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cheap travel by bus in europe

Cheap travel by bus in Europe

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

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

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.

MegabusPostbus

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.

Conclusion

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.

Perfect Weekend in Antwerp itinerary to Have a Memorable Time

Antwerp is a compact and cozy city and it means in one weekend you will see most of it. It’s also one of the most commonly visited cities in Belgium and the second largest city in the Kingdom of waffles. The city has plenty of things to be proud of and in this weekend in Antwerp itinerary I will introduce you to the most significant ones. 

 If you are planning to visit Antwerp check out my tips and tricks how to travel light!

2 Days in Antwerp: What to See on the 1st Day

This itinerary is also ideal for a one day trip to Antwerp. Anyway it’s better to come to Antwerp by train and not only because of the costs but also because you will arrive in one of the most beautiful train stations worldwide. I promise you, you will be magnified by the extraordinary architecture of the 19th century. 

It’s also beneficial to get an Antwerp City Card if you stay for the whole weekend in Antwerp. You will be able to enjoy public transport and various museums for free. You can also get some great discounts with this City Card. 

Place to visit: Grote Markt Antwerp, Belgium

 

Romantic Things to Do in Antwerp: Visit the Diamond District

One of the main things to do in Antwerp is to visit the legendary Diamond district. Antwerp is “The World’s Capital of Diamonds”. It has a decent district with diamond dealers, merchants and brokers, who are by the way mostly Jewish. Since a long time diamond trading is ruled by jewish people. After all if you found the love of your life and you feel that your relationship is going to another level, don’t hesitate to go to the city of diamonds. Undoubtedly you will find the perfect ring and she won’t even think to say “no” to you! We all know, diamonds are a girl’s best friends! My advice before you walk around, go to Diamond Land and get closer information about the gems there, but be aware, the prices outside of that store are lower, much lower.

Ice Caramel Latte at Pelican Rouge, Antwerp

You were probably asking yourself why Antwerp is the city of diamonds? What is so special about it is that almost 80% of all diamonds all over the world are shipped to Belgium? So, here is the answer: Antwerp just got lucky! It has second biggest harbor in Europe and furthermore the position of the port is ideal: it’s in the heart of Europe. Since 15th century all trading including the diamond trading were happening here.

Antwerp Tourists Attractions: Ruben’s House

If you travel to Antwerp you should know the city is famous for it’s artists. Great artists like Rubens, who is famous for his affinity for voluptuous nudes, and other renowned painters include Weyden and Van Eyck were born in this inspiring city. A typical touristic place is Rubens House, built in 17th century architectural style containing a modest collection of his work. Worth to see it. My advice, if you don’t want to waste all your money on museums, then visit Antwerp in the last week of the month. On the last Wednesday all museum are gratis, so you will have more money to enjoy Belgian beer.

Antwerp Sightseeing: Cathedral of Our Lady

One more important monument of Antwerp: the seven-aisled gothic Cathedral of our Lady. The background story of that cathedral is very dramatic: it took over two centuries to build the magnificent monument and some tragic accidents happened during the constructions. It was damaged a couple of times through fire and different wars, so a high amount of artistic treasures were destroyed. Only by the end of the 19th century the church was finally completely restored. Nowadays the cathedral possesses some meaningful masterpieces of Rubens.

Places to Visit in Antwerp: Grote Markt

Antwerp means “throw the hand” and it’s name comes from an interesting Belgian myth. Once upon a time a giant Antigoon was terrifying the city. A young brave man Brabo defeated the villain by cutting his hand off and throwing it into the river. The imposing statue which captures the moment of glory is standing proudly in front of the Town Hall at the Grote Markt square. At the Grote Markt you will notice that the medieval city impresses with it’s beautiful architecture and splendid art.

If you get hungry read more about Hippe Restaurants in Antwerp that you should definitely visit.

Things to Do in Antwerp in the evening or night

Another attractive and currently hipster area of Antwerp is the South, Zuid. In that young and vivid district you will be always entertained: numerous markets, exhibitions and delightful cafés and restaurants. Great place to visit and to enjoy good weather and fascinating view of the stone monument with the God of the sea, Neptune on top of it, is Marnix Square. Go there to bar Neptune, it’s very cozy pub with a friendly and sociable young service. In the evening the square is crowded with sympathetic and chatty people, occasionally you can even meet Belgian celebrities. Last but not least it’s an amazing spot to get to know new people and have nice conversations.

Perfect Weekend in Antwerp: Day 2

Antwerp Guide: Harbour & MAS Museum

Start your day at Antwerp’s harbor. Here you will find various cafés, restaurants and even a museum. Get some great coffee from Pelican Rouge. After the caffeine energy boost it’s time to visit the MAS museum: a tremendous modern architecture of red brick decorated with little hands. Honestly I’m not fascinated by that building, my personal opinion is it doesn’t fit to the lovely historic harbor of Antwerp. Although inside of the museum you can discover different exhibitions on 9 levels. On the top of the MAS you can experience the panoramic view of the city, which is breathtaking.

Visit Shopping Street Meir & Fashion Museum MoMu

Modest Antwerp is additionally famous for being an international fashion capital. The fashion department at The Royal Academy of Fine Arts laid down the foundation for many talented and creative designers. Belgium is very quiet about communicating the achievements of it’s artists though. At the shopping street Meir you can find numerous amounts of stores and whatever your personal taste or style is, in this city you can always shop till you drop. If you are not interesting in spending money on the designer clothes, you can learn something about fashion: visit MoMu, the museum of fashion.

Check out Graffiti Street & Drink Belgian Beers with locals

Pink Graffiti Street, Antwerp

Graffiti Street, Antwerp

After gathering historical knowledge it’s time to get to know the Belgian beer culture. Moreover the best way to consume some delicious gold drink is at the places where you can find only locals. One of them is charming Zeezicht: it’s located a bit further from the city center in the Zurenborg area on the square surrounded by splendid old buildings. Pay attention to the names of the streets, they are definitely amusing. Close to the cafe you can also discover a long serpentine of colorful graffitis. It’s the perfect location for a new profile picture!

Beer at Zeezicht, Antwerp, Belgium

These are three beers of Antwerp, that you definitely need to try:

  • De Koninck 5,2%, it’s Antwerp in the bottle! It has been launched in 1913 and has quite bitter taste with complex and delicious aroma of toffee, chestnut and caramel.
  • Duvel 6,8%, special golden blond beer. It’s smooth and refreshing transparent beer with citrus notes.
  • Kriek 4-6%, cherry cooling beer, perfect for girls.

 

Don’t miss other beautiful towns in Belgium like Brussels and Ghent!

 

 

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