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As well as the usual options of Fly, Train (Eurostar), or drive/train + ferry + drive/train, there are now two coach operators running quite a few services between London and Paris. Eurolines have been running for quite some time, and there's the new IDBus which is currently advertising pretty heavily in London and Paris.

How do they compare though? I guess the main comparison points of interest would be:

  • Price - both lowest, and variability
  • Travel time
  • Frequency of departures
  • Comfort of seats
  • Wifi, power etc
  • Onward connection possibilities
  • luggage restrictions

(IDBus has to win though on "which bus company provides free wifi to parts of Lille Europe station while dropping off and picking up passengers", which I found handy earlier!)

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I have used Eurolines for the last 10 years. Since I have tried IDBUS I only travel with IDBUS; more comfortable, one can book his/her seat on line, CLEANER and above all no rude coach drivers. Indeed, IDBUS staff are friendly. Let's hope it will continue like this. –  user8336 Sep 7 '13 at 15:17
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Only problem is see with IDBUS is they do not have any stops close to ASHFORD or FOLKESTONE. You are stuck with the bus until London even if you would like to get down once you hit UK. It will be very useful if they offer a drop-off and pick-up point close to M20 Service station near FOLKESTONE or ASHFORD. Will not cause them delays more than 5 extra minutes. –  user8552 Sep 26 '13 at 12:30
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1 Answer

up vote 7 down vote accepted

iDBUS looks more comfortable than Eurolines as it is advertised. You can view pictures and videos of the bus features by searching on YouTube.

iDBUS fares, in the absolute, are slightly higher than Eurolines ones and remain the same for every seat of the same bus i.e. they will not vary as the bus is filling up. You can find them on the iDBUS website.

Examples of iDBUS comfort features:

  • Wi-Fi
  • Power outlets
  • Longer distance between seats, meaning more legroom
  • It is possible to move an aisle seat sideways towards the aisle so that there is less elbow fight with the window seat passenger.

iDBUS pickup and drop-off point is the Bercy railway station in Paris. A metro station is present and the Lyon station is close, from which all the high-speed trains serving southeast France depart.

Eurolines use its coach terminal on the east side of Paris, stuck to the belt freeway and one of the freeways that goes north. It is further away from the city centre and a metro station is available too. The fact that the station is directly located on the freeways makes that the bus does not need extra time to run in city streets.

There is also a third option, Megabus: can be very cheap, starting at £1, although there may be only few seats at this price. The Paris drop-off point is Porte Maillot. There is a metro station in the area. Pickup is done at a minimal bus stop on the street.

Note that Paris to London is a very long trip when done by bus. There is extra time needed to board a ferry and cross the Channel. For instance, iDBUS offers a night trip, departing in the evening and arriving in the morning. According to their Q/A, though, most iDBUSes cross through the tunnel, which is faster.

I would strongly advise you to take Eurostar if you catch fares that are suitable for your budget.

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some useful tips: there seems to be only one ticket machine at the metro station near Eurolines terminal: expect a long line to buy tickets. For crossing the channel by ferry with Eurolines: I took the bus towards Paris so it was probably worse than the other way, but the ferry time destroys your sleeping time (in my case boarding at midnight (UK time) and finally leaving the ferry at 4am (French time), which allows 3 naps ). So even though I'd recommend taking Eurostar if possible, the budget difference seems huge. –  Vince Nov 14 '12 at 13:08
    
Do they require passengers off the bus during the ferry boarding/crossing or not? –  DavLink Nov 14 '12 at 17:57
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Yes they do. And people run to get the more comfortable seats on the ferry, to sleep in. And few seats are comfortable (at least on the ferry I got) so in the end you just stay awake. Good point though, they sell food and hot drinks on the ferry (expensive and I don't remember the currency) –  Vince Nov 14 '12 at 18:33
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protected by Ankur Banerjee Sep 26 '13 at 12:45

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