What are seat reservations?
Are reservations included in my DiscoverEU Interrail Pass?
Reservation costs are not included in your Interrail pass. However, in most cases, you can avoid seat reservations if you so prefer.
Reservations are only required for some trains, particularly those travelling at high-speed or overnight. In almost all countries where reservations are not required you just hop on, find an empty seat, and show the barcode of the journey on your Interrail Pass when asked by the conductor (for more information on how to use the Pass, check this article). There's nothing more to pay.
The overview below will give you an idea of what to expect when planning your trip:
- Countries where reservations are rarely needed: Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Great Britain (often needed, but free of charge), & Ireland.
- Countries where an extra-cost reservation is almost always needed: France, Italy, Spain, Portugal & Sweden.
- In Central & Eastern Europe the situation varies, some trains you can just hop on, other trains require a seat reservation, as shown in the timetables with an 'R' symbol. If you need a reservation, it usually only costs 2€-4€ and can be made either online or at the station until shortly before departure.
- Overnight sleeper trains: You always need to pay a supplement and make a reservation for a sleeper or couchette on overnight trains, in all countries.
How to avoid making seat reservations?
It is very possible to travel without having to make train reservations. You can choose to take local and regional trains that do not require reservations, though they will take longer to arrive at their destination than high-speed or overnight trains. If this is no problem, you can avoid reservations.
The Discover EU Travel App allows you to plan your journey without having to travel on any trains that require reservations. When entering your trip in the Trip Planner, tick the box “no reservation needed”. This will then only display trains and routes that do not require any reservations.
You can find more tips on how to best avoid reservations here.
How to make seat reservations?
Reservations for an Interrail Pass can be made through the links below. Make sure that you have received your Interrail pass confirmation email, as you'll need it in order to log into your Interrail account.
- You can easily make reservations through the Discover EU app, or by going through the Interrail Self-Service. These services will allow you to make reservations for the vast majority of trains across Europe! Exceptions are the Baltic countries, Bosnia Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Greece, Ireland, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Portugal, Serbia, Spain, Turkey, and the UK (except the Eurostar trains). Print at home reservations can be booked up to 1 hour before departure. Paper ticket reservations have to be booked at least 6 days before the train's departure.
- Through the website of the train companies themselves. This is not always possible, so we generally recommend trying the Self-Service first before attempting this route. More information on this can be found here.
How far in advance can I make reservations for my Interrail Pass?
- For 'normal' trains, you can start making reservations 2 months before your train's departure.
- For most high-speed and night trains, up to 3 months in advance. Many of these trains get fully booked, so we advise you to make your reservations at least 2 months in advance.