Reservations Guide For Eurail and InterRail Pass Users

If you have opted to use a Eurail or InterRail pass, we thought at an a glance guide to the  trains which DO and DON'T require reservation fees to be purchased before boarding would be useful.

Jump to Train Reservations by Country including BOOKING links and info

Jump to the Night trains summary

Jump to The trains on which rail pass users must reserve and to check the fees.


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TRAINS AND TRAIN SERVICES WHICH  DON'T REQUIRE RESERVATION FEES:

These trains and trains and train services fall into two categories.

(1) Train services on which reservations aren't available:
Seat reservations aren't available on these trains

Because seat reservations aren't available to any traveller, rail pass users inevitably don't have to reserve either.

Virtually all local and regional trains across Europe are in this category, including these train services, that are most often encountered by rail pass users;

ALX   l    IR (Switzerland)   l   Øresundståg        

Polregio (Poland)  l   Regio (Germany)           

Regionale (Italy)  

Regionale Veloce (Italy)   l  TER (France)   

Some of the independent railway lines in Switzerland, also come into this category, including the four largest:

MGB   l     MOB   l     RhB   l      ZB 

Seat reservations aren't available when travelling in Great Britain on trains operated by these companies:

c2cChiltern Railways, Great NorthernGreater Anglia*
*usually available on the London <> Norwich route.

London NorthWestern Railway*, Northern, Southern,

SoutheasternSouth Western Railway and Thameslink.

Seat reservations also aren't available on express trains in the Benelux countries, so rail pass users don't have to reserve on these train services:

 IC (Belgium)   l    IC (Netherlands)

Intercity Brussels   l    Intercity Direct.          

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(2) Train services on which reservations are OPTIONAL, but available:
Train services on which seat reservations are optional
On these train services if you don't pay the optional seat reservation fees, finding seats on these trains is NOT guranteed.

EC Austria ↔ Hungary

EC Austria ↔ Switzerland   

EC (within Czechia)   l   EC Czechia ↔ Hungary   

EC Czechia ↔ Slovakia

EC (within Denmark)   l   EC (within Germany)

EC Germany ↔ Czechnia

EC Germany ↔ Denmark (not between June 12 and September 4)

EC Germany ↔ Hungary   

EC Germany ↔ Slovakia

EC Germany ↔ Switzerland

EC Hungary  ↔ Slovakia

EC (within) Slovakia   l    EC (within Switzerland)

IC (Austria)   l    IC (Czechnia)   l    IC (Denmark)

IC (France) most routes

IC (Greece) seats must be reserved, but there is no charge

IC (Finland)   l    IC (Ireland)   l    IC (Switzerland)

IC (Germany and International)   l    ICE trains  

 Lyn (Denmark) 

Railjets (both within Austria and journeys from/to Austria)  

Regiontog (Norway)
(free for 1st class pass users only) 
Reservations required on the Oslo - Bergen route.

Regiojet trains

SJ Intercity (Sweden)  l    SJ Regional (Sweden)

Turkish exress trains including the YHT trains.

Trains in Great Britain operated by:

CrossCountry   l    East Midlands (EMT)*

Grand Central     l    Great Western Railway*

Hull Trains     l    LNER

ScotRail*   l    TransPennine Express

Virgin Trains* 

*Long distance routes onlly

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DAYTIME TRAINS AND SERVICES ON WHICH SEATS MUST BE RESERVED PRIOR TO BOARDING:
Trains on which Eurail and InterRail Pass Users Must Reserve Prior to Boarding

When available - click the train services below to find out the price of the reservations and how you can book them.

Reservation fees are normally charged in local currency - so the € symbol can be a guide:

Also note that InterRail and Eurail pass users ocasionally have to reserve on some train services, when reservations are optional for ticket purchasers.

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COMPULSORY RESERVATION FEES* FOR 1st  CLASS PASS USERS:

*The prices rail pass users will pay if booked at stations or on the national rail operator's websites.

