If it’s budget bus travel that you want, this is the very DEFINITION of what you will be getting.
As my friend and I boarded our OrangeWays service at Ljubljana bus station for our journey to Budapest, it was a little saddening to see a brand new Eurolines (which unfortunately had no services running to Budapest the day we needed to leave) counterpart bound to another destination parked in the next bay over, looking shiny and mocking us with an ad for FREE WIFI painted on the side.
The thought of free wifi being available on the seriously old bus that we were about to get on to was simply laughable. There was no identification whatsoever that it belong to Orangeways (even though when you google image Orangeways they apparently do have SOME of their own buses that are maybe used somewhere in Europe) and there was no toilet on board, something every long distance coach I’ve been on has had. The route Ljubliana to Budapest, via Zagreb was around 6 hours in total so it’s definitely not a short trip! Zagreb was the only stop the bus made as it was a pickup point essentially, but there were facilities available to use at the station here.
We had two drivers who seemed like fairly nice guys and didn’t speak a word of English, which I never expect so it doesn’t phase me. What did bother me though was that one of them felt it was perfectly fine to talk on his mobile phone for a good while, swerving into the adjacent lane while doing so. I know from experience Europeans seem to be far more cavalier when it comes to mobile phones and driving but as a professional bus driver especially this was of course was very poor judgement.
The drivers also took turns a few times over the 6 hours rather than just driving 3 hours each, which was a little odd but Europe does have kinda strange/strict laws when it comes to coach drivers, so perhaps it was to do with this.
Lastly, I’ll mention the online booking system which was SO difficult. It would only let you progress if names, dates and details were in an exact order taking me a long time to fiddle around with before I was able to buy the tickets. Even though I had selected English on the site a lot of the wording was still in Hungarian too meaning I basically just guessed what I was filling in sometimes.
A quick search online will come up with a multitude of reviews reiterating customers troubles with the Orangeways too. Overall, I would only use them if it was literally the only option between two cities or meant saving a CONSIDERABLE amount of money or time.
We paid 5990 HUF (19 EUR or 28 AUD) for our trip from Ljubliana to Budapest which is not outrageous but for that price in this area of Europe you would expect much more, especially when the likes of Student Agency or Slovaklines deliver a great deal more for often far less money.
Orangeways have services from Budapest to Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Krakow and more, including a few destinations in Romania especially.