Ah, the joys of riding a taxi in Prague... First you have to find one, then you get in and try to understand the driver, you are driven in exactly the opposite direction and pay the double (or the triple) of the regular fare, only to scratch your head later whether CZK 600 is really reasonable for a 2-mile drive. The taxi service in Prague has been, unfortunately, notoriously bad in the past two decades, although it has gotten better recently. Still, we hear stories of incredible rip-offs from our guests who had the misfortune of choosing the wrong taxi in Prague. We want everyone to get the best experience possible in Prague; therefore, we bring you some tips that may save you some money and ensure you spend some quality time here in Prague. - Never get a taxi in front of the train or bus station. You'll pay a huge premium for the convenience. Taxi services in Prague have been battling among themselves for the best spots, and they know why. Bad taxi drivers take advantage of tired, unsuspecting tourist with a long journey behind them who just want to get to the hotel as soon as possible.
- Actually, never get a taxi on the street. You know what? Zuzi and I have not picked a taxi on the street for years. The most convenient and safe way to get a taxi in Prague is to call a taxi service to send a car your way. We would always call for a taxi even if a taxi was waiting right in front of us. The cheaper price of the fare will pay much more than the price of the call. The operator will speak English. Taxi services often offer discounts, but you have to ask for them, so go ahead and ask for a discount. It's also reliable - you usually get a text message stating the license plate and color of the car to pick you up, and the approximate fare to your destination. So in the ideal case, when you're paying the bill in one of the nice restaurants in Prague, call for a taxi right away. The standard time to arrival is about ten minutes. Some of the taxi services actually provide mobile apps for your iPhone or Android phone that use the GPS functionality of the phone. The most popular services are AAA Taxi (call 14014), Profi Taxi (call 14015), and City Taxi (call 257-257-257). Or have the staff at the restaurant call you a cab.
- OK, you don't have a phone but need a taxi. In that case, try to catch a taxi at one of the "Fair Price Taxi stands" that are recommended by the City of Prague. They are marked by a "thumb up" sign, and a list of them can be found here. When getting a taxi in Prague on a street, please follow these simple rules:
- Look for a taxi with the TAXI sign lamp on the roof attached permanently.
- The registration number, the name of the company and the basic rates should be written on the front door of the taxi.
- Always ask for a price estimate upfront. The fair price taxi stands show a list of popular destinations and the estimated prices of getting there from the particular stand you are at. You don't have to settle for the estimate. If the offered price seems too high, don't be afraid to say so. Check the taximeter on the way whether the chosen rate actually corresponds to the rate offered.
- Always say upfront that you will require a written receipt from the driver. The driver is legally obliged to give you a written receipt, and each car must have a built-in printer.
Anyway, we hope you will avoid a bad taxi in Prague. Just follow the rules above and you should be fine. By avoiding bad taxis in Prague, you will help Prague in the effort to get rid of them once and for all. Have a great stay in Prague!