The market of bus tours abroad showed 70% growth

How to choose a bus tour of Europe

Buses are one of the cheapest ways to travel. And if you choose the right tickets, then it will also be as convenient as possible - with blankets, hot drinks and wi-fi.

Let's start with metasearch engines (these are Aviasales of the bus world):

Busfor is an online service that connects carriers and passengers. Works for the countries of the post-Soviet space and Europe. Although Busfor are not carriers, they have several branded flights (among them Moscow - St. Petersburg, the first four tickets for 100 rubles) and frequent sales.

CheckMyBus is a metasearch engine with a huge database in Europe (including Russia) and the USA.

BusRadar - finds buses in familiar European countries (from Great Britain to the Balkans), as well as in Russia and Ukraine.

BusBud - in the database - 10 thousand cities and 63 countries, Central Europe and the United States are most represented.

Bus companies linking countries and regions. Sometimes low-cost, sometimes not very:

Countries where Eurolines operates


One of the largest bus carriers in Europe. The company's policy is aimed at not creating competition with local carriers, so flights are exclusively from one country to another (with the exception of Spain, for example, the Madrid - Barcelona flight).

Lifehack: the Eurolines Pass function is available - for 195 euros you get an unlimited ticket for 15 days and the ability to travel through the network from 53 cities.

Outbound bus tourism sank seriously in 2015-16, but this year this type of organized tourism is growing again. "Vestnik ATOR" found out how this market is developing and how trends are changing in the market of bus tours abroad.


“The revival of the outbound tourism market this year also affected the segment of bus tours, so the audience's interest in such travel is higher than last year,” says Irina Mashtakova, Marketing Director of Ankor Company. However, according to her, despite the increase in demand and sales volumes, the market still did not reach the pre-crisis level, since bus tours are more related to the budget segment, and the audience focused on it has suffered the most from the economic crisis.

Natalia Tverdysheva, director of tourism at OST-WEST Tourist Center, agrees with this opinion. She focuses on the fact that demand grew especially actively in the spring, when the euro exchange rate was most favorable. According to her, people today save more on sightseeing tours than on a beach or children's vacation, and in this regard, the bus tours market is still far from reaching the pre-crisis level.

In the summer season of 2017, a 70% increase in demand for bus tours abroad was recorded compared to last year's figures

According to general estimates, during the years of the crisis, the market for bus tours has fallen in volume by almost half. As for the dynamics of the return of former indicators this year, the tour operator "TourTransVoyage" provides the following statistics: in the summer season of 2017, a 70% increase in demand for bus tours abroad was recorded compared to last year's indicators. At the same time, according to the company, about 30% is not enough to return to the volumes of the pre-crisis period.

“The dynamics of demand this year is pleasing. People missed Europe, and the euro fell. Many people want to “switch”, and bus tours are a great opportunity for this, ”says Elena Popova, General Director of the“ Old City ”company.


As for the forecasts for the coming season, all surveyed tour operators of outbound bus tourism expect a good load for autumn and winter. According to Ms Mashtakova, the forecast for autumn for bus tours remains within the overall positive trend. However, several different factors can interfere with good sales - from a possible rise in the euro exchange rate to political and economic turmoil.

Event bus tours to Europe are popular in autumn - for Oktoberfest or the holiday of young Beaujolais

In "TourTransVoyage", in turn, they talk about almost full load of their own autumn bus tours, especially timed to coincide with significant events such as Oktoberfest in Germany or the holiday of young Beaujolais in France. There are still places for classic excursion routes with a visit to several European countries, but here, too, there is a good depth of sales and a rather high demand compared to last year, they say in the company.


If you are making plans for the implementation of tourist trips by bus in the cities of our country or in the near abroad, you should know how to choose the right transport. Driving comfort is a mandatory selection criterion today. Fortunately, representatives of both domestic and foreign car industry offer cars that meet the latest requirements.

Bus Classes

Transport for tourist trips can have three versions:

  • one-story ;
  • two-story ;
  • one-and-a-half story.

The latter option is more often in demand in Russia: the driver's cabin is located below the cabin level, and a spacious luggage compartment is organized below. One-story and two-story options are more suitable for short trips when tourists do not plan to take a lot of things with them.

To a large extent, the price of a bus depends on its comfort class. It is marked with a special sign (*). The higher the comfort of the vehicle, the more "stars":

  • One Star is the first category. They are designed for city and suburban travel.
  • Second category. Buses marked with two "asterisks" are intended for travel around Russia and the nearest foreign countries.
  • The third and fourth categories are more comfortable. They will be an excellent option for organizing long-distance travel.
  • Suite. Five-star buses are almost hotel-level comfort. Here is the kitchen, hot and cold drinks, wardrobe. A special information board has been organized, which displays information about the trip. The seats in such a cabin are particularly comfortable, and the noise level is minimized as much as possible.

Before choosing which bus to buy for tourist trips, you should decide on the distance of the route. To visit the nearest cities it is not necessary to choose cars of the third and fourth classes - this is not justified. But for long-distance routes, you should not buy vehicles of the first and second categories, since it is not intended for long distances.

Foreign models

  • MAN;
  • Mercedes Benz;
  • Scania;
  • Setra;
  • King Long.

