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Bus Services Between London And The Rest Of Europe

Cheap Bus Services to Paris, Amsterdam, Dublin etc by Eurolines


Eurolines Bus

The cheapest option travelling between London and many near European cities, notably Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam and Dublin is by scheduled coach.

Once you go further afield in Europe low cost budget airlines like easyJet and Ryanair are often cheaper, especially if you book well in advance.


The dominant coach carrier in terms of choice of destinations from London and frequencies are Eurolines. Eurolines are a confederation of European coach operators working together under a single brand name. In the UK, the operator is National Express the dominant UK scheduled coach operator.

Because of the National Express connection you can buy single tickets combining a National Express service from most towns and cities in England and Wales with a Eurolines service from London Victoria.


In London, the European terminus for both Eurolines is Victoria Coach Station, London's only major coach station that is also the London base for National Express services.


Victoria Coach Station

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 London Video Clip

There is a full list of facilities including a useful left luggage office, foreign exchange etc.


The dominant national operators at Victoria, National Express and Megabus have a stranglehold on UK inter city services. You can interconnect between UK and European services under one roof.


Victoria Coach Station is quite central, 5 minutes walk from Buckingham Palace and Victoria Railway and London Underground Station.

Victoria is also a major London hotel district with accommodation options for all sectors of the market.

Paris, Brussels & Amsterdam Services + Rest of Europe

Paris

The single most popular European coach route by far is London - Paris. Normally coach is by far the cheapest way to travel between the two cities. However, the Eurostar trains are the dominant way to travel between London and Paris, the high frequencies and speed of Eurostar being more attractive despite the much higher fares.

Some coach services use the ferry across the English Channel, some use the tunnel. The fastest schedules are around 7.5 hours compared to 2 hours of the Eurostar trains. There are both daytime and overnight schedules year round.

The Eurolines Paris terminus is Gallieni, a purpose built coach station integrated with a Paris Metro station but not as central as Victoria in London.

Daily Services To Brussels & Amsterdam

Eurolines operate several daily services to these cities. The services to Brussels are slightly quicker than to Paris and Amsterdam is about 10.5 hours.

Both services also stop at Antwerp and Rotterdam.

Services To Rest Of Europe

The Eurolines service extends on paper to most major cities in Europe. However few use the service. For example the service to Rome takes 30 hours with two changes of bus at Paris and Milan and is probably no cheaper than flying with a low cost budget airline in just over 2 hours.

Eurolines

Eurolines Bus

On the main Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam services there are several daily departures year round from London Victoria. The full network covers 600 destinations in 29 countries. Sea crossings are made by either ship or Eurotunnel, check timetables for specific information on your journey. Services such as Paris may use either on different schedules.

Eurolines use air-conditioned coaches with reclining seats, comfortable legroom and on board toilets.

Key aspects of the Eurolines service are:

  • For most services you can take two medium sized suitcases, weighing no more than 30kg together and a small piece of soft hand luggage. A single rucksack can be taken instead of two suitcases. (Note: luggage allowances can vary on services to Europe).

  • To guarantee your seat in advance and take advantage of the best fares, called funfares, booking online is recommended. However, you may also purchase your ticket, on the day or in advance, at the coach station. The cheap Funfare tickets are only available online.

  • If you miss your coach, your ticket will no longer be valid and a new ticket must be purchased if you wish to travel on a later service.

  • If you are a frequent Eurolines traveller or touring Europe on Eurolines you can purchase a card that is called a Eurolines discount card giving 25% of fares over a 3 month or 6 month duration.

  • Free Wi-Fi is included on London to Paris and Amsterdam PLUS services. PLUS services are noted on the timetables/schedules when you book from the web site, link below.

Eurolines Timetables & Ticketing


Eurolines European Inter City Buses

Alternatives To Coach To Europe

The overriding reason for choosing to travel by scheduled coach to Europe from London is price. For near Europe cities like Paris the price differential is substantial and the journey although much longer can still be done without overnight travel or sleeping on the bus.

Train Services Including Eurostar

3 Day Weekend Tour To Paris From London

The most popular transport method in terms of numbers travelling to Paris and Brussels is the train. In the next few years direct services are being introduced to other near Europe destinations. Trains are of course much faster than coach enabling tourists to do day trips to Paris with a whole days sightseeing available for example.

The only reason not to take the train to Paris or Brussels and take the coach instead are the price of tickets. Ticket prices on Eurostar are dynamic and can look very expensive, especially if you purchase at short notice or are travelling when there is a popular event on in either city.

Europe By Train - Full Details


Airlines

Once you go beyond the near Europe cities of Paris, Brussels etc air travel dominates. For near Europe cities once you factor in the time and expense of transfers between city centres and airports and hanging around in departure lounges train is faster and less expensive in almost all occasions.

For European destinations like Munich, Rome, Madrid, Nice, Copenhagen air travel will be cheaper and much faster than coach or train most of the time.


London has four major airports. For leisure travellers the lowest cost fares are normally found on the low cost budget airlines. easyJet and Ryanair are the two major airlines with flights to all Europe from Gatwick, Luton, Stansted and Southend airports. The legacy national carriers fly out of Heathrow and British Airways from Gatwick too and be competitive with the budget airlines, especially purchasing close to departure date.

City Airport is the closest airport to the centre of London but can only host regional sized aircraft. Services from here are to near Europe cities and tend to be geared and priced to the business market.


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