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carlyle12 Feb 27th, 2003 07:32 AM

Prague - transportation from airport?
Hi all,<BR><BR>I am going to be in Prague at the end of March. I am concerned about getting to my hotel from the airport because I've heard terrible things about Prague taxi drivers. What are my alternatives? <BR><BR>I hear the tram system is good but if there's any other option I'd prefer to skip it on my trip from the airport -- I'm going to be exhausted from my trip and have bags with me and would prefer not to have to deal with an unfamiliar subway system right then.<BR><BR>Thanks!

Christina Feb 27th, 2003 08:52 AM

Prague airport has great transportation options, do not be afraid. <BR><BR>There are standard taxi companies lined up there, like AAA, and many folks (who I can tell are Europeans) don't seem to have a problem getting in them. I wouldn't take a gypsy cab or anything myself, but there are a few wellknown companies (AAA and bad name of ProfiTaxi are two okay ones). <BR><BR>However, there is a group airport shuttle van service that is great and you don't need all this reservation stuff like they make you do in Paris or other places. Just go out to them (to the right when you exit towards the taxi/transp. area from the airport) and sign up for a shuttle. You may have to wait a few minutes for it to fill up, but not long during busy hours. I only waited about 10 min. It's a flat fee, very reasonable.<BR><BR>Second choice are private airport cars which are sort of like taxis but special to the airports. They are to the left of the group shuttle vans. I took one of those once and it was great, also. I don't remember if that was a flat fee or metered, but it was only slightly more than I paid my hotel's driver upon return (500-600 CK is reasonable), so was a fair rate. Prague is cheap for those things, anyway, so the ride is not expensive even if you don't try to squeeze every koruna out of the drivers, which I don't. The name of that company on the side of their cars was something obvious like Airport Taxi or Airport Cars or something.

bbib Feb 27th, 2003 09:31 AM

Just returned from Prague - I used the services of Chris at<BR><BR>Costs &pound;12.50 each way, but well worth it - fantastic reliable service from a really friendly American, who fills you in with the up to the min info on Prague.<BR><BR>Our flight was late and he was still waiting for us.<BR>Have no hesitation in recommending this service. <BR><BR>Another top tip - go to a cafe called the Globe - the best choc brownie in the world!!!!

jasoncholt Mar 1st, 2003 03:16 AM

Christina's first option is not an option as only the airport taxi's are allowed to pickup from the airport. AAA and Profi etc can only set down. WELCOME and CEDAZ operate a similar service into town for around 100kc with the main drop off point at Namesti Republiky (this metro station is still closed). The Airport cars are more expensive but, providing you give the driver your hotel name and address CLEARLY WRITTEN DOWN then you should not pay more than 600kc for the trip. The usual taxi scam is to take you to a similar sounding hotel first i.e. people going to the Hotel Opera often find themselves at the L'Opera or people going to the Holiday Inn (kongress centrum) end up at the Holiday Inn (Dejvice) or the IBIS Karlin instead of IBIS City etc. bbib's option of Chris's airport shuttle is the most expensive but, you are guaranteed the price and that you will not feel ripped off at the end of the journey. More info at;<BR><BR><BR>Jason

BillJ Mar 1st, 2003 05:02 AM

By email, I requested transport arrangements through my hotel. They gave me a price, and when we came out of the airport, there was our guy with a little sign with my name on it. We had been told by frequent Prague visitors to always arrange cab/car rides through the hotel. He didn't try any round about routes, and we paid him just what the hotel had told us by email. Can't rember how much.<BR>While there (last summer), one of the English language papers had a series of articles about cracking down on Czech cab drivers. Plain clothes &quot;investigators&quot; posing as tourists were taking random cab rides. One cab outfit had been fined $35,000 US. Hopefully, they can get it cleaned up a little.

lynlor Mar 1st, 2003 06:33 AM

Anyone know about transportation from the train station to your hotel? Also, is there more than one train station in Prague?

Harold Mar 7th, 2003 11:13 PM

If you have a GSM cellphone, take it with and buy a Czech chip. Then you can call AAA taxi to pick you up wherever you are. The number is 14014 and they will pick you up at the airport or train stations. I was ripped off by Profit Taxi on my first trip to Prague. Charged Kc 800 and later found the metered ride was just under Kc400.

lynlor Mar 9th, 2003 10:16 AM

Harold,<BR><BR>I hope you will see this post. Could you tell me where you bought your Czech chip for your GSN cell phone?<BR>Thanks, <BR>lynlor

