I always say that Turkish people are very hospitable and honest, and generally tourists have a very pleasure stay in Turkey. But unfortunately taxi drivers are very dishonest in Istanbul. Many tourists would come across some kind of trouble... ending paying more that they should have paid.
The most usual problems:
- Taking a longer way to reach where the tourist wants to go
- When you pay the taxi driver, watch out the exact shine you are giving to him ! If you give a 50 Turkish Lira shine, he might change this shine without that you notice with a 5 Turkish Lira shine and tell you that you have given him a 5 Turkish Lira shine ( the 5 and 50 Turkish Lira shine have almost the same color!) The same can happen with the 100 and 10 Turkish Lira shine. The best is to pay exact what is shown at the taximeter !
- Some taxi drivers change good shines with false shines ! So if you pay him 50 Turkish Lira he might change without that you notice, to a false shine and give it back to you.
What should I do ?
- The best is to have always change in your pocket and pay the exact amount shown at the taximeter!
- Take a taxi always in front of your hotel. If it is not possible, be sure the driver seams to be an honest man and check if there is a logo on the door of the taxi ( this mean the taxi is registered in a region of the city)
- If the place that you are going to is very distant, talk with the taxi driver before you get into the taxi. For example, if you take a taxi at the airport and you are going to the region of Taksim, you might pay around 50 Turkish Lira ( January 2010).
- If you feel the taxi driver is being dishonest, get out of the taxi before he begin to drive.
- If you are returning to your hotel at night and you feel the taxi driver is charging you more then he should, wait until you get into your hotel, get out of the taxi, go to the hotel reception and ask the price for your itinerary.
There are also good and honest taxi drivers in Istanbul and it is usual to give a tip to them.
Click here to read more about transportation in Istanbul
Taxi in front of
The Saint Sophia Museum