More European countries with free or cheap public transport

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If you didn’t already know, this summer Germans lived a dream of affordable public transport. Over the past three months, it has cost just €9 (£7.80, $9) a month in Germany for anyone – locals and visitors – to ride just about any train, tram, bus and nationwide subways.

Germany’s glorious €9 travel pass sadly ended yesterday, having saved 1.8 million tonnes of CO2 emissions. (According to the German average, this is equivalent to the annual carbon footprint of almost 20,000 people.)

But if you missed it, fear not. There are still many places in Europe where you can travel cheaply or completely free of charge.

It should be noted that in some places, if you are a resident, you can already take advantage of free public transport. The Estonian capital Tallinn is one such place. From October 1, 2022, Malta will be another.

If you’re a traveler, though, here’s where you can go and get around for free or very, very cheaply.

Spain

From today (September 1) until December 31, 2022, intercity trains in Spain will be completely free. The policy was designed to help Spaniards cope with the cost of living crisis and covers the Cercanías (commuter rail), Rodalies (commuter lines in Catalonia) and Media Distancia (regional medium-distance lines, covering journeys of less than 300 km) managed by the national rail operator Renfe. To travel cheap this fall, Spain is queen. Find out all the details about free train travel in Spain.

Austria

Austria also offers annual passes covering buses, trams and trains which cost an average of €3 (£2.60, $3) per day, while the country’s capital, Vienna, offers public transport passes €1 (£0.85, $1) per day. With both, however, there’s a catch: you only get the discount if you pay for a one-year ticket. In other words, they’re probably only worth it if you’re planning a really long trip to Austria.

Luxemburg

Of course, Luxembourg is probably not at the top of many people’s travel lists. But in 2020, it became the first country in the world to make public transport free. As long as you’re not traveling first class, visitors and residents can ride buses, trains, and trams without spending a penny.

So if you missed the German program, why not fly to Spain, Austria or Luxembourg? It’s time to make the most of these truly exceptional transportation programs.

Have you seen: this new dream night train will go from Amsterdam to the Austrian Alps?

Plus: The world’s first hydrogen passenger trains were launched in Germany.

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