From Riga to London by coach and train

This was the second day of our trip from Riga to London. On the first day, we were travelling by Ecolines coach from Riga to Warsaw and after midnight we continued our trip to Berlin. In the morning, around 5 am, just before crossing the German border, the bus stopped at a gas station and the passengers had an opportunity to leave the bus for at least 15 minutes and stretch their legs.

We arrived at Berlin’s Am Funkturm on Masurenallee coach station almost according to the schedule. Quite a few other passengers also got off. After a short break, the bus went on to Braunschweig with its final destination in Stuttgart.


After getting off the bus, we headed to the nearest underground station Kaiserdamm (only 300 metres walk to the station) to get to Berlin Central Railway Station. The underground single journey costs 3 euros and the boarding pass must be stamped before boarding.

On the way, to the Berlin Zoo, we had to change from the U to the S line. Exiting the underground station you have to walk about 100 metres. Finally, we arrived at the train station in less than an hour and had to stay a few hours while waiting for the departure of our train to Brussels.

Train ride: Berlin – Cologne

As previously planned, in Berlin we swapped the bus to the train. Berlin welcomed us with nice and warm weather, the sun was shining in the morning, and it significantly improved our mood during the trip.

When I bought the tickets, I paid around 10 euros more to travel in 1st class. The real difference was about 7 euros because the ticket reservation fee (around 3 euros) is already included in the first-class ticket price. The ticket price was 64.5 euros per person, even cheaper than a bus ticket to Berlin. The first-class ticket paid off, as the ride was much more comfortable and quieter.

Intercity Express (ICE) trains in Germany are very comfortable and fast. After four and a half hours we were in Cologne, where we had to change to another train.

Cologne – Brussels

We were in Cologne for about 30 minutes only. We just walked out of the station and after a short time went to the platform to get on the next train.

It must be said that there was no German comfort during the last part of our journey. The train, including a first-class car, was full of people and the train itself looked thoroughly used. The good news is that there were only two hours left to get to Brussels.

Before going to London, we decided to spend the night in Brussels near Gare du Midi (south) station at the MEININGER Hotel Brussels Midi. The main reason for that was to avoid any risk of missing the Eurostar train if we arrived later than planned. In addition, late trains to London tend to have higher fares.

From the station to the hotel, it’s about a 5-minute walk, the distance is only 400 metres. There are several cafés and restaurants near the hotel. We chose the Turkish Cicek Kebab, which is another 300 metres from the hotel. Kebabs there are authentic, delicious and also relatively cheap, you can both eat in or order stuff to take away.

Another detail worth mentioning. The hotel has a bar next to the reception, and a shared kitchen at the back, as well as a place to eat or just sit at the table with a laptop. We used an opportunity to make tea and eat the kebab we took from the café for lunch on the second day.

So, our second day of travel was over. After a long journey, it was nice to take a shower to wash off the road dust and relax before the last leg of the trip to London.