Spain announces free train travel on some routes, but there’s a catch

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Now that airlines are failing to meet their summer schedule and their cancellation fees are rising, Spain is making some train journeys completely free, as well as the reduction of public transport prices by 50% in metropolitan areas. In short, traveling around mainland Spain this summer is going to happen not longer be super expensive like it used to be.

Train passing by San Pol De Mar, Catalonia, Spain

Spain is the latest European country to actively promote train travel, following EU member Germany, which introduced a €9 nationwide ticket throughout the summer. Like much of Europe, the Iberian nation is now interested investing heavily in railwaysas opposed to helping airlines out of the mess they’re in after a disastrous start to the summer.

But there is a catch Other media are not telling you:

Free train journeys, but only for multi-journey tickets

Young female traveler carrying her luggage at train station in front of boarding train

As announced by Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, starting in September, passengers will be able to travel either for free or at a deep discount on numerous ‘Renfe’ trains throughout the country. Renfe is the Spanish-owned railway company that operates on the Spanish mainland and provides light connections in most of the Iberian Peninsula.

Simply put, travel within metropolitan areas, municipalities and nearby destinations less than 300 km away it will be completely free from September 1 to December 31, 2022. The only downside? Single trips are not included in the rateas applicable applies to multi-journey tickets, including a minimum of 10 return journeys.

Renfe train parked at the terminal, Spain

While public transport fares were already halved by the government earlier this year in a bid to ease the burden on those struggling with record high inflation rates, now they will have to pay absolutely nothing when using the Renfe ‘Cercanias’, ‘Rodalies’ and ‘Media Distancia’ services.

Digital Nomad traveling in Spain? Then this is a good deal for you

A couple of female tourists taking a selfie at La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, ​​Catalonia, Spain

This is obviously aimed mainly at Spanish workers who commute between different cities every day, but who’s to say that commuters can’t also benefit from the policy? If you are one slow traveler – hello digital nomads – you should definitely be able to save some money on public transport too, especially when traveling within Spain for a few weeks.

Seeing as journeys of up to 300km are covered, travelers visiting Spain for longer will be able to go back and forth between any city they like, free of charge. up to 10 times. We don’t know about you, but we wouldn’t mind taking it some day trips from Barcelona to the picturesque medieval town of Girona, one of the hidden gems of the Catalonia regionor the wonderful Pueblos Blancos, located a short train ride from Seville.

Plaza de Espana in Seville, Spain

As the Independent says, season ticket holders (eg residents and those staying in Spain for longer, usually between one and three months) will be the main beneficiaries. Even then, tourists taking a week-long trip to Spain will still enjoy 50% off metropolitan routes in major holiday destinations such as Barcelona and Madrid. Everyone wins!

Where can you go less than 300 km from Spain’s main cities?

Renfe train officer checking passenger tickets, Renfe Trains, Spain, Europe Travel Concept

If you’re in no rush to leave Spain this summer, here they are some of the destinations under 300 km away of the nearest major cities you can consider for free travel. Trust us, once you’ve been there once, you’ll want to keep coming back, not once, but ten or more times. Yes, Spain really is that exciting:

From Madrid

Cathedral in Toledo, Spain
  • The historical city of Toledowith one of the most emblematic castles of Spain
  • Guadalajaraan off-the-beaten-path destination in the idyllic province of Castilla-La Mancha
  • Avilawhere an intact medieval castle can be found
  • Salamancafamous for its original sandstone architecture and world-renowned University, founded in the 11th century

From Barcelona

Girona, Catalonia, Spain
  • Gironawhich contains one of the largest and best-preserved Jewish neighborhoods in Europedating back to the 13th century
  • Repolla traditional, quaint Catalan town where centuries-old traditions are preserved
  • Palamosa small seaside town on Catalonia’s Costa Brava where sun seekers are spoiled for choice a host of pristine beaches and transparent waters
  • Greetingsanother Costa Brava municipality popular among sailors and golf enthusiasts

From Seville

View of the Alhambra in Granada, Andalucia, Spain
  • Granadahome to Spain’s most famous bastion: the Alhambra palace complex built by the Moors
  • cordobasa city whose skyline is dominated by the impressive Cordoba Mosque-Cathedral of the 8th century
  • Cádizone of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in all of Europe
  • Málagawhere some of the most beautiful beaches of mainland Spain are located

From Bilbao

Festive monument in public square in Victoria Gasteiz, Basque Country, Spain
  • Victoria Gasteizthe traditional, predominantly Basque-speaking capital of Spain’s autonomous Basque Country
  • Pamplonathe charming Gothic capital of the province of Navarre
  • Guernicaa small town that inspired Picasso’s iconic Guernica painting
  • San Sebastiána beach destination on the Bay of Biscay, in Northern Spain

Whether they’re digital nomads making Spain their temporary home, or just visiting on a short break, one thing’s for sure: free travel and/or half-price tickets are now widely available at ticket collection points Renfe, and exploring the country by rail has never been easier – or more affordable. More information on the policy can be found on the official Renfe website.

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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions subject to change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm the entry of your nationality and/or any changes to travel requirements before you travel. Travel Off Path does not endorse travel against government advice

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