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Compare and book 400 bus, train, plane, and carpooling companies on Kombo
Looking to travel at the best price? With Kombo, compare and book your bus tickets directly from Flixbus, Blablacar Bus, Alsa, Marino Bus, etc., at the best price. The bus is often the cheapest option, but not always! Our algorithm also compares 400 train, plane, and carpooling companies in Europe to find the simplest, cheapest, fastest, and most suitable journey for you.
To find the best compromise between travel time and price, we also offer combinations of train, plane, and bus.
But that's not all! We take care of you after purchasing your tickets. Enjoy the Kombo app, dedicated 7/7 customer service, and exclusive guarantees to travel more serenely.
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Best tips for buying bus tickets
When can you buy a bus ticket?
Bus ticket sales usually open between 6 and 12 months before the departure date. For those who like to plan ahead, as you may have guessed, there is no stress for bus travel, as bookings can be made well in advance. If you prefer, you can still buy your tickets at the last minute too.
When is the best time to buy a bus ticket to get a cheaper fare?
The price of bus tickets can vary depending on many factors: seasonality, time of day, demand, distance, bus company, etc. We analyze the trips of our 1 million users every month to give you the best times to buy your tickets:
Book in advance: Generally, the further in advance you book, the more likely you are to find cheaper bus tickets. Even though, compared to trains, bus tickets increase proportionally much less as the departure date approaches. According to our calculations, it is best to book 3 weeks in advance.
Avoid traveling during peak periods: weekends, public holidays, and vacation periods are more expensive than average.
Tickets are on average more expensive when departing at the end of the month (+5 to +6% on average).
Tuesday is the best day to buy your tickets (-4% compared to the rest of the week on average).
Unlike airplane tickets, there is little variation between morning and afternoon for bus tickets.
How to find cheaper bus tickets?
As bus enthusiasts, we have prepared a guide with some tips for finding cheaper bus tickets, in summary:
Use price comparison sites (like Kombo, which remains our best example 😁).
Book in advance: Bus companies often offer advantageous rates for bookings made in advance. We therefore recommend that you book your bus ticket as soon as possible.
Be flexible: If you are flexible on the dates and times of your trip, you can find the best prices.
How do bus comparators work?
Bus ticket price comparators are online sites or applications that allow users to compare the prices offered by different bus companies for a given trip. Here's how they work:
Trip search: The user enters the details of their trip, such as the place of departure, the place of arrival, and the travel dates, into the bus ticket price comparator.
Data collection: The comparator then collects information on the prices and schedules of different bus companies for this trip.
Price comparison: The bus ticket price comparator then compares the prices and schedules of all the bus companies for this trip and displays the search results.
Choice and booking: The user can then choose the bus company that best suits them based on price, schedule, and other criteria, and then book their ticket online.
This allows you to avoid spending 30 minutes on 4 different sites to find the best fare.
Where to buy bus tickets?
There are several options for buying bus tickets in France. You can buy bus tickets:
Via a comparator: with a comparator like Kombo, you can compare and book several bus companies. It is ideal for quickly finding the best fares for the same trip.
On the companies' website: Most bus companies offer ticket sales online on their website. It is possible to book and buy bus tickets there.
At the bus station counters: In many cities, bus stations have counters where you can buy bus tickets in person. Opening hours may vary depending on the bus stations.
Can the bus always be cheaper than the train?
In general, the bus is often cheaper than the train for short and medium distance trips. This is especially true when buying tickets at the last minute, as bus ticket prices tend to increase less than train ticket prices.
However, for long-distance trips, the difference in travel time between the bus and the train can often be significant. In this case, Kombo offers alternative combined train + bus trips. This allows you to find cheaper and not too long journeys. Another option is to take an overnight bus: the journey goes faster and you save a night at a hotel.
How much does a bus ticket cost?
The cost of a bus ticket can vary considerably depending on several factors, including:
The distance of the journey
The bus company
The time of year and seasonality of the trip, as well as the time of booking
The options chosen
In France, for an average journey of 100 to 200 km, the price of a bus ticket can vary between 10 and 30€. However, for shorter or longer journeys, prices may be lower or higher.
Are there low-cost offers for buses?
Most bus companies in France are classified as low-cost as they allow you to travel at low prices. Among the most well-known companies are:
Flixbus: The company offers national and international trips at competitive prices, with tickets starting at 5€ for some journeys. Flixbus also has a network of regular lines serving many cities in France and Europe.
BlaBlaBus: Now called Blablacar Bus, the bus company offers trips in France and Europe at competitive prices, with tickets starting at 4.99€ for some journeys. It also has a carpooling offer for some trips, which is sometimes even cheaper.
Socibus: Actually, it is not the most well-known, but we included it in the list because its name reminds us of "saucisson" (sausage).
But smaller companies operate on certain routes, which is why it is best to compare.
How to find discounted bus tickets?
To be informed of all promo codes and good deals on bus tickets, follow us on Tiktok and Instagram or subscribe to our newsletter at the bottom of the page.
What are the bus companies operating in Europe?
We have already talked about Flixbus and Blablacar Bus, but there are many other bus companies operating in Europe, such as:
Marino Bus: An Italian company, its goal is to offer long-distance trips from southeastern Italy to other Italian cities or major European cities.
RegioJet: This Czech bus company offers trips in Central Europe, with regular lines connecting cities in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Austria, and Hungary.
Alsa: A Spanish bus company that offers trips in Spain and Europe, with regular lines connecting several European countries.
