Has anyone traveled throughout Europe by bus? I came upon this website called Eurolines, it’s a coach network linking a range of European cities. The pass for a month is cheaper than a train month pass and covers all the cities I’d like to see. What are some of the drawbacks on this mode of transportation compared to trains? I would really appreciate anyone’s advice on the matter.
Eurolines buses vary from country to country as they're run by different regional operators, but generally they're of a pretty high standard. In Europe most train travel is fast and very comfortable, so you'd be sacrificing a bit of speed and comfort for cost, but it's survivable on a budget.
I wouldn't recommend them. They're cheap, but that's about it; I found their service very poor. Trains are a better alternative in Europe.
They are cheap, and in parts of Eastern Europe in particular quicker than trains. In the Baltics, and around Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia and Montengro for example, buses are the main mode, with trains infrequent or only on a very limited number of routes.
Coaches tend to be susceptible to longer border delays and queues, and obviously traffic, and you can't really get up to move around, whilst in Western Europe they are generally a fair bit slower than trains over major routes, although on certain cross country / less linked routes can still be better bet than train.
Just because Eurolines serves all teh places you want to visit, doesn't mean that timings or direct services are available. Play long and hard with their route planner to see if you will have to be constantly changing coaches, or only have the option of 1 bus every 3 days leaving at 4.27am. They might all work out fine for you, some might be a bummer.
Compare your bus options over your specific route with train ones (use www.bahn.de for train times across Europe) to see how things/timings will work in reality.
There is one big drawback of buses that nobody mentioned so far: You get "seat-only". In a train, you can book a couchette or a sleeper and lie down comfortably during long-distance nighttrains.