Earlier this year, Spain introduced free train tickets to its many residents and visitors to explore the vast country.
Starting from September, the government announced free train journeys which were to last till the 31st of December 2022. Their reason for doing this was simple; to tackle inflation and the huge price rises.
However, with the project running rather successfully, it has prompted the government to extend free journeys throughout 2023 and add free buses across Spain.
In November 2022, the Minister of Transport, Raquel Sánchez confirmed that long-distance buses will be free throughout the year 2023. Currently, train journeys are free (with a few conditions), with bus journeys only limited to a 50% discount for some routes. However, starting from January 2023, public buses on state lines will be free with the same rule applied to commuter trains.
The effects of such a move will be huge. Sanchez also went on to say that it will mean a saving of more than 350 million litres of gasoline and will prevent the emission of one million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere in 2023. What’s more, by providing such a free service, it can help families save anywhere between €1800 and €3000.
How Do The Free Buses in Spain Work?
Those intending to use the buses can do so for free. However, just like the train, there is a small catch. To apply, travellers will need to purchase a season or multi-trip ticket as well as pay a €20 deposit. What’s more, single trips are not covered.
But once you’ve done that, you can freely make your way around Spain. This allows you to cover multiple routes such as Madrid to Barcelona, Santander to Salamanca and Alicante to Murcia.
The deposit will be paid back, but things are not clear about how many journeys a traveller will need to make for this. In any case, by opening up this offer to the world, tourists can take full advantage whilst enjoying their spring and summer breaks in 2023.
Is it Good Value?
Travellers looking to get off the beaten path should look no further. Perfect for those looking to explore the varied landscapes of Spain, free bus and train journeys make it a cost-effective way to move from one part of the country to another. Whilst there will be a minimum amount of journeys required for your €20 deposit back, it’s still worth it if you don’t meet the minimum. Why? Well, a return ticket from one part of Spain to another can cost €30-€40. Even if you travel these routes 3-4 times, you still get a brilliant deal for only €20!
We recommend using Madrid as a base. Not only is it the capital of Spain, but Madrid also has direct trains to almost every part of Spain, Whether it’s a city, town or small village you want to visit, the trains from Madrid will take you to almost every major city.
How Do I Sign Up?
Firstly, you will have to download the Renfe App (iOS or Android). You then create an account and purchase free train tickets. You’ll pay a deposit of €20 after which, you’ll receive a QR code allowing you to get free tickets. Once 16 or more journeys are complete, you’ll receive a refund for this by the end of the year.
It’s not every day that Spanish tourists can take advantage of free buses in Spain. For that reason, we recommend keeping this in mind when you’re planning your next Spanish adventure!
Juber Ahmed is our Digital Editor and travel enthusiast with a keen interest in Islamic history and heritage. He travels with his wife to various places around the world and writes about his experiences.
Juber's favourite Quote...
"The World Is a Book and Those Who Do Not Travel Read Only One Page" [Saint Augustine]