Taxi drivers have quite a bad reputation in Prague. For some the profession is almost synonymous with deception. Yet it is not exactly fair to tar all drivers with the same brush.
Before we get to ways of identifying the better companies, here are some common complaints made about cab drivers:
- they take unnecessarily long routes
- they refuse to use the meter
- they charge foreigners more
Among the scam artists, however, you will find many legitimate companies. Hopefully, this information can help you identify them.
For many expats, the first contact with taxis is the rank of them outside Prague’s Ruzyně Airport. Upon exiting the departure hall, you will probably encounter someone asking if you want a taxi and pointing you toward his (or occasionally her) car. If you are going to take a taxi, you might want to stop for a moment and think about which one you’re going to choose.
Depending on where you want to go, the rates of different taxis will be appealing for different reasons. Speed Cars offers the cheapest rate according to their price calculator. It is 376 CZK to Wenceslas Square, though this is the price without stops, which are 6 CZK per minute. Terminal Taxi offers a flat rate of 400 CZK to anywhere in Prague. So if you’re going to the center, this company is slightly cheaper than Airport Cars or AAA Radiotaxi. It also means you’re not charged for delays. 1.1.1. RadioCAB TAXI might offer the next best rate at 373 to 452 CZK to the center. The calculator also shows the route, so you might want to copy that. Companies such as 1.1.1. RadioCAB TAXI and Airport Cars also offer discounts for trips to and from the airport. Prague Airport Transfers have two price lists: one in Czech and another in English, so if you use them you may want to insist on the Czech rate.
An alternative way to get to the city center is by using myDriver. You can download the myDriver App to your phone and book a ride from the airport to the city center, or from and to anywhere you would like.
Based on this short list, the best thing, if you know Prague and you know your destination, is to insist on a taxi with a meter as it would seem that this will guarantee the best price, providing the journey is smooth and direct. The flip side is that a flat rate means you know what you’re paying regardless of traffic conditions. The other thing to remember is that taxis take a maximum of four passengers.
You should also remember there is a decent bus connection from Ruzyně to Dejvická metro stop. The bus costs 24 CZK (for a short journey ticket which is valid for 30 minutes; the journey should be 21 minutes according to the Prague Public Transport System). If you want to be sure, you can buy a long journey ticket for 32 CZK. This long journey, which lasts 90 minutes, will also guarantee you have time to take the metro from Dejvická. Luggage costs 16 CZK for a ticket and is necessary for large items like suitcases. This fare applies to the whole public transport system, not just from the airport. There is even a night bus from 00:15 to 05:00.
In the City
Getting a cab in the city may present bigger problems to ensure that you’re getting the best service. Taxis are most often taken late and after a night out, when we are, perhaps, less in the mood to discuss the route or even properly remember it.
If you are going to cab it around the city, there are a few things you can do to try to avoid being ripped off. One of the ways to ensure that you’re getting the fairest deal is to take a taxi from the ‘Fair Place’ stands around the city. The list is in Czech, but the main thing you need is the street name and number. Unfortunately, the English list is not as comprehensive. The apparent advantage of using ‘Fair Place’ is that the rates gave been set by the City Council. At the moment, those rates are:
- 28 CZK/kilometer
- 40 CZK for boarding
- 6 CZK/minute for waiting
According to Prague Information Service (Pražská Informační Služba), or Prague Welcome, this information is current, though they do warn it could change through the year.
Also, the taxis which use ‘Fair Place’ should comply with certain guidelines such as the taxi must have a roof-mounted taxi light, company name, registration number, and basic rates must be displayed on both front doors. The prices must match those on the taximeter.
Of course, we’re not always near one the ‘Fair Place’ stands. In those instances you will need to call a company directly. Prague Information Service also recommends calling the companies in advance, even when you’re using the ‘Fair Place’ stands in order to ensure the total fare. Calling in advance can also guarantee a lower boarding fee with some companies.
Keeping Good Company
It can also happen that not only are you not near a ‘Fair Place’, but you don’t know the number of one of the taxi companies, or your phone is dead, or there is a cab right there so why bother ordering another and then waiting. So which cabs should you hail?
The following list are some of the taxis which can be found at the ‘Fair Place stands, which means the Prague City Council considers them reliable. The companies offer the rates mentioned above unless other information is provided.
1.1.1 RadioCAB TAXI – offer 20% discounts on return trips to the airport
AAA Radiotaxi – 30 CZK if the cab is booked from dispatch. They also offer discounts for journeys to the airport
City Taxi – charge 12 CZK for a trips from one point in Prague to another
Speed Cars – offer discounts for people with vouchers
Halo Taxi – 23,90 CZK/kilometer, 5 CZK/minute for waiting for taxis from dispatching
Modrý Anděl – 19 CZK/kilometer
Another possibility is to use the services of SMS Taxi, which are certainly cheap at 17 CZK per kilometer. However, you need a phone which can handle JAVA and the Internet. All the information about registering is here in Czech.
Debit and Credit Cards
You will have to inform the driver in advance that you want to pay by card. You should also check if the rate is different for using a card.
Luggage and Dogs
Except at the airport, where it’s assumed, you should inform the driver or dispatcher that you will have luggage. The same goes if you are going to travel with a dog.
A Driver for Your Car
In case after reading this article you’re still suspicious of taking a taxi or you’ve driven somewhere and are in no state to drive home, Modrý Anděl also offer a ‘personal driver’ service under the term ‘odvoz vozu‘. A driver will then pick you up and drive you home in your own car. The service is pretty easy. Just call the dispatcher and give your name, where you are, where to take the car, model and color of the car. Modrý Anděl charges 25 CZK per kilometer. Speed Cars offers a similar service called Patron. At the top of the link is an example of how to order a car via SMS. They charge 250 CZK for the first 8 kilometers and 25 CZK for each subsequent kilometer.
Traveling in Style
Sometimes you want something a little classier than a taxi. For those occasions, Váš Osobní Řidič or Your Personal Driver has the service you need. Your Personal Driver offers qualified and professional drivers in a range of prestigious cars. Above all, the emphasis is on personal. Each driver suits your needs from the music played to the media provided. Cars can be booked for a set period or charged by the distance (35 CZK/kilometer with a minimum charge of 400 CZK for the trip). So if you need to impress an important client or just want to spoil yourself, this is an option.
What are your tips and experiences with getting around Prague by cab?
Scams in Prague