If you plan to travel Europe on a budget, Flixbus will probably become your best friend. Flixbus is a relatively new company offering coach service to and from almost every country in Europe. For my most recent trip around Europe, I decided to only travel using Flixbus. Here is my personal experience.
First of all, there are lots of upsides to Flixbus. It is cheap and possibly one of the cheapest ways of travel Europe. For most of my trips, which on average took around 5 hours, I paid between 10 and 15 Euros. Also, Flixbus has stops in almost every bigger city in Europe. No matter which country you want to go to, I can almost guarantee you that there is a Flixbus going there. I started out in Germany, then made my way through the Czech Republic, through Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Italy, France, and Spain. Flixbus also has free Wi-fi and sockets. Also, I would say that Flixbus is relatively safe, as there are two drivers on board at any time, and they also switch on a regular basis. If there is only one driver, he will take regular breaks.
Nonetheless, there are also some downsides. The biggest is that Flixbus is often late – I understand that this is often due to circumstances they cannot control, however the real problem is the way Flixbus deals with being late. On my trip from Vienna to Ljubljana, my bus was 2 hours late. First, I received a text message from Flixbus saying that my bus was about 20min. late. In the next text it said it was 1h 30min late, and literally one minute after the last text message they had sent, I got another one saying it was delayed by 40 minutes. When in the app it then finally said that my bus was going to arrive in 5 minutes, I waited for another 10 before the app refreshed, now stating it was going to take another 10 minutes after all. After these ten minutes, the wait was suddenly back to another 10 minutes. The way Flixbus deals with busses being late is worse than the fact that the bus is late.
Whilst I was waiting for my bus to Ljubljana to arrive, I met a group of people who also had trouble with their Flixbus connection. Their bus to Budapest had simply not shown up, but they had all gotten e-mails stating that there coincidentally there was another bus which was also going to Budapest and they could board that one instead. When that bus got to Vienna, they showed the bus driver the e-mails and he simply said that they could not get on the bus because no one had informed him. One girl then went to the Flixbus information point and asked the man behind the window about this e-mail and the situation with the bus driver. The man said that he could not do anything. He said that if the driver was not going to let them board, there is nothing he can do about it, and he was not even willing to contact Flixbus Headquarters about this issue. So what is probably the most annoying about Flixbus is that no one feels responsible, everyone is receiving different information or no information at all, and there just seems to be a massive lack of communication.
Lastly, even though Flixbus does offer free wi-fi, there is no guarantee that it actually works. For me, it worked about 50% of the time. Another thing Flixbus should definitely improve on is the hygiene. Again, this only applies to some busses. When I traveled to Prague from Germany for example, the bus was very clean and the driver very friendly as well. When I took the bus from Prague to Vienna however, both drivers were rather rude, and the bus smelled like toilet for the entire trip.
Overall, I would definitely use Flixbus again, also for bigger trips like these. Not because of their cleanliness or their capability, but simply because their price really is unbeatable. Plus you might always be lucky and get that clean bus with that nice driver we all dream about.
Let me know your experience with Flixbus in the comments below!
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