Now available: Strictly limited train ticket lets you travel to France for free
As of today, many Germans have the opportunity to secure a free train ticket for a trip to France. But the rules of the game have a catch.
Germany and France’s Minister of Transport, Dr. Volker Wissing and Clément Beaune, on the occasion of the 60th Anniversary of the Elysée Treaty created the Franco-German youth pass.
From today, June 12, 2023, a total of 60,000 free tickets will be offered via Deutsche Bahn and SNCF, half of which will go to Germany and the other half to France. The aim is to promote the exchange of young adults from both nations. These tickets enable a climate-neutral journey by train.
Here you can find out who is entitled to the ticket and what rules apply when travelling.
Unfortunately, not all adults can travel to France so cheaply, because there are restrictions on the Franco-German friendship pass:
- When is the ticket valid: July 1 to December 31, 2023
- How long is it valid: for a month on seven freely selectable days
- Who gets it: young adults from 18 to 27 years (date of birth between July 2, 1995 and July 1, 2005)
- Residence: required in Germany or France (proof with ID card)
- How much does it cost: The friendship pass is given away free of charge
30,000 passports each will be issued on the German and French sides, so the contingent is limited and you should be quick. The tickets can go Monday 12 June 2023 at 10:00 a.m available on the official website.
Which trains can be used
As always, the regulations are not quite as simple as they might appear at first glance. That shows the FAQ on the official website. It is therefore not possible to travel to France again and again for free for half a year, since the ticket is only valid for one month in the second half of 2023.
This month it can be used on seven freely selectable days – these days do not have to be consecutive. However, one day must be used for entry and one day for exit.
Theoretically, you can stay in France for a whole month with the Franco-German friendship pass, but you can only use it for free for five days during your stay. Example from the official website:
- Day 1: Travel Berlin-Paris
- Day 2: Pairs-Nantes
- Day 3: Nantes – Bordeaux
- Day 4: Bordeaux – Toulouse
- Day 5: Toulouse-Marseille
- Day 6: Marseille-Dijon
- Day 7: Dijon-Berlin
Multiple commuting between the countries is therefore not permitted.
Also important: Although you can use all trains with the ticket, the high-speed trains in France and in cross-border traffic can only be used with a seat reservation – this must be purchased separately! So it’s not completely free.
After all the steps in the official registration form have been completed and submitted for validation, you will be redirected to a page where you will create a personal login password.
You will then be taken to a personalized page where you can see the status of the pass. A confirmation e-mail will be sent to confirm the registration. As soon as the pass has been issued by Eurail, you will receive an email with the subject “Your order is confirmed – here’s how to proceed”.
However, the ticket will not be sent by post. Instead, an additional app is required: With the free Interrail Rail Planner (download from CHIP.de) you can call up the ticket on the go and always have it with you.
The original of this article “Strictly limited train ticket lets you travel to France for free” comes from chip.de.