The liberalisation of the bus market has led to an explosion in the number of long-distance coach services. Night buses have therefore become part of the growing transport habits of recent years.
Here is a guide to help you prepare your next night bus trip.
Kombo offers the widest range of bus tickets in Europe, referencing the routes of more than 200 companies. As the vast majority of them offer night trips, you are sure to find the night bus that suits you best, whether you are leaving from Paris, Milan, Madrid or other cities. Also, thanks to an easy-to-use interface, you will be able to compare the different timetables to take your night bus, but also find the cheapest bus.
Unlike trains, night buses are the same as daytime buses. However, they are more numerous to circulate out of daytime because of the duration of certain journeys. And yes, when choosing a bus, price is more important than speed. But this is where the advantage of travelling at night comes in: if you travel at night, you sleep. And if you sleep, the journey goes faster! To improve the passenger experience, companies have implemented the following elements to ensure decent comfort:
- Adjustable footrest
- Electrical outlets
- Seat-mounted screens (sometimes, as with RegioJet or Alsa)
- Entertainment platform to use on your smartphone, tablet or computer (like Flixtainement, only available on some Flixbus lines)
- Air conditioning and small lights.
In fact, these are all the little extras that a daytime bus could offer, but some are even more important for a night bus. These include foot rests to ensure comfort while sleeping. Or the little lights above the seats if you want to read a book on the way.
But what are night bus trips real worth?
While night trains are known to save a night in a hotel or a car trip, night buses offer the same advantage, but still cheaper, for two reasons. On the one hand, it is well known that buses are a cheaper mode of transport than trains. Despite the advantages it offers thanks to the speed of its high-speed lines (TGV, inOui, Ouigo), it represents a much higher cost.
On the other hand, bus prices do not vary (or only slightly) depending on whether you wish to travel by day or by night. One reason for this is that night buses are not yet able to offer additional services such as berths and private spaces (except in some countries).
Even so, it suits us, since we are looking to travel to the four corners of Europe at minimum cost (How about a Paris-Milan night bus, for example?).
Finally, added to this price, you spend one night sleeping in the bus, and you save one night in a hotel or hostel on the spot.
The practicality of night buses can be seen in 3 main aspects:
- The offer: Unlike trains, almost all companies offer night buses. Whether Fixbus or Blablabus, there are many night bus offers on the market. You can be sure to find the route that suits you best in terms of departure and arrival stations, timetables and prices.
- Despite the wide range of night buses on offer, it is easy enough to compare everything to find the right route. Indeed, Kombo allows you to compare the offers of all these companies, and to book your ticket directly on our site, without redirection. You are thus assured to be able to clearly differentiate the night bus offers at your disposal, so that you can find the one that suits you best. And given the number of journeys on offer, you will be spoilt for choice.
- Finally, the night bus represents a unique advantage since you will be able to sleep for most of the journey. The duration of your journey will be shorter!
Last but not least, the significant ecological aspect of night buses and buses in general. Although slightly more polluting than high-speed train lines, travelling by night bus is much more ecological than the car, because the carbon footprint is divided by several dozen people. We are aware of the traffic problems encountered on some European roads during busy periods, and the environmental consequences of such consumption. Travelling by bus at night is therefore a great opportunity to remedy this.
Comfort in a night bus will be much the same as in an airplane. You will be able to recline the seat but not to lie down completely. The solution, however, could have been found on the side of Megabus with its Gold offer, proposing its night bus routes with beds, between England and Scotland. Very attractive prices, delighted customers... Megabus even wanted to enter the French market in order to propose its unique night bus offer. But French legislation decided otherwise, considering that the practice was not safe enough.
To conclude, if you wish to travel by night bus, you will have to draw a line under berths, private compartments or breakfast in the morning.
Another negative point of the night bus: the stops. For safety reasons, legislation requires its drivers to stop at least once every 4 hours. It is therefore not easy to make a complete night with repeated stops of 45 minutes minimum and announcements from the driver.
The liberalisation of the bus market in Europe has led to an expansion of the range of services on offer and it is now possible to travel almost everywhere thanks to night buses. Here are a few ideas for unbeatable night bus travel across Europe:
Flixbus is the leader in mobility in Europe, with a fleet of buses covering no less than 30 countries and serving nearly 2,500 different destinations. So there's a good chance that your next road trip across Europe will be on Flixbus night buses.
The Czech company Regiojet travels to a dozen countries throughout Eastern Europe in particular. To make your night bus journeys go faster, Regiojet offers screens integrated into the seats, the possibility to order hot drinks or the presence of a member of the on-board staff.