Interrail & Eurail train reservations

 

Interrail - Eurail pass logo

small bullet point  How to use an Interrail pass

small bullet point  How to use a Eurail pass

small bullet point Pass reservations on Eurostar

On this page I explain...

small bullet point  which trains/operators are covered by Interrail/Eurail;

small bullet point  which trains require a reservation and which don't;

small bullet point  how much reservations cost;

small bullet point  how to make reservations online.

Don't expect train ticket websites to sell passholder reservations, most don't.  But you can usually make passholder reservations online if you know which website to use.  Select the country where a train starts, look for that specific operator, route & train type and I'll tell you how.

Prices are per person per journey, the cost is the same for Eurail & Interrail.  Children (even with a free pass) pay the same reservation fee as adults.  Check prices at www.eurail.com or www.interrail.eu.  And remember, making reservations is totally separate from using the pass.  Last updated April 2024.

Select the country where the train starts

small bullet point  Austria

small bullet point  Belgium

small bullet point  Bosnia

small bullet point  Bulgaria

small bullet point  Croatia

small bullet point  Czech Republic

small bullet point  Denmark

small bullet point  Estonia

small bullet point  Finland

 

small bullet point  France

small bullet point  Germany

small bullet point  Great Britain

small bullet point  Greece

small bullet point  Hungary

small bullet point  Ireland

small bullet point  Italy

small bullet point  Latvia

small bullet point  Lithuania

 

small bullet point  Luxembourg

small bullet point  Montenegro

small bullet point  Netherlands

small bullet point  North Macedonia

small bullet point  Norway

small bullet point  Poland

small bullet point  Portugal

small bullet point  Romania

small bullet point  Serbia

 

small bullet point  Slovakia

small bullet point  Slovenia

small bullet point  Spain

small bullet point  Sweden

small bullet point  Switzerland

small bullet point  Turkey


Austria

What's covered?

Help with train times

Using a pass within Austria

Austria ► Belgium

Austria ► France

Austria ► Germany

Austria ► Netherlands

Austria ► Switzerland

Austria ► Italy

Austria ► Hungary

Austria ► Czech Republic

Austria ► Slovakia

Austria ► Poland

Austria ► Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia

Austria ► Romania

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Belgium

What's covered?

Help with train times

Using a pass within Belgium

Belgium ► Great Britain

Belgium ► France

Belgium ► Netherlands

Belgium ► Germany

Belgium ► Austria

Belgium ► Luxembourg

Belgium ► Czech Republic

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Bosnia

What's covered?

Help with train times

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Bulgaria

What's covered?

Help with train times

Using a pass on national trains

Using a pass on international trains

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Croatia

What's covered?

Help with train times

Using a pass within Croatia

Using a pass on international trains

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Czech Republic

What's covered?

What's not covered

Help with train times

Using a pass within the Czech Republic

Czech Republic ► Netherlands, Belgium

Czech Republic ► Germany

Czech Republic ► Austria

Czech Republic ► Switzerland

Czech Republic ► Hungary

Czech Republic ► Slovakia

Czech Republic ► Poland

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Denmark

What's covered?

Other pass benefits

Help with train times

Using a pass within Denmark

Denmark ► Germany

Denmark ► Sweden

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Estonia

What's covered?

Other pass benefits

Help with train times

Using a pass on national trains

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Finland

What's covered?

Other pass benefits

Help with train times

Using a pass within Finland

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France

What's covered?

What's not covered?

Other pass benefits

Help with train times

Using a pass within France

How to make passholder reservations for France

France ► Great Britain

France ► Belgium, Netherlands

France ► Luxembourg

France ► Switzerland

France ► Italy

France ► Spain

France ► Germany

France ► Austria

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Germany

What's covered?

What's not covered?

Help with train times

Using a pass within Germany

Germany ► Paris & France

Germany ► Brussels & Belgium

Germany ► Amsterdam & the Netherlands

Germany ► Luxembourg

Germany ► Switzerland

Germany ► Italy

Germany ► Austria

Germany ► Copenhagen & Denmark

Germany ► Stockholm & Sweden

Germany ► Prague & Czech Republic

Germany ► Poland

Germany ► Budapest & Hungary

Germany ► Slovenia & Croatia

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Great Britain

What's covered?

Help with train times

Using a pass within Britain

Using a pass on Eurostar to Paris, Brussels & Amsterdam

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Greece

What's covered?

Help with train times

Using a pass on Greek trains

Using a pass on international trains

Using a pass on the ferries to Italy

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Hungary

What's covered?