Harold Mar 9th, 2003 10:26 PM

For Lynlor,<BR><BR>There are at least 3 cell phone companies in Prague and probably more. The one I bought was &quot;GO&quot; (EUROTEL-CZ), only because it was the first one I came across. I like it because unlike some chips I bought in other countries, it always displays the amount of prepaid time you have got left. T-MOBILE also has quite a number of shops in the city. I recommend that you request the shop assistant to insert the chip for you and ask to have the pin number taken off. Then you don't have to remember the pin number and it is not so confusing after you have bought chips in several countries. <BR><BR>I bought mine in the Novy Smichov Shopping Center in Praha 5. This is out of the normal tourist areas and I stumbled across it while walking down the street following a tram line trying to figure out where to buy a tram ticket. I think your best bet is to ask for directions to a phone shop at the reception desk in your hotel. If, however, you are in that part of the city, the tram and underground stop is Andel and the entrance to the mall is the large set of glass doors to the left of Kentucky Fried Chicken

lynlor Mar 10th, 2003 07:14 AM

Harold,<BR>Many thanks for so much helpful information. Now, where did you buy your tram ticket?<BR><BR>thanks, again<BR><BR>lynlor

Giovanna Mar 10th, 2003 07:21 AM

Sorry to sound dense, but is it a GSM cellphone or a GSN cellphone and what exactly is that sort of phone. My husband and I both have Nokias and haven't a clue whether or not they are the sort of phone we could take with us to Prague and purchase the chip.<BR><BR>Please educate me. Thanks

Patrick Mar 10th, 2003 10:04 AM

Our first trip to Prague we were clearly &quot;taken&quot; by the taxi driver who picked us up at the train station and drove us half way around the city. The next time I emailed the hotel and asked how much a taxi should be to the hotel from the arrival train station. I wrote that on a slip of paper with the name and address of the hotel and checked with the taxi driver that it would not be more than that before I got in. He ended up charging me slightly less. The hotel being very honest said they could arrange for a car to meet us, but that it would be considerably less expensive just to take a taxi -- using their estimate as a reference.

lynlor Mar 10th, 2003 10:24 AM

Giovanna:<BR><BR>It is GSM ( not GSN, typo on my part). It is my understanding that it is a phone that will work with the cingular wireless system.

Giovanna Mar 10th, 2003 12:33 PM

Thank you Lynlor. Appreciate your taking the time to answer. Will check into it further now that I have the info you gave me.

Harold Mar 12th, 2003 11:04 AM

To Lynlor &amp; Giovanna:<BR><BR>You can buy a tram ticket at all underground stations and most little hole in the wall tobacco &amp; newsagent shops. <BR><BR>You may be out of luck with your telephone. I have a Nokia and use Cingular in the States. That phone won't work in Europe as it is hard wired to a US standard that is not used in Europe. GSM networks are getting started in the States and Nokia does sell some GSM compatible phones there. The way to tell is to take off the back cover, pop out the battery and see if there is a little plastic (has a copper bit on the side you can't see)piece you can remove that measures about one inch by half an inch. If so, you're in luck. <BR><BR>My first stop was Luxembourg and when I found that my phone wouldn't work I bought the oldest Nokia model in the nearest phone shop for about 130 bucks. I then bought a chip for each country as I moved about. Cell phones are expensive in Prague due to the 22% VAT rate. There is tax rebate scheme in place for tourist, but I don't know if cell phones you use in the country before you leave qualify.

lynlor Mar 12th, 2003 12:37 PM

thanks ,Harold:<BR> I have been told to get a cingular cell phone that has international access and that it should be a tri-band phone. Do you think this will do the job?<BR><BR>thanks,<BR><BR>lynlor<BR>

Giovanna Mar 13th, 2003 07:44 AM

Harold: Just found your most recent post this morning. I've printed it and will have my husband (do surgery) on one of our phones to see if it will work. Thanks for your help. We usually rent a phone through AuroEurope when we rent a car, but we are using trains on this trip and it would be nice to have a phone, particularly to call taxis.

Harold Mar 13th, 2003 11:03 AM

This is becoming too technical for me. In addition to the country to country GSM chips ( I think SIM card is the right name) there is a GSM set up for all of Europe, similiar to being able to roam from state to state in the US. This is more than you want and costs a lot more than you want to pay to visit a few European countries and buy a chip (SIM card)as you go. So, Lynlor, I suspect the phone you are discussing with Cingular is the GSM that roams all of Europe, but I am out of my element here. <BR><BR>Ask them to show you where to insert the GSM SIM card. If they can show you, then you should be able to use the phone in Europe.<BR><BR>And by the way, if you need police assistance in Prague, supposedly you can dial 158 and the call will be anwsered by an English speaking police officer. I haven't tried to test it, but the US Embassy says it works. The downside is that you'll have to be able to pronounce where you are, which is a completely different subject.

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