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Buses in France
General Information about French Buses
The natural beauty and variety of the French landscape makes traveling through France by bus a pleasant, picturesque experience. While train travel has historically been France's preferred mode of transportation, the French Government has recently passed legislation that will result in widespread changes to France's travel industry. France's recently enacted Macron Law has initiated the deregulation of the French bus market and is expected to result in 5 million new bus passengers and the creation of 22,000 new jobs within the next year. The French travel industry will also experience a proliferation of long distance bus routes across the country as a result. While the development of an extensive bus network across France is great news for travellers, it should be noted that traffic congestion during school holidays may significantly increase travel times.
You may have seen that between April 3rd and June 28th 2018, there is due to be disruption to train travel in France. This is due to strike activity. Please click this link for further information if you need to travel during this period.
Book your French Bus Ticket with GoEuro
The first step of taking a bus in France is by booking your ticket. But there are already many questions: where to book your ticket, online on the company's website or directly in the bus station in France? How to book a cheap bus ticket in France?
- Online booking: You can book your e-ticket online directly on GoEuro or the website of the bus company. To book a bus in France you can do it with Eurolines or Ouibus depending on the company you have chosen. To buy your bus ticket in English, and to compare over 300 train and bus companies on the GoEuro app.
- Purchase tickets at the bus station: You can also buy your ticket directly at one of France's many bus stations. You can buy your ticket at one of the station's sales offices, in advance or directly on the same day. In general, it is more advantageous to buy your ticket in advance.
- Printing e-tickets at the station: Some electronic tickets must be printed on the automatic terminals, be careful when booking online. With GoEuro, you will not need to print your e-ticket and you can travel by bus in France with your phone. To collect your tickets in the automatic stations, you must bring your reservation code received by mail. You can also buy your tickets directly at the stations at the automatic stations until 5 minutes before the departure of the bus. Payment is made by cash or credit card.
Bus Companies in France
Everything you need to know about French Buses
In France, 4 major bus companies are present on most bus routes in France and Europe : Isilines, Eurolines, Flixbus and Ouibus. Previously, the companies Megabus and Starshipper also provided long distance bus lines but their networks were integrated by the companies Flixbus and Ouibus respectively. In addition to these 4 main airlines, the Spanish bus company Alsa, which does not provide domestic lines, offers buses from and to Spain and from and to the rest of Europe. Here is a short presentation of each of these 5 coach companies present in France:
|Alsa: The Spanish company Alsa is the most important bus company in Spain. From France, Alsa offers many buses to Spain, but also to the rest of Europe. Indeed, Alsa has extended its international network to 12 European countries, including France, Portugal, Italy, the United Kingdom and Belgium.|
|Eurolines: Eurolines, a specialist in long distance buses in Europe, has not been introduced for many years. More than 600 destinations are served by its network of European partners. In France, the company is present from 96 cities. Although most of the destinations are European, the Eurolines bus company remains present on a few national routes, providing service in complementarity with Isilines, its national partner.|
|FlixBus: The German company Flixbus was launched in 2013 following the deregulation of the German market and quickly established itself as a leader in the Outre-Rhine. The company is today a European giant, with over 900 destinations served in 20 countries on the continent. Present in France since May 2015, the bus company Flixbus has grown exponentially, now offering 130 destinations and 60 bus lines. Flixbus has recently taken over the continental network of the British Megabus, further expanding its network of bus lines in France and Europe. The company claims to have carried 1.6 million passengers in France since its launch.|
|Isilines: The Isilines coach company is the 100% national subsidiary of the Transdev group launched in June 2015, which also owns the European giant Eurolines. With 29 bus lines with multiple stops, the company serves more than 80 cities in France. If 14 of these bus lines are radial (passing through Paris), 15 others are transverse. The company also offers night buses on 7 of its lines. Finally, Isilines benefits from an interconnection with the Eurolines network for bus routes from France to European destinations.|
|Ouibus: The bus company Ouibus was created in September 2015, following the company iDBUS, subsidiary of the SNCF, appeared in 2012. In one year, Ouibus opened many destinations, to today cover 120 destinations France and Europe (United Kingdom, Spain, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland and Italy). Ouibus recently bought Starshipper, integrating the company's bus lines into its European network. In addition to its permanent bus lines, Ouibus offers seasonal routes : to ski resorts in winter and to sunny destinations in summer. The company regularly launches promotions campaigns,|
Depending on the company and the particular journey selected, onboard bus facilities can vary but usually include comfortable seating with reclining seats, air conditioning, toilets, Wi-Fi, and entertainment such as movies and magazines. Many of the bus providers also have handicap accessible buses for passengers who require assistance.
Facilities & Services for Major Bus Companies
Many companies operate modern fleets with comfortable, reclining seats, wifi and air-conditioning. Compare the services available.
Further facilities and services may vary according to the transport company and country of operation.