Free travel for Ukrainians in Europe: where are benefits for refugees still in place?
In the fifth month of the war in Ukraine, some European countries have already limited or canceled public transport benefits for Ukrainian refugees. In particular, the right to free travel has already been canceled on long-distance and international trains in Poland, Germany, and Switzerland. But a number of countries still left benefits for Ukrainians. But we advise you to check the current information about the conditions of travel in the transport of EU countries because benefits can be canceled at any time.
Here, Ukrainians can use Wiener Linien public transport for free until the end of September.
For trips throughout the country, Ukrainians can issue a "Not-Ticket Ukraine" for free travel on ÖBB trains. You can get "Not-Ticket Ukraine" on the train from the staff or at the ÖBB ticket offices at the stations. "Not-Ticket Ukraine" is valid for all ÖBB local and long-distance trains in Austria. The ticket is valid for 2nd class trains. The free ticket is valid for two days: on the day of receipt and the next day.
On the day of arrival in Belgium, Ukrainian refugees can use the right of free travel on the SNCB network. These are international trains going to/from Germany, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and France. You need to present your DB "Helpukraine" ticket or your Ukrainian passport, ID card, or other identification.
If you are staying in Belgium, you need to register at the Refugee Registration Centre, located in the Brussels Expo Palais/Hall 8 (Heysel). This will allow you to move to your place of residence in Belgium for free. You will be issued a universal Fedasil Bulk Ticket at the Registration Office.
Here, until October of this year, Ukrainians can travel for free in public transport in the city of Sofia. In order to use free travel, you need to have an identity document and a temporary protection registration card.
Bulgarian Railways together with the Romanian state railway passenger operator CFR Călători offer Ukrainians free tickets under the "HELP UKRAINE" program. They allow you to use direct trains from Romania to Bulgaria and back. For this, it is necessary to present a document confirming citizenship or registration in Ukraine.
Newly arrived refugees are provided free travel by Iarnród Éireann rail or Bus Éireann from their point of arrival in Ireland to their final destination. To use this trip, you need to present at the ticket office of the departure station:
- Ukrainian passport
- Confirmation of arrival in Ireland within the last seven days (eg airline boarding pass, ferry or confirmation email)
- Confirmation from a registered charity participating in the response to the war in Ukraine.
In Vilnius, Ukrainians who left the country because of the war can use the city's public transport for free. Ukrainians only need to present an identity document to the controllers. This right can also be used by foreigners who legally lived in Ukraine, but left the country because of the war and arrived in Vilnius.
Ukrainian refugees have the opportunity to travel for free on Trenitalia trains for a maximum of 5 days from the moment of entry to Italy to reach their destination. This applies to long-distance and regional connections.
In this country, public transport is free throughout the country and for everyone. You can travel by bus, train or tram. You only need to buy a ticket if you want to travel first class on a train or travel across the border to Germany, France or Belgium.
Ukrainians who have entered the Netherlands and want to travel further can get a free one-day pass at any NS ticket sales and service desk at major railway stations. You must present your Ukrainian identity documents and a train ticket for Germany, Belgium, France or Austria with a validity period of no more than 24 hours.
The country has canceled all free travel options that have been in effect since February 24. However, there are separate benefits in different cities:
Szczecin allowed Ukrainians to use public transport for free until September 30
In Toruń, you can issue a monthly travel pass marked UKR
In Poznań, you can buy a social pass valid for 30 days at ZTM customer service points for PLN 1. To do this, you need to get a Poznań PEKA electronic agglomeration card.
Refugees from Ukraine can enter Romania for free from the Palanka border crossing point, the Republic of Moldova. Ukrainians can get a free "Ticket Help Ukraine" on the condition of presentation of identity documents and proof of entry to the territory of Romania. It is valid for 2nd class Regio and Interregio trains.
There is free travel for Ukrainians on ZSSK trains (except for IC trains). A travel document can be obtained at the ticket office or directly on the train by presenting a valid passport, identity card, or other document confirming Ukrainian citizenship.
The right to a free ticket can be used on the day of receipt of the travel document and during the following 4 days, starting from the day of receipt of the personal document SLOVAK HELP or the first receipt of the personal document confirming the status of temporary shelter.
Refugees from Ukraine can travel for free on the territory of Hungary by MÁV-START és a GYSEV trains with Solidarity tickets. They must be purchased before the trip at the ticket office - they are not available in vending machines or online. They can also be purchased on trains from conductors. "Solidarity tickets" are valid only for 2nd class trains, on the route and in the time slot indicated on them.
The Portuguese railway CP – Comboios de Portugal offers trips to citizens of Ukraine or refugees from Ukraine of other nationalities entering the territory of Portugal. You can also travel with animals, which, as part of exceptions, can travel without tickets and identification documents.
Free travel is valid on Celta and Intercidades 2nd class interregional, regional and city trains. To take advantage of free travel, you need to present your passport, identification document of a citizen of Ukraine or proof of residence at the ticket office or on the train.
The French railway company SNCF is providing one free journey on its trains in France and to other European destinations exclusively for people fleeing war. After arriving at the station, you need to go to the ticket office. To get a ticket, you must present one of the following documents to the SNCF agent at the station:
- passport or identity card issued in Ukraine
- Deutsche Bahn "HELP UKRAINE" ticket
- a valid residence permit for non-Ukrainians fleeing the war
- Ukrainian card of a foreign resident in Ukraine
Such an opportunity is also provided for obtaining a ticket to return to Ukraine.
The Croatian carrier HŽ Putnički provides free travel to citizens of Ukraine on all domestic railway routes in Croatia in the 2nd class of trains. Upon presentation of a Ukrainian passport/identity card/decision on permission to enter the Republic of Croatia, refugees have the right to receive a free transport ticket at the ticket office or on the train.
Free travel for Ukrainian refugees in public transport in Prague is available only in the first 5 days after arrival in the country. Then there is an opportunity to purchase a discounted travel pass: for a month - 165 crowns (209 UAH), for a quarter - 444 crowns (563 UAH).
Ukrainians have the opportunity to travel for free on RegioJet trains on the route Prague-Peremysl, by booking a ticket in the reservation system, in the Občan UA tariff.
Here, Ukrainians can use public transport in Stockholm for free. The passport or ID card of a citizen of Ukraine will serve as a valid ticket for public transport. Show your Ukrainian passport or ID card at the ticket office or to the bus driver.
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Persons can visit hotels and stay there (outside hotel room) only if they wear respirator or face mask (including homemade mask), so that the nose and mouth are covered.
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