Q: We'd love to stay at some of the paradores but don't have access to a car. Are taxies available to take us from the train station to the parador?
Taxis are most definitely available at almost all train stations to take you to your parador. You just want to make sure that the parador is a reasonable distance from the train station or could be an expensive taxi ride.
Taxis are prevalent throughout Spain and are a convenient way to get to your destination. My advice for finding a taxi in Spain is to try and always find a taxi at taxi stands which are abundant throughout most cities. Taxis are supposed to be licensed and regulated by the government and like any society there are those who try and cheat the system and prey on tourists. Because of this, I recommend using a taxi stand since you’re less likely to run into a shady taxi driver at a place with other legitimate taxi drivers. In the case of finding a taxi driver at a train station or airport there are policemen nearby to make it even less likely that an unlicensed taxi driver is going to be in line at the taxi queue. You can always hail one on the road and most times that works out fine but I prefer the taxi stands so that I can see who I am getting. If you decided to hail a taxi on the street make sure the light on the roof of the car is green and they are going in the direction that you want to go as they normally will not do a u turn.
Taxi drivers in Spain are a very friendly group of people and are usually very honest about their routes and pricing. I have found some that are bi-lingual and enjoy a conversation in English and those that don’t know another language are not shy to talk to you in your broken Spanish. If you speak no Spanish I recommend writing down your destination or printing it out for your taxi driver so there is no misunderstanding of where you want to go.
When you get in the taxi make sure the meter is on and is not running. There can be extra charges for luggage or extra people and many times those extra charges are listed on the back seat in English. When you arrive at your destination you driver will be expecting to be paid in cash and will not normally break large bills. Tipping is usually a lot less in Spain at least compared to the United States but I will still tip the taxi driver especially if he is friendly and I feel he has taken us by the most direct route.
The only reason I don’t take a taxi in Spain is because the public transportation system is so fantastic that it is usually the cheaper way to go especially if you have to go any distance. I think many people are intimidated to use the public transportation system but it is truly so simple that it’s worth a try. Of course taxis are normally quicker than public transit and can drop you off at the door of your final destination. So in the end the choice is yours and either option is widely available.
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