Prague Taxis, Risk or Reward?

The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

Prague taxi drivers are known for their rip-off scams and bad service. Tourists are particularly at risk.

Simply hailing a taxi on the street or catching one at the railway station can be particularly tricky if you're a foreigner.

But not all services are bad. Let's take a closer look at using a taxi in Prague and how to avoid getting cheated. 

Prague taxi at taxi stand in Mala StranaAAA taxi in Malá Strana near Charles Bridge

Simple Taxi guidelines

A few simple guidelines will help you get where you need to be with a taxi in Prague...

  • Call ahead! It's not always convenient, but ask your hotel to call a reputable company like AAA in advance. Your hotel might also offer private car services. That can be a good idea, but more expensive.
  • Use a taxi from a Fair Taxi Place - see below for details.
  • Only use taxis that have a TAXI sign on their roof (they should also have company and price info on both front doors but rarely do).
  • Always get a receipt at the end of your trip. This should be a printed receipt from the taxi meter.

Tipping

Taxi drivers can be tipped according to your preference. Generally riders round up like you would at a restaurant. For example, 185 Kč would be rounded up to 200 Kč. Although, in my experience many people don't tip drivers proportionately with a waiter. If you have any doubts, tip 10%.

Be Aware of these Prague Taxi Scams

  • No Meter

A standard taxi should always use a meter to calculate the fare. No exceptions. If you don't see the red lights of the meter in the front between the driver and the passenger seats, then it's not on. This means you will get a random, overpriced fare at the end of your trip. Not good.

  • The Flat Fee

Some drivers are known to offer a flat fee for some trips. It's their way of overcharging you. It's fine to get an approximate quote before getting in the car, but they should use the fare meter for a final price. Some non-taxi transfer companies and drivers use a flat fee from the airport or rail/bus stations, but these are not always reputable either. Our partner transfer service is ideal for these situations.

  • The Surprise Added Fee

You've made it to your destination and are ready to pay according to the meter, congratulations! But, then your driver insists on an added surcharge. No, this does not exist. Just pay what the meter reads. Period. 

The official Prague tourism board suggests only using a Prague Taxi Fair Place.

"These stands are marked with a yellow sign with the inscription TAXI and an orange thumbs‐up sign with the inscription FAIR PLACE. The operators of these locations guarantee a fair price, a safe trip, professional drivers, and high quality service. We do not recommend hailing a taxi directly on the street." -www.prague.eu

  • Signs like this are posted at each Taxi Fair Place. See the map below for locations.
  • Taxis here guarantee: reasonable prices, safety, comfort and professionalism.
  • Fair Places also list prices clearly:  40 Kč for entering the taxi, 28 Kč per kilometre and 6 Kč/min for waiting.

Designated Prague Taxi Fair Places

These taxi stands are meant to provide the best taxi services. Just wait at the marked sign and a taxi will stop to pick you up. I've used these a number of times with excellent success.

Taking Uber in Prague

Uber in Prague is relatively new. I've used it a few times without much problem. And from my discussions with tourists, it seems like a good, safe alternative to taxis.

A couple points to consider when taking Uber in Prague...

  • Uber drivers are not as experienced as taxi drivers
  • communication with drivers can sometimes be confusing because of language barriers mostly
  • pickup points can get mixed up, especially in the historical centre of the city
  • the app has a reputation for reliability, but there seems to be a few hiccups with drivers and mapping. 

Overall it's a quality service and I think the Uber experience will get better as time passes. Of course, it's usually cheaper than most taxis too.

Locally, Prague taxi drivers are upset with its existence. They contend that drivers are taking their business and that it's not reliable or safe. But I think their complaints are more related to accepting Uber as a new competitor for their business.

Taxis at the Airport and Train Station

From Prague Airport

Getting a taxi at the airport is usually pretty easy. They are lined up outside each terminal and are reliable. I generally use the AAA company.

If you prefer, you can stop at the kiosk inside the arrivals hall and organize it personally. That's especially nice if you are traveling with small children. They can arrange car seats as needed.

For better service, communication and navigation, book a private transfer from the airport. This way you get professional service, English speaking drivers and a welcome on your arrival.

Most hotels offer something for a flat fee also. It may be more expensive than a standard taxi, but drivers often speak English and offer friendly service.

DO NOT take an unmarked car service from the airport. These drivers are not taxis and they will overcharge you.

Taxis From Prague's Main Station

Prague taxis are more complicated at the main train station Hlavní nádraží because of the station's layout. Be very careful.

Drivers at the station are famous for ripping off visitors. You risk paying twice as much as normal.

  • Do NOT take a car that offers a flat fee transfer
  • Do NOT take an unmarked taxi - follow the tips above
  • Book a private company or transfer with your hotel in advance

Final Thoughts

In recent years the city has cracked down on poor taxi services. Unfortunately problems still exist, especially for tourists. 

It's not my intention to scare you away from taxis altogether.

I take them frequently without any problem. I generally feel that the AAA company has the best service - although more expensive than others.

Thankfully, Prague's metro system is incredible - and cheap. That's what I use most often.

It's even faster than using a taxi sometimes!


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