No seat reservation for final train Vienna Budapest

  • 30 September 2023
  • 4 replies

Hi! I'm travelling from Utrecht Centraal to Budapest in november and for my final train, from Vienna to Budapest, the website says I can't book a seat reservation. It says the prices are unavailable. Does anyone knows how this works? 1) Is it full? 2) Can I not book it in advance but is there still a chance I can take the train? 3) If I book a seat reservation on the site on this train company (, can I use that reservation to travel with my Interrail pass? On the website I have the option to book a ‘reservation only’, but will that allow me to hop on the train with my pass (and thus not pay the ticket)? Also, if I try to make this reservation the site says the train is temporarily unavailable.

In at least one of the trains that are part of my journey (also if I switch to a different date) I have this problem.

Also I was wondering in general if a certain train says ‘reservation not required’ but you can optionally book it, how this works. Is there then a possibility you can't take the train if you haven't booked? Or can you just always take the train but no guarantee of a seat? 

Thank you!


Best answer by AnnaB 30 September 2023, 15:49

View original

4 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

A lot of European trains have optional or no reservations. You're always allowed to board but if the train is busy you may have to swap seats or stand for a while.

In the very unlikely event of overcrowding people without reservations may be asked to leave the train but it never happened to me. The only times I've heard it happening were ICE trains from Belgium/the Netherlands to Germany.

Optional reservations are recommend on busy mainlines. It is a lot cheaper to book them elsewhere than on

- 3€ per train with ÖBB (same amount in CZK with CD)

- 4.90€ per journey with DB (seat map included)

Reservations are totally separate from the pass/app. They will never appear there. You don't have to show optional reservations unless you need to eject a squatter. :)

For further advice please mention train and travel date. I know that there are some last-minute engineering works between Vienna and Budapest so the finalised timetable for November may not be uploaded yet.

Thank you!! That is helpful. So as I understand you do not have to book a reservation via You can just book it via the railway's site and then hop on with your interrail pass?

I wanted to go from Utrecht to Budapest on november 5, taking the 7:06 train from Utrecht, then 9:53 from Köln, then 19:42 from Wien Hbf.

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

Yes exactly, Interrail cannot book all trains and sometimes it offers paper reservations while they're available online elsewhere. There are also extra fees. Have a look at :

It's not always possible to book through the company but when it works it's the best solution.

DB could book Utrecht - Vienna for 4.90€ with a seat map. Seat reservations are very recommended as I expect these 2 trains to be quite busy.

You'll take the nice route along the Rhine between Cologne and Mainz. :)

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

The recommendation from the experienced travellers in the community is to only make reservations through the Inrerrail/Eurail website if no other options are available. Please read more about that below. 


Here is some useful information from the experienced travellers in the Community regarding both planning, reservations and activation of pass and travel days. 


The rail planner is normally not up to date, as it only is updated once a month, so to be sure of the time table you better check the timetable and availability on the websites of the national railways. The bigger national railways, like DB (Germany) SBB (Switzerland) and ÖBB (Austria) cover several countries. 


The advice from the experienced travellers in the community is to use other ways to make reservations than the Interrail/Eurail website.  You can look at the guide in the link:

If you, after having looked at the guide, have questions about how to make specific reservation, please give your travel details (departure date, time and route) preferably in a new topic, and you will get advice.

Please note that Interrail/Eurail charges an extra fee of 2 EUR per person and train in addition to the fee for the seat reservation.

 Activation of pass

During the activation process you choose the start day of the validity of the pass. Once the validity has started it can't be changed even if you haven't travelled. The advice is therefore to wait with activating the pass and starting the validity until the first day of your travel as you only can deactivate the pass no later than 23.59 CET on the day before the validity starts. If your travel plans change in the last moment you can't deactivate the pass and change the validity. 

It can be wise to make a test and activate the pass with a start date well in the future and then deactivate the pass immediately, just to see that everything works.

 Activation of travel day

The advice from the experienced travellers in the community is also never to activate a travel day, that is connect a journey to your pass and create the ticket (QR code), until just before boarding the train, otherwise you might loose a travel day if your travel plans change in a late stage  You can't delete a travel day in the past. A travel day can only be deleted until 23.59 CET the day before the travel day.