Under €5 per seat:

Alfa Pendular (Portugal)    l   Avant (Spain)

EC trains between Austria/Germany ↔ Slovenia/Croatia

EC trains Germany ↔ Poland

EC trains Poland ↔ Austria

EC trains Poland ↔ Czechia/Hungary/Slovakia

EC trains Hungary ↔ Croatia/Slovenia/Serbia

EC trains - within Hungary

Ekspressen (Bulgaria)    l   Intercity (Italy)

Media Distancia (Spain)    l   IC (Hungary)

IC (Portugal)    l   IC (Slovakia)    l   IC (Romania)

ICS (Slovenia)    l   IR (Romania)

Regional (Bosnia and Herzegovina)     

EIC (Poland)    l   IC (Poland)    l  TLK (Poland)

The reservations on these Polish services are free of charge if booked at a ticket office at a Polish station.

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 €5 - €10 per seat:

EC Germany  Denmark* between 12 June and 4 September

EIP (Poland)   l   Frecce (Italy)

Intercités (France)
certain routes only
price is €20 when the £10 reservations are sold out

SuperCity (Czechia)

IC (Spain)    l  Talgo (Spain)

TGV (inOui) (France)
price is €20 when the £10 reservations are sold out

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 €11 - €20 per seat:

EC trains Austria/Germany ↔ Italy

EC trains Switzerland ↔ Italy

Pendolino* (Finland)    l   Snabbtåg (Sweden)

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 €21 - €30 per seat:

Altaria (Spain)    l   Alvia (Spain)    l   AVE (Spain)

DB-SNCF  (France <>Germany)

Euromed (Spain) 

Lyria - (Switzerland <> French cities other than Paris)

RENFE-SNCF  (France <>Spain)
price depends on distance Lyon/Marseille <> Barcelona is under €30

(TGV France  Belgium)     

Thalys to/from Belgium

Thalys (Paris <> Germany/The Netherlands)

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 more than €30 per seat:

Eurostar    l   Lyria (Switzerland <>  Paris)

RENFE-SNCF (France <>Spain)
longer distances including Paris <> Barcelona

TGV France-Italy

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COMPULSORY RESERVATION FEES* FOR 2ND CLASS PASS USERS:

*The prices rail pass will pay if booked at stations or on the national rail operator's websites.

Under €5 per seat:

Alfa Pendular (Portugal)    l   Avant (Spain)

EC Germany  Denmark* between 12 June and 4 September

EC trains between Austria/Germany ↔ Slovenia/Croatia

EC trains Germany ↔ Poland

EC trains Poland ↔ Austria

EC trains Poland ↔ Czechia/Hungary/Slovakia

EC trains Hungary ↔ Croatia/Slovenia/Serbia

EC trains - within Hungary

Ekspressen (Bulgaria)    l   Intercity (Italy)

Media Distancia (Spain)    l   IC (Hungary)

IC (Ireland) - free with a 1st class pass

IC (Portugal)    l   IC (Slovakia)    l   IC (Romania)

ICS (Slovenia)    l   IR (Romania)

Regional (Bosnia and Herzegovina)   

EIC (Poland)    l   IC (Poland)    l  TLK (Poland)

The reservations on these Polish services are free of charge if booked at a ticket office at a Polish station.

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€5 - €10 per seat:

Altaria (Spain)    l   Alvia (Spain)    l   AVE (Spain)

EC trains Austria/Germany ↔ Italy

EIP  (Poland) l   Euromed (Spain)    

Frecce  (Italy)    l    IC (Spain) 

Intercités (France)
certain routes only
price is €20 when the £10 reservations are sold out

Pendolino* (Finland)    l   Snabbtåg (Sweden)

SuperCity (Czechia)

Talgo (Spain)

TGV InOui (France)
price is €20 when the £10 reservations are sold out

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 €11 - €20 per seat:

DB-SNCF  (France <>Germany)

EC trains Switzerland ↔ Italy

Lyria (Switzerland <> French cities other than Paris)

