When booking travel and purchasing tickets in advance there is usually a spot to check "Senior" at a discounted price. Does that price apply to anyone over the age of 60, and/or do you have to have a "senior card" for whatever country you are in? For example, I'm looking to purchase tickets to Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. Would the senior discount apply if I have my passport or driver's license to verify?
In most of Europe senior discounts for museums and such are available only to EU residents and not to Americans. Spain is an exception. I haven't tested it in Barcelona, but we were in Andalucia and Madrid last spring and were able to get senior admission prices (very deep discount) to everything; I do not know what the age is -- I am 70 so don't know if the cut off is 60 or 65 -- I would guess 65 but I don't remember. In Italy, not only are American seniors excluded from senior admission rates but so until recently were American children. When we traveled with our kids in Italy, they were required to pay full adult fares at museums. (Their argument is that we don't have reciprocity agreements with Italy but of course child and senior admissions apply to ALL Italian citizens who qualify when they visit the US) ON the other hand, their heritage is crumbling about them for lack of maintenance and funding so I guess people rich enough to travel to Europe from the US ought to feel fine about paying full ticket prices to help fund these great sites -- the entry fares are cheap compared to even third rate US museums.
On transport in France there are senior fares on longer haul trains but there are restricted times they can be used i.e.not the most desirable weekend times e.g. Sunday evening or during what would be commuter times morning and evening. I don't remember senior fares on the train tickets we got in Spain.
American seniors, age 60 and over, are entitled to generous discounts on RENFE rail fares. You must, however, purchase a Senior card (Tarjeta Dorado) for (I think) 5 euros. You can do this by simply showing your passport at whatever place (rail station or some travel agencies) when you buy your first train ticket. I believe you get a 25% reduction on weekends and 40% on weekdays.
Also, if you are able to commit to specific dates and trains, you can get even better rates online from RENFE with (unfortunately) non-refundable tickets.
The "tarjeta dorada" (gold card) is available to anyone aged 60 or more. See this site http://www.renfe.com/EN/viajeros/tarifas/tarjeta_dorada.html
I think you have to have the dorada number when you buy the ticket, so you won't be able to buy tickets with the senior discount until you buy the card - which is only sold in Spain. As Jack said, you can get better discounts online. The dorada discount is only on the full price ticket.
We have purchased the Tarjeta Dorada (Gold Card) in Spain. It costs 5.05Euro. You can buy it at any staffed train station. 40% discount on tickets for use Mon-Thur. 25% discount on tickets for use Fri-Sun. For La Sagrada Familia, the basic entry price is 14.80Euro. If you include the visit to the towers, it's 19.30Euro. I don't see much in the way of any senior discount. We didn't get one on our visit. I do see a reference to Students and Retired but "Retired" isn't defined anywhere and it might be for EU citizens. Just don't know on this one.
I just received a message from Sagrada Familia on my question regarding "senior discounts" and was informed that we would qualify for the senior discount even though we are not Spanish.