Review: Flixbus (Intercity Bus Service)

The Flixbus intercity bus service (and also pan-European service) is the biggest bus service in Europe. Click here to read more about the different intercity bus services in France. Thanks to the many and extended strikes (and often very bad service) of the French railroads, SNCF, we were forced to take the bus from Paris to Le Havre.

And boy were we ever surprised!!!! The bus service is so much better than the railroads at the best of their service (but then the SNCF’s service levels are usually at the worst level, so even a donkey transportation service would be immensely better).

Flixbus European bus destinations map
Flixbus European bus destinations map

Flixbus has different destinations into and from Paris to Le Havre; La Defense, Clichy, Charles de Gaulle airport and Bercy, but obviously they are not limited to only Le Havre: – they go to almost every city in France. We decided to take the La Defense (Paris business district) to Le Havre route. In La Defense, there is a rather large underground bus terminal with a lot of local buses and a gate for Flixbus (and the other long distance operator; SNCF’s OuiBus).


Flixbus Logo

Reservations can be made on the internet, but the best way is using their excellent smartphone app (iPhone or Android). It’s simple to use and you carry a lot of information with you on the phone when making the booking. It uses the iPhone Wallet (or the Google Android equivalent) to store your ticket, and on the app you can see where your bus is physically (great for people who are expecting you, so they can see where you are).

Flixbus iPhone app
Flixbus iPhone app

Several European cities also have a “bus shop” where you can physically go and reserve your journey. Click here to discover the cities where you can buy your ticket. You can also book your tickets via a travel agent.


Prices vary. The price will depend on when you book your trip; the more days in advance, the cheaper it will be, and it will also depend on how many people are booking the specific bus route for that day. Prices can double, even triple if you book the last seat a few hours before departure. Book it a month before departure, and you’ll get the lowest price available.


Flixbus supply you with plenty of information, and not only on the app. You can receive an email an hour or two before the bus leaves telling you how the traffic situation is (which you can also see in the app), and 5 minutes before the bus arrives, you can get an email saying that the bus is almost there and to get ready.


The bus driver will be standing outside the door scanning boarding passes (electronic or paper) and will help you place your suitcases in the hold. You get one suitcase of up to 20 kg for free (just like most airlines). Anymore and you’ll need to pay extra.

There’s no seat reservations, so go wherever you want to go.

TIP: The seat overlooking the emergency exit/toilet has by far the most leg room.


The seats are quite comfortable (for the 2 hours, 20 minutes journey we took), and the emergency exit seats have enough space for a large person like me (1m95) to be able to cross my legs with no problem. The other seats have less space but much more than a regular city bus service.



All the buses are equipped with free Wifi. Obviously the speed will depend on the 4G/3G network the bus is hooked up to at that moment, so if you are travelling through a bad reception area, your internet speed will drop significantly or even die altogether. But when it’s hooked up to a 4G station, it’s very fast.


There is a toilet onboard, located alongside the emergency/second exit

TV Monitor

The bus has several TV monitors in the ceiling allowing you to see where you are at that moment in your journey. And like with airplanes, there are announcements using the TV (no, no oxygen masks or life vest demonstrations).

Flixbus interior, TV screens and toilet
Flixbus interior, TV screens and toilet

USB Chargers

Almost every seat has a USB charging port for two devices. They are not always in obvious places, but search and you will find tem. Handy to charge your phone or laptop.

Flixbus interior, USB charging plug
Flixbus interior, USB charging plug


There is the ability to buy snacks and drinks, but I did not spot where. I guess you’ll need to ask the driver who has them stored somewhere.

The Future

The future is electric. Flixbus have already started the first destination using an all-electric bus (Paris to Amiens). The driver said that passengers LOVE the electric bus since it makes no noise and there are no vibrations.

Flixbus also now offer a train service in Germany. Who knows, maybe that is part of the European future. If their train service is better than the national rail, why not?


The journey was very uneventful. Our driver was very nice and friendly (plus meeting another driver from another Flixbus confirmed the friendliness, he was very helpful and friendly).

The bus arrived at our destination 10 minutes in advance of the schedule (unheard-off with the SNCF train) and we were quite rested.

So if you need to travel in France, and you are not driving, don’t limit your search to trains and airplanes; have a look at the bus services as well. It could be very interesting and definitely cheaper.

Click here to access the Flixbus website and see for yourself.

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