For members


Spain’s half-price Interrail train pass for Europe: What you need to know

The Spanish government recently announced that it would offer a 50 percent discount on Interrail passes to help people aged 18 to 30 travel the continent over the summer. Here's what you need to know.

interrail 50% discount spain
The majestic view of a waterfall from a train in Norway. Spanish authorities haven't given full details yet about how the discount process will work. Photo: Abbilyn Rurenko/Unsplash

Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced on Saturday May 6th during a political rally in Murcia that young people in Spain will be able to benefit from a 50 percent discount on Interrail passes around Europe.

The offer will be available for those aged between 18 and 30 (people born between 1993 and 2005), from June 15th to September 15th, 2023. 

Sánchez also revealed plans for a new Spanish Interrail pass, so that young people can get the chance to explore Spain with a 90 percent discount on state-owned trains and buses that depend and a 50 percent discount on high-speed trains. 

Sánchez pointed out that there are many young people who know “Europe better than their own country”.

Interrail is a single train pass that allows for rail travel across most European countries and is available for various time periods, including up to one month.

READ ALSO: Spain’s government to pay half of youth Interrail passes this summer

So, what exactly is this Interrail offer and what is (and isn’t) included?

Here’s what you need to know. 

What is the government’s offer?

It is a 50 percent discount off the price of an Interrail ticket for young people aged 18 to 30.

The domestic Spanish Interrail discount will be of up 90 percent on state-owned trains and buses, and reductions up to 50 percent on high-speed trains during the summer.

Discounts can apply to either, multi-stop, one-way or return tickets.

READ ALSO: Train travel from Spain to France: Everything you need to know

When is the offer valid?

The discount for Interrail will be on offer between June 15th and September 15th 2023.

The ‘Spanish Interrail’ offer will also be between June 15th and September 15th, and applied to individual journeys rather than a monthly pass or season tickets.

Where can I go?

You can see a complete list and interactive map on the Interrail website.

The countries included in the Interrail pass are Austria, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.

As for the ‘Spanish Interrail’ offer for people 30 and under, the government hasn’t specified yet which destinations can be reached but it will include anywhere where medium and long-distance trains go in the country, as well as Avant and high-speed AVE trains. According to Spanish news site El Diario, it will also be possible to get a discount for the new rail operators in Spain Ouigo and Iryo.

In general, these trains travel to Spain’s bigger towns and cities, so it won’t necessarily be easy to reach Spanish villages by train, especially if they don’t have operational rail connections. 

READ ALSO: GUIDE: How to get free train tickets in Spain in 2023

How much does it cost?

The exact price of the Interrail pass depends on where you go, though there are two main types.

There’s the so-called ‘global pass’ that allows you to go across the continent to 40,000 destinations in 33 different countries. This is the best known Interrail pass that has long been seen as a right of passage for adventurous teenagers and gap-year students wanting their first experience of travel. Prices start at €185 for 7 days (with discount).

There are also individual country passes that start from €51.

The total price of the pass depends on several factors, including how long you want to travel for, where you want to go, whether you opt for some countries and others, and the age of the travellers. 

As for the ‘Spanish Interrail’ offer, Avant and AVE trains will get a 50 percent discount, although the maximum discount for AVE will be of €30 per ticket. Tickets for mid-distance state-run trains will be as much as 90 percent cheaper.

How do I get the discount on the Interrail pass?

Spanish authorities haven’t given full details yet about how the discount process will work, but applicants are likely to have to first register on the Ministry of Transport website (MITMA) so that their eligibility for the scheme can be verified. 

The 50 percent discount for the European Interrail will be available on Spain’s Renfe website, but as of May 11th this is not yet visible.

We will update this article as soon as all the relevant information is available.

Do I need to book in advance?

Though Interrailing is generally though of as quite a spontaneous thing to do, you will need to do some planning. Many countries require prior reservations, so depending on where you are it’s not always a case of train hopping around the continent.

Interrail has graded the participant countries on how necessary it is to make a reservation:

  • Almost certainly: France, Greece, Italy, Spain, Sweden and Turkey.
  • Often: Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Finland, United Kingdom, Hungary, Montenegro, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia.
  • Rarely: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Slovenia, Slovakia and Switzerland.

Are there any other offers?

As well as the half price offer for young people between 18 and 30 years old, Interrail itself offers discounts.

Children between 4 and 11 years old travel completely free with a traveller using the global pass. Adults between 28 and 60 years old pay the full rate, while those over 60 enjoy a 10 percent discount.

What isn’t included in the Interrail pass?

Note that in some countries they may be additional charges for things like seat reservations, high-speed networks, and overnight sleeper services.

Neither does it cover public transport within towns and cities, although there are discounts in some cases

It doesn’t include accommodation, but it also offers discounts for those who have the Interrail pass.

Can I get a refund?

Interrail refunds 85 percent of the money as long as you have not used it to make any trips, with the remaining 15 percent taken as a cancellation fee. 

You can also modify your pass for an extra €15 fee plus the difference in price.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Spanish PM calls snap election for July

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez called a surprise July snap election on Monday May 29th, a day after his Socialists suffered a major setback in local and regional polls.

Spanish PM calls snap election for July

One day after Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’s PSOE suffered major setbacks in local and regional polls, the PM called a surprise snap election for July 23rd. 

In a televised address on Monday May 29th, Sánchez said he had informed King Felipe VI of his decision to dissolve parliament and call a general election.

“I have taken this decision in light of the results of yesterday’s elections,” he said.

“As the head of the government and of the Socialist party, I take responsibility for the results and I think it is necessary to respond and submit our democratic mandate to the popular will.”

The PP secured just over seven million votes (31.52 percent) in the municipal elections, compared with nearly 6.3 million for the Socialists (28.11 percent).

It had long been anticipated that the general election would be held at the end of the year, likely the last weekend of November, but the Spanish Prime Minister has now brought it forward, citing the need for a “clarification of the will of the Spanish people regarding the policies and political forces that should lead this [next] phase”. 

“The best thing is for Spaniards to have their say,” he said.

PSOE sources told Spanish outlet La Sexta that the shock announcement shows that PSOE “understood the message” of the poor results, and are seemingly framing the election as a now or never poll: “If this country has to choose between a progressive government and a far-right government, do it now,” the sources said.

The decision also presents two other political curiosities.

By the time the general election takes place in July, a little under two months will have elapsed between the municipal and regional votes, something unprecedented in Spanish political history.

The decision is further complicated by the fact that Sànchez is due to take up the Presidency of the EU Council in the second half of 2023, between July 1st and December 31st.