Is Flixbus Reliable?

That was my first question when my friend Smoky suggested we use it on our European adventure.

Flixbus is significantly cheaper than taking a train or a flight between cities, so I was inclined to give it a try, even though the idea of taking a bus made my travel anxiety flare up…like a lot.

Would I be able to find my stop? Would the bus leave early? If it’s delayed, does that mean it’s actually going to come? Will the bathroom be clean? What if we get stuck in traffic and I lose a whole day in my destination?

Is flixbus reliable

Amsterdam…one of the many cities Flixbus serves

This stems from the fact that I took buses in college a lot. Usually from my sleepy Western Massachusetts campus into Boston or down into NYC. I found them to be kind of icky and delayed like seven times out of ten. Bus stations also tend to stress me out simply because of the mere chaos of it all.

BUT

Flixbus is all about rebranding buses.

Its team promises clean, eco-friendly buses with free wifi. The stops seemed easy enough to find and the prices (starting at 5 Euro!) couldn’t be beat.

So I bought my tickets and hoped for the best.

Here’s my Flixbus review: 

Berlin —> Amsterdam

flixbus berlin is flixbus reliable

The Reichstag Building in Berlin

Finding the stop: Easy

Punctuality of the Flixbus: Left on time

I took an overnight Flixbus from Berlin to Amsterdam because I wanted to save money on accommodations. It took about eleven hours and I was dreading it, but as we pulled into Sloterdijk, I actually said to the girl next to me, “Wow, that actually wasn’t as bad as I thought.”

It wasn’t bad at all, actually.

Flixbus Berlin to Amsterdam normally leaves from the central Alexanderplatz stop (among others in the city — including the most-used stop: Berlin Central Bus Station), but because of the Berlin Marathon, the stop was relocated. I got multiple emails from Flixbus with the exact coordinates of the “pop up stop,” so it was very easy to find.

I even tweeted them to confirm (hello, travel anxiety) and the social media team responded within the hour to put me at ease.

Munich —> Prague

Flixbus Munich

Oktoberfest in Munich

Finding the stop: Easy

Punctuality of the Flixbus: Left on time

After a little too much fun at Oktoberfest, Smoky and I were headed to the fairy tale city of Prague. The Flixbus stops at Munich Central Bus station are very easy to find. You can take the SBAHN to Hackerbrücke and then it’s like a two-minute walk to the stops. Everything is labeled and there are plenty of places to eat or shop while waiting for your bus.

One thing to note: when Flixbus is on time, it’s ON TIME. We rolled out of the station at our exact departure time and not a second later.

Prague —> Vienna

Flixbus Prague

Old Town Square in Prague

Finding the stop: Hard

Punctuality of the Flixbus: Left early

The Flixbus stop at Prague Main Railway Station was difficult to find. I think this because we came in the “grand entrance” at the front of the station, so to find it, we had to walk allll the way to the back of the station, and up some stairs. The actual stop is on a strip in the middle of the road behind the station.

We had to ask for lots of help and ran around like beheaded chickens for a bit, but we did eventually find it. If you are departing from Prague ÚAN Florenc, I wouldn’t worry as it’s small and manageable, but if you’re leaving from the station, give yourself some extra time to find your stop.

This bus actually left about six minutes before it was “supposed” to. Smoky and I figured it was because we were the only two ticketed passengers due to board in Prague, as there were only like ten other people on the entire double decker bus, so there wasn’t a point to waiting around.

Is Flixbus reliable? Not if you don’t have a ticket! If the driver doesn’t even know you’re coming, he won’t wait for you, so make sure to buy your ticket at least an hour or so in advance.

Vienna —> Bratislava

Flixbus Vienna

The Royal Opera House in Vienna

Finding the stop: Moderate

Punctuality of the Flixbus: Over an hour late, so we bailed.

The Flixbus stops at Vienna Erdberg are relatively easy to find, since we were dropped off from Prague in the same general area, but I say “moderate” because we never actually found our bus stop. We were only doing a day trip to Bratislava, so we didn’t have too much time to spare and it was FREEZING outside (the terminal is basically a wind tunnel), so when we saw that our bus was going to be over an hour late, we knew we needed a plan B.

