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Your Best European Bus Travel

Bus travel - or coach travel - is one of the most affordable ways to get around Europe, whether...

You are going between two cities in Great Britain or you are traveling from London to Copenhagen…or...from Stockholm to Athens, etc.

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But...is bus travel for you?

These coaches are up-to-date and clean featuring video monitors, comfortable reclining seats and restrooms. They are designed for long-distance touring. They are not the school or city buses you might be familiar with.

Eurolines is the largest group in Europe offering scheduled services, a consortium of 35 coach operators working together in 27 countries from the Atlantic coast of Ireland to Bulgaria and from Norway to Southern Spain…

Bus travel is available in all European countries, it’s popular…and in some countries like Switzerland you may have to take a bus to get to your final destination.

Bus travel is especially popular in Europe if you…

  • Are a student or young person interested in meeting other young travelers…and want to save money at the same time
  • Are a senior traveler with time who prefers to travel more leisurely…or…
  • You’d like to “go a bit more into a country” than you can on a train

In these cases bus travel may be exactly what you want…

Let’s look at some other benefits of bus travel…

  • You’re a lot more in the countryside than by rail…it’s like a car but…you don’t have to do the work.
  • Bus travel is far less expensive than rail travel…often you can save more than half the cost...and even more with passes and advance bookings.
  • No pickpocket problems - they only allow ticket holders on a bus, unlike trains where anybody can board at any stop.

However, there are two drawbacks…

  1. Yes, it takes longer; for instance, London to Edinburgh is 9 hours by coach instead of 5 by rail.
  2. You can’t stop everywhere like you can with a car…but you don’t have to do the driving either and remember…in Britain and Ireland driving is on the left…

You can travel by bus in every European country… let's talk about the major operators

  • Eurolines

    It provides regular one-way tickets for trips throughout Europe in addition to 15- and 30-day passes for unlimited travel.

    It also offers big savings on all types of accommodations including hostels. Eurolines provides many direct services in Europe with no need to change.

    Other bus services from this company use “interchange hubs” in Amsterdam, Paris, Brussels and a few others.

  • National Express

    The Eurolines’ partner in Great Britain operates scheduled services to over 1000 destinations in England, Scotland and Wales.

    Remember that in both Ireland and Great Britain bus travel is popular with foreign travelers. Why…it’s the driving on the left and all those funny little “round-abouts” you may have heard about.

    Megabus operates a much smaller and even less expensive bus service in Great Britain.

  • Bus Eireann

    This is the major bus provider throughout Ireland. If you’re planning to travel by rail in Ireland, note that there are not too many trains.

    I’d suggest you buy the combined rail-bus pass if you want to use public transportation, OR take one of the Rail Ireland train-bus combination trips listed in the Tutorial.

    In Ireland you can buy many separate passes – rail only, bus only, rail and bus combined. Passes are just for the Republic of Ireland or combined with Northern Ireland.

    The European Travel Resource Center offers direct links to all the information you want.

  • The Swiss Post Bus

    The yellow buses you can see all over Switzerland are used for transportation and for sightseeing.

    The spectacular Four-Pass Alpine Tour is a scenic bus trip from Meiringen over the Grimsel Pass, the Nufenen Pass, the Gotthard Pass and the Susten Pass…all in one day…

    Let somebody else do the driving through the mountains…so you can relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery…

    Since Switzerland has lots of mountains there are several smaller towns and villages that you can only reach by bus. Saas Fee, where I spent one winter working in a hotel close to Zermatt, is just such a ski resort…

    Note: All Swiss Postal buses are included in the Swiss Rail passes.

  • Europabus (Romantic Road)

    Germany’s partner in the Eurolines group offers day and multi-day tours on the famous Romantic Road between Frankfurt and Munich from spring to fall.

    The guided multi-day tours are very scenic. They eliminate you having to drive for a couple of days. (Click Incoming Germany, the Guided Tours)

  • The hosted independent tours run between Frankfurt and Munich. very scenic. (Click Incoming Germany, the Independent Tours)

    If you plan to pick up a car in Frankfurt and drive the Romantic Road yourself, better take a 2, 3 or 4-day trip and pick the car up in Munich. It's a lot more relaxing.

  • Bus travel in Iceland

    - click English, then click Frontpage, then Timetable.

    This European country has no trains at all…transportation is by air, car and bus. Iceland offers many discount passes…the Iceland Circle Pass as well as passes for specific periods…1, 2, 3 or 4 weeks.

    If you don’t want to drive in Iceland…but want to see more of the country than just Reykjavik, you probably should book an escorted tour, take a public bus or use a combined air-bus pass… one way by bus and the other way by domestic air.

  • Busabout

    If you’re a young person or backpacker looking for a good time and a chance to meet like-minded travelers, you’ve probably heard about Busabout.

    It’s a flexible “hop on hop off” bus line that offers “loops” of major European cities. You purchase a pass and you’re bused from one city to the next – usually about 12 cites for each of the three different loops.

    It’s a great vacation for many, however, if you’re an independent traveler and want to go from Point A to Point B you should avoid Busabout.

    If such is the case you need to take the national bus lines or Eurolines.

So…what is the best and simplest way for you to book bus travel in Europe?

  • Decide which countries you want to visit…then look at the web sites for schedules and other information. They’re all listed in the European Travel Resource Center.
  • You can buy regular tickets on the spot but passes can be booked online so that you can pre-pay it before you leave…or you can pay with your credit card abroad.

Remember the main reason for bus travel…it’s a lot less expensive than traveling any other way in Europe…

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