On Thursday night I went with Ecolines Warsaw to Berlin long-distance bus. I started my trip at Dworzec Zachodni‘s (Warsaw West Station) bus station.
I went with Ecolines, bus starting from Riga, having just mid-way stops in Warsaw and Berlin. I bought the tickets on the same day, in Aura’s agency shop at Dworzec Zachodni. One person ticket was 73 zł (around 18 euro). Communication with Ecolines personnel was in English; they didn’t know Polish – I heard English, Russian and German. Aura seller informed me that there would be a stewardess pointing to your bus and seats as several buses will arrive.
I don’t exactly remember how long, but the bus was late. We didn’t start off at 23:30 (Warsaw time). At the same time, 4 Ecolines buses were going to Berlin (some were late to arrive). Every time a coach came you had to go to the stewardess and check if this is the correct bus. I hit the right bus on the third try. There were some problems with passengers buying tickets on the same day and not being on the list of passengers (solved after a call), but that was not my case.
The ticket had: platform 10 or 11, so yes, you had to go to those platforms to look if that bus is yours.
The bus was a double-decker, and I was sitting at the top (it was a pleasant ride). When the stewardess was checking the identity (tickets + ID), I was informed of a change of seat number, from the very back to some other in the back. I didn’t get a reason for the change.
The seat was quite comfortable. The shelf for luggage wasn’t too high, so don’t pack your carry-on tightly. I did manage to stuff my backpack there, after a minute. 😉
A blanket was free, for headphones you had to pay 1 euro. I didn’t buy any food/drinks, tho they were available.
Every seat had the entertainment tablet with music, games, film, route map (not working in Germany) and TOS. Despite some movies having descriptions as English-language, and with subtitles in several languages, the films I watched, were in Russian or had no subtitles. The film selection was a mix of old and new. I didn’t use wi-fi (but it was possible, when in Poland).
On the road from Warsaw to Berlin, there was just one stop, several km from Poland/Germany border, on a gas station. Passengers had 15 mins to use the shop, toilet, 24h exchange office or smoke.
The bus arrived at Berlin Central Bus Station (Zentraler Omnibusbahnhof, ZOB) several minutes before scheduled time. As it was going further, the passengers had ten mins break.
That was the end of the trip and the start of my hectic (non-sightseeing) first visit to Berlin.