What are reservations and are they included?
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 a slower, alternative route by taking regional trains instead.
The Rail Planner 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, click the ‘Options’ button and switch on ‘Trains without compulsory reservation’.
High Speed Trains
If you’re travelling within Western Europe, you will usually need to reserve a seat to use with your Interrail Pass. In Spain, Italy and France in particular, reservations are compulsory. 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 Thalys trains (Paris to Belgium, The Netherlands and Germany), as well as the TGV train which connects France with Italy.
- 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 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
- 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 – 100+ euros, depending on the level of comfort you’re looking for.
You’ll pay less for a seat, or you can opt for more pricey options such as a couchette or a sleeper compartment.