Budget travellers often have a problem: go for the cheapest option or go for the comfiest option?
Luckily, we are here to trial out the cheap options for you, and then let you know if it's worth it (or not)!
- The Price
- The Timing
- What's the journey actually like?
1. The Price: This will probably be your biggest motivation for travelling via coach (it certainly was for us). But how much does it actually cost?
Great, so what's the catch?
There is no catch! Okay you do have to book it far enough in advance (about a month) with the right carrier (megabus).
Now usually here I would quote the prices of trains/driving/flying. But you know that there's no way they are going to be anywhere near as cheap as $3.85.
Even though hitchhiking would be free, I think $3.85 is worth paying to not worry about who is going to pick you up and when.. right?
Conclusion: Basically, this is one of the cheapest journeys we've ever taken and we were very excited about it.
We left Cologne at 23:30 and arrived in Paris the next day at 06:40.
Thus the journey took 7 hours 10 minutes.
Now driving would take about 5 hours and taking the train takes just 3 hours. Flying would only take an hour - but you've got to add on the 4 spent in the airport/getting to the airport.
Thus the coach takes longer (a lot longer in some cases) but 7 hours on a bus really isn't that bad if you're asleep.
Personally, getting in at 6.40am was too early for us (especially as the coach actually got there at 6am). But we still managed to get about 6 hours of sleep which was more relaxing than going through customs/driving down the motorway.
Conclusion: whilst 7 hours on a bus sounds awful, most of it was spent asleep which, for us, is preferable to flying/driving.
Once you get there, it's a bit awkward as there is no sign for the megabus, but have faith because it does turn up. When it does, they have this great rule about not opening the doors until the 'official' time. I guess they don't get paid until 23:30 on the dot, but still when it's late and cold you just want to get on the damn bus!
We slept pretty much the whole way there, sure it was not the most comfy sleep ever, but I have had worse on other smaller/more crowded/colder buses (and planes)!
The best thing to do is to get as comfy and as warm as possible. This bus was spacious anyway and because there were so few passengers we could have two seats each. I find taking my shoes off helps as does piling on the jumpers and socks.
Would we do it again? Of course! It was so cheap!! You definitely get a lot more than you pay for.
- Gummersbacher Strasse is easy to get to, but takes time and is quite inconspicuous when you get there.
- Take headphones/jumpers/socks to be as comfy as possible
- Don't try and speak French to the English bus driver
Once we arrived in Paris, we tried AirBnB for the first time. To find out more about it (and more importantly to get your own AirBnB voucher/coupon) click here:
We're Laura and Tanbay, a British/German couple who have successfully weaselled our way out of the rat-race and want you to do the same! We also want to make it clear that we sometimes use “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we use personally and believe will add value to our readers.