Until at least the end of 2023, a new initiative will allow travelers to obtain complimentary train tickets for travel within Spain.

This new program, which will formally debut in September 2022, allows anyone (even foreign tourists) to travel for free on Renfe’s commuter trains and medium-distance trains in Spain.

Travelers can save money while experiencing the beauty, culture, cuisine, and history of Spain by hopping across the nation by rail.

This announcement comes after other European nations, such as Germany and Austria, have introduced train travel discount programs.

However, Spain is the first nation to totally subsidize all train travel.
There are a few restrictions on the availability of free train tickets in Spain till the end of 2023.

First, the free tickets are only accessible on Renfe-operated commuter trains (Cercanías and Rodalies) and medium-distance train journeys under 300 kilometers, or 186 miles. It does not apply to Renfe’s AVE trains, which connect cities such as Madrid and Barcelona.

However, the free train service still allows tourists to travel between several towns within areas like Andalusia (for example, a train journey from Seville to Córdoba or Cadiz would be free under this arrangement) or to take day trips from major cities.

The second restriction is that the free rail ticket program only applies to multi-trip tickets, not single tickets.
A deposit of €10 ($9.77 USD) is required for commuter trains and €20 ($19.55 USD) is required for long-distance trains. Under the original program announced for September 2022 through December 2022, you would receive a deposit return after completing 16 one-way trips.

Presumably, the 2023 extension of this policy will retain the same parameters.

For instance, if you are staying in Madrid and intend to take day trips to Toledo and Segovia, you may generally spend at least €40 on train tickets. But with the current promotion, you would pay only the €20 deposit.

To take advantage of this promotion, passengers must download the official app for the Renfe rail line. Foreign tourists will also need their passport number in order to sign up for the program.

The new free train travel program in Spain serves two purposes.

The program is firstly meant to address the cost of living issue many residents are experiencing due to inflation and stagnating salaries. With free rail tickets, commuters will be able to save hundreds of euros and lessen their financial burden.

“I am fully aware of the daily difficulties that most people face. I know that your salary is getting less and less, that it is difficult to make ends meet,” said Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez of the decision to provide free train travel until at least the end of next year.

By making the service available to everyone in Spain, not just residents, it has the added benefit of allowing tourists to save money on transportation.

Even if you forfeit the deposit by taking fewer than 16 one-way trips, you can still save a significant amount on train tickets throughout Spain.


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