20,000 additional travel passes available for 18-year-olds to #DiscoverEU

If you’re an 18 year old European eager to travel but low on a budget, here are some great news for you! You have (again) the possibility to get free train tickets to travel in one of the 28 EU member states. APPLY before May 16 and start your journey for a period of minimum 1 day and up to 30 days between 1 August 2019 and 31 January 2020. As a reminder to be eligible you need to be born between 2 July 2000 (included) and 1 July 2001 (included) and have the nationality of one of the Member States of the European Union.

Prague in Czech Republic
Discover the beautiful city of Prague in Czech Republic and much more! | © Anthony DELANOIX/Unsplash

If you don’t know what is DiscoverEU programme here is a little summary: this is an EU initiative giving 18-year-old young people from all backgrounds the opportunity to travel around Europe (mainly by rail), learn from other cultures, make new friendships with fellow Europeans, and explore their European identity. When DiscoverEU was organized for the first time in 2018, young people embraced the opportunity with enthusiasm. Nearly 180,000 young people applied for the almost 30,000 travel passes available over two application rounds in 2018. The allocation of the travel passes was based on the share of Member States’ population compared to the overall population of the EU. All country quotas were used. (source europa.eu/youth)

Königssee in Germany
Explore the nature in Germany (Königssee) | © Simon Migaj/Unsplash

The main idea behind this project is to reinforce the main aim of the European Union: to bring people together, and it’s so much more than just giving free train tickets. To travel means to see new places, meet new people and learn new things which consequently broadens the horizons of a person. Getting to know people and places from different parts of Europe makes it a lesson that no book can provide. Keeping that in mind, this project turns into a valuable investment, investing in young people and the common European identity.

“Turning 18 marks a major step to adulthood. We want to support Europe’s young people in taking this step by giving them the opportunity to discover our continent’s incredible cultural heritage, get to know and learn from other people – and come to recognise that there is more that unites us than divides us.”

Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth & Sport – Brussels, 3 May 2018

Here are some practical information you’ll need to apply:

Process selection and Timing

  • Online applications will be open from 2-16 May 2018
  • Selection, by a jury of European Commission officials, will start on June 27
  • Winners will be notified in early July

Conditions for applicants

  • Be born between 2 July 2000 (included) and 1 July 2001 (included)
  • National of one of the 28 EU Member States
  • Individuals or as a group of up to 5


  • Starts in one of the 28 EU Member States
  • Between August 2019 and January 2020
  • For between 1 and 30 days
  • To at least 1 and up to 4 cross-border destinations


  • Motivation to visit at least one European Cultural Heritage site.
    Applicants need to respond to a quiz on EU cultural heritage, European Parliament elections and Youth.
  • Want to become a DiscoverEU Ambassador.
  • Reporting on their travel experiences on social media and making their pictures available for the DiscoverEU anniversary photo exhibition at the European Parliament.

You can also show your support by sharing your European travel stories using hashtags  #DiscoverEU and #Interrail. Do not miss anything visit youdiscover.eu

Note: If you are UK citizen you have access to this program despite Brexit in progress!


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