Foreign samples are in high demand among travel companies in Russia. At dealers you can find models of different cost and class of comfort.

Sightseeing bus tours in Europe have been around for many years, their routes are diverse and well-developed. Nevertheless, many still either do not know about this travel format, or cannot decide on it in any way. How to choose a bus tour in Europe and why is it worth going on?

What is a bus tour and why it is worth going on it

A bus tour is often not a purely "bus" tour, it combines several types of transport: bus, train, ferry, plane. This is done, firstly, so that the road is as short and comfortable as possible, and, secondly, so that tourists from different cities and even countries can join the route.

Nevertheless, most of the journey has to be shuffled on the bus. Of course, the main transport is not old and shabby "Ikarus", but comfortable tourist buses that meet certain parameters: they must be equipped with air conditioning, a dry closet and a sink, comfortable chairs with a sufficient angle of deflection, shelves, and often also a coffee machine and PC on each footprint.

Perhaps the main advantage of a bus sightseeing tour is its richness. All tours are organized in such a way as to visit as many interesting places as possible: you can visit 5 different countries in a week! In addition, you do not need to think over the route yourself, you can choose one of those offered by agencies, or even order a personal one.

It will also be a plus that throughout the trip the group is accompanied by a guide who organizes not only the excursion program, but also coordinates the tourists and helps them in everything. In fact, it will not work out very well on such a trip, but how many impressions there will be, especially when you consider that travelers will have the opportunity to observe how landscapes, cities and countries change.

Another tangible advantage of sightseeing tours is their cost: as a rule, it is twice or even three times lower than in the case of a classic travel with flights and overnight stays in hotels. The most affordable prices, of course, are for tours with night crossings, since in this case you do not need to pay for a hotel. Night journeys are usually 1 or 2, and the cost of a "night" tour with an average of 50-60 euros, which, thanks to this, at the next point of the route will have more time.

Of course, bus tours also have their drawbacks. The main thing, as in other types of travel, is that it is a road, and the road is unpredictable, which means that there may be accidents, repairs, traffic jams, bad weather conditions, etc., which entails inconsistencies, delays, which you need to be ready.

Variety of destinations

Bus tour programs are incredibly diverse, and not only in breadth, that is, in different countries, but also inland of a particular country.

One of the more active areas can be considered a tour of Italy, going to which you can visit an impressive list of cities: Venice, Naples, Verona, Pompeii, Pisa and, of course, Rome and the Vatican. Some tour operators focus on small towns and villages in their itineraries, if they are anything remarkable, for example, a route through Italy may include a visit to the miniature town of Alberobello, famous for its "gnome estates" - traditional Italian trulli houses. Or the capital of one of the regions - Bari, which is also considered the southern cultural capital of Italy. The main attraction of this small town is the Basilica of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, where the relics of the saint are kept.

Other pillars of sightseeing bus tours are France, Czech Republic and Germany. Other destinations appear every year, for example, Montenegro, Denmark, Slovenia, Portugal or even tours in Israel, Thailand and Cambodia. Increasingly, tours are becoming combined in terms of recreation, that is, they include not only a cultural and entertainment program, but also beach or health recreation, as well as shopping, for which the tour takes several days.

For some, traveling by bus is a dream and a long-awaited trip, while for other travelers, it's just another painful journey. However, be that as it may, it is often the buses that help us out with their many regular flights and saving travel time. Therefore, bus transfers do not lose their popularity, and for many a bus tour is an excellent opportunity to see new countries and cities, having received a large amount of experience in a relatively short time period.

What can you do to ensure that your trip is not overshadowed by a difficult journey, how to choose the right seat on the bus, clothes, food, and what to do to keep your body running smoothly in extreme conditions?

Choosing the right clothes for the trip

Your comfort primarily depends on yourself. The choice of clothing may seem like a minor issue, but it is only at first glance. Choosing the wrong clothes - you yourself will create trouble for yourself on the road. Therefore, remember the following reminders.

You will be sitting most of the time, so make sure that the chosen clothing does not squeeze you, pinch your joints or float. Also, the areas of your body that you touch the seat should be covered. Bare back, shoulders and neck can be irritating, because it is difficult to vouch for the cleanliness of the bus interior.

This is especially true when traveling through mountainous areas. Some buses provide blankets for their passengers, but this service is not available everywhere, so you should take care of this in advance.

Shoes that keep you comfortable on the go

When thinking about which shoes to wear on the road, choose one that you will not feel on your feet. Try to wear natural and breathable shoes with a comfortable insole. Many people use orthopedic shoes and insoles. The antibacterial and breathable insoles will also keep your feet comfortable.

Get healthy sleep

Even on the road, you can get a good night's sleep if you properly prepare for bed. It would seem that a night on the bus cannot give you a healthy sleep, but it is not. The first step is to ensure that your body and head are in the correct position. If you do not take with you an inflatable pillow under your neck or another analogue, then your head in a dream will constantly dangle from side to side, you will bang your head against the glass or completely fall asleep on the shoulder of a fellow traveler. All this clearly will not give you pleasant sensations, and besides, it will deprive you of the opportunity to sleep.

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