RENFE-SNC (France <>Spain)

price depends on distance Lyon/Marseille <> Barcelona is under €20

(TGV France  Belgium)     

Thalys to/from Belgium

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 €21 - €30 per seat:

Eurostar    l   Lyria (Switzerland <> Paris)

RENFE-SNCF - longer distances including Paris ↔ Barcelona

Thalys (Paris ↔ Germany/The Netherlands)

more than €30 per seat:

TGV France-Italy

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RAIL PASS RESERVATIONS ON NIGHT TRAINS:
Rail Pass reservation fees on night trains
Using a rail pass on a European night train is a different experience to using a Eurail or InterRail pass on a daytime train, so we have produced some bespoke info that you can find here.

We've also included the details of the type of accommodation you can choose from, and the reservation fees for each of them, on our info for these specific overnight trains.

Nightjet (International)   l   Nightjet (within Austria)    

Thello

AND on these EuroNight train routes:

Austria ↔ Poland   l   Czechia/Hungary ↔ Poland

Hungary ↔ Romania   l   Hungary ↔ Germany/Switzerland -

Hungary ↔ Czechia   l   Croatia ↔ Germany/Switzerland


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TRAIN RESERVATIONS  BY COUNTRY SUMMARY:

ShowMeTheJourney's advice, based on our own travel experiences, is to avoid booking both optional and mandatory reservations at the last minute, on these services in particular:

Eurostar   l   Thalys 

EC Germany  Denmark

Snabbtåg   l    RENFE-SNCF

TGV between Paris and the south of France

EC Germany ↔ Czechnia (June - Sept)

EC trains Germany/Austria  ↔ Italy (June - Sept)

Intercity (Italy) (parfticularly June - Sept)

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These lists of DAYTIME train services - also include the international train services to/from each country.

Austria -  NO Reservation Required:

EC (within Austria)   l    EC Austria ↔ Germany

EC Austria ↔ Hungary

EC Austria ↔ Switzerland   

IC (Austria)   l    ICE

Railjet  l    REX  l    S-Bahn

Austria -  Reservation Required:

EC trains between Austria ↔ Slovenia/Croatia/Serbia

EC trains Austria ↔ Poland

You can book these optional and compulsory reservations online on the OBB, Austrian national railways, website before arriving in Austria.

You can usually book reservations for journeys within Austria and for journeys to Germany up to 6 months ahead and on most other international trains up to 3 months ahead. 

The step-by-step instructions are on our booking Austrian train tickets GUIDE.

More info about using rail passes to travel in and to/from Austria is available HERE

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Belgium - NO Reservation Required:

All local trains

IC (Belgium)   l   Intercity Brussels

IC (France)   l   ICE

Belgium - Reservation Required:

Eurostar   l   Thalys 

TGB (TGV France  Belgium)*

Avoid booking reservations at stations in Belgium, you will have to pay booking fees.

Reservations for the Eurostar and Thalys trains can be booked on B-Europe - Eurostar reservations can normally be booked up to 6 months ahead and Thalys reservations can usually be booked up 4 months ahead.

However, reservations for the TGV (Bruxelles - France) trains can't be booked B-Europe -  more info is available on the guide to using rail passes to travel in and to/from Belgium.

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Bulgaria - Reservation Required:

Ekspressen   l   EC trains

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Czechia - NO Reservation Required:

ALX   l   EC (within Czechia) 

EC Czechia ↔ Hungary/Germany/Slovakia   

IC (Czechia)   l   Railjet

All other trains operated by CD - the Czech national rail company

Rail pass are are also now valid on Regiojet trains.

Czechia -  Reservation Required:

SuperCity   l   EC trains Poland ↔ Czechia

Our guide to booking these mandatory and optional reservations online on the CD website is available HERE, or you can book these reservations, without having to pay additional fees, at ticket offices

More info about using rail passes to travel in and to/from Czechia is available HERE

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Denmark - NO Reservation Required:

EC Germany ↔ Denmark (NOT between 12 June and 4 September)

Lyn   l   IC (Denmark)   l   Øresundståg

All other trains

If you DO want to reserve on a national rail service then book the reservations at the station - ideally when you first arrive at a location.

