I have read many times that the night bus is the best way too travel. The idea is you get to spend an extra day roaming around the current city you are in and then that evening or night you go to the bus station and sleep and wake up in a new city. Saving you a nights accommodation cost with a travel cost you were going to already spend. It sounds like a great idea, right? Well I can honestly say that my experience, has been quite different. I have taken a few night busses now to different cities and they’ve all ended up very much so with the same result! Most recently I took the bus from Amsterdam to Paris with my travel buddy at the time Matt .
After a day of exploring and enjoying the great dutch food of Amsterdam, we arrived at the bus station nice and early to find it super busy. My first thought was “Oh no, the bus is going to be packed.”. We moved on towards the bus station to find a line going outside the doors. I then noticed a shorter line inside the bus station with a sign that said “Paris Check In”. We headed toward the que and got checked in. At this point I was proud of myself, our bus was not the busy one.
Then finally came the moment of truth are bus arrived. I prayed to the travel gods,”Please do not lets this bus be full.”. Think back to my previous night bus experiences some were good but some had been full buses cramped full of people where no one got any sleep. We then rushed on to the bus ensuring are selves good seats. Then, to are pleasure hardly any people boarded are bus. We had most of the bus to our selves!
“Jesse did good!” I thought. Matt and I then took the back of the bus and spread out and slept. This only lasted about an hour, till the bus got to the next station. Then a few people began to board our humble bus with enough room for everyone to sleep and then more jumped on. People then began giving up personal space for other passengers. But my travel partner and I were fine at the back of the bus. There was a pause of people entering the bus surely it was done now. “Not a chance” exclaimed the god of travel. Then a whole slue of people got on to our once humble little bus of rest. The bus was now packed not a single seat open. Matt and I were now forced to sit up and being at the very back of the bus were in a row of five people. The next seven hours we spent shoulder to shoulder with strangers trying to sleep this horrible trip away. Hoping you don’t pass out and drool on the stranger next to you. We eventually made it to Paris. Got off the bus and headed to our hostel walking the Paris streets at 6am.
This was my experience taking the night bus to Paris. It was very similar to the night busses I’ve taken before. In all honesty I’ve found night buses in general, very hard to sleep on even if they are not full, but when they are full its a lot harder to sleep. Another thing to consider when taking a night bus is your arrival time. When will you be arriving in the city you are going to. This can sometimes be very early in the morning and when you arrive you may not find much around that is open depending on the city of course. Also if you have a lot of luggage you will have to carry it around all day with you until you can check in with your hostel or hotel if you arriving early in the morning. I have found that most hostels will have a spot for you to store your luggage until you check in. But be aware not all hostels are super secure, just be cautious when doing this. This bus trip was right after New Years in Amsterdam, this also may have been a big contribution to why the bus was so full. So after a big event it may not be worth takin the night bus unless you are willing to loose a nights sleep over it.
I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did please share and like! Hope this helps if you’ve considered riding night buses.