National Express: This British bus company offers trips in Great Britain and Europe, with regular lines serving several European countries.
PolskiBus: This Polish bus company offers trips in Poland and Central Europe, with regular lines connecting several cities in Poland and neighboring countries.
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Everything you need to know before taking the bus
Where are the bus stations located?
Your ticket indicates the departure station, but it's important to check where it's located. In most cases, train stations can also have a bus station. Your starting point will then be almost the same as if you were taking the train. However, in other cases, the bus and train stations are separate, as in Lyon. It's also possible that certain cities have multiple bus stations, like in Paris. Kombo provides you with the full name of the departure station when booking to avoid any surprises, but it's recommended to check the location of the station/bus in advance online (Google Maps shows the Blablabus mention in red on the side information bar).
What luggage can I bring on the bus?
The rules regarding luggage that you can bring on the bus may vary depending on the bus company you're using. Generally, bus companies have weight and size limits for checked and carry-on luggage.
Regarding checked luggage, most bus companies allow one to two pieces of luggage per passenger, with a weight limit ranging from 15 to 25 Kg depending on the company. It's usually necessary to mark your checked luggage with your contact information.
Regarding carry-on luggage, most bus companies allow a purse or small backpack per passenger, as well as a larger travel bag that must be stored in the luggage compartment above the seats.
On Kombo, you'll find all this information directly on your bus ticket.
How early should I arrive to take the bus?
It's recommended to arrive at the bus station or bus stop at least 30 minutes before the scheduled departure time of the bus.
Do I need identification to travel by bus?
Generally, travelers aren't required to present identification to travel by bus within France. However, it's advisable to have it with you because several companies require identification and your name to board.
If you're traveling abroad by bus, it's important to check the requirements of the country you're traveling to as well as those of the company. For example, it may happen that certain companies require a passport even for travel within Europe.
To avoid any surprises during boarding, we prefer to specify that it's the passenger's responsibility to ensure that they have all the necessary papers to travel.
Do I need to validate my tickets?
In France, it's not necessary to validate bus tickets. However, it's important to keep your ticket with you throughout the journey as it may be checked at any time by the controller.
Do I need to print my tickets?
It depends on the bus company you're using and the type of ticket you've purchased. If you've purchased an electronic ticket online, it can be presented on your smartphone or tablet and there's no need to print it.
How do I cancel a bus ticket?
If you purchased your tickets on Kombo, no problem: you can access your reservations at any time through your customer account.
Additionally, we refund you directly to your bank account, even for Flixbus tickets which are usually credited as a voucher.
If you have a booking number
You can retrieve your ticket from your account after-sales using the email address you used to book and your Kombo booking number (7 digits preceded by a K). Click on "tickets" at the top left of the website to access this page.
If you have an account
You can retrieve your ticket by logging in with your email address (a login link will be sent to you). Click on "tickets" at the top left of the website to access this page.
Once you have found your tickets
Options available will be displayed on the reservation page. Depending on the company, the selected guarantee, and the time before departure, you may be able to cancel your trip, with or without fees.
Our bonus: you receive your refund directly into your account, no voucher involved.
How to exchange a bus ticket?
The process to exchange your tickets is the same as for cancellation (see above).
What to do in case of delay/cancellation?
Bus passengers are protected by the European law in case of significant delays.
If the bus is more than two hours late at departure, the company must offer a full refund of the ticket. If it fails to do so, it must also compensate the passenger with an amount equivalent to half the ticket price, in addition to the full refund.
Please note that if your itinerary involves two buses and the delay of the first one prevents you from taking the second one, you cannot be reimbursed for the second bus.
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Some information about buses and their histories
How long have we been traveling by bus?
The first buses were developed in the early 20th century, with gasoline and diesel models that began to replace trams and trolleybuses in many cities. The first long-distance bus services were introduced in Europe in the 1920s, with regular services between major cities.
However, bus travel really took off in the 1950s and 1960s, with the introduction of modern and comfortable long-distance transport networks. Since then, bus travel has become a common mode of transportation and bus services have significantly improved in terms of comfort, safety, and speed.
Is the bus a reliable transportation mode?
Yes, the bus is generally considered a reliable mode of transportation. Often wrongly associated with cars, buses are much less dangerous. They are ranked as the third most reliable means of transportation behind planes and trains.
Modern bus companies invest in well-maintained fleets of vehicles and use advanced safety technologies, such as ABS braking systems, airbags, and speed limiters, to ensure safe and comfortable travel.
In addition, the regulation of the bus industry is very strict in many countries, with safety and driver training requirements that must be met to ensure safe travel. Professional bus drivers must undergo regular testing to ensure that they meet driving and safety standards.
However, as with any mode of transportation, there can be incidents. Often, people forget to wear their seatbelt on the bus, which is very important, and mandatory.
Who invented the bus?
There is not one person credited with the invention of the bus, but several individuals and companies who contributed to its development over time.
The first bus models were developed in the 1890s, with coachbuilders creating vehicles that resembled horse-drawn wagons, but with internal combustion engines. The first registered bus was built in 1895 in Netphener, Germany, by the Netphener company. However, these early buses were often unreliable and uncomfortable.
In the early 1900s, automobile manufacturers such as Daimler, Benz, Renault, and Ford began producing more advanced and reliable buses, and regular public transport services began to develop in large cities. Over the decades, innovations such as double-decker buses, articulated buses, and low-floor buses have been introduced to improve passenger comfort and transport efficiency.
Thus, the invention of the bus is the result of the effort and innovation of several automobile manufacturers and coachbuilders over time.
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