National bus network in Switzerland
Within Switzerland bus is not commonly used as a mean of transport. People mostly use trains to travel between cities. Buses only complement the railway system in Switzerland and are used to reach places which cannot be reached by train. Bus stations and train stations are usually situated one next to another. In principle, there are few long distance buses which operate within Switzerland.
International bus connections to and from Switzerland
Unlike the national bus network in Switzerland, international network works much better connecting major Swiss cities with major European cities. Thus, there are bus connections to France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Poland, Czech, Bosnia&Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia and more. All these connections are mostly provided by one of the biggest Europe's bus companies but there are also other companies either Swiss or from other countries.
Very often, it is cheaper to travel by bus than by train/plane/car although it can take more time to get from one place to another.
On GetByBus you can buy tickets for the following international connections:
Bus service quality in Switzerland
Bus service in Switzerland is very good to excellent; almost all buses have air conditioning, especially the long distance ones; these buses usually make one or more stops along the way. The availability of wi-fi depends on the bus company and the distance travelled as well as the availability of power sockets, video and audio equipment, toilette, hot/cold drinks.
One should have no problems communicating with the drivers because they speak at least one foreign language within Switzerland or more if it's international routes.
Bus ticket prices
The prices of bus tickets depend on the carrier providing the service of transport. In certain cases bus tickets can be cheaper than train tickets. Some bus companies offer ticket discounts for particular groups of passengers like children, students, pensioners but to be sure you should ask the company you intend to travel with. The same applies for purchasing return tickets (from the same company) which in many cases are cheaper than buying two single tickets.
Bus tickets for certain routes can be bought online at getbybus.com; otherwise you can buy them at bus stations, sometimes on the bus from the driver and at ticket offices of some bus companies.
The reservation of bus tickets is generally possible but it may depend on the bus station.
For carrying luggage you will have to contact a particular bus company because their luggage policies vary. Hand luggage is normally free of charge and some companies even allow one piece of luggage for free (of determined dimensions) while more than one piece is charged according to fixed tariffs which vary between companies.
Transporting bicycles is usually not possible on long distance routes; however you can ask information on this issue from a particular carrier; sometimes it is possible if there is enough space in the luggage area of the bus.
Animal are also in general not allowed to be transported but it also depends on the carrier; sometimes it is allowed to bring small animals but within appropriate containers.