In a city like Barcelona, where public transportation allows you to reach almost any part of the city, taxi isn’t the most common way to move around the city among the population. Still, in many cases taking a taxi can be much more convenient, fast and efficient, especially if we have luggage or we are coming back home at night. If you are spending a few days or a long term in Barcelona and you have rented one of the ShBarcelona apartments, there are some things you should know before you decide to get into one of these peculiar black and yellow vehicles
The first thing to know is that you can take a taxi anywhere in the city, raising your hand in front of the car so that the driver can see you, always that they have a green light on the ceiling. Once you get in the cab you must tell the driver which address you want to go. Some drivers already have GPS to guide you to the destination, but other move around through the streets of Barcelona using their memory. If you see they are confused or don’t know exactly where is the place you said don’t trust them… There are special lanes for taxi-bus, when you raise your arm in front of the car the driver has to go to a side of the road or the lane with the “warning” lights on. As in every city, there are taxi ranks at certain points of the city: on the airport exits, in front of train stations, in front of hospitals, etc. You should note that in this type of ranks, there is usually a waiting line, which you have to bear in mind if you don’t want to be involved in a fight. Taxi drivers and users who are waiting there could “get violent”.
The second point to bear in mind is the taximeter and its start-up. When you get into the taxi the driver has to switch on the device that is right in front of the dashboard of the car. If he/she doesn’t do it he/she could charge you whatever he/she wants once you reach your destination. In Barcelona you don’t set a price before you arrive to the place you want to go, the price of each trip depends on the miles the taxi drives. The minimum price to hail a cab in Barcelona is 2.05€. The price per kilometer from 8am since 8pm is 0.93€ and from 8pm to 8am is 1.18€. The price per kilometer is the same all day (1.18€) on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, but this will change after new legislation during the 2013.
The taxi fares have to be very clear, because this is where the taxi drivers usually tries to cheat tourists. The taxi fare from 12am to 6am at weekends is 2€, the baggage charge is 1€ per bag bigger than 55x35x35cm; airport fare, fairs or train stations is 3.10€.
The payment may be in cash (try not to pay a with a 50€ bill sometimes taxi drivers don’t have enough change to give you) or credit card. You can ask for the ticket if necessary or if you have to justify your expenses.
Most taxi drivers in Barcelona are quite “talkative” and friendly; you can ask them about the city and its tourist sites during the trip. But don’t get distracted and try to follow the route with a map in advance to see if the driver is driving around unnecessarily.