Spain Is Making Train Travel Completely Free For Tourists Until New Year’s Eve

Barcelona is one of many cities in Spain that will benefit from free train travel in 2022.

From September 1st to December 31st, a substantial portion of Spain’s frequently used railway system will be free for both locals and travellers. Ideal for those hoping to make connections between the country’s greatest cities, Spain making its public train system, Renfe, completely free should help push travellers towards train travel as they take advantage of Europe’s more accessible shoulder seasons and try to maximise their experience of the country beyond just Barcelona, Madrid and Seville. However, the free train trips in Spain initiative won’t apply to all routes.

Although the temporary policy is aimed at Spanish nationals, in an effort to help offset rising living costs, tourists can also take advantage of the Spanish government’s generous announcement. The free train trips will apply to multi-trip tickets on both cercanías – commuter services – and rodalies – commuter routes in Catalonia – as well as medium-distance routes that are less than 300 km.

That rules out single-journey tickets and long-distance travel, so you’ll still have to pay for popular routes like Madrid-Seville (~ 390 km), Barcelona-Madrid (506 km) and Barcelona-San Sebastian (634 km).

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“This measure encourages to the maximum use of this type of collective public transport to guarantee the needed daily commute with a safe, reliable, comfortable, economic and sustainable means of transportation, amid the extraordinary circumstances of the steady increase of energy and fuel prices,” said the Spanish Ministry of Transport (as per CNN)

As many European countries attempt to encourage more train travel – which isn’t hard, given how scenic many routes are and how comfortable a lot of European trains can be – Spain’s goal of free train travel for the rest of the year should be widely embraced by both tourists and locals. It comes as an addition to the previously announced 30% – 50% discounts on all public transport, including metros, buses and trams which are being funded by the central Spanish government.

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Training your way around Barcelona for $0 means more money for tapas, of course, but it will also help relieve the pressure from queues and encourage tourists to explore more of the city than just the more central neighbourhoods.

The free train travel around Spain announcement is slightly similar to an initiative in Germany, where officials have launched an unlimited monthly public transport ticket for tourists, priced at €9 (~AU$13) which runs from now until the end of August.