Most people don’t associate bus rides with comfort or relaxation, but at least in the Baltic region, Lux Express may be changing that. This Estonian company has taken bus travel to the next level with benefits that make you look forward to spending a few hours of your time using its services.
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While Lux Express offers a variety of domestic and international routes, some of the most popular are between Vilnius-Riga and Riga-Tallinn. With each ride taking about four hours on sleek, clean buses, you’ll spend the same amount of time as you would if you were to fly to the neighboring capital city without the hassle of security checks or waiting in line. And you’ve got much more legroom! Lux Express is also an excellent option for budget travelers—tickets from, Riga to Vilnius can be purchased for 20 EUR or less, and a ticket from Vilnius to Warsaw can be booked for around the same amount.
What can you expect from Lux Express? Each seat on a Lux Express bus is adjustable—recline or widen the space between your seat and your window-side companion’s—and is equipped with a video screen. A power outlet is situated between every pair of seats so you can charge your devices. Each bus has an on-board restroom and a machine for hot drinks—tea and coffee are complimentary. Passengers are able to purchase a bottle of water (as well as pillow, blanket, or headphones) or upgrade to Lux Express Lounge, which offers even more ability to spread out. On top of that, free Wi-Fi is available throughout the trip.
That said, some tips from experienced Lux Express customers can come in handy if you want to make the most of the bus company’s benefits.
Discounts and PINS Card
In addition to running sales, where tickets can be purchased at a reduced price, Lux Express offers discounts for certain passengers, such as children, students, and seniors. For regular customers, the PINS card—a discount card valid for a variety of companies, including Air Baltic—allows you to accumulate points for higher discounts on the ticket price.
While tickets can be purchased on board from the driver, it’s often better to buy your ticket online in advance because buses can be full, particularly if many people are returning to their home city after a weekend away.
Whether you book in advance or buy the ticket from the driver, you should only have to have your passport to board, though many people do print out their ticket. Note that if you book a bus managed by one of Lux Express’s partners, you will have to print your ticket.
Choosing a Seat
Another advantage of booking in advance is that you can choose your seat, claiming one that will offer you the most space, a view from the window, or easy access to one of the doors if you are in a rush upon arrival. Avoid sitting near the bathroom or behind the rear door, which has slightly less leg room. If you’d like more width between you and the passenger beside you, choose the aisle seat, which can be adjusted away from the window seat.
It’s smart to take a non-messy, non-smelly snack on board, such as nuts, fresh vegetables, or a sandwich. Each seat is provided with a refuse bag so that you can dispose of apple cores, wrappers, or drink bottles.
Though taxis are readily available in the cities that Lux Express travels to, some even through taxi-booking apps, Lux Express gives you the option to book a taxi pickup on arrival. This may be a good option if you’re arriving late at night or in the colder season or if you’re unfamiliar with your destination city.
If you’re traveling around Europe, you may be stuck in the mindset that flying is the most convenient, time-efficient way to get around, but for certain routes, bus lines may be the better, more affordable option. Lux Express ranges as far afield as St. Petersburg and Helsinki and stops at many cities and towns in Estonia and the capitals of other countries.
This post isn’t a mindless plug for Lux Express. I honestly use it and love it as a travel option. Have I had any bad experiences with this bus service? Not personally, but on one route from Vilnius to Riga that stopped at Riga Airport first a problem with the traffic or the bus (I don’t remember which) meant that those who had booked flights were in danger of missing them. We were already near enough to Riga that those passengers were able to call taxis—the bus driver unloaded their luggage and they were on their way.