All aboard! Young people in Spain are now able to bag half-price Interrail passes over summer.
The special discounted passes – which allow travel across thousands of kilometres of European rail network – are available to Spanish residents aged between 18 and 30.
The government hopes the plan will “encourage summer travel among young people and help the recovery of the culture and tourism sector following the pandemic,” according to a statement from the Ministry of Transport.
The discounts are valid from 15 June until 15 September.
Spain has also announced a raft of travel discounts to encourage domestic travel, including 90 per cent reductions on state-run bus ticket prices and some domestic train routes.
Here’s everything you need to know.
How can young people in Spain get a discounted Interrail pass?
Holders of the much-loved Interrail pass can travel thousands of train routes around Europe, from the fjords of Norway to the beaches of Italy.
The passes can be booked for a certain time period such as one month, during which they can be used across borders. Alternatively they can be booked for a specific number of days or a single country.
You can board most trains by showing staff your Interrail pass on your phone. Prices start from €194 for four days of travel within one month across 33 countries.
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You can search other pass types on the Interrail website based on when and where you want to go, and the ages of those travelling. There are more than 40,000 railway stations in the Interrail network, which stretches across 33 countries.
The new discount will make these more accessible for under-30s in Spain.
The country’s Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced the policy on 6 May during a political rally in Murcia.
To access the subsidies, young people must book their tickets through state rail operator Renfe. Only EU citizens resident in Spain are eligible.
Spain launches a domestic rail pass
The policy is part of a broader set of measures designed to get young people travelling.
Between 15 June and 15 September, young people are able to get a 90 per cent discount on state-run buses and short-to-medium distance trains.
This ‘Spanish Interrail’ pass also offers a 50 per cent discount on high-speed trains.
“Spain is the second most visited country in the world, but it is full of unknown treasures for many Spaniards,” said Sánchez.
“That is why we are going to help our young people to get to know Spain better by travelling through its interior this summer.”
These discounts are being applied on a ticket-by-ticket basis.
They are subject to the same rules as the Interrail pass, so are only available to EU citizens between the age of 18 and 30 who are resident in Spain.
Spain is not the only country offering to subsidise rail travel this summer.
Building on the success of last year’s €9 public transport pass, Germany has launched a scheme offering domestic travel for €49 per month.
Hungary has introduced an unlimited nationwide transport ticket costing €49, with a massive 90 per cent discount for students.