Monday, December 19, 2011

EUROLINES Bus Stations: Are Their Facilities Traveler-Friendly?

After having been to eight (8) European countries via Eurolines bus, I have seen enough of their bus stations to be able to give you a rundown on what to expect. Some are just traveler friendly, others are harsh. Read on to find out.

Paris, France. Gallieni Station
The first station where my trip begun is in Paris. It is located outside of the main city which is in Gallieni. They are sort of a hub for Eurolines so they have more than the usual 3 windows. Also, the Gallieni station is the only one I saw which has shower rooms for that long trip. Of course, they charge with a fee. About € 3, I think.
Eurolines Paris Station. Gallieni

Eurolines Ticketing Counter

Brussels, Belgium. CCN North Station
They sort of have a small center located at the bottom of this enormous building.
Amenities include a pay toilet, small store selling candies and biscuits. 
Tiny Eurolines section

Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Amstel Station
They have a pay toilet, internet access for € 6. To get to the city, take a train to Central, which is just one (1) stop away. If you need to leave luggage for a day walk in the city, Central station has lockers for € 4,90. 
Eurolines Amsterdam Station. Amstel

Frankfurt, Germany. Hauptbahnhof (Main Station)
The ticketing office is a few hundred meters away from the road drop-off. But the bus stop is right beside Central Station--Hauptbanhof. Arriving here at dawn, the only warm place i found which was open is McDonalds. Plus their toilet isn't rigid, you can pay whatever amount you feel like giving. Hauptbahnhof has lockers for € 4-6, and there I saw the first public phone which allows you to  send sms for 15c. Nifty ey? Oh, yeah, almost forgot, they're one of the Eurolines stations which charge a reservation fee of €5.
Eurolines Frankfurt Station. Hauptbahnhof

Vienna, Austria. Erdbergstraße 
Conveniently located near the Erdbergstraße u-Bahn (metro) station. Another country which charges a reservation fee of € 4.
Eurolines Vienna Station. Erdbergstraße

Bratislava, Slovakia. Autobusová stanica (Central Coach Terminal).
The bus terminal has a left-luggage office where you can store your bags for€1 per item per day. Pay toilet on the ground floor, bakery and shops are located on the upper floor. Just outside the terminal is the bus stop to go to the city center/old town. 
Eurolines Bratislava Station. Autobusova stanica

Budapest, Hungary. Népliget Bus station.
The terminal is also a metro stop. Walk to where the sign leads you the M sign. Hungary is not a Euro country. Right beside the ticketing office is a forex counter where you can change your euros to florints. 
Eurolines Budapest Station. Nepliget

Mestre, Italy. Stazione di Venezia Mestre.
My bus arrived Mestre at the middle of the night on a road drop-off. As this was my last stop for Europe, there was no point getting an onward ticket, so I never bothered looking for the ticketing office. But I was glad that it was in front of the railway station. Thinking it would be a haven for a harried traveler, boy was I wrong! Everything is closed by 11pm--eateries, left-luggage, and even the toilets! Harsh, specially since the next available trip to Milan was the following day at 5am, and there's no warm place to hang out in. 

Have you been to any of the Eurolines stations? Be kind to other travelers, share your experiences here!


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