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Seat reservations and night trains

RBCH8378.00 00 42 22

Seat reservations and night trains

The Interrail Pass lets you explore Europe at your own tempo and provides you with the opportunity to 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.

Here's your guide to why and how to make seat reservations for your Interrail adventure.

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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, travellers also benefit from a meal and drink or other services such as lounge access or complimentary newspapers

 

IN WHICH 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 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 therefore vary a lot from country to country. However, seat reservations in Eastern Europe and the 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
  • The high-speed border-crossing trains normally cost between 20-60 EUR
  • Night trains, where reservations are always mandatory, varies a lot in price but is often priced around 50 EUR. 

NB: Remember that seat reservation is an extra cost to your Interrail experience and needs to be factored into your overall budget. 

TRAVELLING ON A BUDGET?

If you are travelling on a budget and do not wish to pay extra for a reserved seat, there are alternative options for destinations that don’t require a reservation.

Regional trains do not require seat reservations and there a plenty of benefits to using these:

  • Go off the beaten track and visit some of Europe's smaller 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, 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 what you need to know - before, during and after your trip. 

The official Interrail site
In case you want to start book your seat reservations before your trip, visit 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 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 a unique experience and a good way to cover a large distance 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 that you 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 can then book the rest on-the-go. For the planners who want to experience more in less time, it's a good idea to make more reservations in advance. 

NB: In the summer months, seat reservations can sell out 2-3 months in advance.

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