When the train is so expensive and there are relatively limited options in terms of airports around the big German cities I want to visit (sometimes by air is much cheaper than by rail), if you have enough time to spend on the road, the bus is always a pleasant affordable alternative. But planning is always essential and the sooner you book your ticket the better. For my short trip to Hamburg, I wanted to try something new, and booked a FlixBus ride. Although the prices advertised are shockingly low, if you buy them one week or less than seven days in advance, you will get a ‘normal’ price, especially for the average 3-hour driving destinations that are generally on high demand. For instance, for my badly planned trip, I paid around 30 Euro, which is almost 40% more of the usual price I pay for such a destination.
The tickets can be booked exclusively online, as they don’t have their own counter on ZOB – Omnibus Station near the ICC in Berlin – and most advertising is done – as in many cases in Germany – word of mouth.
For the departure, the bus arrived around 20 minutes in advance, so it was enough time to find a good place and get used with teh ambiance. The customer service is nice and we arrived without delay. The only problem was on the way back, when the driver announced that in order to avoid the traffic jam, we will stay in the station for another 30 minutes, an announcement that did not make me feel very happy, especially thinking that if I knew I would have make a better use of the time, other than spending some more minutes on a chair.
Talking about chairs, there are comfy enough to keep you longer on it. Made by Mercedes, they have a lot of high-end ergonomic qualities and suit the needs of the tired body. For long-range trips, it is a good investment. The FlixBus has an extensive network, with a lot of destinations in the South of Germany as well. And it seems that they are fit for long distance travellers, as the luggage space looked pretty big.
They have wifi on board – the logging is very easy, but my cautious nature will probably assume that using a designated password is a guarantee of a safe network and everything looked quite clean and friendly. My only observation was that maybe the music was a bit too loud from time to time, but this always depends of the personal musical choices of the driver.
It was nice meeting the FlixBus and its team and especially its comfy chairs and who know, maybe in the near future will meet again!