No, reservations are not included in your Interrail Pass. With your Interrail Pass, you can easily travel without reservations on many local and regional trains. However, train reservations are required for most high-speed trains, international trains, some InterCity’s, and all overnight trains. It’s often possible to avoid reservations by taking slower, alternative routes on regional trains instead.
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, tap the ‘Options’ button and switch on ‘No seat reservations required’.
High Speed Trains
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. For trains in Spain, however, reservations can only be made at Spanish railway stations.
Very popular trains that are often sold out are the Thalys trains (Paris to Belgium, The Netherlands and Germany), the Eurostar trains between London and mainland Europe, the Renfe-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. Make sure to carefully do your research though, as there are a few exceptions. You can board most InterCity trains at no additional cost. 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 your board the train.
- 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!
- What are some of the busier lines? Vienna to Salzburg, Amsterdam to Berlin and Berlin to Prague.
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 or a sleeper compartment.