EU is giving free train tickets 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! Apply for a free train ticket and if you get selected you’ll start your journey in one of the 28 EU member states between July and September and could travel to 4 countries for a period of up to 30 days!

#DiscoverEU project funded by EU managed to get 15,000 Interrail tickets for European youth, precisely for the 18-year-olds. The European Parliament called for a specific budget to cover the free ticket programme and the European Commission responded with €12m.

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 a common identity of Europeans.

Discover the beautiful city of Budapest in Hungary
Discover the beautiful city of Budapest in Hungary / Source:

For the people behind this project, funding travel costs are just the start. Regions and cities could follow up by welcoming young Interrailers with language-learning, cultural and social activities, or even targeted assistance for accommodation. There’s a lot of space for growth and improvement so the possibilities are endless.

Getting to know your neighbours and discovering what Europe is about is so important. Europe is all about you; it’s about the people who are so different and yet so similar. It’s about getting to know one another. That’s why Interrail is great. You get to travel all around Europe and find out how beautiful our continent is.

Manfred Weber, Chairman, Group of the European People’s Party


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

#DiscoverEU information
#DiscoverEU information / Source:

Process selection and Timing

  • Online applications will be open from 12-26 June 2018.
  • Selection, by a jury of European Commission officials, will start on June 27.
  • Winners will be notified in early July.

Conditions for applicants

  • 18 years old on 1 July 2018.
  • 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 July and September 2018.
  • 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.

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