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Can you explain Interrail Pass reservations, and how to avoid or make them?

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.
Reservations are only required for some trains. In almost all countries you just hop on, find an empty seat and show your Interrail pass when asked by the conductor, there's nothing more to pay.  

  • Countries where reservations are seldom needed:  Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Great Britain, & 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 at the station until shortly before departure, no big deal.
  • 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 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, tick the box ‘no reservation needed. This will 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 Travel Pass can be made through the links below. Make sure that you have received your Interrail pass confirmation email, you'll need it in order to log into your Interrail account.

  1. Via the Interrail Self-Service, you can book up to 3 hours before your train's departure. You can use the Self-Service to make reservations for trains in Italy, France, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, and the Benelux. 
  2. Via the Interrail Reservation Service, you can book for all other countries, and up to 8 days before your train's departure date. 

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.

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