Free travel passes to enable young people to discover Europe

Young people born in 2004 can now register for free rail tickets until 25 October, thanks to the Discover EU initiative, supported by the European Parliament

Discover EU photo contribution of Instagram influencers_
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, 165,000 young adults have enjoyed the chance to travel in the EU for free since its launch in June 2018.

Now more than 35,000 free rail tickets are available, enabling young people to travel and discover Europe thanks to the Discover EU initiative, which was first proposed during Parliament’s European Youth Event (EYE) in 2014. Additionally for 2022, the selected participants will receive discount cards loaded with discounts on accommodation, local transportation, cultural visits and more.

Find out about the European Year of Youth that the EU has announced in 2022 and EU youth initiatives.


How it will work


At least 35,000 young people will get the chance to travel Europe by rail between 1 March 2023 and 29 February 2024. Any EU citizen born between 1 January 2004 and 31 December 2004 can apply for tickets online from noon CET on 11 October until noon CET on 25 October. To be eligible, applicants will have to answer a few 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.