Rail pass reservations can't be booked on the DSB (Danish national railways) website.

Denmark -  Reservation Required:

EC Germany  Denmark* between 12 June and 4 September

Snabbtåg

Book the reservations for  the Snabbtåg trains to Sweden* on the SJ (Swedish Railways) website  (*You have to take the Øresundståg trains on journeys to Malmo).

Between 12 June and 4 September you must reserve on the EC trains to Germany: 1st class = €5.90; 2nd class = €4.50

Reservations on these trains, including for journeys FROM Denmark, can be booked up to 6 months ahead on DB 

More info about using rail passes to travel in and to/from Denmark is available HERE

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France  -  NO Reservation Required:

Intercités most routes

TER   l   other cross border local trains

France  -  Reservation Required:

DB-SNCF   l   Eurostar

Intercités - certain routes only

RENFE-SNCF   l   Lyria   l   TGV

Thalys  l  TGV France  Belgium

TGV France-Italy

Reservations on the non-international services can be booked online up to 3 months ahead of the travel date and in our experience, you often have to book at least 10 days ahead to obtain the €10 price.

(i) INTERRAIL pass users can book reservations online on Oui.SNCF - the step-by-step instructions are on this GUIDE.

(ii) EURAIL  pass users can go to RailEurope and tick the 'I have a rail pass' box.

Rail pass reservations for the Eurostar and Thalys Can be booked on B-Europe 

Rail pass reservations for the DB-SNCF services can be booked online with DB

More info about using rail passes to travel in and to/from France is available HERE

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Germany - NO Reservation Required:

ALX   l   EC (within Germany)

EC Germany ↔ Austria

EC Germany ↔ Czechnia

EC Germany ↔ Denmark (not between June 12 and September 4)

EC Germany ↔ Hungary   

EC Germany ↔ Slovakia

EC Germany ↔ Switzerland

IC Berlijn    l    IC (Germany)    l    ICE

Regio    l    Railjet    l   S-Bahn

Germany - Reservation Required:

DB-SNCF

EC Germany  Denmark between 12 June and 4 September

EC trains Germany ↔ Poland

EC trains Germany ↔ Slovenia/Croatia

EC trains Germany ↔ Italy    l   Thalys 

You can USUALLY purchase optional and mandatory seat reservations for the daytime trains on the DB (German national railways) booking website here - the main exceptions are the Thalys trains and DB-SNCF high speed services.

The major stations in Germany, the hauptbahnhofs, house Reisezentrum travel desks at which rail pass reservations can be booked for the majority of all European train services, with no booking fees applied.

More info about using rail passes to travel in and to/from Germany is available HERE

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Great Britain - NO Reservation Required:

Rail pass reservations aren't mandatory on any British train service, but if you will be travelling on train services operated by

 

CrossCountry   l    East Midlands (EMT)*

Grand Central     l    Great Western Railway*

Hull Trains     l    LNER

ScotRail*   l    TransPennine Express

Virgin Trains

 

reservations are available, but optional (* = long-distance journeys only)

There is no charge for booking them, but they must be arranged a minimum of four hours prior to departure at a staffed ticket counter, or at an Advance Travel office, if a station has this facility.

