If you enjoy planes, trains and automobiles as modes of transport in your travels, considering a bus as an option is not a bad idea. Bus fares are low cost compared to other modes of travelling and with today’s standards, most buses are modern appointed vehicles, ergonomic interiors fitted with a toilet in general for longer journeys, air-conditioning, entertainment, and seat belts for passenger comfort and safety.
Has anyone experienced travelling by FlixBus – Green Bus in Europe? This is our experience travelling with Flixbus between Munich and Zurich late last year. Travelling by bus was our best direct option between the two cities after a weekend of partying during the Octoberfest (link here) and they offer several trips per day between these two destinations. FlixBus has the largest network in Europe covering 26 countries with over 1,400 travel destinations.
Our bus journey began at Zentraler Omnibusbahnhof München, a central bus station located in Maxvorstadt, Munich which is conveniently connected to the local train S-Bahn. The terminal is quite large, with convenience shops, coffee, restaurants, fast food and grocery stores. From the upper level, follow the overhead sign to the departure area which is on the ground floor. Buses are parked in their respective bays, it’s best to cross reference your ticket, destination and time of departure, if in doubt, ask one of the ground crew at the departure area, as bays and times can change. There is a paid toilet in the bus station which can get quite busy, so check your bus has a toilet if you are not prepared to wait.
When you board your Flixbus, an attendant will check your passport or valid id and scan your ticket. There are no seat plans, so seat wherever you want. Our bus was a double decker and what a shame that we missed out on the very front seats on the upper deck which always prove to be very popular, I would have imagined they gave panoramic views. All luggage, with the exception of small bags, are stowed under the floor at the rear of the bus. Like an aircraft, there is limited space in the cabin, a section of overhead stowage will allow you space for your small bag, just make sure you carry what you need for the journey, like snacks and drinks.
Our seats were on the top deck, third row forward from the rear stairs, a window and aisle seat. The bus has large windows for scenic viewing, relatively comfortable seats with good legroom and adjustable backrests. There is a plug socket per seat row and free WI-FI, so don’t forget to carry on your adapter (for European sockets) and charger.
Our bus left Munich as per schedule and after passing some traffic around the city, we hit the federal motorway with stunning views of the German countryside along the way. If your tummy rumbles, drinks and snacks are available for purchase from the driver. As we approached the Swiss boarder, we stopped at the boarder passport control but they allowed us to stay on board. After our bus got the clearance, we were back on the road this time on the Swiss side. Our bus journey was less than 5 hours arriving at the Zurich Bus Station early afternoon. It could have been slightly quicker, but the ever present road works slowed us to 40 kph for significant parts of the journey. Five hours on a bus, is just about enough, like an aircraft, there is little opportunity to get up for a stretch and a walk around, so be prepared for this.
- Early bird tickets purchased online offer huge discounts.
- Queue early at your bus bay so you can board the bus first and get to pick the best seats, the front seats on the double decker offer unrestricted views.
- BYO (bring your own) snacks and water which are allowed, and highly recommended, as it slowly gets hotter and humid on the bus, despite the air-conditioning so dress lightly.
- Bring something to read or even an eye mask and small pillow for head support if you want to snooze.
- You can also download the Flix-App to tract your booking and journey status.
For further details, check out the Flixbus site for all their destinations and discounted travel fares.