Travel without reservations?

Is it possible to travel without reservations? Has anyone done this recently? We are trying to get from Malaga, Spain to Paris, France
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) June 21, 2018 14:58
    Hi Amanda,

    Reservations are required on most high-speed trains, many international routes, and all overnight trains. In Western Europe, many places are connected almost exclusively by high-speed trains that require reservations. Therefore, it is often very difficult to avoid reservations there, especially for longer train journeys. If you were to take some other combination of non-reservable regional trains to connect between cities, it would generally end up taking a considerable amount of time. For longer train journeys, that would often involve stopping and overnighting somewhere along the way. To give you an idea: Just for Barcelona to Paris alone, a connection that involves unreserved trains involves at least 4 train changes en route and takes at least 23 hours, including a 6 hour stopover overnight.

    The connection from Malaga to Paris takes about 14 hours in duration and involves changing trains once in Barcelona along the way. Both of these trains do require reservations. Trains from Malaga to Barcelona are high-speed AVE trains that require reservations, and trains from Barcelona to Paris are France-Spain High Speed trains that also require reservations.

    You'll be traveling with a rail pass?
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