretend you have already been here and, even if you do not know the street names, you still remember very well the “lovely walk” to the same hotel you are going now...
Unique Suggestions: Ask the average price and insist on knowing it (average of course)...
Also ask for the amount destined to the luggage witch is pre-established by the law...
Remember, not all taxi drivers are like that, you will find very friendly, honest and helpful ones...
Fun Alternatives: Public transportation is good in central Lisbon but it gets terrible in peripherical areas...
Any way, the drivers usual are friendly and help you a lot...
I don't like to speak about this but some of them have shown us the entire city (which is not so big) trying to get one more euro... or even less
I haven't complained about it as I had to recognise that for a lot of people the life is hard...
You shall be anyway aware about it... even if the price of the taxi is not so high in Lisbon.
We have spent usually about 4 to 5 euro which is the price of half glass of wine in Norway.
The highest price was from the airport to the hotel... 20 euro.
The price was only 14 but the driver ask us 3 euro for the bags and his eyes told me that I should not expect the rest of 3 euro
As an interesting info, from the hotel to the airport an honest driver asked only 7, 5 euro ;)
Unique Suggestions: Try to enjoy the trip as anyway it is cheap... as you'll find the taxis everywhere and this is really comfortable...
Fun Alternatives: Don't mention that you're first time in Lisbon and try to follow the direction on a map.
On Friday ( November 27, 2015) at about 8:00pm, my hotel ( DoubleTree, Fontana Park/ Lisbon) arranged with Retalis (www.retalis.pt) to send a taxi to take us to Fundação Gulbenkian. The driver came soon after 8:00pm and drove us to the center.
Upon arrival, I handed the driver a €20 note. The fare was just under €8. He gave me back €2 and a few cents. I stepped out of the car. However, before I realized that he has short-changed us by €10, he already drove off.
After returning home I sent email to Retalis ( Nov 29) complaining about this. They ignored it. They also ignored the second note I sent on 3 Dec. Obviously Retalis have no problem with their drivers cheating the visitors.
Unique Suggestions: I suggest you familiarize yourself with the currency. Also make sure the taxi meter is running from the moment you are picked up. Make sure you tell the driver the amount of the note you handed him(10, 20 or 50€ etc..) And do not step out of the taxi until you are satisfied that you got the correct change.
I did that for subsequent taxi rides in Lisbon.