Sunday, October 19, 2014

Onnibus: the low-cost bus company

Photo: Onnibus

Travelling in Finland is not always cheap, especially when you don't know all the tricks. The bus company Onnibus (the luck bus in Finnish) is quite new on the market, offering trips starting from 1€ to many cities in Finland. Like for its equivalent for airlines, EasyJet, the principle of Onnibus is: book early and save a lot of money. Sounds interesting. AmazingFinland decided to give it a try for a trip Helsinki-Kuopio-Helsinki. The tickets were easily booked on their website 8 days before the departure. The page works perfectly and is very easy to use. The mobile website also works well. We got the tickets Helsinki-Kuopio for only 8€ per person. As a comparison, it would cost over 65€ with a traditional bus company or by train (without any special offer). The price was very affordable, mainly because we chose to depart at 11:30pm. For the way back, we paid 30€ with a departure at 11:15am. It was still very reasonable. But very often when something is cheap, it's of bad quality. Will we be disappointed?

The night trip to Kuopio

The journey to the city of Kuopio started in Helsinki, near the contemporary art museum Kiasma at 11:30pm on Friday September 19th, 2014. A little crowd composed by students, young adults and elderly was peacefully waiting for the bus that arrived 10 minutes before the departure. For the first time ever, we'll travel by night and in a bus for 383km. The brand new 2-floor bus has very comfortable red leather seats and electricity plugs under each seat. It is very practical for recharging your phone. The bus also has a restroom. On the way, the bus stopped at Heinola, Mikkeli and Varkaus before reaching the destination. Every stop was announced 5 minutes before arriving. The 2 drivers were very good. The driving was smooth. What we didn't like was the cold air conditioning. We were almost freezing and hardly slept during the trip. As there was no traffic on the highway, the bus arrived 25 minutes ahead of the schedule at 4:35am. We were exhausted.

Tips: if you are traveling by night, take a sleeping mask with you. There are lights in the bus and on the highway. A pillow might also help you to fall asleep more easily and avoid any stiff neck in the morning.

Day trip through the lakeland region

When the bus arrived, we were disappointed. It was a traditional passenger bus, not the 2-floor bus. The return trip was one hour longer as it was going through Jyväskylä, and we had to change bus in that city. There is no highway between Kuopio and Jyväskylä. Just a fast road with breathtaking landscapes: thousands of lakes and islands covered by yellow and orange trees. Once again, no 2-floor bus in Jyväskylä for the last part of the trip. We had a 30 minutes break. it was enough for a small walk, going to bathroom or grabbing something to eat at the railway station. Both busses were silent and comfortable. Like on the way to Kuopio, the air conditioning was too cold. We arrived in Helsinki approximately 10 minutes earlier than expected.

Despite the fact that I couldn't sleep at all and my friend just a little in the night bus, we recommend Onnibus. They offer almost unbeatable deals for traveling long distances, have good drivers and very comfortable busses.

No time for booking? There is always a salesperson next to the bus stop where you can purchase a ticket as long as there are seats available. Payment by credit card only!

On this blog, you'll find plenty of articles helping you to save money. Don't forget to like us on Facebook as some of the limited offers are only posted there.

Onnibus website

1 comment:

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