Let’s take a few minutes and review Busabout, which has become a favorite mode of travel for Kiwi’s, Aussies, and Americans backpacking Europe.
But even with all their success, I am willing to wager that with the endless lines of travel companies vying for your attention that you haven’t heard of Busabout.
Luckily, I’m here to introduce you… Busabout this is my awesome audience, audience this is Busabout. (insert vigorous handshake here)
Over the last several years I’ve traveled with Busabout a few times.
I used both their hop on hop off Europe bus loops as well as their guided tours to get near places like Italy Amalfi Coast. Each trip with has left me with unforgettable memories, life long friends, and epic adventures.
By now you are probably asking yourself “But what’s so great about them? Are they a traditional tour organization? What are their advantages and disadvantages?”
We will discover this and more in the Busabout review below.
What’s Different Between Busabout and Tours?
Busabout isn’t a traditional tour where you are with the same driver, guide, and people for the entire time.
Instead, they take a “Freestyle Travel” approach. This means you can hop on or off there network of buses whenever you want. For example say you arrive in Rome where you are planning on spending three days learning all the facts about Rome, and seeing the city. But soon realize that’s not enough time in the eternal city.
With Busabout staying longer isn’t an issue. When you are ready to leave just hop on their next bus out of town. You have no one standing over your shoulder hurrying you along.
After all, it’s your trip, and therefore where you want to spend your time is your choice.
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The routes are a big draw for a lot of backpackers doing a whirlwind tour of Europe. Busabout visits an impressive 38 cities from stunning capitals like Paris to charming towns like Lake Bled.
Their current 2019 routes and cities include Bruges, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Lake Bled, Ljubljana, Munich, Bologna, Venice, Orvieto, Rome, Siena, Florence (And there are some amazing things to do in Florence Italy), La Spezia, Lake Como, Lauterbrunnen, Lucerne, Grunau, Salzburg, Bratislava, Vienna, Krakow, Zakopane, Budapest, Zagreb, Split, Zadar, Ellmau, Stuttgart, Bern, Milan, Avignon, Nice, Barcelona, Bordeaux, San Sebastian,
If a city you’re dying to explore isn’t on one of their routes, don’t stress. You can go your own way anytime and catch back up with the bus in a different city.
Some of you might see this as a drawback when compared to services like Eurail that gives you the freedom to go anywhere at any time.
Although, if you are traveling Europe for a few weeks to a couple of months Busabout can take you to most of the famous cities and sights around Europe stress-free. But the tradeoff is that it is harder to get off the beaten path.
Busbaout Hop on Hop Off Europe Passes
They offer a bunch of passes at different price points but here is a quick overview of three of my favorite.
1 and 2 Week Pass – In all honesty, this probably won’t save you too much money compared to you traveling yourself. However, it will surround you with like-minded travelers and lift a lot of the stress from your shoulders.
2 Month pass – This offers great value for the money. If you move fast enough you can cover most of the cities; however, I would suggest moving slower and taking your time.
Unlimited Pass- Just slightly more than the 2-month ticket this is without a doubt the best value for your money. With this in your back pocket, you have unlimited travel with Busabout for 6 months. (from May-Oct)
Strengths of Busabout
Hostel Drop Off – A major perk of the hop off-network is that they drop you off at a hostel doorstep. Imagine not lugging your bags miles through a city just to get to your bed! If you booked a different hostel the guides can help give you directions. Personally, I think the hostels they work with are awesome and most of them offer free walking tours.
You can book the hostels at the drop off points through Busabout’s website, app, or hostelworld ( If you are a savvy traveler and want to compare prices).
In peak season I suggest booking hostels a week or two in advance, to secure your bed, but booking too far in advance will limit your freedom.
The People – Busabout’s biggest strength is Eurail’s biggest weakness, people. Everyone is headed in the same direction, most likely the same cities, and working in a similar time frame. Often you will run into the same people multiple times, and each happy reunion is greeted with hugs and parties. It feels like you haven’t seen each other in weeks, although its probably only been a few days.
Making close friends is easy when you’re on the buses together and staying in the same hostels. While exploring the cities you’ll end up doing city (Like the Urban Adventures we tall about in our Intrepid tours review) having hazy nights out, and wild adventures together.
The Busabout experience creates an atmosphere for building close bonds with your fellow travelers. This makes them a great choice for solo, female, or new travelers. I still talk to people I met on Busabout years ago.
The Staff – Busabout also has one of the most helpful staffs I’ve ever encountered. They’re friendly, helpful, and love their jobs. They give you advice, let you know about local hotspots, and teach you some basic phrases in the countries language.
Weaknesses of Busabout
One Way – Most of the routes are one way which means you can’t double back. For example, you can travel from Berlin to Prague, not vice versa. But I’ve never had a problem planning my travels to correspond with their routes.
Wifi – The Busabout buses have wifi, but it doesn’t work half the time. We live in the age where many public trains and buses in Europe have working wifi, so Busabout needs to up their game.
That being said I haven’t traveled with Busabout for a while so maybe they have already fixed the wifi problem.
HOw Much Does Busabout Cost?
How Much Does It cost to Travel Europe for a month
Awesome Resources Before Traveling Europe
INsider Guide to Backpacking Europe
Walks of Italy Review
Now I bet some of you are saying, “ Wow, I mean, these passes sound great, but I bet they aren’t affordable for a budget backpacker like me.”
Well then, let’s get down to brass tax and talk about the passes and prices.
1 Week Pass –$229
2 Week Pass –$439
1 Month Pass –$829
2 Month Pass-$1019
Unlimited Pass-$1189(Unlimited travel between May-Oct 2019)
If you have a lot of time, anything over two months, the unlimited pass holds the best value.I find it mind blowing that for just over $1,100 you get six months of nonstop travel through 16 countries and 38 different cities in Europe.That’s enough time to take a couple of month trip, go home, save more, and take another trip using the same pass!
The passes are a little more expensive than a Eurail, another way I love to travel to Europe.
However, with Busbaout there are no reservation fees(which can add up quick with Eurail), so it probably equals to around the same price in the longer run. Plus, the longest Eurail pass is only three months.
Is Busabout Worth It?
Well, that depends on how you like to travel. If you don’t mind knowing where you are heading in advance, then Busabout is a great option. If you want to wake up, hop on a train at a whim and head to an unknown destination that you should check out my Eurail Review.
Busabout is also a fantastic option if you are backpacking Europe solo, new to travel, or looking for a relaxing holiday that doesn’t take to much planning.
They focus on keeping all the good things about a tour while disguarding the bad ones.
I can’t help but smile when I look back at my time on their hop on and off-network and Sail Croatia tour. The friends I made all over the world have stuck with me, the adventures were beyond epic, and the places I visited are some of the best in Europe.
Have you used them at all? Then leave your experience in the comments below! After reading this Busabout review what do you think, would you like to travel with them?