Thankfully, there was another Flixbus just sitting there that was also going to Bratislava, so Smoky and I decided to forfeit our orignial tickets and buy new ones. The 7 Euro for the new ticket was worth it to get out of the cold and get on our way.

Bratislava —> Budapest

Flixbus Bratislava

Beautiful Bratislava

Finding the stop: Easy

Punctuality of the Flixbus: Over an hour late

My travel anxiety flared up in a major way over this bus to Budapest, but it turns out it was for nothing. I wish I more like Smoky. Calm, cool, collected…confident that the bus would come. Because it did. It was reaaaaally late, but it came exactly when the app said it would.

The Most SNP Flixbus stop in Bratislava isn’t somewhere I’d like to be after dark, since it’s kind of just under a bridge, but as we were there during the daylight hours it was fine.

The Bratislava Central Bus Station, however, is really nice. Like really nice. Like free wifi, clean AF free bathrooms, and free luggage storage nice. I would almost consider it a tourist attraction on its own.

We did make the mistake of sitting across from the bathroom on the bus to Budapest. Don’t do this y’all. Every time we went over a bump, the door would fly open. It was almost reaaal embarrassing.

So, is Flixbus Reliable?

Flixbus Budapest

At the Széchenyi Thermal Baths in Budapest

  • Does the Flixbus Wifi Work?

Yes! It worked great on every single ride; however, to keep things moving quickly, Flixbus limits the amount of data you can use. Be sure to download your audiobooks and Netflix episodes beforehand, then put your phone on airplane mode and only use the wifi when you really need to. There are also power outlets on board.

  • Is Flixbus Dirty?

I didn’t think so. The buses I took were nicer than some of the trains I’ve been on. I even actually used the bathroom on the way from Berlin to Amsterdam. I remember being like “Wow, how suspicious. It’s really clean in here…too clean.” There was toilet paper provided, but you should always bring your own as well. On the way from Bratislava to Budapest, someone dropped the roll…wouldn’t want to use that one.

is flixbus reliable

The Blue Church in Bratislava

  • Should I use Flixbus? 

I would use it again! Yes, two of our buses were really delayed and we had some hiccups finding some of the stops, but Flixbus buses are just that…buses. They are subjected to things outside their control like weather and traffic. If the bus is going to be late, the Flixbus app lets you know and updates itself in real time. The drivers we met were kind and helpful. The buses were clean.

For me, that makes up for it. 

If you’re looking to save some money on your next trip to Europe, I would recommend looking into Flixbus. Just prepare to be flexible

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Is flixbus reliable?

I didn’t partner with Flixbus for this review and received no compensation. All opinions, as always, are my own. 

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Looking for the best walking tours in Prague? Look no farther!

Texans love their koláče*.

So much so that I get emails like this from Texas Humor on the regular. They really do know their audience.

best kolaches in texas Growing up, road trips weren’t complete (and still aren’t) without a visit to The Czech Stop or Hruška’s.

One of the most distressing parts about going to university in Massachusetts was when I asked for a koláč at a breakfast meeting (as they are p much synonymous with donuts in my breakfast vocabulary…you can’t have one without the other) and was met with a blank stare and a “wtf are you talking about what are those?”

Side note: no wonder you damn yankees are so cranky all the time. You don’t have koláče and y’all are just now getting Chick-fil-A.

Charles Bridge in Prague

when I thought I would still get some koláče

So, when I decided to visit Prague, literally the only thing on my “must do” list was to eat some ~*authentic*~ koláče in their motherland.

I didn’t know much about the Czech Republic before going (other than two wild and crazy guys are from there), so I figured my koláče goal would be easily accomplished. But, story of my life, I got so distracted by how much I liked Prague that I forgot to get some!

Guess I’ll have to go back.

best view in prague

The Best Walking Tours in Prague

Smoky and I had about 30 hours in Prague. Just enough time to be content, but not enough to be completely satisfied. Given our limited timeframe, we didn’t want to strike out on our own and miss anything important, so we decided to go on two adventures with Discover Prague Tours.

