Using public transportation can turn into a real mess, especially if you’re in a city you don’t know and have some issues reading maps. Figuring out subway, bus, or train routes can be a challenge and you might end up getting lost in one of the biggest cities in the world.
Fortunately, for those of us who struggle to find their way from one place to another, there is always a reliable taxi to take. Not only do they save you the trouble of figuring out the quickest route but they also spare you the tiny, crowded spaces and the constant look for a place to sit.
Because you’ve probably been saved more than once by a taxi driver in an unknown city, we bring you a list of the most iconic taxis in the world; the ones you should not miss if you ever find yourself in one of these places.
- New York City’s yellow cabs: with a distinctive yellow color, these cabs are one of this city’s most famous features. Even if you’ve never been to New York, you surely know what they look like. Painted in their signature color in order to be set apart in the distance, these taxis have appeared in any major movie or TV series filmed in New York and have become as iconic as the streets and buildings they drive by.
- London’s black cabs: dating as back as the early 17th century, these black cabs are world renowned for their great service. Even today, these cars still keep their old-fashioned look, which contributes to London’s classy but melancholic feeling. Stopping a black cab in London in the middle of a rainy day, will probably be one of the most British experiences in your entire life.
- India’s rickshaws: these adorable three-wheeled cars are to a Bollywood movie what the yellow cabs are to any action film in New York. These taxis are not only cute but they are also one of the cheapest ways to travel around any big Indian city. You’ll see them all around New Delhi’s and Mumbai’s chaotic streets. Although a rickshaw cannot fit as many passengers as a regular car, they are practical and offer travelers from the entire world an authentic local experience.
- Venice’s gondolas: who hasn’t seen a romantic movie where the prospective couple goes on the best holiday of their life and sails through Venice’s canals on a gondola? You probably remember one of these scenes with a singing gondola driver in a stripped t-shirt. Well, with or without the handsome, baritone driver, these black boats are among the most expensive taxis in the world. If you’re traveling with your loved one, it’s probably worth it to have a romantic and intimate moment as you admire the beautiful architecture of this Italian city.
- Mexico City’s bicitaxi: these taxis may look like you put a huge helmet over your bike but they are an eco-friendly way to get around one of the most polluted cities in the world. They even come with pedals for the driver to get you around Mexico’s stunning downtown area. Without a doubt, they are a fun way to reduce your carbon footprint as you do some sightseeing.
- Vietnam’s cyclo: another three-wheeled bicycle taxi in Asia that will give you magnificent sights of a stunning country. They are not as abundant as they used to be but they are still part of any traveler’s list of not to be missed experiences in Vietnam.
- Thailand’s tuk-tuks: similar in shape and style to the rickshaws, these taxis are many people’s preferred way of transportation in Thai cities. Their small size allows them to sort out the heavy traffic and get you to your destination in a unique way.
- Nepal’s rickshaws: these rickshaws, differ from similar Asian taxis in their design. If you’re walking down a Nepalese street, you surely cannot miss a rickshaw, they’re as colorful as this country’s rich culture. Explore Nepal in one of these and you are guaranteed to have a great time.
- Cuba’s cocotaxis: yet another rickshaw kind of car on the list; the cocotaxis can fit up to two passengers. Just as you would have imagined and hoped, these taxis are as fun as their name; they actually look like giant coconuts, except they’re yellow instead of brown. But this is no problem to tourists at all, cocotaxis are very popular in Cuba’s capital and even if you don’t travel in one of them, you should definitely get a picture on one of these peculiar and tropical taxis to show off to your friends when you get back home.
- Water taxis: you will find them in many shapes and colors in practically any city close to a lake, river, or sea. They are always a fun way to explore the area, although you might want to avoid them if you tend to get seasick. If you want a traditional way to travel, you can go on board one of Dubai’s abras, these wooden boats date as far back as the 18th century. In India, you can find the shikara, wooden, carved boats on Dal Lake; these boats from Srinagar, will give you amazing views of the lake and the nature around it; India is quite famous for its stunning landscapes all around. The H2O taxis in Victoria is limited to only a few months a year, but that doesn’t stop them from being a favorite feature of the city. Their classic look will definitely take you back to a different time. If you prefer more modern boats, Sydney and Venice bring you some of the most stylish water taxis. Sydney’s taxis look like little, yellow shuttles navigating through Australian waters; their open windows will allow you to breathe in the bay’s air and admire some of this city’s most beautiful monuments and points of interest. Cheaper than gondolas, the taxi acquei, also known as motoscafi, is a type of boat that will get you through Venice’s canals in no time.
Whether you travel alone, in couple, or with a large groups of friends or family, taxis are always a great way to explore an unknown city. Speaking from experience, they will help you avoid ending up in a sketchy part of town. Plus, you can always find a friendly taxi driver who will be willing to share some local wisdom with you by recommending restaurants, giving advice on what not to do, and, if you’re lucky, telling you what makes that city so unique and where to get the best out of your trip.