Because no one knows a place like a local cabbie…
FAMOUS FAT DAVE, US
Fat Dave, as you might have gathered, is pretty famous for his taxi tours of New York – he’s managed to get his face on media outlets from the BBC to the History Channel, and has even been praised by celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain. What makes Dave’s tours so unique is the culinary element – he’s not just a cabbie, but also has experience as a cheese monger, food writer, hot dog vendor and bread truck driver. He’s the “cabbie who has eaten it all”, and he makes sure his passengers try the best of New York’s edible wonders. There are several tours you can take in his classic checker cab, but the most indulgent is the Fat Elvis Package which runs for at least six hours, with 12 or more stops and 20 plus “generous tastes”.
LONDON CAB TOURS, UK
London’s black cabs are among the most iconic in the world. Since drivers first have to pass the notoriously difficult road test The Knowledge – which takes two to four years to learn -- you can be sure they will know the quickest and best way to get to whichever city spectacle takes your fancy. London Cab Tours are run by self-proclaimed “proud Londoner” Graham Greenglass. His Hackney carriage adventures range from a London Highlights Tour, which takes in main sites such as the Tower of London and the Royal Albert Hall, to the London Horror Tour that is a three-hour exploration of the city’s ghostly underbelly complete with Graham’s gruesome commentary.
ANSELM VOGT-MOYKOPF, GERMANY
Surprisingly, Anselm is something of a lone ranger on the taxi tour guide scene in Stuttgart -- the City of Cars. Although the German city is home to both Mercedes Benz and Porsche, no other taxi drivers have opted to provide commentary along with their ride. Passionate about his city, there’s surely no book on Stuttgart Anselm hasn’t read. If you’re an architecture buff you’re particularly in luck – this is one of Anselm’s specialisms and he runs a dedicated tour on the subject. If that’s not your thing however, you can tailor the trip according to your needs and even stop for a spot of shopping along the way.
JEEPNEY TOURS, PHILIPPINES
The eye-catching jeepneys in the Philippines are not just a cheap and convenient way to get around, but a national symbol. The brightly painted former US army jeeps flash past in the street like technicolour works of art and have become as synonymous with Filipino culture as they have local transport. But the fast-moving, packed-out taxis aren’t the best for sight seeing -- unless you use Jeepney Tours. The franchise arranges specially chartered trips, from culinary adventures to countryside getaways, all driven and led by local tour guides.
KOHNO JUMBO TAXI TOURS, JAPAN
Traveling around Japan can be a bewildering experience as signs are often not translated into English and locals’ knowledge of the language can be limited. Khono’s English-speaking jumbo taxi tours, therefore, take some of that stress away. The experienced chauffeur operates flexible tours of historic Kyoto in his luxurious black jumbo taxi. His vast knowledge of his city covers topics including Shinto shrines, Zen gardens, art and shopping.
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Written by Hannah Stuart-Leach
Culture & Lifestyle Journalist - Currency Today