Germany kicks off free culture pass scheme for young people

Germany kicks off free culture pass scheme for young people

From June 14, young adults in Germany can use their culture pass (KulturPass) to attend cinemas, concerts and galleries, or purchase books and records for free.

Free culture for 18-year-olds in Germany

18-year-olds living in Germany can now use their KulturPass voucher to attend cultural events across the country for free. From June 14, young people who are going to turn, or have already turned 18 in 2023 can download the KulturPass app and head out to the cinema, opera and theatre to enjoy 200 euros worth of cultural events.

It is also possible to buy books and vinyl with the 200 euros of cultural pocket money. Museums, memorial sights, churches and botanical gardens are included in the scheme, as well as the opportunity to use the voucher to buy an instrument at participating music shops. Around 700 cultural events and organisations across the country are taking part in the KulturPass scheme.

Streaming platforms are also included, but since the money must be spent “locally”, the voucher can only be used on German platforms and subscription services. Netflix, Spotify and Amazon are excluded.

The scheme was initially announced by German Culture Minister Claudia Roth back in November, and young people have been able to register for the pass online using an ELSTER certificate since mid-May.

KulturPass scheme available for Europe’s teens

The German KulturPass policy, which will cost the government 100 million euros, arrives after several other European countries introduced similar schemes. Among their European neighbours, German teens have been granted a KulturPass of the lowest monetary value, and critics of the German scheme say that the voucher’s value should be increased.

In 2021, the French government gave 18-year-olds 300 euros to spend on cultural activities. The French pass seems to have successfully stolen kids’ weary eyes away from screens - according to The New York Times, 75 percent of the purchases made by French teens were books and, more specifically, manga.

Spanish teens have been given a larger voucher to the value of 400 euros and in Italy, right-wing populist Prime Minister Georgia Meloni announced a 500-euro voucher before threatening to scrap the app and then saying the policy would be delayed until 2024, and may instead be means-tested or based on “merit”.

To find out more about the German KulturPass visit the official website.

Thumb image credit: bbernard /

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan

Editor for Germany at IamExpat Media. Olivia first came to Germany in 2013 to work as an Au Pair. Since studying English Literature and German in Scotland, Freiburg and Berlin...

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