The Interrail Pass lets you explore Europe in your tempo and provides you with the opportunity to just hop on and off trains in more than 31 European countries as you like.
However, some train operators and countries require a seat reservation that you need to book in advance.
WHY MAKE SEAT RESERVATIONS?
- A guaranteed seat offers peace of mind and comfort: no need to stand in the aisles or face overcrowded trains
- Advanced booking offers the opportunity to secure seats together with travel companions
- In many cases trains requiring a reservation are high speed; reaching destinations more quickly and efficiently than alternative trains
- Often the fee provides you with additional comfort and services, such as wider seats with extra leg room and free WiFi
- In some cases, travelers also benefit from a meal and drink or other services such as lounge access or complimentary newspapers
IN WHAT COUNTRIES DO YOU HAVE TO MAKE A SEAT RESERVATION?
You always need to make advance seat reservations in the following countries:
- Finland, Sweden, France, Spain and Italy.
In the summer months (April - September) it is also mandatory to make reservations:
- Between Denmark - Hamburg.
In general, it is always a good idea to check up on seat reservations for your chosen route as this information may change.
You can read more about country seat reservations in the Interrail Pass Guide, which is included in all Interrail Pass purchases at KILROY. Alternatively you can read more on the official Interrail.eu site or by taking a look at our FAQ for more information.
HOW MUCH DOES A SEAT RESERVATION COST?
The seat reservation fees are determined by the different train operators and thus vary a lot from country to country. However, seat reservations in Eastern Europe and Balkans are in general much cheaper (and less crowded) compared to the ones in Western Europe and the Nordics.
- A domestic seat reservation typically costs around 1-10 EUR depending.
- The high-speed border-crossing trains normally cost between 20-60 EUR.
- Night trains, where reservations is always mandatory, varies a lot in price but is often priced around 50 EUR.
NB: Remember that seat reservations is an extra cost to your Interrail experience and thus make sure to include it into your budget.
TRAVELING ON A BUDGET?
If you are traveling on a budget and do not care for paying extra for a reserved seat, there are alternative options for destinations, which don’t require a reservation
Regional trains do not require seat reservations and there a plenty of benefits of these:
- Go off the beaten track and visit some of Europe's charming towns and villages
- Enjoy the sights: many regional trains take a scenic route enabling you to enjoy your surroundings at a slower pace
- Meet the locals, as regional trains are the ones, they most often take
- Enjoy flexible travel. If you miss your train just simply board the next one, since regional trains have frequent services
HOW AND WHERE DO YOU MAKE SEAT RESERVATIONS?
If you have purchased an Interrail Pass at KILROY you will receive a detailed map of all the train routes and an overview of where seat reservations are mandatory. You will also receive an Interrail Pass Guide, that explains all of the stuff you need to know - before, under and after your trip.
The official Interrail site:
In case you want to start book your seat reservations before your trip, we can also recommend the official Interrail site, where you can book seat reservations online.
The Interrail Planner app:
Before and during your trip we highly encourage you to make use of the official Interrail Planner App - here you will find all practical information about Interrail, seat reservations and great discounts.
Local train ticket office:
During your trip we highly encourage you to make use of the local train ticket offices. They are able to assist you with bookings and if you have any specific questions.
HOW DOES IT WORK WITH NIGHT TRAINS?
We very much recommend you to use night trains during your trip. It´s an unique experience and a good way to cover a lot of kilometers overnight. And did we mention it will save you the cost of a hostel?
On night trains seat reservations are always mandatory and need to be booked in advance.
WHEN AND HOW MANY RESERVATIONS SHOULD YOU MAKE?
We recommend that you start planning your journey as soon as possible. Most seats are available for booking around two to three months in advance
It can be a great idea to map out either destinations and/or regions you want to visit, so you at least know how to get there - and back.
In general, we recommend you to make a few reservations in advance. If you are the typical non-planner or have plenty of time to travel, one or two seat reservations can be enough, and you then book the rest on-the-go. For the planners who want to experience more in less time, it can be fruitful to make more reservations in advance.
NB: In the summer months seat reservations can sell out 2-3 months in advance.