From Riga to London by coach and train

We can travel long distances quickly and relatively cheaply, especially if it is possible to get to the destination with one of the low-cost airlines. However, sometimes, for one reason or another, you must travel by land.

The easiest way, of course, is to get into your car and drive. But not always there is such an option. Then we need to look at the opportunities offered by other means of commercial transport, for example, to travel by coach or train.
So, after spending about a month in Latvia, we boarded a coach in Riga to go to Berlin. Our final destination was London, this was only the first leg of the trip.
It must be mentioned that we were planning the trip a while in advance and had purchased tickets for all sections of the trip several months before the trip itself. This is mainly because train prices in Europe become more expensive as the departure date approaches. In the end, this helped us to save a considerable amount of money.
Fortunately, we were able to plan the trip in a way that our waiting times between getting from one transport to another were quite short – just enough to change stations or departure gates.

The first day – Riga – Warsaw

To get from Riga to Berlin, we booked the Ecolines (Estonian carrier) coach, which departs from the Riga bus station. We hadn’t travelled by bus for a long time, and we also had such a long journey by coach for the first time. The ticket price from Riga to Berlin was about 70 euros per person. Departure from Riga was scheduled for 11 am and arrival in Berlin at seven the next morning, a bit more than 21 hours with a few rather short stops on the way.
As there were not many stops planned during the trip, we took a couple of bottles of water and some food for a couple of meals. The carrier offered the opportunity to buy sandwiches, but only a few travellers used this option, most passengers had taken their food with them.
The first stop was Panevezys in Lithuania. The coach stopped there for just a few minutes. We got an opportunity to get out and stretch our legs in Vilnius, where we stopped for about fifteen to 20 minutes. There also was a similar a bit longer stop for stretching legs in Kaunas.
After departing Kaunas, we went to Mariampol, a town near Lithuanian – Polish border. When we arrived in Mariampol, it was already around sunset time. I wanted to buy something to eat, and a bottle of water, however, I only got a bottle of water. Unfortunately, there was not any takeaway option for food to buy in the bus station buffet. We stood at this stop for at least about twenty minutes, as it was possible to stretch our legs after the seven-hour journey.

The next stop was in the Polish city of Białystok after a few hours after departing Mariampol. In general, the journey at this stage was the most difficult, because it was raining outside, it was dark, but I didn’t want to sleep yet. Fortunately, each seat on the bus has its TV screen and you can watch movies, the selection of those was surprisingly good.
From Białystok we headed west and arrived in Warsaw shortly after eleven in the evening. The road was much better after we left Białystok, mostly a motorway.


I must mention that when we left Riga, the war in Ukraine had started a few days before that, but we did not notice any specific changes along the way, although at some point we were less than 200 kilometres from the Ukrainian border. However, arriving at the Warsaw bus station, the feeling of the war was somewhere around.

There were police cars near the station with the emergency lights on. There was a bus serving as a mobile information point for refugees from Ukraine. Free food and other things were available at the station. All this made the feelings quite unpleasant, for the first time we felt that there was a war somewhere nearby.
This time, the bus stopped at the station for quite a while, and we left the station only around midnight while the baggage was loaded and all those who wanted to travel got on the bus. Some people even did not get tickets because the coach was full at that point. It seemed that some of the riders may have been those fleeing from Ukraine to continue their escape trip to Germany.
Then the journey by coach continued through the rest of Poland and the most sensible thing to do at this time was to sleep. The next stop was planned to only be in Berlin after about seven more hours of driving. From Berlin, we planned to immediately go to Brussels by train.