Help with train times

Using a pass within Hungary

Hungary ► Austria

Hungary ► Germany

Hungary ► Switzerland

Hungary ► Slovakia & Czechia

Hungary ► Romania

Hungary ► Poland

Hungary ► Slovenia

Hungary ► Croatia

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Ireland

What's covered?

Other pass benefits

Using a pass on Irish trains

Using a pass on international trains

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Italy

What's covered?

What's not covered?

Help with train times

Using a pass within Italy

How to make passholder reservations for Italy

Italy ► Switzerland

Italy ► Paris, Nice, France

Italy ► Austria & Germany

Italy ► Slovenia

Italy ► Greece by ferry

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Latvia

What's covered?

Other pass benefits

Help with train times

Using a pass on national trains

Using a pass on international trains

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Lithuania

What's covered?

Help with train times

Using a pass on national trains

Using a pass on international trains

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Luxembourg

What's covered?

Other pass benefits

Help with train times

Using a pass on national trains

Using a pass on international trains

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Montenegro

What's covered?

Using a pass on national & international trains

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Netherlands

What's covered?

Help with train times

Using a pass within the Netherlands

Netherlands ► Great Britain

Netherlands ► Paris & France

Netherlands ► Brussels & Belgium

Netherlands ► Berlin, Cologne & Germany

Netherlands ► Austria

Netherlands ► Switzerland

Netherlands ► Czech Republic

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North Macedonia

What's covered?

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Norway

What's covered?

Other pass benefits

Help with train times

Using a pass on Norwegian trains

Using a pass on international trains

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Poland

What's covered?

Help with train times

Using a pass within Poland

Poland ► Berlin & Germany

Poland ► Vienna & Austria

Poland ► Prague & Czechia

Poland ► Bratislava or Budapest

Poland ► Vilnius

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Portugal

What's covered?

Help with train times

Using a pass on Portuguese trains

Using a pass on international trains

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Romania

What's covered?

Help with train times

Using a pass on Romanian trains

Using a pass on international trains

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Serbia

What's covered?

Help with train times

Using a pass on Serbian trains

Using a pass on international trains

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Slovakia

What's covered?

Help with train times

Using a pass within Slovakia

Using a pass on international trains

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Slovenia

What's covered?

Help with train times

Using a pass on Slovenian trains

Using a pass on international trains

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Spain

What's covered?

What's not covered

Help with train times

Using a pass within Spain

Spain ► France

Spain ► Portugal

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Sweden

What's covered?

Other pass benefits

Help with train times

Using a pass within Sweden

Using a pass on international trains

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Switzerland

What's covered?

Help with train times

Using a pass within Switzerland

Switzerland ► Paris & France

Switzerland ► Amsterdam & the Netherlands

Switzerland ► Milan & Italy

Switzerland ► Austria

Switzerland ► Germany

Switzerland ► Prague & Czechia

Switzerland ► Budapest & Hungary

Switzerland ► Slovenia & Croatia

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Turkey

What's covered?

Help with train times

Using a pass on Turkish trains

Using a pass on international trains

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How to make reservations

Some train operator websites allow reservation-only bookings for passholders, most don't.  And even if they do, it may work for some routes not others.

Interrail/Eurail reservations service

Once you've bought a Eurail or Interrail pass so have a valid pass number, you can make passholder reservations for many trains using the Interrail/Eurail reservations service, including Eurostar, and trains in many countries.

How to make reservations on Eurostar

How to make reservations at Raileurope.com

How to make reservations at the French Railways website

How to make reservations at the Belgian Railways website

How to make reservations at the Trenitalia website

How to make reservations at the German Railways (DB) website

How to make reservations at the Austrian Railways (ÖBB) website

How to make reservations at the Czech Railways (CD) website

How to make reservations at the Polish Railways (PKP Intercity) website

How to make reservations at the Danish Railways (DSB) website

How to make reservations at the Swedish Railways (SJ) website

How to make reservations at the Leo Express website


Tips for booking hotels

I recommend www.booking.com as you can usually book hotels with free cancellation.  That means you can sort your hotels without any risk months before train bookings open, and even change your plans at no cost usually up to 24 hours before checking into the hotel.  Any hotels, guesthouses or B&Bs with a review score over 8.0 are unlikely to disappoint.

Hotels will almost always look after your bags for free if you need to check out and catch an afternoon or evening train, or if you arrive in the morning before you can check in to your room.

Find hotels at Booking.comMy favourite hotel search: www.booking.com

Booking.com is my favourite hotel booking site and I generally use it to book all my hotels in one place.  I've come to trust booking.com's review scores, you won't be disappointed with any hotel that scores 8.0 or more.  Crucially, booking.com usually lets you book with free cancellation, which means you can confirm accommodation risk-free before train booking opens and/or you can hold accommodation while you finalise your itinerary and alter your plans as they evolve - a feature I use all the time when planning a trip.  I never book hotels non-refundably!