Great Britain - Reservation Required:

Eurostar

More info about using rail passes to travel in and to/from Great Britain

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Hungary - NO Reservation Required:

EC Hungary ↔ Austria

EC Hungary ↔ Czechia

EC Hungary ↔ Germany   

EC Hungary  ↔ Slovakia    l   Railjet 

Hungary - Reservation Required:

EC trains within Hungary    l   IC (Hungary)

Railjets within Hungary

EC trains Hungary ↔ Croatia/Slovenia/Serbia

More info about using rail passes to travel in and to/from Hungary is available HERE

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Italy - NO Reservation Required:

Regionale   l     Regionale Veloce

Railjet   l    Other local cross border trains

Italy - Reservation Required:

EC trains Italy ↔ Switzerland*

EC trains Italy ↔ Austria/Germany*

*Also payable on journeys solely within Italy by these trains
   
Frecce   l    Intercity (Italy)

TGV France-Italy

Rail pass reservations up to 4 months ahead of the travel date can be purchased from:
(1) The Trenitalia website - this PAGE has the step-by-step instructions for booking them online 
(2) Trenitalia branded ticket machines (for journeys within Italy)
(3) Ticket counters
All three of these methods don't incur booking fees.

More info about using rail passes to travel in and to/from Italy is available HERE

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Norway - NO Reservation Required:

Regiontog (all routes except Oslo - Bergen) 

All other trains

Norway - Reservation Required:

Regiontog on the Oslo - Bergen route.

Snabbtåg   l    IC

Reservations on the Regiontog trains can arranged by calling the NSB international booking service on +4761051910

Book the reservations for the trains to/from Sweden on the SJ (Swedish Railways) website 

More info about using rail passes to travel in and to/from Norway is available HERE

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Poland -  Reservation Required:

EC trains Poland ↔ Austria/Czechia/Germany/Hungary/Slovakia

EIP   l    EIC   l    IC   l    TLK

There is no charge for the EIC, IC and TLK trains, but seats must be reserved prior to boarding.

More info about using rail passes to travel in and to/from Poland is available HERE

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Spain - NO Reservation Required:

Regional Express   

Spain - Reservation Required:

Avant   l   Altaria   l   Alvia

AVE     l   Euromed   l   IC (Spain)

Media Distancia     l     RENFE-SNCF

Talgo

More info about using rail passes to travel in and to/from Spain is available HERE

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Sweden -  NO Reservation Required:

Øresundståg   l    SJ Regional

SJ Intercity   

Sweden -  Reservation Required:

Snabbtåg

All rail pass reservations can be booked on the SJ (Swedish Railways) website - up to 3 months ahead of the travel date

More info about using rail passes to travel in and to/from Sweden is available HERE

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Switzerland -  NO Reservation Required

EC Trains within Switzerland

Lyria Trains within Switzerland

EC Switzerland ↔ Austria

EC Switzerland ↔ Germany


IC (Germany)    l    ICE    l    IC (Switzerland)

IR (Switzerland    l    Railjet    l    TER 

Switzerland -  Reservation Required

EC trains Switzerland ↔ Italy    l    Lyria

SBB's online seat reservation service does NOT sell reservations for journeys from Switzerland.

If you will be taking an EC train to Italy you can avoid the booking fees charged at Swiss (SBB) stations by booking  your rail pass reservations on the Trenitalia (Italian Railways) website - the step-by-step instructions are on this page.

More info about using rail passes to travel in and to/from Switzerland is available HERE

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The Netherlands -  NO Reservation Required

 IC  l    IC Berlijn  l    ICE

Intercity Brussels   l    Intercity Direct  l   Sprinter

The Netherlands -  Reservation Required          

Eurostar   l    Thalys

Avoid booking reservations at stations in The Netherlands, you will have to pay booking fees.

Resservations for the Thalys can be booked on B-Europe up to 4 months ahead of the travel date,

More info about using rail passes to travel in and to/from The Netherlands is available HERE

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 NEW - Fabulous Itineraries - Save the bother of working out which trains you need to take and where:


Which DAYTIME train services require reservations for rail pass users AND which don't:


How to use Eurail and InterRail passes in most European countries -  including on which trains you do and don't have to reserve:


Our money saving tips for Eurail and InterRail Pass Holidays:


How to Get The Most of Using Rail Passes and Minimize The Stress:


Tips for PLANNING  your own journey around Europe - make your trip as easy as possible: