Free travel passes to enable young people to discover Europe 


Young people can again register for free rail tickets until 28 October, thanks to the Discover EU initiative, supported by the European Parliament.

Alice and Lisi travelled around Europe together thanks to the Discover EU initiative. Photo by @lisi_meets_world on Instagram.  

Thanks to backing by MEPs, 70,000 18-year-olds have enjoyed the chance to travel in the EU for free since its launch in June 2018. Exceptionally for this round, those young people, who were eligible under the two rounds in 2020, which were cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, can apply too and benefit from the Discover EU initiative, which was first proposed during Parliament's European Youth Event (EYE) in 2014.


How it will work


At least 60,000 young people will get the chance to travel Europe by rail between 1 March 2022 and 28 February 2023. Any EU citizen born between 1 July 2001 and 31 December 2003 can apply for tickets online from noon (CET) on 12 October until noon (CET) on 26 October. To be eligible, applicants will have to answer a few multiple choice questions.


Participants will be able to travel for up to 30 days to at least one foreign country. Travel will be mainly by rail, but also by bus and ferry to ensure wide access. Flights will be allowed in exceptional cases where no other form of transport is available. This could be for example for people coming from remote areas or outermost regions.


Participants with reduced mobility or special needs may be eligible for extra help, for example support with the costs for an accompanying person or dog for those with a visual impairment.


More information on the initiative is available on the European Youth Portal.


Parliament support


The Parliament has been a strong advocate of the idea of free rail tickets for 18-year-old Europeans, adopting three resolutions backing the initiative.


MEPs believe the initiative will allow young people to experience Europe’s diversity, better understand each other and learn more about Europe. They expect encouraging young EU citizens to travel in the EU and meet people from other countries will foster European identity and reinforce common EU values.