Backpacker hostels

www.hostelworld.com:  If you're on a tight budget, don't forget about backpacker hostels.  Hostelworld offers online booking of cheap private rooms or dorm beds in backpacker hostels in Paris and most other European cities at rock-bottom prices.

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Travel insurance & VPN

 

Staysure travel insurance

 

Columbus Direct logo

Always take out travel insurance

You should take out travel insurance with at least Ł1m or preferably Ł5m medical cover from a reliable insurer.  It should cover trip cancellation and loss of cash & belongings up to a reasonable limit.  These days, check you're covered for covid-19-related issues, and use an insurer whose cover isn't invalidated by well-meant but excessive Foreign Office travel advice against non-essential travel. An annual policy is usually cheapest even for just 2 or 3 trips a year, I have an annual policy with Staysure.co.uk myself.  Don't expect travel insurance to bail you out of every missed connection, see the advice on missed connections here.  Here are some suggested insurers, I get a little commission if you buy through these links, feedback always welcome.

UK flag  www.staysure.co.uk offers enhanced Covid-19 protection and gets 4.7 out of 5 on Trustpilot.

UK flag  www.columbusdirect.com is also a well-know brand.

US flag  If you live in the USA try Travel Guard USA.

 

Maya.net logo

Get an eSIM with mobile data package

Don't rely on WiFi, download an eSIM with a European mobile data package and stay connected.  Most newer mobile phones can download a virtual SIM including iPhone 11 & later, see device compatibility list.  There's no need to buy a physical SIM card!  Maya.net is a reliable eSIM data retailer with a 4.5 out of 5 Trustpilot rating and a range of packages including unlimited data.

 

Curve card

Curve card

Get a Curve card for foreign travel

Most banks give you a poor exchange rate then add a foreign transaction fee on top.  A Curve MasterCard means no foreign transaction fees and gives you the mid-market exchange rate, at least up to a certain limit, Ł500 per month as I write this.  The money you spend on your Curve card goes straight onto one of your existing debit or credit cards.  And you can get a Curve card for free.

How it works:  1. Download the Curve app for iPhone or Android.  2. Enter your details & they'll send you a Curve MasterCard - they send to the UK and most European addresses.  3. Link your existing credit & debit cards to the app, you can link up to two cards with the free version of Curve, I link my normal debit card and my normal credit card.  4. Now use the Curve MasterCard to buy things online or in person or take cash from ATMs, exactly like a normal MasterCard. Curve does the currency conversion and puts the balance in your own currency onto whichever debit or credit card is currently selected in the Curve app.  You can even change your mind about which card it goes onto, within 14 days of the transaction.

I have a Curve Blue card myself, it means I can buy a coffee on a foreign station on a card without being stung by fees and lousy exchange rates, just by tapping the Curve card on their card reader.  The money goes through Curve to my normal debit card and is taken directly from my account (in fact I have the Curve card set up as payment card on Apple Pay on my iPhone, so can double-click my phone, let it do Face ID then tap the reader with the phone - even easier than getting a card out).  I get a little commission if you sign up to Curve, but I recommend it here because I think it's great.  See details, download the app and get a Curve card, they'll give you Ł5 cashback through that link.

 

Express VPN

Get a VPN for safe browsing.  Why you need a VPN

When travelling you may use free public WiFi which is often insecure.  A VPN encrypts your connection so it's always secure, even on unsecured WiFi.  It also means you can select the geographic location of the IP address you browse with, to get around geoblocking which a surprising number of websites apply.  See VPNs & why you need one explainedExpressVPN is a best buy with a 4.7 out of 5 Trustpilot ranking which I use myself - I've signed up as an ExpressVPN affiliate, and if you go with expressvpn.com using this link you should see a special deal, 3 months free with an annual subscription.  I also get some commission to help support this site.

 

Anker Powerrbank

Carry an Anker powerbank

Tickets, reservations, hotel bookings and Interrail or Eurail passes are often now held on your mobile phone.  You daren't let it run out of power, and you can't always rely on the phone's internal battery or on being near a power outlet.  I always carry an Anker powerbank which can recharge my phone several times over.  Buy from Amazon.co.uk or Buy from Amazon.com.

Touring cities?  Use hill walking shoes!

One of the best things I've done is swap my normal shoes for hill-walking shoes, in my case from Scarpa.  They're intended for hiking across the Pennines not wandering around Florence, but the support and cushioning for hiking works equally well when you're on your feet all day exploring foreign cities.  My feet used to give out first and limit my day, now the rest of me gives up before they do!


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