Victoria Coach Station London
What To Expect - A Visitors Guide To London Victoria Station
Victoria Coach Station
Victoria is the London terminus for virtually every scheduled bus or coach service originating outside London. Nearly every significant town and city in England is linked to Victoria, while other services go to Scotland, Ireland and Europe, notably Paris .
There are physically two coach stations at London Victoria, plus a bus station for the local red London buses.
Victoria Coach Station itself, (pictured) is monopolised by National Express and Megabus services . The Green Line Coach Station has the Terravision airport coaches among others. Long distance European services leave from both terminals, (though Eurolines go from Victoria Coach Station.)
Both Victoria Coach Station and the Green Line Coach Station are south of Victoria Rail and Underground Station, about a 5 minute walk. The bus station for local red bus services within London is at a bus station in front of the rail station. Only red London buses whose routes terminate at Victoria come into this bus station, a lot of other routes that pass through Victoria stop in the streets around the station.
The two dominant coach companies in England are National Express and Megabus. National Express are the largest operator with a network reaching just about every town and city in England of any consequence. Megabus are the young upstart that burst onto the scene offering dramatically low fares and competing directly with National Express on all the major routes out of London. On these routes fares are incredibly low.
Both National Express and Megabus use comfortable, full size coaches with air conditioning and washrooms on board. National Express has a far larger network, Megabus currently has focus on just the busiest routes going head to head with Naional Express. Both companies have very large parent companies with deep pockets and global interests. Both companies offer discounted promotional fares on-line in advance from their respective web sites.
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Victoria Coach Station Facilities
Victoria Coach Station is just a like a busy regional airport. Coaches leave every couple of minutes, there are airport style departure screens and departure gates where you board the coach.
Victoria Coach Station is physically two buildings, the impressive building whose image you see at the top of the page is the departures building. The arrivals building is the other side of the road (Elizabeth Street) and is much smaller. Basically just a few coach bays in a large shed where the coaches unload passengers and basic facilities, (compared with the departures building).
Retail outlets are dominated by grab and go food outlets, Burger King, Upper Crust (bakery) among them plus cafes/coffee shop and newsstands. In Elizabeth Street between the departures and arrivals buildings is a parade of “greasy spoon” cafes, a pub and a fish and chip shop.
Ticket Office Opening Hours: Open from 07:00 am to 10 p.m. The dominant bus companies National Express and Megabus have their own ticket machines as well available.
Toilets / Showers: There are of course public toilets with baby changing facilities, a small charge is made. There are no showers available.
Victoria Coach Station Departures Coach Bays
Left Luggage: There is a manned left luggage office open from 7 a.m. to 10:45 p.m. Fees are slightly cheaper than the left luggage facility at London's train stations like Victoria.
Telecommunications: If there is one thing Victoria Coach Station is not short of it is phone booths, over 60 of them. To the best of our knowledge we can find no Wi-Fi provision either free or commercial.
There are photo booth machines if you require a passport size photo for any reason.
Taxi, Buses and Underground: The taxi rank is out the front of the arrivals building. London's red buses stop outside Victoria Coach Station in Buckingham Palace Road. Only a couple of (frequent routes) stop here, routes 11 and 211. Both go up to Victoria Train station and Westminster Parliament Square. From here the 11 goes up to Trafalgar Square and through the City Of London to Liverpool Street. The 211 goes across the river and terminates at Waterloo Station by the London Eye.
The London Underground Station is underneath Victoria Train Station about a 500 yard walk down Buckingham Palace Road.
ATM's/Cash Machines / Foreign Exchange: Many ATM's around station and a Foreign Exchange kiosk not 24 hours.
Arriving At Victoria Coach Station
It is recommended that you arrive 30 minutes at least before your coach departs.
As you enter Victoria Coach Station look up at the bank of departure screens, just like an airport. Find your departure and coach bay number, there are 21 coach bays.
There is a waiting area, see image above, by each coach bay. The coach will park outside the bay and the driver will invite you to walk across to the coach with your luggage. Although outside the waiting area, the coach is still under cover. The driver will check you in and load your luggage into the luggage bay of the vehicle.
Victoria Coach & Railway Coach Stations
Victoria is one of the major transport hubs in Central London, both for transport within London and beyond.
The key fact to be aware off is that Victoria Coach Station is about 500 yards from Victoria Underground and Railway Station.
If you know in advance to allow 5 to 10 minutes to walk between the two then it will not become a drama finding your way.
From within Victoria Railway Station, (with the Underground Station beneath it) look up and you will see signs for Victoria Coach Station.
It is a straight forward journey, you simply walk down Buckingham Palace Road that runs down the western side of Victoria Railway Station. You will probably exit the railway station by the entrance to the Grosvenor Hotel situated on Buckingham Palace Road or you ride up some escalators from the station forecourt which will take you to the junction of Ecclestone Bridge and Buckingham Palace Road through a small shopping centre.
Between Eccleston Bridge and Elizabeth Bridge is another coach station called the Green Line Coach Station, there will be lots of scheduled buses and HoHo sightseeing vehicles parked here - just keep going to the lights at Elizabeth Bridge where you will see the main entrance of Victoria Coach Station (picture top of page) on the other side of the road.
Purchasing Bus Tickets & Timetables
National Express & Megabus
At Victoria Coach Station two companies dominate, National Express and Megabus. You can view timetables and purchase e-tickets on-line. Advance purchase promotional tickets on-line are often a fraction of the price of paying on the day. On National Express, a return ticket can be not much more than a single ticket at standard fare rates.
Unlike the railways, on-line ticketing will deliver e-tickets into your email instantly to print out.
Eurolines - Coach Services To Europe
If you want to go further afield to Europe cheaply, Eurolines are a one stop solution that covers most of the key cities in Europe from London Victoria Coach Station.
The most popular routes are the relatively short trips to Paris, Amsterdam or Dublin, normally the cheapest way of making this journey, but you can go as far afield as Rome or Madrid.
Eurolines is an umbrella brand for a network of bus companies across Europe that work together to offer an integrated system. They are associated with National Express in the UK and as a result you can get combined ticketing coupling Eurolines European journeys with National Express services through out England and Wales.
The Green Line Coach Station
On the other side of the road from Victoria Coach Station is the Green Line Coach Station. To call it a coach station is stretching it a bit, its basically an office block with retail outlets on the ground floor and bus parking bays all around the building. The coach station has no facilities, not even toilets, its just a string of bus stops where you board your coach.
Having said that there are quite a few cafe's and food outlets here, including a Subway and a Terracafe that doubles as the reception and waiting room of the Terravision airport buses to Stansted.
London Airport Buses from Victoria
There are frequent dedicated airport buses between Victoria and all of London's four major airports.
Heathrow: National Express run services from Victoria Coach Station to Heathrow Central Bus Station (note not individual terminals). These buses do not terminate at Heathrow but go onto towns and cities all over England.
Gatwick: National Express run services from Victoria Coach Station to both of Gatwick's two terminals.
Stansted: National Express run services from Victoria Coach Station and Terravision run services from the Green Line coach station opposite. The Terravision services are direct non-stop, National Express take a longer route with other pick-up locations in London.
Luton: National Express run a service 24x7 to Luton Airport.
Hotels Around Victoria Coach Station
Victoria Coach Station is in the middle of one of London's biggest hotel districts. The hotels in this part of Victoria are biased towards the budget end of the hotel market.
We have in-depth coverage of all types of hotel accommodation in Victoria with accurate hotel street maps on dedicated pages.
Two Of The Closest Hotels To Victoria Coach Stations:
Airways Hotel Victoria - Bed & Breakfast
Victoria Rail and Underground Station is a 10-minute walk away, Victoria Coach Station with airport buses to all of London's main airports 5 minutes. Each comfortable room has a TV, free wii-fi, telephone, tea/coffee facilities and a private bathroom with a walk-in shower. An inclusive continental breakfast is provided from 7:30 every morning.
Rooms: Single, Double/Twin, Triple & Quad Rooms
Comfort Inn Victoria (Buckingham Palace Rd) - 3 Star Hotel
Closest hotel to Victoria Coach Station and the underground/rail stations only a 5 minute walk. A satellite TV, a hairdryer and tea and coffee making facilities are provided in each room, which also has a private bathroom with a power shower. Free WiFi. 24-Hour Front Desk, Luggage Storage, Safety Deposit Boxes, Satellite TV.
Rooms: Single, Double/Twin, Triple and Quad Rooms