I’d highly recommend them if you have limited time in the city, or just want an entertaining afternoon with a knowledgeable AF guide.  They’ve got free walking tours (but you still gotta tip at the end...don’t be that guy), pub crawls, bike rides, and the two we took: the World War II and Communism Tour of Prague and the Prague Castle District Tour.

World War II and Communism Tour of Prague

communist history of prague

“Unimaginable suffering, unspeakable courage, crushed dreams, and glimmers of hope: Prague tossed and turned in the 20th century’s storms, whipped up by the great powers surrounding it. This tour sheds light on the dark times and their defeat.”

We had Tate as our guide. Easy enough to remember his name since he’s an Idaho native and (allegedly) his parents decided to name their son after the state’s claim to fame. I was honestly glad I met him, because I had never actually met anyone from Idaho before and was beginning to doubt that it really exsisted. I mean…think about it. Have YOU ever met anyone from Idaho?

best walking tours in Prague This is one of the best walking tours in Prague because it’s a crash course in Czech history. American education likes to pretend that WWII started on December 7, 1941, so going into this I had no idea how important Czechoslovakia was to the conflict (hello Sudetenland and Czech manufacturing) and just how overall wild things had been over there for the last 100 years or so.

One of the most intense moments was at the end of the tour when Tate reminded our group of all the regime changes the area has survived in recent history. And you learn about all of them.

walking tour dancing building prague

why does this building look like someone tickled its neck

Basically, the first half of the tour feels like Tate (or whoever your guide happens to be, but try to get Tate) is walking you through this Wikipedia article, except it’s a lot more exciting than sitting at home down a Wikipedia rabbit trail (which is the only other reason I can think of that you’d be reading about the German occupation of Czechoslovakia) because you’re actually walking where it happened.

prague facism

my two fave things to do tbh

riding the tram in Prague

me too

The second half covers things like the Prague Spring and Velvet Revolution. Again, feel free to read up about the events and walk around Prague on your own time, but it’s not going to be nearly as fun as going on this tour.

Prague Castle District Tour 

prague castle tour

“See the world’s largest medieval castle and Hradcany, Prague’s famous castle district. Enjoy the most spectacular Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque architecture the city has to offer.”

We had Givi as our guide. The man, the myth, the legend. One of the first things he did was take off the yellow vest the guides wear so you can find them easily because he didn’t want to lose his street cred. We knew we were in for a great time.

best walking tours in prague

I low-key wanted to take a photo with the statue…but no one else in my group did, so I had to act like I didn’t want to either.

Unlike the WWII and Communism tour, the Castle District Tour is more location-based. Instead of walking and learning general history, you learn the specific history of

  • Places to avoid in Prague (like the Charles Bridge…”Don’t go there guys. It’s the most annoying place in Prague.”).
  • Monasteries (like the Strahov Monastery, which idk about you guys, but looks like it’s realllly just asking to be burned down).
  • Why the Czechs have hella beef with the Swedes.
  • What a defenestration is and why Prague has so freaking many of them.

pretty buildings prague

Charles Bridge Prague Crowded

At Charles Bridge…whoops.

Bonus: I’m unsure if every tour has a “modern politics of Prague” sharing circle, but Givi took the time to fill our group in on the drunken antics of the current Czech president, how Czechs are reacting to the migrant crisis, and more. We all appreciated his honesty, got a great laugh from his sarcasm, and felt reassured that Americans aren’t the only ones constantly “wtf” ing at our elected leaders.

saint vitus cathedral prague

Saint Vitus Cathedral

This walking tour lasts about three hours, but feels like about 30 minutes because of how interesting it is. It seemed more like a elongated stand up set with some history thrown in. There’s never a lull where you’re kicking your shoe on the concrete wondering when this dang thing will be over so you can go get a koláč…which is probably why I forgot to go and get one after.

the best walking tours in prague

Still thought I was gonna get a koláč at this point. only reason I’m smiling.

We booked both of the tours about 10 minutes before they started. You can book online here if you’d like to, but don’t feel like you have to if your plans aren’t set in stone.

*Koláče is the artist formally known as kolache. You can file this under things that make me a pretentious traveler like saying Barthelona and Budapesht.

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