Checking on reservations before paying for a eurail pass

  • 25 March 2024
  • 6 replies


I am thinking of buying a eurail pass.  It will certainly be cheaper than paying for the journeys I have planned through normal booking methods.  However I will want seat reservations on all my journeys (in France and Italy) and I would not want to proceed with the purchase of a Eurail pass if this was not guaranteed,  I am too early to book seats on the actual journeys planned.  However I thought I would test out the system by seeing if it is possible to book up seats on certain journeys but just stopping short of the paying up stage.  It seems, however, that I cannot test out the reservation system until I have paid for a pass.  And I am not prepared to pay for the pass until I have tested the reservation system.  Catch 22!!   Any suggestions how I might get round this problem?




Best answer by Al_G 25 March 2024, 23:12

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6 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +4

There are other places that are usually better and cheaper to get passholder reservations.

Userlevel 2

Reservations are completely separate from the pass, follow the link Al_G gave you, and there you won’t need it to see how much they cost.

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

In addition, only the Eurostar has a passholder quota (+ TGVs from/to Brussels). For all other trains: if regular tickets are available (on SNCF, Trenitalia, etc.), passholder reservations are too.

Also note that if you live in the UK you must use an Interrail pass.


Thank you so much for your responses.  They have been SO  helpful.  Our planned schedule is:

Eurostar to Paris Nord  

Gare de l’Est to Strasbourg

Strasbourg to Basel

Basel to Chur

Bernina Express (1st class) to Tirano

Tirano to Milan and then Venice

Then back Venice to Milan and then Lugano

Lugano to Basel

Basel to Strasbourg

Strasbourg to Paris

Paris to London

Having priced tickets, the Interail ticket (1st class) would be considerably cheaper than purchasing individual tickets 2nd class and one first class ticket for the Bernina Express.

Interestingly our originally planned route of getting to Venice would have included travelling Frecciarossa from Lyon to Milan.   This option is currently not available because of the landslide at Maurienne.  However I note that the Frecciarossa for this journey is not covered by Interrail because it is run by Frecciarossa France.

Once again.  Thank you for all your help.  We are pensioners and keen for stress free travel.  (The last time I did Interail it cost £35 and paid for travelling for the whole of one month!)

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

Very good route. The Bernina railway is truly stunning. Yes 1st class is quickly worth it.

You could also do London - Lille - Strasbourg to avoid the (easy) station transfer in Paris :

- Eurostar London St. Pancras - Lille-Europe 11:04 - 13:26 38€

- TGV Lille-Europe - Strasbourg 14:01 - 17:37 10-20€

About the Bernina Express : the panorama carriages require a 36 CHF reservation. They're often full (group tours) and sometimes loud.

For a better experience I usually suggest the hourly regional trains or the regular carriages at the front of the Bernina Express : less busy, pull-down windows and you can even see the driver's cab! :)



Thank you so much for the tip about Lille.

Unfortunately I reserved our seats on the Bernina Express even before I thought about Interrail.


Thanks again.