- WHERE TO STAY
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Long distance scheduled coaches within France are rare, as the excellent railways dominate all inter-city travel. But if you are travelling from outside France, you can still take advantage of regular coach services.
The main advantage of this type of travel is of course price - long distance buses are by far the cheapest option for travel around Europe, but you have to have plenty of time as they are also by fat the slowest option.
So for those where low cost is a priority this may be your preferred option. French cities serviced from Paris include Lyon, Dijon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Chamonix.
As of 2020, Eurolines (who previously dominated the market) are no more. They have been bought out by the German company, FlixBus.
2024 update: National Express buses are currently unavailable to Europe. It is hoped that they will be come available towards the end of the year. FlixBus remain your only real alternative.
There is a wide disparity in the coaches used. The coaches on the London run are the latest luxury models with on-board toilet, reclining seats, free Wi-Fi and air-conditioning as standard. Services to places like Eastern Europe may be more basic.
Paris Gallieni bus station is the Paris hub where all FlixBus services terminate in Paris. Gallieni is located in Bagnolet in the east of Paris. National Express services terminate at Bercy Seine Bus Station.
Paris Gallieni bus station is a purpose built facility above Gallieni Metro station (terminus at end of line 3) in a shopping centre complex that also includes a budget hotel and supermarket. Everything you need for the budget minded traveller.
Gallieni coach station though basic is quite spacious with large waiting areas, toilets, snacks and a ticket hall.
If you are on a budget then Gallieni could be a very convenient and cheap place to base yourself in Paris.
There are three budget chain hotels within 50 yards of the Metro/coach station complex. The Campanile is part of the shopping centre complex of which the coach station and metro station form part. A Mister Bed City Hotel is next door and an Ibis next to that.
With the Metro offering a cheap convenient Paris transport, a large supermarket and many budget restaurants in the vicinity, it's the benchmark to beat if your budget is challenging in what can be an expensive city.
Downside to staying here is that it's a scruffy district which some may find intimidating, especially after dark. Not a district most visitors would want to loiter, though staying at the 3 budget hotels listed above you'll probably only walk the short distance directly into the shopping centre and metro station.
Cheapest prices from London to Paris
• Book in advance and save even more • Travel in a luxury coach with free Wi-Fi • The cheapest way to get to Paris
FlixBus are a fast expanding German-based company who bought Eurolines. With cheap fares, modern coaches with free Wi-Fi and an online ticketing model, this is another option for visitors to Paris with one eye on the wallet.
Nearly all passengers book online using e-tickets as fares are much cheaper. If seats are available you can pay the driver at the full ticket price without any discount.
You may take one piece of hand luggage and two pieces of baggage with you on your journey. Hand luggage is one piece of luggage that does not exceed the measurements of 42 x 30 x 18cm and a maximum weight of 7kg, all valuables should be carried as hand luggage. Normal baggage is limited to two pieces of baggage with each piece with measurements of no more than 67 x 50 x 27cm. Each person can take a maximum of 30kg on board.
Smoking on board buses is not permitted, electronic cigarettes are also forbidden.
After booking your ticket you are guaranteed a seat on board the bus. However, you cannot reserve a particular seat in advance.
There are no fare concessions for seniors. Children travel at a reduced fare, (children under 15).
It is possible to change and cancel bookings in advance.
When booking online you will get your e-ticket immediately by email. The seats on the ticket are reserved so you are assured of a seat, but individual seat number reservations are not allowed.
Cheapest prices from London to Paris
• Large bus network • Comfortable buses with toilets • Free Wi-Fi • Snacks for sale onboard • Carbon efficient coaches