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Eurail Global Pass Questions - do we need to reserve seats?

With a Eurail global pass, do we still need to reserve seats on specific trains from one city to the next or are we free to board a train leaving a city?
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) June 08, 2012 14:35
    Hi Sam,

    A rail pass covers the ticket costs on trains between different cities in the country or countries included on the pass. When applicable, reservations are a supplementary cost to a rail pass, just as they would be factored into the cost of individual point-to-point tickets. Therefore, a rail pass still often works out to be the most economical option for travelers taking multiple trains while in Europe that cover more substantial distances.

    Reservations are required on all high-speed trains, night trains, and many international routes. In western Europe, most major cities are connected almost exclusively by high-speed trains. Therefore, it is likely that reservations will be required for many of your trips there.

    For planning, you can just view schedules by entering the requested cities under 'Check Fares and Schedules' on the homepage of our website and clicking the option to 'Check Schedules'. To make your actual reservations on any reservable trains, you would click on 'Book a Reservation for Your Pass' on the homepage.

    Most trains in Europe can only be reserved within 60 or sometimes 90 days of an intended date of departure. If your intended date of travel happens to fall outside of this time frame, then you would just enter a date within the next 60 or 90 days to get an idea of the reservation cost and view schedules when searching a route.

    Reservable trains can sell out quickly, especially during the busy Summer travel season, so I would recommend booking your reservations as soon as possible.

    If a particular train doesn't accept reservations, then the rail pass is all you would need to board that train.

    If a particular train displays when you do a search under 'Book a Reservation for Your Pass' on our website, then it would be one indicator that you might want to purchase reservations on that train. If a particular train doesn't display from such a search, then it is likely that the train doesn't accept reservations or else reservations are not necessary. If you have questions regarding a specific train, please let us know.
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