While traveling long distances throughout Germany without a car, most tourists still resort to the Deutsche Bahn (German Railways). But since about one year, there’s been a much better (budget-friendlier) option: traveling by bus.
Until the beginning of 2013, bus tour operators weren’t allowed to offer long-distance tours throughout Germany. The aim was to protect the German Railways System from any competition.
Since Spring 2013, this law is no longer valid. Bus tour companies can now operate on any long-distance route within Germany. And this is a good thing as it is much cheaper than traveling by train.
As an example: A one-way ticket from Munich to Hamburg costs 75 to 95 euros by train, but only 27 euros by bus. And on the bus, you also have some additional services like free Wi-Fi (free Wi-Fi is available on trains, too).
There have been a lot of bus tour operators popping up since last year, and there will certainly be a shake-out sometime.
Here is a list with links to the most established and reliable ones so far:
Side remarks: Most bus operators offer reduced fares for special groups (students, disabled people). And: It is mostly more expensive to buy the ticket on the bus, so do the booking online!
Seats are only guaranteed when booked in advance. And make sure to check the baggage requirements, sometimes there are size and weight restrictions. Additional baggage has to be paid.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t find an English version of their website. So you’d need someone to help you operate their site.
Service: free Wifi, guaranteed seats, snacks and beverages (not free), restroom/facilities available, hand baggage and two pieces of baggage free.
Service: free Wifi, free seat reservation, restroom/facilities available, hand baggage and one piece of baggage free, air-conditioned coaches.
Service: guaranteed seat, restroom/facilities available, one piece of baggage free.
Service: guaranteed seat, restroom/facilities available, one piece of hand baggage and one item of ordinary baggage free, free Wifi, snacks and beverages are sold.
Service: hand baggage and two pieces of ordinary baggage free (a baggage insurance fee is obligatory and can be purchased on the bus), soft drinks and coffee (not free), bus driver will make stops at rest areas (I couldn’t find any information about restrooms/facilities on the bus), guaranteed seat.
Service: guaranteed seat, on-board restroom/facilities, air-conditioning, free Wifi, one carry-on baggage and one ordinary baggage free, snacks and beverages (not free).
Service: guaranteed seat, two pieces of baggage free, air-conditioning, on-board restroom/facilities, free Wifi, snacks and beverages (not free).
I hope you’ll have a good time traveling through Germany! If you have any questions, feel free to ask.
And: I’d like to say that I have no affiliation with one of the above-mentioned companies whatsoever.