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This European Country Just Made Its Public Transportation Free for Everyone

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Anyone can hop on a tram (or bus or train) in Luxembourg for free.

Photo by Martyn Jandula / Shutterstock

Anyone can hop on a tram (or bus or train) in Luxembourg for free.

Even tourists can travel by bus, train, or tram free of charge in Luxembourg now.

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Luxembourg, the tiny European country with a population just over 600,000, has a GDP per capita of $116,640 in U.S. dollars—the third-highest in the world after Monaco and Liechtenstein, according to the World Bank. Though it’s easily accessible by train from the surrounding countries of France, Belgium, and Germany, once you get there it’s not the cheapest destination. In 2018, a little more than 1 million international tourists spent the equivalent of U.S. $4.99 billion in the country, according to the U.N. World Tourism Organization

However, starting March 1, 2020, Luxembourg abolished train, bus, and tram fares for both residents and tourists alike (with the exception of first-class train fares). Other European cities have previously introduced free public transport (citizens of Tallinn, Estonia, can ride its entire system for free, and anyone can hop on a bus in Dunkirk, France, without paying a fare), but this decision makes Luxembourg the first country in the world to have a free public transit system. 

Since fares weren’t terribly expensive beforehand—just 2€ (US$2.25) for a two-hour ticket that could be used throughout the entire system and 4€ (US$4.50) for a day pass—the government made this decision mostly for environmental reasons in a move to get more cars off the road. (Luxembourg has the highest number of cars per inhabitant in the EU.)

For travelers looking to ditch the rental car and make their trips more sustainable, here are a few places in Luxembourg that you can now get to for free by public transit.

I.M. Pei designed the Mudam Luxembourg, which is located in Park Draï Eechelen, overlooking Luxembourg’s historic city center.

To visit Luxembourg’s Museum of Modern Art, aka the Mudam Luxembourg – Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, you can take a Luxembourg City tram to the Philharmonie/Mudam stop or a bus to the Rout Bréck/Pafendall stop.

Taking a bus to Bourglinster Castle will take a little longer than a taxi would, but it’s free.

The 12th-century Bourglinster Castle—along with its one-Michelin star restaurant La Distillerie—is located about nine miles northeast of Luxembourg City and can be accessed in about 25 minutes by the 100 bus line, which you can catch from the old city center at the bus stop across from the Badanstalt Aquatic Relaxation Centre.

If you’d like to spend more of your trip outdoors in the countryside, visit the tourism board’s website for more information on station-to-station bike tours and hiking trails

>> Next: 8 Unspoken Rules of Public Transportation Around the World

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