Traveling around Europe is easy because there are so many ways to get everywhere. Many people opt to take a train through the countryside or a low-cost flight, but bus travel in Europe is highly underrated. There are many reasons why traveling by bus in Europe is advantageous over flying or taking a train.
It’s cheaper than all the other options
On average, taking a bus will be cheaper than taking a train though they usually take roughly the same amount of time. Unless you snagged a fantastic 10 euro flight, traveling by bus is also cheaper than flying. So if you’re on a budget, the cost savings is the best reason to travel by bus in Europe.
It can save you time
Many people balk at the idea of sitting on a bus for six or seven hours, let alone ten. But you may not be saving as much time as you think by flying. Buses in Europe usually pick up and drop off in city center, saving you the time it takes to get to the airport. You don’t have to go through long security procedures like you do at an airport; you can arrive 15 minutes before the bus departs. And when your bus arrives at your destination, you’re already in the heart of the city and not an hour of out of it at the airport.
It’s air conditioned
Maybe one of the best reasons to travel by bus, especially in the summer, is that they’re comfortably air conditioned, which is more than you can say for most of Europe. Sometimes national and regional railway systems don’t have AC either, so you’re more likely to have a comfortable ride on a bus.
They offer a ton of flexibility
You usually can’t wake up on a Friday and book a cheap flight for the same day. But bus lines in Europe are so ubiquitous that you’re guaranteed to find at least a few routes that still have seats available, even during high season. As opposed to flying or taking the train, traveling by bus gives you the flexibility to travel at the last minute. You can also wait to book the return ticket until you’re ready to go so you don’t have to be tied to a particular pre-booked time.
They have nice amenities
A lot of coaches come equipped with seat back entertainment, WiFi, and charging ports so you can travel with more to do than if you’re on a low-cost airline or a rickety local train. Some bus lines even offer free coffee and water, which is far more than you’ll get on a lot of shitty European airlines.
Delays are more bearable
Any mode of transportation can get delayed. But there’s nothing worse than going all the way to the airport to find out your flight is not leaving for another two hours. If there’s a delay on a bus, which is common because they have to sit through traffic, you’re in the middle of the city. Some bus companies will notify you via text. Others allow you to track your bus’s route via their app. So you know just how much extra time you have in the city.
They can get you where trains and planes can’t
Perhaps the best reason to travel by bus in Europe aside from cost is accessibility. Where there are no airports and no major train lines, there are buses. So if you want to get to a small town in the middle of the Austrian Alps or to a national park without having to rent a car, you can rely on buses to get you there. In the winter, this is especially useful to get you to mountains where you can ski if you prefer not to drive in icy conditions.
With all these advantages, bus travel is one of the best ways to get around Europe.
Want to know how to prepare for bad bus experiences in Europe? Click here for tips.