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European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR)
News article16 April 2024Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations3 min read

Commission offers 35,500 DiscoverEU free travel passes to young people

Starting this summer, thousands of young people will once again travel around Europe by train for free thanks to the latest call of the DiscoverEU programme. Today at 12:00 CET during the European Youth Week buzzing with activities, the Commission launched the latest DiscoverEU application round. It will end on Tuesday 30 April at 12:00 CET.

In total, 35,500 travel passes are available. To get one, young people born between 1 July 2005 and 30 June 2006 can do a quiz with five questions about the EU and one additional question on the European Youth Portal. Successful applicants will get a free rail pass to travel in Europe for up to 30 days between 1 July 2024 and 30 September 2025.

The call is open to applicants from the European Union and countries associated to the Erasmus+ programme including Iceland, Liechtenstein, North Macedonia, Norway, Serbia and Türkiye. Ticket holders can plan their own routes or be inspired by existing ones. For example, they can discover a route launched last year, which focuses on cities and places making the European Union ‘beautiful, sustainable and inclusive' in line with the principles of the New European Bauhaus.

Participants can also benefit from the DiscoverEU Culture Route an initiative of the 2022 European Year of Youth that combines various cultural destinations including architecture, music, fine art, theatre, fashion and design. Participants can visit the European Capitals of Culture which are on the UNESCO World Heritage List,  European Heritage Label sites, or Access City Award label locations, which are cities that have gone above and beyond to become more accessible to everyone.

DiscoverEU is much more than just a ticket. Participants will also receive a discount card with over 40,000 discount possibilities on public transport, culture, accommodation, food, sports and other services in eligible countries. Additionally, Erasmus+ National Agencies organise pre-departure information meetings, and national agencies across all Erasmus+ countries prepare DiscoverEU Meet-ups, learning programmes lasting from one to three days.

Social inclusion is a top priority of the Erasmus+ programme, so participants with disabilities or health issues receive support on their journeys. Since October 2022, the Erasmus+ National Agencies have implemented the DiscoverEU Inclusion Action, allowing organisations working with young people with fewer opportunities to apply for a grant. This action provides extra support to participants, such as extra funding and the possibility to travel with accompanying persons. More than 250 projects have been awarded by the Erasmus+ National Agencies since the first call in October 2022, and two calls of the Inclusion Action are taking place in this year.

While DiscoverEU encourages sustainable travel by rail, special arrangements are available for young people from outermost regions, Overseas Counties and Territories, remote areas and islands.


The Commission launched DiscoverEU in June 2018 following a preparatory action from the European Parliament. It is integrated into the Erasmus+ programme 2021-2027.

Since 2018, more than 1 million candidates have applied for 284,000 available travel passes. According to the latest post-travel survey, 72% of candidates declared it to be the first time travelling out of their country of residence by train. For many, it was also the first time they travelled without parents or accompanying adults, and the majority indicated an increased sense of independence. Over two-thirds said that they would not have been able to finance their travel pass without DiscoverEU.

The DiscoverEU experience has given young people a better understanding of other cultures as well as European history and improved their foreign language skills. Participants are invited to become DiscoverEU Ambassadors to champion the initiative. The #DiscoverEU Official group has more than 96,000 members where young travellers can contact each other to share experiences and tips.

To apply, eligible candidates need to complete a multiple-choice quiz on general knowledge about the European Union and other EU initiatives targeting young people. The Commission will rank applicants on the basis of their responses. The Commission will offer travel passes to applicants following their ranking up to the limit of available tickets.

For More Information


European Youth Portal



DiscoverEU is a fantastic opportunity for young people who want to explore Europe, discover places and meet new people. I am happy to launch this spring application round during the exciting European Youth Week. I wish the best of luck to all applicants!

Iliana Ivanova, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth