These Are the Most Affordable Ways to Travel Around Europe This Summer

Your guide to public transit around Italy, Greece, France, and more.

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With major airlines expecting a record summer travel season, more travelers than ever will be hitting the skies to visit far-flung destinations around the globe, with countries across Europe leading the top spots for bookings. 

When traveling, utilizing public transportation can be an excellent choice to save money on commuting expenses, navigate cities more quickly, and plus, are more environmentally friendly. Many countries including Greece, Italy, Spain and more also have unlimited passes for extra savings. Travel + Leisure has compiled ways to find the affordable public transportation opportunities at major countries across Europe.


Travelers through France can utilize the SNCF train system, which provides high-speed rail service throughout most cities in the country and across Europe. SNCF recommends downloading their app to create bookings in advance and save tickets virtually, instead of queuing in-person for long lines, where tickets may be sold out. 

For travelers looking to commute throughout France’s capital city, Paris, there are a variety of public transportation options which can help save time and money. 

Single tickets for adults in Paris cost €2.10 (or approximately $2.30) on most metro lines and bus services. Travelers making at least six transport trips per day to pick up the Paris Visite travel pass, which provides unlimited public transport on busses and metro lines, along with special discounts. The Pass costs only €13.55 (or approximately $14.84) for Paris only, and €28.50 (or $31.20) for the expanded zone region that includes transport to major airports, and Disneyland Paris

Passengers flying out of Paris’ Charles-de-Gaulle Airport can utilize public transport starting at only €2.10 (or approximately $2.30)  for a bus, or €11.45 (or approximately $12.54) for a train in each direction.

Travelers should be aware of strikes that occasionally happen within France’s public transportation system, and this website have up-to-date status of transport lines.

Also for travelers heading to Paris, the city’s public transportation system has a network of 170 different luggage drop-off points so that you can explore the city hassle free before your hotel check-in, or before departing for the airport. 


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Spain’s main rail system, called Renfe, operates more than 5,000 trains daily across the country that connect to all major cities.  For travelers looking to splurge this summer, they can check out Renfe’s new schedule of Luxury Tourist Trains, which provide plush accommodations and dining.  

For travelers in major cities including Barcelona, and Madrid, local public transportation on bus and rail is an excellent and safe way to navigate the city. Madrid’s Metro has a Tourist Ticket for unlimited daily use of public transportation starting at €8.40 (or approximately $9.19). 

Travelers to Madrid before June 30, 2023, should consider the 50% discount on 10-pack Metro cards


For visitors looking to travel amongst Italy’s major cities, the Trenitalia Pass, is an excellent option only available for foreign citizens who are visiting Italy to explore the country, with a starting price of €129 (or approximately $141.20). 

Within Rome, there are several public transportation options available including rail, light rail, bus, and more. A weekly 7-day pass of unlimited public transportation costs less than $30. 


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This summer, Germany has launched a new monthly all-inclusive public transport pass called the Deutschlandticket, which translates to ‘Germany Ticket’. The benefits include unlimited travel for just €49 per month, which is roughly $54 based on the current exchange rate. The travel is valid throughout Germany on all local public transport including regional and local trains.

The national ticket is a monthly subscription that can also be canceled monthly. Therefore, it is more appropriate for travelers who plan to visit Germany for an extended period and intend to explore different cities.

The launch of the ticket, which became active on May 1, was so popular that it crashed the website which was selling the tickets, according to Euronews.

For shorter stays, many major cities in Germany offer tourism cards that provide discounts to attractions and unlimited use of public transit. For example, in Berlin the Berlin WelcomeCard gives a traveler unlimited access to the S-Bahn, U-Bahn, and buses. The WelcomeCard includes free admission to over 30 different museums or exhibitions, and for an optional fee will also include public train service to the new Berlin Brandenburg Airport. 


Hungary recently launched a nationwide transit card on this month, which provides unlimited public transport for €49.15, or $54.18 based on current exchange rate. The national travel card will provide access to rail and busses. The country pass can be purchased at over 1,000 locations that sell train tickets across the country, according to a listing on the country’s website

In addition to this country-wide travel, Hungary’s official tourism website shares that single trips to and from the Liszt Ferenc International Airport are available by bus for HUF 350 (or approximately $1.04). The same price applies for single trips throughout the city on metro rail or bus. 

Visitors to Budapest may be interested in taking advantage of the Budapest Card, which includes unlimited use of public transportation, free entries to museums, walking tours, thermal baths, and more.


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Comboios de Portugal or “CP” is the national rail system for Portugal. The train service has a variety of promotions and discounts ahead of the summer travel season. The Tourist Travelcard provides unlimited use of the train lines across different cities, starting at only €6.00 (or approximately $6.60).

For younger travelers between the ages of 12-30, make sure to check out the European Youth Card which provides 25% off select train services.


Greece’s Hellenic Train Service is one of the most popular ways to connect between various cities in Greece. To save money, the service offers discounts of 25% when tickets are purchased at least 60 days in advance.

Within Greece’s major cities, public transportation is an easy and accessible option. In Athens, the Athens Metro operates multiple service lines throughout the city, but stops operating at Midnight, according to their schedule. Athens also offers a 3-day “Tourist Ticket” for €20 (approximately $21.96) and provides three days of unlimited public transportation, including round-trip service from Athens International Airport. 


In Austria, travelers can utilize nationwide rail service on ÖBB, which operates service for 323 million passengers every year. Visitors traveling during the weekend should consider the Einfach-Raus-Ticket which is a group ticket and provides unlimited travel on local and regional trains on weekends at €36 (or approximately $39.54 for two people). 

For visitors to Salzburg, the Salzburger Verkehrsverbund GmbH is the main public transportation service. A 24-hour ticket is only €4.50 (or approximately $4.94), when purchased in advance at a kiosk or counter.


Visitors to Denmark’s capital city Copenhagen can get free, unlimited access to public transportation with the purchase of the Copenhagen Card. The card also provides access to 89 different attractions including Tivoli Gardens, Canal Tours, Copenhagen Zoo, Botanical Garden, and more. 

The card’s pricing starts at DKK 459 (or approximately $67.67) and is available for various durations starting at 24 hours, and a maximum of 120 hour visit.

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