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PRAGUE: TAXIS

Per Rick's advice, from Hlavni Nadrazi we took an AAA taxi, across the street from the Hotel Chopin. It costs us 140 CZK to Hotel Metamorphis. Five days later, we told the Metamorphis clerk to call us a cab and that we wanted wanted to go to Hlavni Nadrazi. The clerk handed my husband a printout which said that the trip would cost us 300 CZK, fixed rate.

We went to the i (Czech Touist Information) on the Town Square and asked where the nearest Fair Place taxi stand was since Rick Steves had said we would get a better chance of getting an honest cabbie. We were told there was a stand about a block and a half away from the Tourist Info off and that the ride would cost about 140 CZK. The clerk suggested we walk to the train station if we didn't have too much luggage and that it would take 7 minutes. We walked to the Fair Place stand to check things out. I asked one of the AAA cab drivers how much a trip to the main train station would cost, and he said 240 CZK plus tip. I then tried to locate the name of the Fair Place location on the informational sign; this would tell me how much it would cost to get to the main train station. I couldn't locate the name of the Fair Place location so asked the cab driver what it was called. He said it wasn't on the list and that the list was wrong.

We returned to Tourist Information and told the clerk who was quite surprised and repeated that the cost should be 140 CZK; he also asked "tip for what?" He said the stop was right behind St. Nicholas Church and that might be the name to look for on the informational poster.

My husband googled the distance; the estimated time was 17 minutes to walk from Metamorphis, but we estimated for us about 25 minutes. For that reason, we will probably still try to get a cab at the Fair Place station, tell the cabbie how much our first trip cost, remind him to set the meter at #1 tariff, and hope for the best.

Posted by
31219 posts

Sounds like the Prague Taxi bunch is continuing to rip-off customers. I was under the impression that AAA was somewhat reliable, but maybe the "no neck thugs" that used to operate the service from Praha hl.n are now working for them?

Posted by
14 posts

This is an update on the taxi saga. At 7:30 AM, Sunday, we walked to the Fair Place taxi location behind St. Nicholas Church. We stood there about 10 minutes, and there were no taxis in sight. A young man crossed the street and asked us if we needed help. We asked him if there was a better place to find a taxi and told him we were also concerned about dishonest taxi drivers. The young man said he worked at a hotel (Emblem Hotel) a few steps away, and he could call a taxi for us. We told him we were told that AAA and City Taxis were supposed to have some honest drivers. He said he preferred Tic Tack (spelling?), and we agreed he could call them. He did, but they couldn't come for 30 minutes so he called AAA. He said that the taxis at the Fair Place location don't always stick to the quote they give you but that he would fix the AAA rate at somewhere between 140-160 CZK, definitely less than 200 CZK. This was far better than the 300 CZK, fixed rate of the Metamorphis, where we had stayed for 5 days. Our trip to the main train station cost 170 CZK, and my husband tipped the driver a euro (he had no more CZKs). This young man's act of kindness just about erased our disgust with the Prague taxi system.

Posted by
31219 posts

I've asked people in Prague why no one seems to be able to do anything to clean up the Taxi system there. Nobody could explain why nothing can be done or why the regulatory authorities can't enforce a more honest pricing system. Everyone just shrugs their shoulders and accepts that as the way things are done there.

If anyone tried that nonsense in this area, their license would be pulled so fast their head would be spinning!

Posted by
16817 posts

I'm glad that you kept trying and got a rate around what you knew it should be.

Posted by
12139 posts

I understand principal, but that's a lot of effort over $4. Similar activities go on in most every country, including the US. I try and research reputable brands in advance and haven't had much trouble, but maybe there isn't much to choose from in Prague. Too bad. Oh, that nice hotel clerk got a kick back from the taxi driver. That is almost universal. To save that you have to call the cab yourself.

Posted by
14 posts

Yes, the principle, honesty, is important to me, and I have no regrets over the effort involved and would do it again. Both the clerk and I were winners. Kickback or not, the clerk's initiative and kindness left my husband and I with a pleasant memory of Prague.