Question regarding mandatory Seat Reservation in DB and SNCF trains with Eurail Global pass.

  • 9 June 2023
  • 3 replies

Hi Everyone, 


I will be traveling this summer from Copenhagen to Hamburg (Deutsche Bahn or DB), Hamburg to Strasbourg (DB), Strasbourg to Toulouse (DB + SNCF), and finally Toulouse to Barcelona (SNCF + R3). I have the Eurail Global pass. My question is, in DB and SNCF trains is seat reservation mandatory? In the Eurail application, it shows “reservation required” on most trains, which is strange, because when reading through the it seemed that except for some high-speed trains like TGV, etc seat reservation is not mandatory although is advised. One can just hop on, choose an empty seat and show the pass. I would hate to land in problems while traveling and pay hefty fines. It would be great if some of you could help me with your experience. Thanks a bunch!



Best answer by BrendanDB 9 June 2023, 13:42

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Userlevel 7
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The direct trains between Copenhagen and Hamburg have mandatory seat reservations between the 17th of June and the 20th of August. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

You'll need seat reservations on all TGVs to/in/from France.

Userlevel 7
Badge +7

You can minimise reservation cost by changing in Offenburg (to go to Strasbourg). The train from Hamburg to Offenburg has optional reservations. Reguonal trains cannot be reserved. 

From Toulouse you can go via Latour de Carol to Barcelona, with regional trains. Slow, but nice scenery though. And you avoid a pricey seat reservation on the TGV to Barcelona.