Traveling nowadays has reached a revolution, people are changing their destinations more than ever before. The reason for that is the flexible timetables, various ways to travel and surprisingly low costs. The easiest way to reach multiple destinations in Europe is doubtlessly by train, but unfortunately train companies are not travel friendly because most of the time they ask for ridiculously high prices. So if you are willing to explore Europe by road but you are on a tight budget or you just prefer to spend your money smart, then traveling by bus will be a great option for you. For spontaneous travelers here is a list of the main bus-lines with their good and bad sides.
Eurolines is one of the biggest and cheapest bus line networks in Europe. It provides it’s customers with an extensive network across Europe, 29 different countries to all major European cities. Unfortunately there is no big variety in departure times.
It’s possible to book a ride just a couple of hours before but you definitely need to print out your ticket, which are are by the way not refundable. If you travel to another country within Europe, you should always be prepared to show your passport or ID. You are free to take two medium sized suitcases, which will be stored in the cargo hold. The friendly drivers will help you, but it’s not always the case that they can speak the local language or English.
As I already mentioned Eurolines is the cheapest bus company, so automatically you should know that it attracts specific clientele. On the tickets it always says you should be at the bus station 1h before, this is not true. You can just come 10 minutes before, furthermore Eurolines are often late. That’s why if you planned to have a 5h ride, anticipate to arrive minimum 1h later. Sometimes it can happen that the bus tour was canceled or there is no seat available, regardless of you buying a ticket already, and you won’t be informed concerning said changes.
The inside of the bus is fine, the seats are pretty hard but it’s ok for a journey of max. 5-6 h. It has toilet facilities that can sometimes give of an odor to the whole bus. On the website it says that the company provides it’s customers with Wi-Fi. Unfortunately I’ve experienced it only once out of a couple of times. Moreover it didn’t work properly.
Flixbus is a affordable and reliable bus line from Germany. As we all know Germans are famous for their affinity for punctuality, so this transport will pick you up and bring to your chosen destination mostly on time. At the moment the company is overtaking all other bus networks, smartly building a monopoly. But it’s fine because they offer a good service for expectable costs. The question is only for how long.
If you are traveling with Flixbus, you can be extremely spontaneous, because you can quickly buy tickets online or even from the driver. If you’ve decided to cancel your trip, you can use the spent money for your next journey. Departure times and routes have a wide range. But this is not the only one benefit of traveling with this company, they also offer clean, comfortable and spacious seats, plug sockets, which is very useful to charge your phone or laptop and Wi-Fi, which is not so bad but it works only in Germany. I had the situation a couple of times that we didn’t have any internet on the bus, so people needed to talk to each other instead of staring on the screen.
Flixbus is very popular in Europe, especially in Germany, it means it can be full with travelers. It’s better to come 15 minutes before departure, so you will have enough time to put your luggage into the hold and find the perfect seat for you. The quality and the duration of the ride depends on the driver. Some of them don’t care about punctuality, take breaks longer than they are allowed and can even smoke in the bus.
Megabus used to be an English low price competitor of Flixbus. So the German bus company decided to acquire it. The same has happened to German colleague Postbus, now they are also part of the Flixbus corporation. This means that they have equal quality and prices.
Before you decide to travel by bus you should think what is more important for you: time, costs or comfort. If you need around 5 hours to get to your destination, then you can really go low in price. This period of traveling is convenient to spend your time in a low budget bus.
In my opinion for longer journeys it is better to spend a bit more money and have a comfortable and relaxing trip. Just think about it, when you arrive you want to enjoy the city and if the journey was horrendous you will be exhausted and moody.
The best way to search for the cheap bus tickets is to use busliniensuche website. Unfortunately it’s in only in German, again it’s the German mentality to keep everything in their own language, but it’s easy to operate. Another alternative to find the best way to get to your dream destination is GoEuro. It’s similar to the first searching tool but it translated in 12 different languages. Additionally it displays Europe’s excellent rail, bus and air travel.