Apply for a free pass to travel around Europe

Applications are now being taken for the chance to inter-rail around Europe

Written by Grainne Jones


The European Union have opened applications to the DiscoverEU scheme. The scheme encourages young people to experience freedom of movement, understand Europe’s diversity, enjoy its cultural richness and make new friends, by offering 18-year-olds a free European travel pass. You can apply during the two application rounds during the year, and those who are selected will be awarded the travel pass. Almost 30,000 people were awarded a travel pass in 2018.

What is the free European travel pass?

The European travel pass is mainly for use on the InterRail system, but pass holders will also be able to use buses and ferries at certain times to help make travel across Europe easier. You will only need a single rail ticket for the InterRail.

In some circumstances, and when no other ways of travel are available, the pass will be able to cover plane travel as well.

Who can apply?

You can apply for the passes if:

  • You were born between 2nd July 2000 and 1 July 2001 (inclusive of these dates)
  • You are a national of one of the 28 European Union (EU) member states
  • You are interested in travelling around Europe this year
  • You would like to visit between one and four European countries
  • You would like to be a DiscoverEU Ambassador

What is a DiscoverEU Ambassador?

As a DiscoverEU Ambassador, you will be invited to report back on your travel experiences through social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter by using the #DiscoverEU. You can also give a presentation about your experience in your school, college or local community. You can win prizes by competing in the #DiscoverEU photo/video competition and be in with a chance to win great prizes.

How to apply

  • You can apply by yourself, or with a group of up to five people
  • You must fill out an online application form, and be sure to do this with the correct ID or passport number filled in
  • You will have to take part in a quiz and answer a subsidiary question during the application

When is the next round for applications?

The next round of applications for the travel pass is open from 2nd of May 2019 to the 16 May 2019 at 12 o’ clock. and you can find the application here. In 2018, 189 tickets were awarded to Irish applicants.

If you are selected

If you are one of the people selected for a travel pass, you will have to travel for a minimum of 1 day, and up to a maximum of 30 days between the 1st of August 2019 and the 31st of January 2020. You will also have to travel to at least 1 cross-border destination, and can this can go up to 4.

If you have any disabilities or health problems which may make your travelling more difficult, DiscoverEU can accommodate you.

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