No, seat reservations are not included in your Interrail Pass. They come at an additional charge, and are mandatory on some high-speed, Intercity and overnight trains. Your Pass will not be valid without a seat reservation ticket on these trains. The DiscoverEU Travel App will clearly show which trains require seat reservations.
However, it’s often possible to avoid reservations by taking slower, alternative routes on regional trains instead. The DiscoverEU 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, tap the ‘Filters’ button and switch on ‘No seat reservations required’. For more information on this, check out this article.
If you’re travelling within Western Europe, you will often need to reserve a seat to travel with your Interrail Pass. In Spain, Italy and France in particular, reservations are compulsory on a high number of trains. It’s well worth booking these in advance, since they can sell out in the busy summer months.
Very popular trains that are often sold out are the Eurostar trains (Paris to Belgium, The Netherlands and Germany), and between London and mainland Europe, the SNCF TGV service between France and Barcelona, and the TGV train which connects France with Italy. We highly recommend booking these as far in advance as possible.
When to book?: As soon as possible.
Important: If a reservation is compulsory, and you board the train without a valid reservation with your Interrail Pass, you could be fined or asked to get off at the next station.
InterCity trains are the trains between Europe’s major towns and cities. For most of these trains, reservations are not compulsory. In these trains, your Pass will be considered a valid ticket when boarding the train. However, do consider that you might not have a seat during very busy periods. If a train seat is important to you, it is worth to purchase a reservation before you board the train.
There are a few exceptions where reservations are required, so make sure to pay close attention to the DiscoverEU Travel App when you plan your trip.
When to book?: The day before or on the day itself. Booking further ahead won't hurt though, in case your plans are set already!
Regional trains usually do not allow for reservations. These trains tend to be less busy, and reservations are not necessary.
Night trains always require a reservation, even if you only want to have a seat in a carriage. The extra fee can be anything from 10 to 100+ euros, depending on the level of comfort you’re looking for.
You’ll pay only a few euro's for a seat, or you can opt for more pricey options such as a couchette.