Europe’s free public transport revolution

Free public transport in Europe is more common than you may think

Free public transport in Europe
One of Luxembourg’s free buses

When Germany created a €9 ticket for unlimited train travel in June, July and August almost 52 million were sold, with a reduction of 1.8 million tons of CO2. The increase in free public transport in Europe is most apparent in Luxembourg hasseen less busy rush hours on the roads, although overall traffic on the roads has increased (no data available yet for 2022).

Several countries in Europe have now either experimented with, are about to launch, or have permanently introduced free public transport. Whether this is to ease the pain of increased costs or to help the environment, it’s good news for those travelling to these countries.

FREE train tickets in Spain

Spain is currently offering free commuter (Cercanias/Rodalies) and medium-length journeys of less than 300km/186 miles (Media Distancia) until 31 December – see details on the right on how to get your ticket

getting your free spain train ticket

1. Register with Renfe
2. Subscribe for a multi-trip pass and pay a deposit of €10-€20
3. Take at least 16 journeys before 31 December

Although designed to assist commuters during the cost of living crisis, tourists can also take advantage if they’re taking numerous short hops by train. For travel in and between Asturias, Bilbao, Cadiz, Madrid, Malaga, Murcia/Alicante, Santander, San Sebastian, Seville and Zaragoza you’ll need the Cercania pass, for Valencia and Catalonia you’ll need the Rodalies pass. Longer distance trains (Avant) are also discounted by 50% until 31 December.

FREE buses in Malta

From October public transport buses in Malta will be free (details on how to get free tickets on the right), meaing you can travel from Valletta to Mdina, San Lawrenz to Xlendi…or any other part of Malta and Gozo for €0.

GETTING YOUR FREE MALTA BUS TICKETS

1. Register for a tallinja card (you’ll need your passport number)
2. Scan your card when you board the bus

Malta has a population of 500,000 and yet there are over 400,000 cars on its roads. Encouraging even more people onto its extensive bus routes is therefore vital, and is of course great news for visitors for whom, apart from hire cars and boat taxis, buses are the main way of seeing the islands. This map shows you exactly where you can go and which buses to take.

FREE public transport in Luxembourg

No information box needed here; all you need to do in order to take free public transport in Luxembourg is step aboard. Trains, trams and buses are all free no matter where you go in the country. For an idea of how best to use this amazing resource, have a read about my recent trip to this country at the heart of Europe.

FREE public transport in European cities

It’s not just countries which are offering free public transport, there are many cities in Europe where you can travel for nothing, including these tourist favourites:

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